An Indo-European language.
Albanian is the only modern
representative of a distinct branch of the Indo-European language family.
two principal dialects of limited mutual intelligibility: Tosk and Gheg.
Tosk is spoken in southern and central Albania, by the Arbëreshë of Italy,
among the Albanian minority of Greece: the Çam 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.
in the Tosk dialect, is the official language of Albania. Albanian is also
one of the official languages of Kosovo, and of the Republic of Macedonia.
Albanian alphabet was based on the Latin alphabet, with the addition of the
letters ë, ç, and nine digraphs to account for certain sounds in
The alphabet contains
29 consonants: B, C, Ç, D, Dh, F, G, Gj, H, J, K, L, Ll, M, N, Nj, P,
Q, R, Rr, S, Sh, T, Th, V, X, Xh, Z, Zh.
Albanian alphabet has seven vowels: A, E, Ë, I, O, U, Y.
transliterate foreign words in their own way, even from the Latin alphabet;
thus Josh McDowell is transliterated
Xhosh Mekdauëll. Each sound is approximated by one or more of
the 36 letters of the alphabet, therefore words are spelled
as they sound.
known Albanian printed book, Meshari 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 Pdhanë.