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The Malta place name pronunciation thread

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The Malta place name pronunciation thread

Postby leo » Sat 1 Aug 2009 18:12 GMT

I thought that, certainly based on my own inability to speak any language properly (including English ), that for newcomers to Malta, it would be a nice idea to have some sort of place name pronunciation thread going, so people can add as we go. We will have the country done in no time! Here is my rather basic offering: (Place name then rather crude phonetic pronunciation):

Birkirkara - beer-ker-kar-ra
Gharghur - gar-goor
Lija - lee-yah
Zejtun - zay-toon
Zeebug - zee-booj
Tarxien - tar-she-en
Siggiewi - sij-jee-e-wee
Qawra - ow-rah
Naxxar - nash-shar
Msida - im-see-dah
Mgarr - im-jarr
Marsaxlokk - mar-sah-schlok
Hager Qim - ha-jah-een

----------------------------------------------------------------------
edit : all placenames mentioned, sorted alphabetically

Birkirkara - beer-ker-kar-ra
Ċirkewwa - chir-ke-wa
Ggantija - gii-gan-tii-ya
Ghajnsielem - ein-see-lem
Għammar - aa-mar
Għarb - aarb
Gharghur - gar-goor
Għasri - asri
Hager Qim - ha-jah-een
Lija - lee-yah
Luqa - Loo-a
Marsaxlokk - mar-sah-schlok
Mdina - im-dina
Mgarr - im-jarr
Mgarr Ix-Xini - im-jarr ii shi-ni
Msida - im-see-dah
Naxxar - nash-shar
Qala - ala
Qawra - ow-rah
Qormi - ormi
Siggiewi - sij-jee-e-wee
Tarxien - tar-she-en
Xaghra - sha-ra
Xemxija - Shem-sheeya
Xewkija - Shaw-kiya
Zeebug - zee-booj
Zejtun - zay-toon
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Postby Kay » Sat 1 Aug 2009 18:46 GMT

What a great idea! Thanks for kicking it off, Leo.
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Postby gozomark » Sat 1 Aug 2009 20:18 GMT

great idea for a thread :D

some of the trickier ones in Gozo

Ghajnsielem - ein-see-lem
Xaghra - sha-ra
Ggantija - gii-gan-tii-ya
Qala - ala
Xewkija - Shaw-kiya
Mgarr Ix-Xini - im-jarr ii shi-ni
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Postby JJ » Sat 1 Aug 2009 21:10 GMT

And the obvious but still fool newcomers every time:

Għarb - aarb
Għasri - asri
Għammar - aa-mar

Also, how to type the diacritics in MS Windows/Office so you look really clever (or just a complete smart-a**e). Only works under Unicode-aware applications, such as Office 2003 and 2007 under Vista and Windoze 7. Simply type the number shown below followed by Alt-X and the character will appear.

0106 Ć
0107 ć
0120 Ġ
0121 ġ
0126 Ħ
0127 ħ
017b Ż
017c ż

Can get confused if there's a numeric character before so if it doesn't work or produces the wrong character, try again with a space before and then edit that out later.
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Postby Francis Barnet » Sat 1 Aug 2009 22:54 GMT

Last year I emailed an English chap living in Malta asking how to pronounce Xemxija

his reply

The way to pronounce Xemxija is : Shem-sheeya !

good thread btw
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Postby centralad » Sat 1 Aug 2009 23:10 GMT

there is a brilliant small Maltese / English & English / Maltese, book available at any book shop ( 40 cents ), which explains everything from the Maltese alphabet, to practically every word used in day - to -day conversation, colours, numbers, towns, fruits, etc,etc, PLUS all the pronounciations !!
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Postby centralad » Sat 1 Aug 2009 23:16 GMT

Remember that the Maltese and Gozitans have different pronounciations for various words , just like the dialects in the Uk.

The Gozitans say.... ewe..... for yes (this is slang meaning 'yeah')

Whereas the Maltese say.....iva.....for yes ( meaning yes !! )

Am sure Mark is an expert on this subject :wink:
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Postby Dave » Sun 2 Aug 2009 05:16 GMT

Great idea!

Would it be worth having a consolidated list in alphabetical order somwhere, or is that going over the top?
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Postby gozomark » Sun 2 Aug 2009 05:24 GMT

I'll do a list in alphabetical order, and post in the OP
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Postby JJ » Sun 2 Aug 2009 08:03 GMT

We've all forgotten most people's first port of call:

Luqa - Loo-a

and then following the route to Gozo

Qormi - ormi
Mdina - im-dina
Ċirkewwa - chir-ke-wa

Came across this http://www.maltanetworkresources.com/pr ... ation.html which goes into more detail about individual letters.

Typing Ċirkewwa I realised I'd looked up the code for Ċ wrongly (without my glasses on) and the table should be:

010a Ċ
010b ċ
0120 Ġ
0121 ġ
0126 Ħ
0127 ħ
017b Ż
017c ż
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Postby gozomark » Sun 2 Aug 2009 08:12 GMT

I like the explanation of q - rather than just saying its silent, they go all "My Fair Lady" on us

q - t - (Cockney accent) "Water"
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Postby KernowKaz » Mon 3 Aug 2009 20:53 GMT

Brilliant idea :D . I always ask a friendly barperson/shopkeeper/hotel receptionist - anyone really - how to pronounce things as I don't wish to insult anyone. I know I don't need to learn Maltese - but I would like to learn the basics. It does surprise locals when you say please/thank you in local lingo ! I'm surprised the bus drivers can understand some people, especially when they ask for a hotel not a place.....
:roll:
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Postby NoodlesJoe » Tue 15 Sep 2009 00:19 GMT

Is Paceville
Patch a Vill :?:
:roll:
Mosta---Musta
Dingle---Ding Lee
Halfar---How Far :lol:
Hamrun---ham Roon
Qormi---Orm Me :lol:
Luqa---Luka
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Postby gozomark » Tue 15 Sep 2009 00:33 GMT

Paceville is Pache ville

Luqa is Loo-a, as per JJ's post
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Postby Dave » Sat 14 Nov 2009 06:54 GMT

I wonder if anyone can help clear up a "Tom-ay-to"/"Tom-ah-to" argument Kay and I have been having? :lol:

People from Gozo are called Gozitans. Is that pronounced "GOZ-i-tans" or "go-ZEE-tans"?
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