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The Phoenician Language as Spoken Today in Malta and Lebanon

The purpose of this site is to explore the common Phoenician roots in the spoken languages of Malta and Lebanon. Both countries share a common heritage, not the least being the spoken “Phoenician” language, so we will explore that common heritage through the spoken language. In Lebanon, the mere mention of the word “Phoenician” sends shivers down people’s spines. In general, Christians tend to believe they descend from the Phoenicians, and thus do not regard themselves as Arabs, whereas Moslems believe they have many centuries of Arab background and culture, therefore do not regard themselves as Phoenicians. As we will see on this site, the author believes that based on their dialects, Lebanese Moslems are more Phoenicians than the Christians, especially the Maronites, many of whom came from Syria, as well as Arab tribes of Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula. This Moslem Phoenician background may be due to the fact that Phoenicians inhabited mostly coastal cities, where most Moslem Lebanese lived and still live, whereas Christian Lebanese mostly inhabited the mountains of Lebanon. So to avoid all these controversies we will try to keep this site as non-political as possible and keep it more as a scientific research. The “neutral” people of Malta have always found ways to dodge political alliances, and invaders, and hid their cultures (and language idioms) even from people who shared their Islands with them like the Knights Hospitaliers. So, here again, we shall not preach a political alliance between Lebanon and Malta, rather, we hope to inspire many Lebanese interested in Phoenician to go visit Malta, and Maltese interested in Phoenician, to go visit Lebanon, and experience, first hand, the common roots / languages of both people! Arabs settled and ruled Malta for almost two centuries, and there is a common belief in Malta that their language contains a lot of Arabic. We shall try to prove on this site that this is wrong, and that it is Phoenician, and not Arabic. The Sicilians also settled in and ruled Malta, mostly because of the proximity of these islands. This easily created the mix of Sicolo-Phoenician that Maltese is today! We will explore the Maltese language and how it relates to / differs from the spoken Lebanese language, and try to explore the common Phoenician in both. In doing so, we will not only look at word meanings, but also word usage, sayings, proverbs, and folk tales. In addition, we will see that Lebanese was Phoenician mixed with classical Arabic (and possibly other languages), and Maltese was Phoenician mixed with old Sicilian, not Italian, but Sicilian, and not even today’s Sicilian, but old Sicilian. Local idioms start to sound funny when compared, so we try to explore this funny stuff to add some color to our research.

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