Maltese (Maltese: Malti) is the national language of Malta, and a co-official language of the country alongside English, while also serving as an official language of the European Union, the only Semitic language so distinguished. Maltese is descended from Siculo-Arabic (the Arabic dialect that developed in Malta, Sicily and the rest of Southern Italy between the ninth and the fourteenth centuries). About half of the vocabulary is borrowed from Italian and Sicilian,and English words make up to 20% of the Maltese vocabulary. It is the only Semitic language written in the Latin alphabet in its standard form.
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