The national language of Malta is Maltese, which along with English, is one of the official languages. Maltese is a language of Semitic origin written in the Latin script.
Having been governed by many different countries in the past, the Maltese population carry linguistic imprints from many places, and in particular from English, Italian and French. Almost 100% of Maltese people can speak Maltese, 88% of the Maltese people can speak English, 66% can speak Italian, and nowadays more than 17% of the Maltese speak French.
This shows a recent increase in the fluency of languages, since in 1995, only 98% of the population spoke Maltese, 76% English, 36% Italian, and 10% French. Surprisingly, it also shows an increase in Italian fluency compared to when Italian was an official language of Malta. Before independence in 1964, Malta was a British possession, and a result of this is that English is still an official language, with government business being carried out in both English and Maltese. Most Maltese learn English in school, this being obligatory in most cases. Secondary and tertiary education are given exclusively in English.
French, German and Spanish are the main other languages studied at secondary school.