What is the proper word for a magician in Malta? If you wish to learn how to say Magician in Maltese, then read the following article, where I explain some terms for the Maltese translation of magician!
Learn The Word From A Maltese MAGician
Even as a magician from Malta, I’ve never had a proper answer to this question. This is because the answer is not as straightforward as it may be. So how do you say it, and would you want to use the proper word after reading the following? People in Malta refer to a magician simply as ‘magician’, often pronouncing the word as ‘maj-jix-in’. There are a few others who simply refer to a magician as ‘tal-magiks’ in Maltese, translated to ‘of the magics’. But, the proper word is, ‘Saħħar‘. However people do not actually use this word and I too have my reservations about using it, and I will explain why through this article. On one hand, it makes sense that people do not use the proper word Saħħar because locals associate the Maltese word with someone who performs ‘Magick’ as in Occult and not Magic as in Entertainment. Saħħar can also translate to ‘Wizard’ but it is not very common for people to associate Saħħar with the latter. To fix this problem, people started to refer to a magical entertainer or magician in Maltese as ‘Buzzulottist’ or ‘Buzzulottista’ pronounced as you can read them and used depending on Maltese sentence structure. However, the actual meaning of this alternative word is actually ‘someone who plays tricks (or more likely jokes) on people’, which does not really translate well when one thinks of it.
As an artiste, who provides magic displays for entertainment purposes, I’d rather be referred to as ‘Tal-Magiks’ than to ‘Buzzulottista’. Saħħar wouldn’t be bad either, that is if people could associate it with the word ‘Wizard’. As a matter of fact, I consider myself more of a wizard of magic through my creativity and capability of capturing the imagination of people with my artistic and entertaining display of magic. But I deter from calling myself Saħħar, the actual word for a magician in Maltese, for the reason mentioned above. Even translating ‘Maltese magician‘ would sound rather peculiar if using the proper word, as it would be ‘Saħħar Malti’.
Where does the word Saħħar originate from?
Like many Maltese words, saħħar is one of those Maltese terms inherited from the Arabic language. In Arabic, it is written as such سَحَّار (saḥḥār) and pronounced with the IPA(key): /saħˈħaːr/. You can use the word to describe a magician, a wizard, or a sorcerer. Like most Maltese words, that describe persons or things there are two terms that slightly defer signifying male or female. ‘Saħħar’ is the male form of the word whereas ‘saħħara’ is the feminine term. It turns out the Maltese language inherits around a third of its words from a type of Arabic that was spoken by settlers of the island in the mid-11th century. As a matter of fact, Maltese sounds like an Arabic dialect mixed with English, French, and Italian-sounding words. We mention this because it makes sense that the word for Magician in Maltese is ‘Saħħar’, an Arabic dialect, and would refer more likely to a wizard or sorcerer rather than a magician as an entertainer. This is due to the timeline where people living throughout the mid-11th century were probably not performing magic as a form of entertainment but was most likely using tricks to convey the possession of supernatural powers.
Magician In Different Languages
I’ve been enriched by how people relate to me in their own language across the world since I have been lucky to have performed magic in several countries since the year 2000. So now that you know how to say magician in Maltese, you may want to know the word in some other languages. In Mexico and Spain, I was called ‘Mago’, the proper word for a magician. But it is funny how the same word, related to the same subject, can mean a completely different thing in another country. For instance, in Italy, the word ‘Mago’ is used for someone who performs ‘Magick’ as in the Occult, or for other purposes except entertainment. Therefore in Italy, people call me a ‘Pestigaggore’, which actually means ‘a person who provides Prestige’. I’ve been performing in Dubai, Qatar, and other places like Tunis and Turkey. There they simply call me ‘Saħħar‘ which is the same word as in Malta. Actually, it must have been from there that the Maltese word for a magician was inherited. In India they call people like me a ‘Jadoo”. This is short for ‘jadoo wallah‘ which is the proper term for a magician or conjurer. I am fond of how I am called a ‘Magicien’ in places where they speak French, such as Belgium and Tunis. When I was performing in Norway, they called me a ‘Magiker’, I do not mind the sound of it either. In Germany, they call me a ‘Zauberer’ and in China I was the ‘魔术师’ pronounced as ‘muh·jhih·shuhn’. In England, Ireland and Wales they just called me the magician, even though the proper word in Welsh is ‘Dewin’, or so I was told.
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Call Me A Magician or Maltese Magician In Any Language But Call Me 🙂
People may call me a magician in any language they wish to; I do not mind it and find it a fascinating way to learn about magic. That is why I look forward to meeting people from across the world, whether I perform in their country or I meet them while performing in Malta or Gozo. Luckily my shows in hotels around the island as well as that in my magic theatre, The Chamber of Mysteries, enables me to meet several people coming from across the globe. My children’s magic shows keep me young at heart and the adult shows keep everything balanced well. In between there are the family shows that I enjoy very much!
Should you wish to book me for your event in Malta, Gozo, or anywhere in the world, just get in touch with me and I will be happy to help you choose the right product or package that will suit your needs.
This article was written by the Maltese Magician Brian Role’ on the 22nd of May 2022 Brian Role` is Malta’s leading magician, a member of The Magic Circle, The International Brotherhood of Magicians, IBM Ring 202 Malta The Society of American Magicians and The International Magicians’ Society. You can visit his official website here – www.BrianRole.com
The information in this article is partly researched via these sources:
Regarding the Maltese language :
Regarding the word Saħħar:
Malta’s Arab Heritage: https://www.arabamerica.com/maltas-arab-heritage/
More on the Maltese language: https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2015/11/23/where-the-maltese-language-comes-from
Brief History Of Magic – Check Out This Post
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