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Albania – language

albania language
albania language

Despite Albania is a country dominated by one ethnic group, its citizens are also one of the most multilingual nations in Europe. We will explain why in this article.

In addition, we will present the most important information and facts about the Albanian language such as its origin, dialects, and basic phrases.

Where does the Albanian language come from?

It might seem that since Albania is located in the Balkans, most of its inhabitants would speak one of the popular in the region Slavic languages. However, it’s not the case. Even though Gjuha shqipe (the original name of the language in Albanian) is an Indo-European language, it is also completely unique and doesn’t belong to any of the major language groups such as Germanic or Slavic languages.

Where can you encounter the Albanian language?

Today, in addition to Albania, where it is the official language of the country, you could also stumble upon the Albanian language in Kosovo (where it is also an official language), Italy, North Macedonia, and Montenegro.

Dialects of the Albanian language

The Albanian language is divided into two main dialects: Tosk and Gheg. The first is used in the country’s south, and the second in the north of Albania. The differences between these two dialects are so wide-ranging that they refer to grammar, pronunciation, and meaning. It is therefore not surprising that people sometimes mistake them for two different languages.

The Albanian alphabet

The Albanian alphabet consists of 36 characters: 25 regular Latin alphabet letters, 9 diagraphs (dh, gj, ll, nj, rr, sh, th, xh, zh) and 2 diacritic marks (ë, ç). Interestingly, the writing of the language using Latin letters has only been used for just over a hundred years, when its written form finally took shape. Previously, Albanians used the Cyrillic alphabet, the Greek alphabet, and the Turkish alphabet.

The Albanian language – is it similar to any other languages?

Just the sound of Albanian is unlike any other language, although the pronunciation shouldn’t pose many problems for people who have mastered one of the Slavic languages. 

Probably linguistically closest to Albanian is Romanian. These languages share an astonishing 50 words! Other than that, it is hard to find any other similarities to the languages of the world.

albania language
albania language
albania language

What other languages do Albanians speak?

The good news for the tourists is the fact that without knowledge of Albanian, they are probably going to be able to communicate with people who live there. Albanians are one of the most multilingual nations in Europe. Apart from their native language, they also know a lot of foreign languages. A lot of younger Albanians know English, and in the south of the country, in a part that was once ruled by Italians, a lot of people use also the Italian language. Knowledge of English is not very high among older people, but they often know Greek and Italian languages. Ethical minorities also use Macedonian, Romani, and Romanian.

Basic phrases in Albanian

Here are some basic phrases in Albanian that will come in handy during your stay in Albania:

  • Hello – Mirëmëngjes
  • I’m sorry – Më falni
  • Goodbye – Mirupafshim
  • Please – Ju lutem.
  • Thank you. – Faleminderit.
  • Yes – Po
  • No – Jo
  • What’s your name? – Si quheni?
  • Welcome – Tungjatjeta
  • My name is… – Quhem
  • Nice to meet you – Jam i lumtur t’ju njoh.
  • Don’t mention it – S’ka përse.
  • Do you speak English? – Flisni Anglisht?
  • Help! – Ndihmë!
  • I don’t understand – Nuk kuptoj
  • I need your help – A mund të më ndihmoni ju lutem?
  • I’m lost – Kam humbur rrugën.
  • I would like one ticket to… – Një biletë për në…, ju lutem.
  • Where is…? – Si mund të shkohet tek…?
  • A station – stacioni
  • An airport – aeroporti
  • A hotel – hoteli
  • An embassy – ambasada
  • Taxi – taksi
  • How much is it? – Sa kushton ajo?

Shihemi së shpejti!

Albania is a country definitely worth visiting. People who like to hike can visit Accursed Mountains, and tourists who love to rest on a beach can go to Saranda of Vlora; there are also much more possibilities. Since you already know, what language Albanians speak, now it’s time for you to pack your bags, print or download our dictionaries and fly to this Balkan country.

Do you need help from an Albanian-English translator or Italian-English translator? You are in a right place. We will aid you with regular or certified translation, interpreting, website localisation, copywriting, and many more.

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