‘Bebbuxu’ and ‘Xemx’ – the sound of Maltese for German school children

‘Bebbuxu’ and ‘Xemx’ – the sound of Maltese for German school children

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Oct 08, 2021
On the occasion of the European Day of Languages the Embassy of Malta in Germany introduced school children to different aspects of Malta and the Maltese language. This was the eleventh year that Embassy staff visited schools in Berlin for the European Day of Languages which aims to promote the variety of languages in Europe. 

This year, the Second Secretary of the Embassy, Rose-Ann Buhagiar and the Embassy’s PRO, Kornelia Klenner, met third and fourth graders from the Berlin districts of Wilmersdorf and Moabit. After encouraging the children to discover some geographical, historical and day-to-day facts about Malta, a short excerpt from ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ was read out in German and Maltese. This helped the students familiarise themselves with some words in Maltese. They were also taught to count from one to ten in Maltese. Given that Maltese is a Semitic language, this was not difficult for those children having an Arabic background. Names of animals such as ‘Bebbuxu’ or ‘Tigra’ were also quickly grasped by the students who were surprised to learn that the letter ‘x’ in Maltese is pronounced as a ‘sh’ in English (or ‘sch’ in German). 

The children were awarded a personalised diploma, confirming their participation in the ‘Malti’ crash course in recognition of their attendance and enthusiasm.

The language courses for Berlin school children, which have become an annual tradition, are organised in cooperation with the Association of European National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC), the Representation of the European Commission in Berlin and the central and state libraries of Berlin.