Language Council warns that ‘those proposing amendment do not have basic knowledge of Maltese’
The Maltese Language Council is calling on the Minister of Education Evarist Bartolo and the Prime Minister not to go on with the proposed amendments to the Council.
In a press conference organised by the Council, Bernard Micallef, the Head of the Maltese Language Department at the University of Malta, said that the proposed changes will weaken the Council because the majority of the members will not be qualified.
Echoing what Olvin Vella told The Malta Independent in an interview, he said the number of academics in the Council will be in a minority.
Dr Micallef explained that the people who suggested these amendments do not have the basic orthographic knowledge to write in Maltese. Holding a press release which announced these changes, Dr Micallef said that the document was filled with spelling mistakes.
The Council is calling on the Ministry not to cause unnecessary controversy and not to hinder the harmony and success achieved by the Council throughout its years.
Dr Micallef said that this does not only affect academics, but all those who are somehow linked with the Maltese language, including journalists, writers, publishers, translators and teachers. “We are willing to take this issue before the Prime Minister because we believe this is very serious,” he explained.
The press conference, attended by Maltese literature giants like Trevor Zahra, Achille Mizzi and Victor Fenech, was also addressed by Olvin Vella from the Akkademja tal-Malti. Dr Vella said that he fears that there are those few ambitious people who want “their language fantasies to materialize,” who are drawing attention and being supported by the Ministry for Education.
When asked by this newspaper to explain who these people really are, Dr Vella said that these are “language Talibans, who want us to go back in time and those detached from reality.”
“These are the same people who expect the public to call a portion of chips as ‘biċċiet talpatata,’ he added.
In an interview which featured on this newspaper, Dr Vella explained that if the proposed amendments pass, the Maltese Language Council will be weakened.