The official languages of the Maltese islands are Maltese (Malti) and English. Maltese is a language of Semitic origin with roots that go back to Phoenician and Carthaginian times. Over the years, it has incorporated many words derived from English, Italian and French. It is a complicated language and spoken only within the islands; with Maltese spoken on Gozo being distinguished by its dialect. Although the Maltese never expect visitors to speak to them in Malti it is pleasing and good manners for both parties to be able to make and return the most basic of phrases and greetings in Malti. English is the second language and is spoken, or at least widely understood by the vast majority of the population. Italian is also spoken or understood fairly fluently.
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