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10 Maltese Phrases That Might Come In Handy!

  • Apr 2, 2022

...Maltese phrases to get you started!

As Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” While learning Maltese may not be at the top of your priority list, learning a few phrases will help you win the heart and mind of any Maltese person you meet. Here are 10 Maltese phrases to get you started.

Bonġu, kif int? (Pronounced: Bon-ju, Kiff int)

This translates to “Hello, how are you?” Undoubtedly, it’s one of the most common greetings and a great opener when meeting someone for the first time.

Għandi pjaċir (Aan-dee pya-cheer)

“Nice to meet you!” Stun Maltese acquaintances with this old-school greeting, and we can guarantee that you’ll win them over!

Orrajt (Or-right)

This Maltese classic is the Maltese equivalent of “All right” or “Okay”. 

Mela (Mee-la)

This ubiquitous phrase has several meanings, including “okay,” “so,” “then” and even “umm.” It is literally chucked in everywhere – but most often at the beginning or end of a sentence for added effect. E.g. “Mela le!” – Why not?!/Of course!

Ta’ (Ta)

“Ta'” is another filler word that’s used in multiple ways. The most common use is to state a fact and end an argument or discussion. Ta’ is also frequently used in Maltenglish. E.g. We’re not available on that date, ta’!

Qalbi (kwal-bi)

This term of endearment literally means “my heart” and is the Maltese equivalent of “honey” or “dear.” It is also used in different contexts. Some people use it to show their love, while others use it condescendingly. E.g. Qalbi, kollox sew? = All okay, dear?

Ux! (ugggsh)

A colloquial contraction of “Mhux hekk!, which means “isn’t it so?!” It’s most often used when you’re agreeing with someone’s statement. E.g. Person 1 – That walk tired me out! Person 2 – Ux!

Aw! (Aw)

The Maltese equivalent of “Hey!”. E.g. “Aw ħabib” = Hey friend

Iva/Le (ijva/le)

“Iva” and “Le” respectively mean “Yes” and “No.” 

Grazzi! (grats-ee)

This means “Thank you!” Additionally, “Thank you very much” is “Grazzi ħafna!” (grats-ee hawf-na)