Qormi dialect

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One of the dialects of the Maltese language is the Qormi Dialect. In standard Maltese it is termed Qormi and by its speakers, Qurmi, and is affectionately known as it-Tuf, or in. standard Maltese, it-Taf. Literally translated, taf is the Maltese word for "you know". This dialect is used by many of the inhabitants of Qormi and other settlements around that city of around twenty thousand people. The most distinctive feature of the Qormi dialect lies in its treatment of vowels.

Although there is no strict rule, generally the vowels in the dialect take the following forms. Vowels in the first syllables are the ones most often affected, but sometimes medial vowels are changed as well. Final vowels, on the other hand, are usually identical to those of the standard language.

The Vocal 'A'[edit]

The vocal 'A' changes into the vocals 'U'. If at the end of a word, it becomes an 'O'.

English Maltese Qormi Dialect
steeple (church tower) kampnar kampnur
seriousness serjetà serjetò
seminary seminarju seminurju
potato patata patuta
fog ċpar ċpur

The Vocal 'O'[edit]

The vocal 'O' in the Qormi dialect also changes into 'U'. For example:

English Maltese Qormi Dialect
we went morna murna
go (imperative 3rd pers. pl.) morru murru
spring coil molla mulla
car karozza karuzza
glue kolla kulla
postage stamp bolla bulla

This form happens to almost all words that have the vowel "O" in the first syllable, although there may be exceptions.

Vowels after the Għ[edit]

The vowels after the 'Għ' change their sound as well.

  • The syllable Għi, instead of an 'AJ' sound, takes an EJ sound. Example: Għid il-Kbir (Easter) would be pronounced as ejd il-kbir instead of ajd il-kbir
  • The syllable Għe, instead of an 'E' sound, takes an 'A' sound. Example: Qiegħed (to stay) would be pronounced as qijad instead of qijed.
  • The syllable Għu, instead of an 'OW' sound, takes an 'EW' sound. Example: Għuda (piece of wood) would be pronounced as ewda instead of owda.


Although there may be exceptions, such as Kollha (all of it), which would be pronounced as Killha, and Meta (when), as Mita, one must note that the vowels are almost never lengthened, and their accent remains the normal Maltese one.