Maltese goes high-tech

A website for the efficient translation of documents between English and Maltese.

When technology intertwines with the Maltese language, the result is, a new online platform designed to ease the translation process between English and Maltese, or from other languages.

The project was supported by the European Commission, which offers numerous similar digital services and tools. It brought together the University of Malta, the State Attorney’s Office, MITA, the Ministry for Cultural Heritage, Arts and Local Government, and the private Latvian company Tilde.

The Ċentru Għall-Ilsien Malti is actively promoting the use of the site, which is free of charge, to enable the public sector to utilise and benefit from digital services developed and tailored for the Maltese language, ensuring they are also accessible to the general public.

Norma Saliba, the Executive Head of the Ċentru Għall-Ilsien Malti, shared insights on the initiative with The Journal, highlighting its significance in fostering the integration of the Maltese language in digital platforms.

How is it different from Google Translate?

What makes distinct from other tools like Google Translate is its integration with the EU’s eTranslation system and its specialised training on datasets specific to public administration in Malta, such as Maltese laws. This ensures high-quality, verified translations tailored to the unique nuances of the Maltese language.

The website allows for efficient translation of documents between English and Maltese, initially intended for Maltese laws but adaptable to various needs. Users can select specific memory options tailored to their documents or texts. It guarantees security and privacy, as no personal data is captured or stored, offering a safe alternative to commercial translation tools for sensitive or confidential material.

What is its use?

Users anticipate utilising for translating documents into Maltese and/or English, taking advantage of the EU’s eTranslation system integration for broader language support. The primary expected use is for quick translations of full documents or specific phrases, aiming for wider communication through the inclusion of more languages.

It’s been 3 years coming

The development phase of, from its initial concept to its launch for public use, spanned approximately three years. One of the biggest challenges faced by the developers of the platform was the acquisition of clean, verified, and varied data to enhance the precision of the translation system. Due to Maltese being considered a smaller language, resources were also somewhat limited, adding to the complexity of the development process.

The development of involved a blend of linguistic experts and AI, focusing on collecting and integrating data into the system for accurate translations. Official documents were compiled into a corpus for the AI to learn from, enabling it to translate between languages. This process is continuously refined to enhance translation quality over time.

Keeping it fresh

The Maltese Government ensures the precision and quality of translations on through continuous maintenance and updates. This includes regular testing and data enhancement to keep the service current with changes in the Maltese language.

To keep updated with societal trends and innovations, continuous data updating is crucial, reflecting the dynamic nature of language and societal changes in Malta. This process involves collecting new data from various sectors, written in both Maltese and English, and depends on collaboration with different entities. The system also adheres to current Maltese linguistic rules, including handling words adopted from English, ensuring that digital tools in Maltese support accurate technological resources for users. is preserving our linguistic heritage by adapting it to modern digital contexts. This tool is a step towards embracing linguistic diversity and promoting cultural identity in our digital age.

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