Maltese Language council accuses Education minister of refusing to consult with those most knowledgeable about Maltese language
The Maltese Language Council is calling on the government and the opposition, not to go ahead with the proposed changes to the Maltese Language Act.
In a press conference held this evening, representatives from what were described as the six largest Maltese language institutions, said that they were very concerned that the proposed changes would allow certain decisions regarding the Maltese language to be taken by individuals who are not qualified. The council said that they have been left with no choice but to take the matter to the Prime Minister.
Present at the press conference were representatives from the Maltese Language Academy, Maltese Department at the University of Malta, Maltese Department at the Junior college, Linguistics Institute at the University of Malta, Maltese Language Society at the University of Malta, and the Association for Maltese proof-readers.
The president of the Academy for Maltese, Olvin Vella said that over the past ten years, the Maltese Language council had succeeded in bringing together the different organisations working within the field of the Maltese language, and to reach consensus on a number of issues, as well as to work constructively together for the benefit of the language.
Vella lamented the proposed changes to the council, arguing that these changes would weaken the Maltese language by allowing everyone to have his say, irrespective of their qualifications.
“We are against changes to the constitution of the Maltese language council that will result in a weakening of the council. We want the council to remain made up of a majority of people who are qualified, while also remaining representative,” said Vella.
Vella said that the proposed amendments were being made to appease “some people” who despite having no qualifications, have very strange ideas about what Maltese should be like.
“We are worried that in the near future, the dream of certain ambitious individuals who want to spread their fantasies at the expense of common sense, will become a reality. Unfortunately, these people have been given preference over the council by the ministry,” said Vella.
The Head of the Maltese Language Department at the University of Malta, echoing Vella, said that the proposed changes would weaken the council.
Micallef accused those of proposing the changes of not being able to speak the language themselves, adding that the proposed changes would cause the Maltese language to go back to the state of chaos it was in 40 years ago.
“Even the press release that was issued to announce the proposed changes was full of mistakes. We are predicting, with certainty, that this will be the consequence of these changes. If someone were to come to me with a document like this, I would have said that the personal clearly does not know anything about Maltese,” said Micallef.
Mill-gazzetta Maltatoday. Kitba ta’ Yannick Pace