Recently, His Excellency, the ambassador of Malta in Portugal Mr John Camilleri and his deputy Mr Mario Buttigieg headlined the launch of the book Provérbios Europeus/European Proverbs/Proverbji Ewropej at the Municipal Library in Tavira, Portugal. Published by the International Association of Paremiology (IAP), this book was co-authored by Prof Rui Soares, president of the IAP, and Dr Charles Daniel Saliba, IAP member.
This trilingual book (Portuguese, English and Maltese) has four sections. The first lists proverbs ordered alphabetically in each of the three languages. In the second section, the equivalent proverbs in the three languages are grouped; in the third, for each proverb, one possible explanation is given in the three languages. In the last section, numerous exercises are given to practice one’s linguistic and paremiological skills.
During the launch, HE Camilleri stated, ‘Thanks to this book, we are spreading popular culture, advancing literary knowledge and, above all, showing how beautiful it is to coexist and work together with one goal: to appreciate the beauty each of us and always seek to cooperate and collaborate in every area of life. Great congratulations go to people like Prof Soares and Dr Saliba, who with their work and research keep these proverbs alive for us and future generations’.
Prof Soares note, ‘Portugal and Malta, despite their geographic distance, have several things in common. The proverbs in this book reflect this, and one of the aims of this book is to teach Portuguese language and culture and motivate others to learn about Malta’s language and culture. Furthermore, this provides a way of promoting better knowledge within both countries about their important role in Europe’.
Dr Saliba added, ‘This book will expose the psychological make-up of people from Malta and Portugal, who are geographically distant but close regarding their social fabric. Moreover, this book will instil curiosity about the other half. Portuguese readers will learn more about the Maltese Islands, and Maltese readers will learn more about Portugal—two countries whose histories have crossed paths more than once’.
The authors thanked HE Camilleri for accepting their invitation for this book launch and for writing this book’s preface. They also thanked the Municipal Library personnel for hosting the event; Ms Ana Paula Martins, Mayor of Tavira; and Mr Kevin Cauchi, Mayor of Għajnsielem, Gozo, Malta, for writing the book’s introduction; and master’s student and Secretary of the General Assembly of the AIP-IAP Mr Tomás Vicente Ferreira, who gave his opinion on the scientific aspects of this work and the use of proverbs in the Maltese and Portuguese languages, which are useful vehicles for learning these languages and instruments for intercultural dialogue between Malta and Portugal.While visiting Tavira, HE Camilleri and his deputy had a cordial meeting with the Mayor, Ms. Martins and they also visited the IAP’s new premises.