Maltese people absolutely love to teach foreigners who visit all about our language. It’s fair to assume something is very wrong if you don’t hear the laughter of someone failing to pronounce tqiq within the first five minutes of any conversation.
However those expats who move here quickly realise how difficult it is to learn the actual language, so instead they choose to learn three phrases and repeat them ad nauseam.
The running joke is that mela can be used in almost every situation – and don’t get us wrong, it totally can. But only by native speakers. It’s cute to hear foreigners using it, but if every other sentence has ‘mela’ and ‘ta’ just thrown in for good measure, it gets pretty frustrating.
Bomba this, bomba that. Probably overused due to the fact that it’s more Romantic than Semitic, and easy to pick up.
This one’s on us, cos we overuse it all the time. But the undulation in the word must make it fun to say for foreigners too, cos they do love a good ‘ostja’.
Probably proud they nailed the ‘ħ’, this one is usually a student’s favourite word for their three-week stint in Malta.
‘How are you?’ ‘ĦARA!’
‘How was last night?’ ‘ĦARA!’
‘What are you doing after class?’ ‘ĦARA!’
Firstly, it’s żobb bro. Those are ‘b’s so please pronounce it accordingly.
Also if I tell you to picture a foreigner saying ‘żobb’ you will always imagine them having that weirdly excited look on their face. You know the one.
Uwejja is usually the phrase they use in the correct context, which is probably why it’s then overused, cos we’re just so excited every time they use it well the positive reinforcement spins out of control.
8. Did we mention mela?
Seriously, mela users are at a 10, and it needs to be dialled down to a two.
We know, we stole this one. But here it only means bye.