English is one of Malta’s two official languages (the other is Maltese). This, along with its Mediterranean climate, means many people choose to learn English at one of Malta’s many English schools. Here are ten things you may not have known about Malta:
1. The capital city of Malta is Valletta. At just 0.8 square kilometres, it’s the smallest capital in the EU.
2. Although Maltese uses the Latin alphabet, it is actually related to Arabic. Over time, it has taken vocabulary from European languages like Italian, French and English.
3. Malta’s location in the centre of the Mediterranean means it has been ruled by many great empires including the Phoenicians, Romans, Muslims, French and British. Each has influenced Maltese culture.
4. The Maltese government offers incentives to filmmakers. Parts of many famous films, including Gladiator and The Da Vinci Code, have been filmed on the island. You can see a list of films here.
5. The state religion of Malta is Catholicism. There are an incredible 360 churches on the islands, which means approximately one church per one thousand people.
6. King George VI of the United Kingdom awarded the whole country the George Cross for bravery during the Second World War. You can see the cross on the Maltese flag.
7. Malta has seven Megalithic Temples – some of the oldest structures in the world. They are believed to be older than the pyramids of Egypt.
8. In 1989, Malta was the venue for the first face-to-face meeting between George Bush, the President of the USA, and Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Union, signalling the end of the Cold War.
9. Malta gained independence from the UK in 1964 and became a republic in 1974. It has been a member of the EU since 2004 and has used the Euro as its currency since 2008.
10. Only three of the islands that make up Malta are inhabited (Malta, Gozo and Comino).
Have you ever been to an English school in Malta? Where would you love to learn English?