The Maltese language is unique and, as with all other languages, is continuously evolving. It has survived difficult times, and while some traditions may have been lost forever, our language is still alive. So how did the Maltese language evolve through the years?
This is evident in a Maltese encyclopaedic dictionary which has been published for the first time since its inception, after 250 years. ‘Damma’ was written by Ġan Piet Franġisk Agius de Soldanis in 1766, taking him 17 years to conclude but never reached publication. The manuscripts have been kept at the National Library. After two and a half centuries his work has finally been published for the first time and ‘Damma’ is now on sale at the annual Book Fair, organised by the National Book Council at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta.
‘Damma’ includes various historical cultural aspects, such as food, traditions, games, musical instruments, etnography and legends. It is a limited edition and can be bought from Heritage Malta stand at the Book Fair. Those who already subscribed or would like to purchase a copy of ‘Damma’ from the Book Fair will benefit from a discount. The publication’s original price of €50 will be reduced to €40.
Heritage Malta, through its education and outreach endeavours, is active in the field of publishing. Other range of works produced include exhibition catalogues, collected papers, conference proceedings, workbooks, project books, reading books and monographs.
Heritage Malta is also offering an added discount on the first four issues of its biannual journal, Tesserae, with the purchase of a copy of ‘Damma’. Tesserae was first published in August 2015 and the four editions of from Autumn 2015 to Spring 2017 may be bought for the reduced price of €30 instead of €48.
The publishers of ‘Damma’ are Malta Libraries, the Department of Maltese at the University of Malta, Heritage Malta, National Council for the Maltese Language and the Akkademja tal-Malti with the support of BPC International.
Another publication on sale from Heritage Malta stand at the Book Festival is the reprint of the monograph ‘In the Name of the Prince’. This book was first published in February 2016 and was sold out after just a few weeks. This publication features research by one of Heritage Malta’s curators and studies the Maltese Corsairs between 1760 and 1798.
The Book Festival will remain open until the 13th of November 2016. More information about the Book Fair may be obtained from the website, www.ktieb.org.mt. Entrance is free.