Thursday, May 16, 2013


Æsop's Fables, as Romanized by Phædrus

BBC Quick Fix - Maltese 

I need to quit 6 weeks' challenge. I'm too competitive so I start stressing too much and cause myself too much trouble over nothing, and start neglecting important things like housekeeping and friends.
I will be doing the work, though, but I won't be recording my minutes.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How I use flashcards

I am trying to read and understand the first book of Il-Fiddien trilogy.

I type it on LWT one chapter at a time, and translate it into English so that my husband can read it too.

When I'm finished with the translation (my husband is not very patient, and wants to know what happens in the chapter ASAP) I move the vocabulary from LWT on flashcards.

LWT treats every word that looks different as its own word. So qattus, qattusa and qtates are three different words. [Cat (masculine), cat (feminine), cats (plural)]. At this moment I don't care about that, I just copy mechanically the words.

I prefer to have flashcards of basic building blocks - glosses - and have four groups of words: nouns, adjectives, verbs and the rest.

So, I go through the pile of flashcards and
- separate all the forms of one word I recognize
- separate all verbs, nouns and adjectives I recognize
- leave the rest to be (for now.)
I do my best to find the basic form of all these words, remove the suffixes etc.

In a perfect pile of flashcards I'd have
- substantives and adjectives in form like "qattus, qattusa, qtates"- verbs in indicative (if possible) or - with Maltese - conjugated in imperfect tense (used as present/future)

I want to learn the grammar, that is how to modify these words to express the different meaning, apart from the glosses. I write these grammar exercises on separate papers and it is here I use sample sentences.
I don't like learning sentences by heart, except idioms and other such sentences and word combinations that are "building blocks" by themselves (like "good morning" or "s'il vous plaît").

Right now I am not advanced enough to be able to find many basic forms, and I know too little to be able to use the dictionaries in a good way.

I learn the flashcards by heart.

I have a pile of about 50-100 cards, that I go through until I know all of them from L2 to L1.
This is really mechanical this too. I look at one side of the card, try to understand/remember it, and then check on the opposite side what the dictionary definition of the word is.
After I have "guessed" right twice, I move the card in pile 2.
This means that there is less and less cards in the pile.
I usually end up with about 10 words that I simply can't remember.

At this point I change my tactics, start using mnemonic tricks or simply turn the cards around and try to remember them from L1 to L2.

Then I go through the pile until I remember them from L1 to L2, the same way. "Spaced repetition". The words I can't remember gets more repetitions than the ones I can. :-)

Then I let the pile rest a couple of days and go through it again. This time I remove the cards I find hard to remember to a new pile, and those I know go to a box.
I will go through that box about once every two weeks in the beginning, to be sure I know them, and then I'll just forget the box.

So - it's a bit like how Aaron does it. (or did, in 2012)

Now, this is just learning the vocabulary.
You have still listening, reading, writing, speaking, pronunciation and grammar to go through :-D

P.S: 8 ways to create better flashcards

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Il-Bibbja bil-Malti

I gave in today, and started listening-reading the Bible in Maltese.

I am a Pagan and I have been bashed more than enough by the USonian militant fundamentalist fascist evangelical Christians (I am not talking about all Christians, so if you are not an USonian militant fundamentalist fascist evangelical Christian, I am not talking about you.) to find the whole Bible, especially the Greek scriptures (a.k.a New Testament) slightly repulsive, because of the association. 

But - the book exists translated in several languages on-line
(here's one Maltese version)
Parts of it has been read out aloud in Maltese (L-Evanġelju ta' Sidna Ġesu' Kristu skont San Mattew)

Maltese - learning the language

8 writing activities for the younger students
(about writing in one's mothertongue, but could easily be adjusted to learning foreign languages.)
Copying and dictating are the two basic lesson activities in the natural method.  Just as the child learned to speak by copying your correct speech, so he learns to write by copying fine writing.
- Ruth Beechick, A Strong Start in Language

"copywork" can seem like mindless - and thus useless - copying, but don't underestimate the muscle memory...
In the beginning of language study, copying a sentence over and over again, will help you remember it.

Motti, aforismi e proverbii Maltesi
It uses slightly different letters

Alla fettiħi, u Alla għajjur: Alla nebbihi, u magħ kollħad jdur.

Alla fuq kollox, u fuq kollħad, xemx u xute jibgħat jib kollħad.

Maltese proverbs
Maltese proverbs (only 7 of them, but there is an idiomatic translation and meaning of the saying as well)
Common Maltese proverbs and sayings
Maltese proverbs and riddles

Later you can move on to "dictation" - write the lyrics of a song. Choose first songs that you already have lyrics on, so you have something you can use to check if you got it right.

Learn a language by listening to radio

New study may revolutionize language learning
"Dr Sulzberger has found that the best way to learn a language is through frequent exposure to its sound patterns--even if you haven't a clue what it all means."

Why You Should Keep Listening Even If You Don’t Understand

Use music to learn foreign languages
language is music
6 tips for learning a new language
Use music, TV, movies, radio and the internet to ingrain your target language in your brain

passive and active listening tips

Remember this is not a question of passive listening...

On-line newspapers from Malta
Maltese TV
Maltese radio (I like radio 101, which is a channel with a lot of international popular music, but also some Maltese songs, a lot of talk of different issues, news broadcast and a bit too much politics (but it might be because they seem to be changes going on right now, like an election or something... I find it boring so I go to YouTube and listen to Maltese songs instead. I know, I know, I would learn more if I actually found out what is going on and listened, even if it bores me - but on the other hand, I will learn more by listening to something I am interested in than something that bores me :-D)

There are 2,803 articles in the Maltese Wikipedia (Wikipedija) and 13,416 pages in all "including both Articles (the official article count of each wiki) and Non-Articles (user pages, images, talk pages, "project" pages, categories, and templates)".

Then a little bit about Maltese culture and celebrations :-)

Monday, May 13, 2013

"two different games with a different set of rules"

"...Maltese (is) a language which typologically stands between Semitic and Romance languages, as it is genealogically related to Arabic, on the one hand, and has been in close contact with Italian and Sicilian for about one millennium, on the other. A long history of contact between typologically diverse languages gave rise to two different word formation strategies in modern Maltese, root and pattern morphology and concatenative morphology.
Word formation in Maltese can be compared to a checkerboard on which language users may play chess and draughts, two different games with a different set of rules. For any given lexical item, a speaker of Maltese must know whether it is a piece for chess or a piece for draughts, and play the morphosyntactic game accordingly."

So well said... :-)

This is part of what I have been doing with verbs: try to figure out if they belong to the Semitic part of the language or the Japhetic part of the language.

My language studies are not advancing much at the moment. I am severely depressed and after having had a couple of PMS free months, it's back - and with a vengeance. But I'm hanging on there, doing mechanically the things I need to do, and try to think that as I don't give a crap about anything, I could just as well keep doing what I have done the last days, and it will be good one day.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Maltese is a Semitic language.

I have been watching Maltese language teaching videos etc. on YouTube.

Most of the comments are arguments, in style "This is just shitty Arabic, Maltese in no f-ing language, it's Arabic dialect!" and "Maltese people are lying, claiming they have their own identity and language. They are ashamed of being Arabs, and want to be Europeans." and then we have the Maltese people trying to tell these idiots that they are wrong, and Maltese indeed is a language, not just some Arabic dialect, and Maltese people are their own people with their own culture.

Yeah... One hears the numbers and some greetings, like "good night!" ("Il-lejl it-tajjeb") and because one speaks Arabic and understand every word, one must be hearing Arabic.
Because you believe you are hearing Arabic, you also believe that the people whose language it is, must be Arabs, and they must also be Muslims. And if these people deny any of these claims, they are lying, deceiving themselves and everyone else...



1) According to genetic research, most Maltese people are of Sicilian (South Italian) or Phoenician (Canaanite, Lebanese) origin.

We do know, however, that the first inscriptions in Malta were in Punic and that they cover a long period, from the 6th to the 2nd century B.C. Bilingualism was already practiced in Malta when the Phoenicians settled here side by side with the last Bronze Age community which was later absorbed culturally and linguistically.

Apparently, it was Jean Quintin who in 1536 launched the myth that Maltese was a survivor of the ancient, lost, Punic language after observing Punic inscriptions in Malta... ...The connection with a great ancient civilization pleased the locals who could now claim both uniqueness and prestige... ...but in actual fact it was built on vague impressions for Punic script was not deciphered before 1758 and no serious comparative studies were ever made.
Languages in Malta and the Maltese Language
Education et Sociétés Plurilingues n°20-juin 2006
I do like the myth. Not because I see Arabic as somehow lesser language, but the idea of that Phoenician, Punic, would have been saved in some form, pleases me very much.

3) Malta lies between Italy (Sicilia) and Tunis, and has received influence from both directions, though more from Italy. (For a very long time all broadcasting on the island was Italian.)
The reason of this is not that the Maltese would rather be European than Arabs, but because they are Roman Catholic Christians, as the Italians are. Tunis is mainly Muslim.

4) The rulers of Malta - all influencing the language

~700 bce. Phoenicians
~400 bce. Carthagians (who spoke Punic, a variety of Phoenician)
218 bce. Romans
440 ce Vandals
533 Byzantines
870 Fatimids (from Tunis)
"The most mystifying linguistic aspect of the Maltese language is that there is no perceivable substratum (the old language’s influence on the newly acquired one) – neither Punic, nor Roman nor Greek... ...Al-Himyari... ...describes a violent attack in 870 which left the island in ruins and, after a period of relative neglect, a fresh settlement in 1048-9, composed of Muslims and their more numerous slaves... ...The period of neglect may have witnessed two small communities, the survivors and the conquerors’ garrison, speaking two different languages and perhaps intermingling over 150 years. In 1048-9 the sudden influx of a 5000-strong community of Arabic speakers must have absorbed the few former inhabitants whose language did not leave its mark on the new one."
Languages in Malta and the Maltese Language
Education et Sociétés Plurilingues n°20-juin 2006
1090 Sicilian Normans
1224 the Swabian Emperor Frederick II expelled the Muslims from Malta. Nevertheless, most chose to convert rather than leave their homes.
1479 Spanish
1530 Knights of Malta (Italian) (In the beginning of 16th century also some Ottoman (Turkish) influence)
1798 French
1800 British
1964 Maltese

What does all of this mean?

Malta is its own country, the Maltese people have their own, individual culture and nature and the Maltese language is an independent, own, separate language.

Also, Malta IS part of Europe. They don't need to "try to be" Europeans. They ARE Europeans and have been for a very, very long time.

P.S. I have found some culprit to the idiocy displayed in YouTube.
Arab Heritage in Malta

The historical source of modern Maltese vocabulary is 52% Italian/Sicilian, 32% Siculo-Arabic, and 6% English, with some of the remainder being French. Today, most function words are Semitic. In this way, it is similar to English, which is a Germanic language that had large influence from French — although less so than Maltese. As a result of this, Romance language-speakers may easily be able to comprehend more complex ideas expressed in Maltese, such as "Ġeografikament, l-Ewropa hi parti tas-superkontinent ta' l-Ewrasja" (Geographically, Europe is part of the Supercontinent of Eurasia), while not understanding a single word of a simple sentence such as "Ir-raġel qiegħed fid-dar" (The man is in the house), which would be easily understood by any Arabic speaker.
Romance origin (Italian, Sicilian, French, Spanish) 40-55%
Arabic origin (Sicilo-Arabic, Semitic) 30-40%
English 5-20%

Friday, May 10, 2013

Second post today!

I have been working with the verbs from 1st and 2nd chapter...
And I am so proud of myself!

Google translate is my working dictionary... and it is not the best one available.
So - it gives the translation "are, is, being, been" to both qed and qegħdin.

Now, I KNOW these words have nothing to do with 'to be' (ikun - Maltese verbs' base form is the perf.) So... what IS this verb, really?

q-d... q-għ-d... could be. Għ is silent, so in some forms they just skip it.

Maltese Verb Roots and Patterns Database gives this for q-għ-d

1. stay
2. reside
3. be applicable
4. settle
5. amount
6. remain
1. put, place
2. deposit
3. lay

Ok... Hmm... Maybe...

Then I found this 
Maltese also has the category of progressive marked by the grammaticalised active participle qiegħed 'staying' (of qagħad 'to stand') - with the inflected forms qiegħda for feminine and qegħdin for plural beside the uninflected reduce qed
Kulħadd kien qed jistenna s-sinjal
everybody be (perf) prog ( wait (def) signal
everybody was waiting for the signal.

Thomas Stolz, Cornelia Stroh, Aina Urdze
Total Redulication - The Areal Linguistics of a Potential Universal,
page 311
"are, is, been, being" is not a good translation. "-ing" would be better.

I logged in 12 hours of studies today. I am very pleased with myself. I really need to go through those verbs... As evidenced above :-D

Thursday, May 9, 2013

And a new day has began...

I haven't learned anything from my experiences :-D

A couple of years ago I was complaining about the difficulties of finding anything in Albanian on-line.
It's even harder to find anything in Maltese!

I get the feeling that Maltese people want to safeguard their language, so that no foreigners can mutilate it with their petty efforts to speak it.

I read this about dubbed movies... and I remembered the difficulties in getting my greedy hands on Il-Fiddien series. I had to go to Maltese bookshops on-line and... well... it wasn't as easy as I thought it should be. After all, Malta is part of EU. It should be in the interests of EU to see people could learn all Maltese they want to. (Well, there is a lot of official texts translated in every EU language, so that could be used to learn Maltese, but... It's boring. News, EU documents and the Bible. *sigh*)

Fjamma bla tmiem
          Endless flame
Seħer ta’ qalbi
          My heart’s magic
Dawwalli l-jiem ta’ ħajti
          Enlighten the days of my life
Warrabni mid-dlamijiet
          Keep me away from darkness
Leħen fis-skiet
          A voice in the silence
Tama ta’ dejjem
          Forever hope
Għallimni nagħzel toroq il-ġejjien
          Teach me to choose the roads of my future

Għaddejt mis-sabiħ
          I went through bright days

Għaddejt miż-żmien ikraħ
          I went through bad time
Kull trejqa ppruvajt
          I tried every road
Ħsibt li fhimt id-destin
          I thought I understood destiny
Salpajt l-ilmijiet
          I sailed the waters
Infittex xortija
          Searching for my luck
Intlift fuq il-mewġ
          I got lost on the waves
          In the currents

Sakemm fuq xefaq skur
          Until in the dark horizon
Deħer id-dawl mixtieq
          I saw the longing light
Inemnem fil-bogħod
          Flickering afar
Bħal kewba f’nofs id-dlam
          Like a star amidst the dark

Fjamma bla tmiem
          Endless flame
Agħtini dawlek dejjiem
          Give me forever light
Seħer ta’ qalbi
          My heart’s magic
Dawwalli l-jiem ta’ ħajti
          Enlighten the days of my life
Warrabni mid-dlamijiet
          Keep me away from the darkness
Leħen fis-skiet
          A voice in the silence
Urini triqti l’ quddiem
          Show me the way for my future
Tama ta’ dejjem
          Forever hope
Għallimni nagħzel toroq il-ġejjien
          Teach me choose the roads of my future

Fjamma bla tmiem
          Endless flame
Seħer ta’ qalbi
          My heart’s magic
Dawwalli l-jiem ta’ ħajti
          Enlighten the days of my life
Warrabni mid-dlamijiet
          Keep me away from darkness
Leħen fis-skiet
          A voice in the silence
Tama ta’ dejjem
          Forever hope
Għallimni nagħzel toroq il-ġejjien
          Teach me to choose the roads of my future

Għaddejt minn ħolmiet
          I went through the dreams
Passat fantasiji
          A past of fantasies
Ħarist lejn l-uċuh
          I looked at faces
Rajt biss maskri mżejnin
          I saw decorated masks
Inċedi ma ridtx
          I didn’t want to give up
Fittixt, għarrixt u qallibt
          I searched, looked for and explored
Kont waħdi fil-folla
          Alone in the crowd
Ħadd ma kien ħabib
          No one was a friend
Sa ma tbissimli ż-żmien
          Until the time smiled back to me
U sibt l-oħla kenn
          And I found the best shelter
Ma nafx jeżistix
          I don’t know if there really exists
Bħall-wens li tajtni int
          A shelter like the one you gave me

Fjamma bla tmiem
          Endless flame
Seħer ta’ qalbi
          My heart’s magic
Dawwalli l-jiem ta’ ħajti
          Enlighten the days of my life
Warrabni mid-dlamijiet
          Keep me away from darkness
Leħen fis-skiet
          A voice in the silence
Tama ta’ dejjem
          Forever hope
Għallimni nagħzel toroq il-ġejjien
          Teach me to choose the roads of my future

Fjamma bla tmiem
          Endless flame
Seħer ta’ qalbi
          My heart’s magic
Dawwalli l-jiem ta’ ħajti
          Enlighten the days of my life
Warrabni mid-dlamijiet
          Keep me away from darkness
Leħen fis-skiet
          A voice in the silence
Tama ta’ dejjem
          Forever hope
Għallimni nagħzel toroq il-ġejjien
          Teach me to choose the roads of my future

Fjamma bla tmiem
          Endless flame
Agħtini dawlek dejjiem
          Give me forever light
Fjamma bla tmiem
          Endless flame
Urini triqti l’quddiem
          Show me the way for my future
Fjamma bla tmiem
          Endless flame
Fjamma bla tmiem
          Endless flame

Translation from "worldbeat twelve"

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Week 2 of 6 weeks challenge has began

Yes! Done! Phew...
That is, the translation of chapter 2 of Sqaq l-Infern.
For some reason it was really, really hard to plow through the text. (Might be because it is one of the longer chapters in the book...)

Poor Jason... and what a lovely mother he has :´)
Here's a Maltese recipe of chocolate biscuits... sort of. In English :-D

Krustini taċ-ċikkulata

I also wrote the new vocabulary from chapter 2 on flashcards. 400 NEW GLOSSES! 8-o
I divided it into 50 gloss piles, and took one of them with me to my walk.

I have added chapter 3 to Learning with Texts. It's a short one. Thank God :-) And a lot of words I already know. I think there was only (:-D) some 200 new words in that chapter.

I really need to clean up my glosses. When I started, I didn't know anything about Maltese verbs, and the text looked pretty much incomprehensible. Now I'm starting to see the building blocks, and I know I have a lot of repetition... the same verb conjugated in different "tempus", persons etc.  That isn't helping me. On the contrary. I am not to learn the conjugated forms, but the basic verb, so that I can learn how to conjugate it and be able to use the verbs in basic forms to express myself - and also to understand the verbs that are not in basic forms.

With verbs it's a bit disturbing that the language consists of Phoenician, Sardinian and Norman layers with the "modern" loans, mostly from English or Italian... but there is also quite a lot from France and Spain too!

Also, there is the... hmm... "lazy" usage of the language, creating me problems. I can't be certain of that a specific spelling is the correct one... or which letter should be used. "Il-warda tal-ġnien tiegħi hi dak il-wiċċ sabiħ" could also be written "Il-warda tal-gnien tieghi hi dak il-wicc sabih". Usually it is not a problem, but there are some cases where it is a problem... especially when it comes to ħ and h...

I found a lovely, old dictionary, that has letters I don't have the slightest idea how to pronounce or with what they have been replaced in modern Maltese!

Also, there are some scanned dictionaries on-line, where the person who did the enormous job of scanning the book, didn't bother proofreading the scan... so it's impossible to figure out some of the words.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It-Tfal Jiġu Bil-Vapuri

This is so beautiful...

Dil-qalb li ttektek dejjem matul in-nhar u l-lej',
Tixxennaq u titniehed, tixtieq u trid għalxej'.
Fejn int, fejn inti, ibni, li ħlomt fl-iljieli sbieħ?
Dan l-univers imżewwaq,mingħajrek xejn ma fih.
Fittixtek kull filgħodu, 'mma dalam minnufieh
Fittixtek filgħaxija, 'mma l-lejl difinni fih.
Għalxejn kuljum jittawwal il-qamar tul il-lej',
Jekk iġġerrejt u għadni, niġġerra ma nafx fej'.
Dil-kelma li tinstema' u jien ma nagħrafhiex,
Iddamdam ġo widnejja u jien ma nifimiex!
Ma ġġeddidnix rebbiegħa, fis-sajf ma nafx nistrieh,
M'hemmx tama fil-ħarifa, fix-xitwa jġorrni r-riħ.

Ix-xemx ta' l-għodwa tiegħi, hi l-ħmura ta' ħaddejk,
Il-qamar tal-lejl tiegħi, hu n-nar ta' ħbub għajnejk.
Il-warda tal-ġnien tiegħi hi dak il-wiċċ sabiħ;
Il-kliem magħluq go fommok hu l-kliem li jkanta r-riħ
Sejjaħtlek biex tweġibni b'kull isem li naf jien,
Għajjatt sakemm smajt leħni idamdam kullimkien
Staqsejt għalik lill-kotra u ma weġibni ħadd,
Fittixtek fil-bliet kollha u ma itqajt miegħek qatt

Inqala' minn ġo fija, ja xewka ta' l-uġiegħ,
U 'l ħadd ma ngħid illejla das-sigriet tagħna x'fih.
Liem'hi dil-qalb li ttektek mingħajr ma femhet xej'?
Liem'hi dil-qalb li tħabbat. Mingħajr ma taf ghalfej'?
X'inhi din it-tnehida li riesqa 'l hawn mar-riħ?
Fejn hi dil-qalb muġugħa li ma tistax tistrieħ?

Ix-xemx ta' l-għodwa tiegħi, hi l-ħmura ta' ħaddejk,
Il-qamar tal-lejl tiegħi, hu n-nar ta' ħbub għajnejk.
Il-warda tal-ġnien tiegħi hi dak il-wiċċ sabiħ;
Il-kliem magħluq ġo fommok hu l-kliem li jkanta r-riħ
Sejjaħtlek biex tweġibni b'kull isem li naf jien,
Għajjatt sakemm smajt leħni idamdam kullimkien
Staqsejt għalik lill-kotra u ma weġibni ħadd,
Fittixtek fil-bliet kollha u ma itqajt miegħek qatt.


"It-Tfal Jiġu Bil-Vapuri" is a Maltese tv-series (Children come with ships) based on a novel by Oliver Friggieri. It tells about Susanna and Arturo who are childless and, if I have understood correctly, the local priest uses them to save his own reputation. Or something. It happens in the beginning of 20th century.
Sounds interesting.

This heart that beats days and nights,
yearns and ?, wishes and pursues in vain.
Where are you, where, my child, of whom I dream so beautifully at nights?
I search you in the morning, but it becomes quickly dark,
I search you in the evening, but the night hides me inside (?)
In vain days get longer the moon under the night
If you have to wander, you wander don't know where,
This word I keep hearing and I don't recognize,
the humming in my ears, and I don't (?)
No renewal for me in Springtime, the Summer knows not rest,
there is no hope in Autumn, Winter only brings me wind.

The sun of the morning is the blush on your cheeks,
the moon in the night is the shine in your eyes,
The rose in my garden is your beautiful face
The words captured in your mouth are the words the wind sings.
I call you with every name I know,
I shout until my voice clangs everywhere,
I asked about you from the masses, but no-one had heard of you,
I kept looking for you in cities but never [?] with you.

From inside of me, these spines of pain grow,
and no-one speaks tonight of this secret of ours hidden within,
what does she this heart that simmers not ? nothing,
what does this heart that beats not knowing what for?
Why is this launch (?) that drifts with the wind?
Where is the aching heart that cannot rest?


I enjoyed very much this argument between Daphne and most others :-D

I learned a new word: Tal-Pepe
And of course there are two different definitions of the word.. and which definition one uses reveals also the class of the speaker :-D
(Now, I am not sure if I have talked about it, but 1918 Finland had a war of independence, and the two sides were the Whites and the Reds, the Whites being mostly upper class and conservatives and the Reds being mostly working class and the socialists, who voted for Finland staying a part of Russia (Soviet). My father's family were White, and so am I. Politically I'm social liberal and my English is not even close "perfect" like Daphne's, but I know what she means with Tal-Pepe - because I would be one too, were I Maltese - and I also know where the non-Tal-Pepes have got the idea of stuck-up people who think they are better than everyone else and speak Maltenglish. It's not Tal-Pepe they talk about, it's the Tal-Pepe wannabes and trytobes. Also, nouveau rich, celebrities and their descendants are not White nor Tal-Pepe. Except some. But that's a whole another discussion :-D)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Today I have been working with verbs

Why, oh why is it so dang difficult to find Maltese resources?
It seems like I need to write my own dang dictionary. :-(
And the Maltese verb conjugator is... pretty sad. It claims the most usual verbs are not words. I don't know which form one should be using, and if the conjugation is even correct or not. :-(
Collecting information one bit here and another there is really, really, really tiresome. *sigh*

Now I'm going to take my walk and learn some more words. It is 6th of May, and I should know 500 words :-D I don't. I know perhaps 200. Not bad for a week's work, nevertheless, *I* am not happy. *I* expect more of myself, because *I* have done it before. Nah. Excuses, excuses. I'm just too lazy.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sa l-aħħar by Fabrizio Fanello

Fid-dlam moħbija
Fis-skur tal lejl
Ħsiebi biss fik u f'dik il wegħeda f'għajnejk

Moħħi jistqejqer kull x'ħin narak
Int xmara ferħ mogħdija ward u zahar
Kien hemm is-sejħa dik li l-qalb tant tixtieq
Fjamma li turi t-triq

Sa l-aħħar nifs flimkien
Qalbi, sa l-aħħar tarf taz-zmien
Bdejna bħall ħbieb
Sibna l-hena u't-tgawdija
Ġenna għalina t-tnejn

Sa l-ahhar ward tal-ġnien
Nisma' l-eku fil-bogħod sat-tmiem
Lilek ħabbejt
Għall-bieraħ u għall-dejjem
Lilek u bħalek xejn

Inti kullana ta tifkiriet
Kull x'ħin titbissem ninsa kull inkwiet
It-toroq tgħana miksija fjur
Agħtini jdejk u ħalli d-dinja ddur
Il-kwiekeb żgħar li jatuk l-isbaħ ġejjien
Ingawduh int u jien

My bad translation.

(If there are any Maltese speakers around, who know what I have misunderstood, and translated wrong, I would very much appreciate, if you could correct me. :-)
And also tell me what is the basic for or verb root of the words I didn't get)

To the end

Hidden of the darkness of night,
I think about you and the promise in you eyes.
my mind [jistqejqer] every time I see you
You are a river of joy of roses and flowers
There was a call that the heart so much liked.
flame to enlighten the road. 

To the last breath, together,
my heart, to the end of the times.
We started as friends,
found happiness and joy,
heaven for us both.

To the end of rose garden,
I hear the distant echo of the end of the times,
You will be there,
for now and always,
there is no-one like you

You are decorated by memories,
every time you smile, I forget all my troubles,
streets are covered with flowers.
Give me your hand and let the world turn,
We enjoy the starry future,
you and me


jiskantani - surprises
jisfar - he grows pale (saffar)
jistkerrah - he detests (kerrah)

maltese verb roots

q-j-d    qajjed - put on shackles  qajd - shackles
q-j-l    qajjel - pen in, shelter a herd
q-j-m    qiem - venerate, respect    (qejjem, tqejjem)
q-j-r    qajjar - dry    tqajjar - get dry
q-j-s    qies, qejjes, tqejjes, nqies, ntqies / qas, qajjes, tqajjes, nqas, tqies
q-j-t    qiet

There is an Arabic word قجق
but I don't have the slightest idea what it means. (qajaq)

In Hebrew קיק means castor-oil seed. Or raven. What ever...

Right now I'm cordially going to ignore what seeing her does to his mind. I suppose it's something good.


So... I reread Kato Lamb's book on learning languages, and thought about the Italian cardinal Mezzofanti. He learned his... 50-100 languages through the Lord's Prayer. Now, I don't know about you, but in Finland, every confirmand has learned this by heart. I still remember it, some 30 years later, and I am not Christian. The thing with the Lord's Prayer and the Bible is that these have been translated to most languages of the world... and the text is very closely translated, to convey the same message. Even when the language is often old-fashioned, it gives you understanding of the structures of the language. You really just need to update your language by learning some new words and expressions, you will have the language, if you use the Bible.


"I hate grammar"

I love parsing. I understand so much more after I have marked the different word groups and relations and what is main sentence and what is not... My husband looked at my notes; paper full of marker lines, circles and arrows and underlinings, and said "well... if it works for you, good. I don't get anything."

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Only six hours today. I was caught writing glosses for my husband, who's studying Finnish... I wrote him most of the particles, like conjunctions and adverbs, and some more.

Which means that I have some 4 hours less hours than I had planned.

I wrote a couple of pages Maltese
I studied my glosses. Not quite 100 :-D
I translated another page of the book.
I continued my study of verbs.

Tomorrow I really plan on translating the rest of chapter 2, and write new glosses.
I also need to learn the 100 glosses. After all, it was me bragging and claiming it's not hard to learn 100 new words every day :-D

Friday, May 3, 2013


Immediately after I decided to join the 6 weeks' challenge, I stopped having anything to do with Maltese.

And I will be going to Finland for some 3-4 months in two weeks. :-D



I have been studying for some 8 hours today.

I have been working with

- grammar
I really want to understand this thing with verbs. I'm starting to understand some of the difficulties Germanic language speakers  might have with Finnish. All these different verb forms! :-D
I still haven't quite got a grasp of the Maltese verbs, but I'm getting there.
It was also nice to finally understand għand. It's practically the same as the Finnish way of saying "I have..." or "I'm hungry, cold, tired, sad, angry..." -lla. It is even translated as a preposition in English (at, to).
- glosses
I like the word "gloss" better than "flashcards". Gloss, from Latin glossa, or Greek γλῶσσα, is a brief marginal notation of the meaning of a word or wording in a text, and the word used of the different methods of... well... flashcards. That's why I prefer it. It's hard to call a list of words or a book page "a flashcard".
Anyway, I have written all the basic words I want to know on pieces of paper (yes, flashcards :-D), and all the terms from the first chapter of Hell Lane (Sqaq L-Infern), from Learning With Texts. The problem with LWT is that it doesn't accept that one writes in the different verb forms as one word, which is what I would prefer. For it għandu, għandi and għandom are three different words, to me they are the same. Għand.
I wrote first all the terms as they are, but it is really stupid of me. I don't learn languages the parrot way. I want to understand. So I have been sorting my glosses and trying to find out which are verbs and which not... and that's not easy, because I really am an absolute beginner with Maltese. Sure, I know the alphabet and numbers and some general information about the language and recognize a couple of words from the radio channel I'm listening, but - frankly, I know nothing :-D
I have about 400 glosses, which I have divided into 100 gloss packs. The 400 gloss pack is way too big to handle and too intimidating :-D

- sentences
I have printed out some hundred pages of "tourist talk" and plan on writing them in my little notebook :-D
I have also written several example sentences with the different verb forms, to get a better grip of them.

I think that's pretty much what I will do tomorrow too.

I need to collect some 50 sentences from different sources and read them to my MP3-player so that I can take that with me, when I take my 5 km walk, and shadow. (Yes, I know. I hardly speak good Maltese, but it's what I have, and if I managed to learn French without hearing proper French, I think I can do the same with Maltese. After all, it's pronounced pretty much as it's written :-D It's only the ċ, ġ, għ, h, x and ż that are different from the Finnish counterparts, and then għi and għu, when "għ" - or ayin - becomes an a. (Finnish, not the English.)

It's kind of funny that AJATT has given up the 10.000 sentences project :-D Well... it's ok. I'll give it a change. I'm going to a place with no computers, so I need to find ways to learn language without computers... And there are so few good Maltese dictionaries... :-(

I need to translate the rest of chapter 2, and write the glosses from that. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

6 weeks challenge

I just registered for 6 weeks' May challenge.

Let's see how much I'll manage to improve my Maltese.