Albania Languages

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Albanian is the only language in its own distinctive branch of the Indo-European language family. It is divided into the dialects of Geg and Tosk. Albanian was formerly written in the Arabic Turkish, Greek, and Latin alphabets in the various parts of the country. During the centuries of Ottoman rule, the Albanian language was not commonly used in writing. The records of Albania are mostly in Turkish (in Arabic script), Italian, Greek, and Latin. Many official records are in old Turkish, as would be any Muslim records. Roman-Catholic records would be written in Latin and Albanian; Orthodox records in Greek. The first written alphabet for the Albanian language appeared in the 15th century. During the four centuries of Ottoman rule, written Albanian was forbidden but it was preserved by emigre communities. By the early 20th century more than a dozen alphabets had developed. In 1908 a standard orthography of Latin characters was adopted. It is important to note that Turkish was written in the Arabic alphabet until the 1920s. Albanian is the national language and is spoken by nearly all of the country's inhabitants. Today the Tosk dialect of Albanian is the official language but both dialects, Geg and Tosk, are used in everyday speech. A few other languages are spoken by minority groups, the major one being Greek in the southern part of Albania.[1]

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Albania,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1991-1998.