"The Maltese people" or "The Maltese language"
The Maltese people are ethnically a group of Southern Italians (from Sicily) who went across to the islands of Malta and settled there, but with genetic influences over time from the Spanish, French, and Greek populations.
The Maltese language is one of the languages spoken by these people. In the past, Italian was the official language of Malta, but when the English took over Malta in the 1930s, English almost completely replaced Italian in everyday speech (although television and most other media remains in Italian). However, in addition to this, the Maltese language (a mixture of Southern Italian dialects and other various mediterranean tongues) was used. In recent years, the Maltese language has rapidly began to decline, with more and more people there speaking English as the language of choice. Maltese is a "working" language of the European Union, but is not given the same status (yet) as the other languages, simply due to the shortage of people who speak it. Its status is in some ways compareable to that of Welsh in Wales, where English has gradually displaced its usage. During an average Maltese conversation, English, Italian, and Maltese will all be intermixed without a second thought. This process is known as "code-switching". In doing this, the Maltese people are...
Eeyore, since mommy got arrested at the PETA rally she is going to need your legal help, now be a good Maltese and come and bail mommy out of jail.