Not too long ago we were talking about the machine learning software that’s capable of transcribing Maltese. Last week, the Maltese language took another leap forward, with the setting up of malti.mt, and here’s what it’s all about.
Basically, the portal is a collection of resources linked to dialects, verbal tradition, grammar, language history and research publications. The website’s purpose is to be a centre for information on the Maltese language. The sheer level of quality information available is astounding.
“It is a museum of the Maltese language”, explained Dr Michael Spagnol in a video conference. The Head of Deparment of Maltese took the analogy further, and the excitement on his face is almost contagious. “It’s a museum with a lot of different halls, where you’ll enter one and forget the one before it,” he enthused.
There’s a page dedicated to the ħrejjef (tales) and leġġendi (legends) our ancestors told us, along with another page focusing on workplace terminology. That means traditional crafts like farming, construction, and fishing have a rightful place next to medicine, clothing and music.
A calendar for upcoming events that centre on Maltese traditions and language is also available. Of course, for the time being, most events will be held online, but we can’t wait to see what the team behind malti.mt come up with once the pandemic is over.
The team itself is made up of a variety of professors and lecturers at the University of Malta, as well as two graduates enrolled as secretaries for the department. To launch the platform itself though, took efforts from a variety of students and other collaborators.
This is a site that will be accessed daily by students, lecturers, translators and other professionals. Actually, anyone with a passing interest in the language, should visit the site!
At one point, Dr Spagnol makes a semi-poignant point, detailing our responsibility to safeguard our language. Our heritage. This is the only Department of Maltese in the world, which means the responsibility to share the knowledge gathered is even greater.
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