Top British Influences which have left their lasting effect on Malta (and the Maltese)

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How the British colony left it's influences on Malta and the Maltese

The British settled colony in Malta in 1814. Their long term stay left traces in the Maltese culture which are evident to this very day. Check them out!

The English Language - and quite a few borrowed words in Maltese

Up until 1934, Italian was the official language of Maltese citizens. The British, who had colonised Malta in 1814, introduced English to the education and governing system. Nowadays, English is Malta’s official language - alongside Maltese. It is estimated that around 88% of the Maltese population is proficient in the English language - so you won't find any problem to communicate on your holiday to Malta with

However, did you know that there is also a Maltese-influenced word in the Oxford dictionary? 

While the Maltese have borrowed plenty of words from the British, they have also lent them a handful – ‘spitchered’ is one of them.

Derived from the Maltese word "spiċċa", which is the equivalent of "finished" - the 1920 naval slang entry means “rendered inoperative, ruined”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.


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The George Cross

The George Cross was awarded to Malta in 1942 by King George VI for the heroism the Maltese showed during the great siege of World War II. Till this very day, the symbol is displayed on the upper left corner of the Maltese flag.


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Buildings, architecture and infrastructure

During their colony, the British used architecture to assert their power over the island. Nowadays, you can see a variety of British influences in structure, everywhere you go. The Angelican Cathedral and Victoria Gate are testament to this British influence.

Liberal parliamentary democracy

Malta became a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth, under the colony of the British. Nowadays, the democratic system persists and Malta enjoys a liberal rule under the Labour party.


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Court, legal and education system

The court and education system in Malta is heavily based on the British organization. While American educational institutions are based on high school and college, the Maltese and English system live upon secondary school and university.


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Driving on the left

Just like the English, the Maltese drive on the left side of the road. Needless to say, regardless of the similarity, the Maltese aren’t as good of drivers as the English.


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