Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Albanian language

Albanian or Shqip (ISO 639 codes alb/sqi, sq) is an Indo-European language spoken by some six million inhabitants of the western Balkan peninsula in the south-eastern Europe (Albanians). There are two principal dialects of limited mutual intelligibility: Tosk and Gheg. Tosk is spoken in southern and central Albania, by the Arbresh of Italy, among the Albanian minority of Greece: the am and the Arvanites, and in small communities of Albanian immigrants in Ukraine, Turkey, Egypt, and United States. Gheg (or Geg) is spoken in northern Albania and by the Albanians of Serbia and Montenegro (including the province of Kosovo) as well as those of the Republic of Macedonia.

Albanian is thought by some to derive principally from the Illyrian languages spoken in the region two millennia ago, and forms part of no known wider sub-group within the Indo-European family. The oldest known Albanian printed book, Meshari [1] or missal, was written by Gjon Buzuku, a Catholic cleric, in 1555. The first Albanian school is believed to have been opened by Franciscans in 1638 in Pdhan.

The Albanian alphabet was based on the Latin alphabet, with the addition of the letters , , and nine digraphss to account for certain sounds in pronunciations.

Table of contents
1 Pronunciation guide
2 See also
3 External links

Pronunciation guide

letterSAMPA - exampleletterSAMPA - example
aa - Spanish la nn - gun
bb - burn njn^ - Spanish nia
cts - hats oO - four
tS - church pp - opera
dd - dance qc - Close to hit you
dhD - this r4 - Spanish pero
eE - let rrr - Spanish perro
@ - allowed ( is a schwa) s s - save
ff - fight shS - shun
gg - gun tt - tell
gjJ - Close to did you thT - thought
hh - hope uu - doom
ii - eat vv - victory
jj - year xdz - adze
kk - king xhdZ - jungle
ll - lee yy - French du jour
lll_e - tell zz - zone
mm - mother zhZ - vision

Note: all sounds in words used for comparison are those of the English language unless otherwise noted.

(146KB OGG Vorbis file)
Albanians transliterate foreign words in their own way, even from the Latin alphabet; thus Josh McDowell is transliterated Xhosh Mekdaull. Each sound is approximated by one or more of the 36 letters of the alphabet, therefore words are spelled as they sound.

Some eminent scholars in the field of Albanian language have been Johann Georg von Hahn, Franz Bopp, Gustav Meyer, Norbert Jokl, Eqrem abej, Stuart Edward Mann, Carlo Tagliavini, Wacław Cimochowski, Eric Pratt Hamp and Agnija Desnickaja.

See also

External links