August 11, 2022
The Albanian language (alb. gjuha shqipe), in older references also the Arnaut language, the Shiptarian language, is an Indo-European language, which itself represents a branch of this family of languages. Throughout history, the Albanian language adopted words from a number of foreign languages: Latin, Slavic languages, Turkish, ancient Greek, Italian and other languages. The Albanian language is distantly related to the Slavic and Baltic languages. It is assumed that about 5.4 million people speak it, of which 3 million are in Albania, and the rest are in Kosovo and Metohija (an autonomous province in the south of Serbia), in North Macedonia, Montenegro, northwestern Greece, southern Italy (emigration from 15 century) and diasporas. The Albanian language has two dialects: the Gega dialect, north of the Škumba river, and the Toska dialect, south of this river. The Toska dialect is the official language of Albania. In Kosovo and Metohija, the Gega dialect was used as the literary Albanian language until 1972. Books and newspapers were printed with it, and it was taught officially at school. That year, a meeting of Albanian linguists from Albania and Kosovo and Metohija was held in Pristina, where it was agreed to unify the Albanian literary language. Since then, the Toska dialect has been the official and literary language in Kosovo and Metohija, as it is in Albania. The Albanian language has many features in common with other languages of the Balkans (see: Balkan language community). The standard for the written Albanian language was adopted in 1908 and is based on the Latin alphabet.