Maltese EU Translation Problems 2

An article in the (Maltese) Independent Online throws more light on the translation problems in the version of the EU draft constitution, although it still does not reveal the precise meaning of the incorrect words.

Apparently the translators were told to translate ‘word for word’, in order to avoid the ‘comprehension problems’ that might arise if they used idiomatic Maltese:

bq. This explains why an expression such as “the inhabitants of Europe arriving in successive waves” was translated as “l-habitanti (sic)…waslu f’mewg ta’ success,” …

Apparently, Latvia established a translation institution, which also acted as a monitor of quality.

Allegedly, a number of those who translated into Maltese had never written Maltese before, although they could speak it. Malta did not have enough funding for this.

According to the Ethnologue, there were 300,000 speakers of Maltese in Malta in 1975, and:

bq. It is descended from Maghrebi Arabic but has borrowed heavily from Italian; it is a separately developed form with different syntax and phonology. No diglossia with Standard Arabic. Not endangered. National language. Grammar. Roman script. Bible 1932-1984.

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