Which Albanian dialect should I learn

Albanian - an Indo-European language

Albanian is one of the Indo-European languages, but has retained an exotic character within this language family.

How many people speak Albanian?

Today there are around 7 million speakers of Albanian, but only 3 million of them are Albanian residents.
Another 3 million live in areas of the former Yugoslavia.
Most of the people in Kosovo speak Albanian, while parts of Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia also have Albanian-speaking populations.

Minorities also live in Greece and southern Italy.
In addition, there are a million speakers who live as emigrants all over the world.

Albanian - a young written language

As for the written language, Albanian is a young language.
 
There are two main dialects in Albania, Gegish (in the north of the country) and Tuscan (in the south of the country).
The Shkumbin-i river, which divides the country into the various language areas, forms a kind of border.
 
However, the two dialects are not so different from each other that they would represent languages ​​in their own right.

Albanian did not develop as a literary language until the middle of the 19th century; the early texts are mainly religious writings.

The modern standard Albanian

A uniform alphabet was agreed at the beginning of the 20th century, but a uniform written language was not established until the early 1970s.
 
This Modern Standard of Albanian, which is laid down in grammars and is and is widely used in the Albanian public, is mainly based on Tuscan.
 
In the area of ​​the oral language, however, Gegisch is still used as a dialect, which one has to be prepared for when staying in Albania.

In the next chapter we will introduce you to the pronunciation of Albanian.