5.4 million speakers in Balcan. Albanian is the official language of Albania and Kosovo and a co-official language in North Macedonia,.It is also the home language of some minorities living in Italy, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia.
The language is spoken by approximately 7 million people, primarily in Albania, Kosovo, Greece, Italy, North Macedonia and Montenegro. However, due to the large Albanian diaspora, the worldwide total of speakers is much higher than in Southern Europe.
Albanians are among the oldest ethnic groups in southeastern Europe, their ancestors having arrived before the Greeks. Albania also has one of the most homogenous populations, as only 5% of the population is not Albanian. This 5% includes 1.8% Greek, 1% Serb, and 0.9% Macedonian.
The national name Albania is derived from Albanoi, an Illyrian tribe mentioned by Ptolemy about 150 AD. From what is known from the old Balkan populations territories (Greeks, Illyrians, Thracians, Dacians), the Albanian language is spoken in the same region where Illyrian was spoken in ancient times.
Albanian was formerly compared by a few Indo-European linguists with Germanic and Balto-Slavic, all of which share a number of isoglosses with Albanian. Other linguists linked the Albanian language with Latin, Greek and Armenian, while placing Germanic and Balto-Slavic in another branch of Indo-European.
This is the Albanian personal computer keyboard layout:
It's pretty safe to travel around Albania with most locals being hospitable and welcoming. Violent crime rarely affects travelers.
Download Albanian Language Learning Pack collection datafiles, and look at the updated index directory listing.