Published August 21, 2018
This video was recorded in Greece by Madeleine Koerner and features speaker Pavlin. There are approximately 5,414,300 speakers of Albanian in and around the Balkans. Albanian occupies its own branch within the Indo-European language family (formerly the Ilyrian languages), and as such is considered an isolate among Indo-European languages. Albanian has deep roots throughout the Balkans with dialects spoken by centuries-old communities in Croatia, Greece, Italy, Romania, and the Ukraine. Albanian is the official language of Albania and Kosovo and is the third most spoken language in Italy. Although the language has been written in many scripts and alphabets over time, its current form is that of the Latin alphabet with the addition of the letters /ë/, /ç/, and ten digraphs. Albanian orthography has been the subject of much controversy amid calls for reform as well as challenges to Standard Albanian in the elevation of the Tosk dialect and its marginalization of Gheg. Despite such tensions, Albanian celebrates a beautiful array of diversity among its speakers and dialects.