Lan­guage Coun­cil warns that ‘those propos­ing amend­ment do not have ba­sic knowl­edge of Mal­tese’

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Gabriel Schem­bri

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.

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