1. Grammar and Spelling
Section One – Grammar and Spelling
1. Case and Gender: Nouns have five cases, three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter gender. Generally, definite masculine nouns end in i or u, feminine in a, but it changes with case change. There are no definite or indefinite articles, the spelling of the noun itself changes, e.g. karrike-karrikja (chair- the chair).
2. Articles: There are no definite or indefinite articles, the spelling of the noun itself changes, e.g. karrike-karrikja (chair- the chair).
3. Plurals: Plural form changes with the case and gender and it’s different for definite and indefinite forms. Thus, it is quite difficult to recognise.
4. One-letter words: One-letter words are quite common with adjectives, such as i, të, e, së, but the 'i' is not an upper case unless it is the first letter of the sentence. Similar articles can be used in front of nouns in possessive case.
5. Accents: There are no accents in Albanian.
6. Capitalisation: Capitalisation is used only at the beginning of the sentence/heading/title, as well as in proper names, countries and official titles (e.g. Party of Labour of Albania, PLA). Bullet points are not capitalised. The names of days/seasons/months are not capitalised.
Section Two – Punctuation
1. Speech marks: These are used similarly to English.
2. Colons and semi-colons: These are also generally used as in English.
3. Apostrophe: The apostrophe is used with the short forms adjacent to the verbs, e.g. t‘i dha (gave them to you), m’i dha (gave them to me) and in some ablative cases (“i ka ngjarë s’ëmës” - looks like his/her mother).
Section Three – Measurements and Abbreviations
1. Measurements: The metric system is the official measurement used. There are no measurements which are specific to Albania.
Time: Time is not abbreviated as it is spelled out. Before noon is para dite and afternoon is mbas dite.
Date: The date can be written 20/2/04, for example. The date can also be written “20 shkurt 2004”, but never shkurt 20.
Decimal points are used in official documents (e.g. 3.7%), but the general rule is that both decimal commas and points can be used.
Numbers over 9999 can be separated by a space (16 000), a comma (16,000) or a dot (16.000).
Currency: Currency symbols are written out and come after the figure, for example, $25 would be '25 dollarë'.
Spacing: In measurement abbreviations, a space is normally left between numbers and the symbol, e.g. 25 cm, 48 g, 34 °C.
N/a = no equivalent
Days of the week: Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun = e hënë, e
Months: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec = janar,
Seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter (not normally abbreviated in
Other abbreviations (mainly political):
PD = Democratic Party
Section Four – Hyphenation
Hyphenation is quite common at the end of a line, if there is insufficient space for the whole word. It is not common for linking different words together. With end-of-line hyphenation, all the general rules for English apply, such as never hyphenate monosyllabic words etc. Also, the Albanian language has a few compound letters in the alphabet which should never be separated - these are: dh, gj, ll, nj, rr, sh, th, xh, zh.
Section Five – Miscellaneous Peculiarities
Albania is known as such only by the outsiders. The country is called Shqipëria and the language is called “shqip” by shqiptarët (the Albanians).
Section Six – Geographic Distribution
There are approximately 4 million speakers of Albanian. About 3 million live in Albania, 1½ million in Yugoslavia, and smaller numbers in Italy and Greece. Albanian is an Indo-European language, constituting a separate and independent branch of this family. Its origin is uncertain and it was not until 1854 that it was conclusively proven to be Indo-European. The vocabulary contains many words not to be found in any other Indo-European language, though there has been considerable borrowing from Latin, Greek, Turkish, and the Slavic languages. Albanian adopted the Roman alphabet in 1908.
Albanian is spoken/used in the following countries: Albania, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Yugoslavia.
There are two dialects of the Albanian language; geg in the northern Albania and Kosovë and toskë in the south. The formal written language is mostly based in the Toskë dialect.
Source: http://www.worldlanguage.com/Languages/Albanian - Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.
Section Seven – Character Set
[ ] = Alt key codes
Microsoft Word 2004 provides an Albanian keyboard with all the special characters, e.g. ; for ë, [ for ç, but that comes with a price. A lot of characters have been moved around to make up for the special ones. Personally, I have assigned Alt+e to ë and Alt+c to ç in the English keyboard and find it very helpful when working with Word.
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