Albanian is the official language of Albania. It is considered an Indo-European language family with about five million speakers across Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia. Albanian has seven vowels and 29 consonants. Just like English, dental fricatives /θ ð/, are written as th and dh. The language has two dialects Gheg which is common in the north and Tosk which is common in the south. Gheg differs from Tosk because of the presence of long and nasal vowels. Just like English, Albanian follows the canonical word order of subject–verb–object (S.V.O).

A majority of the population speaks Albanian as their first language. There are several other languages spoken by the citizens of the country including Greek, Macedonian, and Serbian. About 98.7% consider Albanian as their first language, 0.54% use Greek, while 0.16% consider Macedonian their first language. Italian, English and French are the main foreign languages spoken in the country. Italian is common as the second language among Albanians and spoken by more than half the population. The younger generations of Albanians prefer English, in the last decade, English has become so popular that it is spoken fluently by about 65% of all Albanian children as a second language.

Standard Albanian is derived from the Tosk dialect which is common in southern Albania. Gheg is spoken in the north and among Kosovo Albanians. One of the main difference between the two languages is the presence of rhotacism in Tosk and the lack of the same in Gheg.

Greek is the largest foreign language and the largest minority language of Albania. Greek is spoken by about 0.54% of the population. The Greeks of Albania use the Northern Epirote Greek variants alongside words borrowed from Albanian. About 100,000 to 200,000 Aromanians live in Albania and use the Aromanian language. Macedonian government claims that about 120.000 to 350,000 Macedonians live in Albania, but the Albanian government claims that there are only 5,000. They recognize Macedonian as their first language. Other minority languages are Romani and Serbo-Croatian.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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