Skip to content

Translating Education

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Jana Galea
Jana Galea
Research by Jana Galea

Language,translation,and education: three hot topics on the Maltese Islands.

Malta invests heavily in education with a big chunk of its budget, strength, and efforts invested to elevate standards. Malta is also largely bilingual. This is even reflected in Malta’s constitution which places both Maltese and English as official languages. Yet, deciding on which language to use to teach children is a thorn in the side of Maltese educational institutions. A viable bilingual policy is still needed.

The European Union places great importance on national languages. This policy elevates the importance of all EU languages no matter the country’s size. The EU releases its documents in each language—a boon for Maltese translation studies. However, there is a clear lacuna in terminology and glossaries for education documents.

Jana Galea (supervised by Prof. Anthony Aquilina) translated an international publication on education into Maltese and compiled an accompanying glossary of educational terms. Translators have to adopt the role of terminologists (professionals who research and locate information or past publications to ensure accuracy and consistency in the usage of terms) when working with specialised terminology, a time consuming activity due to the lack of standardised terms. A glossary of educational terms facilitates translation by providing an easy-to-access reference tool that ensures consistent terminology in translations.

The research tries to show that Maltese and English should not be seen as rivals constantly trying to outdo each other. The Maltese language is part of the country’s unique identity, its most democratic tool, and an official EU language. It is strong and continuously growing, as Prof. Manwel Mifsud stated ‘Ilsien żgħir imma sħiħ, ilsien Semitiku imma Ewropew, ħaj u dinamiku’ (A small but complete language, a Semitic language but European, alive and dynamic). Then there is the English language which is Malta’s main linguistic link to the rest of the world and the carrier of scientific, technological, and informational developments—both languages enrich the Maltese Islands.


This research was performed as part of a Master of Arts in Translation at the Faculty of Arts, University of Malta. It is partially funded by STEPS (the Strategic Educational Pathways Scholarship—Malta). This scholarship is part-financed by the European Union—European Social Fund (ESF) under Operational Programme II—Cohesion Policy 2007–2013, ‘Empowering People for More Jobs and a Better Quality of Life’.

More to Explore

Adrift at Sea: Laws, Morals, and Policies in Malta’s Search and Rescue Region

Since 2016, EU member states have scaled down search and rescue operations that save lives at sea and replaced them with policies intended to reduce the number of migrant arrivals to Europe. These policies of non-assistance and forced returns to Libya render the central Mediterranean one of the world’s deadliest border spaces and force asylum seekers back to a war zone where inhuman and degrading treatment is well-documented. A growing network of civil society organisations continues to challenge these policies in the courts, on the streets, and at sea. This article, the second in a two-part series on migration, is based in part on interviews conducted with Dr Omar Grech, Senior Lecturer in International Law at the University of Malta (UM), Dr Derek Lutterbeck, Deputy Director at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies at UM, and Dr Felicity Attard, expert in International and Maritime Security Law at the Faculty of Laws at UM.

Concentration Camps in Libya

Following the NATO-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya descended into a decade of disunity and violence resulting in incalculable suffering and loss of life. Today, much of the country remains a war zone, and migrants in EU-sponsored Libyan detention facilities continue to suffer well-documented, gross human rights violations. This article, the first in a two-part series on migration, is based in part on interviews conducted with Dr Omar Grech, Senior Lecturer in International Law at the University of Malta (UM); Dr Derek Lutterbeck, Deputy Director at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies at UM; and Dr Felicity Attard, expert in International and Maritime Security Law at the Faculty of Laws at UM. 

True Happiness

What kinds of happiness are there, and what kinds of happiness should we prioritise? Jonathan Firbank explores Masahiro Morioka’s ‘happiness drug’ thought experiment in the face of an increasingly medicated world.

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment