Learn Albanian!

If you are going to learn Albanian you are in for an interesting challenge. It's related to English, but only distantly and not enough for that to be useful, there are few people that speak Albanian, so finding people to practice with will be difficult, and there are few resources to learn Albanian with. Should that discourage you? Not at all. There are options to get you going.

Albanian, also known as Shqip, is spoken by nearly 8 million people in Albania and in enclaves in nearby countries such as Kosovo, Montenegro, Greece and Italy. There are also pockets of speakers throughout Europe and North America, but nowhere near the numbers of speakers of other European languages. Albanian is an Indo-European language, and therefore related to English, German, Greek and other languages, but it's a more distant cousin and doesn't share too many of the more familiar characteristics of some other Indo-European languages. This shouldn't be a problem for you when learning Albanian, however.

Hopefully you already know some people who speak Albanian, but if not, the internet will provide some possible solutions. As for courses to learn Albanian, there are only a few. But, that just keeps things simple for you - less choices mean less indecision.

Internet
Funky Albanian This site has vocabulary and phrases, with accompanying audio, in an easy-to-use and fun interface. It is not free, however. There is a one-time fee for using this site. I would recommend using this site (or perhaps using BYKI, see below) as a supplement to another course.

Internet
Learn Albanian Language.com This site is for private, one-on-one lessons to learn Albanian with native-speaking tutors. Their prices seem very reasonable, and their course scheduling appears to be very flexible.

 

Internet

This site has basic information about Albanian language and history, an intro to lessons in the language, and some very helpful readings. You won't get very far into the language with just this site, though. It's really an introduction to the style of the websites owner, author Cezar Kurti who uses this site to promote his book (image on the right) for learning Albanian.

There is only one other widely available book for learning Albanian (see Colloquial Albanian below) and I actually recommend getting them both. According to several reviews of both books, they seem to complement each other well.

Book
Colloquial Albanian
The only other widely available book to learn Albanian. The Colloquial series has a very good reputation. I would recommend using this book in concert with Cezar Kurti's book (above), several reviewers from different sources feel that they complement each other well and the cost of both books is affordable.

Internet
Finding people to speak with once you are on your way in the language is an important step, and also the hardest part about Albanian. If you aren't learning from a native-speaking tutor, then the next best thing is to find a conversation partner or language exchange partner. I would recommend MyLangExchange or perhaps some other language exchange or language community site.

Software
Transparent Language offers a free vocabulary trainer to get started learning Albanian. Get your Free BYKI™ Lite download by Transparent Language

Try out this free version of BYKI. It will make a great complement to a more comprehensive course, and help you really integrate vocabulary into your long-term memory. If you like it, you can upgrade to the deluxe version, which comes with over 1000 words and phrases with audio, and the ability to add your own vocabulary, phrases, sentences, images and more.

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'One can say of language that it is potentially the only human home, the only dwelling place that cannot be hostile to man.'

- John Berger


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