Interested in mastering some of the Albanian slang words? This post will walk you through some of the most used words and expressions that the shqiptarët (or the locals of Albania) use in day-to-day conversations. After all, who wouldn’t want to drop some slang popping words in real chats while avoiding cultural appropriation, right? Let’s get right into it!
When it comes to traveling or speaking with the natives of a specific place, it’s always good to try to speak the native language of the place. Not only does it help you become understood, but it somehow links your experience better to the culture, people, and unique traditions of the place. Since you are just learning Alabanian right now, please do note that there may be instances wherein some words may not have the exact definition as you think. Take the case of the English word “salvage” which means the total opposite for Filipino people.
Be sure to check out all the possible meanings for a word or expression first before using it. There is nothing more embarrassing for a foreigner than saying the wrong things or offensive words in front of everyone. With this being said, we are listing below some of the top slang words which the Albanians usually say, and we will give you our insights about each.
Albanian Slang Words Every Tourist Should Know
There is nothing wrong with bravely going to Albania with just the knowledge of how to say hello or thank you. In fact, most of the people there can speak English, Greek, Italian, and even French! Amazing, right? But if you would like to build a connection better with some of the people you will meet there, it would be nice if you can surprise them with your knowledge of the Albanian language. And trust us, using any of this related slang will definitely put a smile on their faces.
The word bre does not really have a particular meaning at all, but it is helpful in the sense that it somehow signifies annoyance. The origin of this is still unknown, but it is also used in Kosovo by many to enhance their sentences. There are other variations to these, such as more, re, and ore.
As you probably have noticed from the common Albanian greetings, the word mirë refers to good as in mirë mëngje (good morning) or mirë mbrëma (good evening). As you can guess, this word means good day and is a perfect greeting, especially for strangers you see during your travel.
Thinking about some useful yet cool words to belt out while drinking with your Albanians? Instead of saying the plain old “cheers,” try to say the interjection gëzuar instead.
This one is more of a casual insult that the locals say to their close friends. The word dru means that you are like a piece of wood, unable to think independently. As a word of advice, be sure not to use this any time you want as this might sound offensive, especially if it comes from a foreigner. Two of the closest variations to this cold word are gëdhe (wood) and dërrasë (board).
Budall / Budalla
Of course, there are instances where you might hear other Albanians calling each other budall with raised tones. As you can infer from how they say it and their expressions, the meaning of this is equivalent to stupid or silly. This word can be reserved for really close friends as you should not use this with strangers unless you want to be known as the “bad tourist.”
Shihemi / Shnet
Looking for an excellent way that translates to see ya? These two useful words can be considered the more casual ways to bid farewell and can be used when speaking with strangers, friends, and family. However, given that this one is pretty informal do not use this for business meetings.
If Japan has “kawai” to say that something is quite cute, the Sqhip language has lezetshëm. It is a neutral one that you can use to describe any person, place, or object.
Are you visiting a long-distance partner, or have you met someone who makes your heart skip a beat? You can use this word as it literally means “heart” and is culturally known to mean “sweetheart” in Albania. You can also say this one when referring to your family or close friends.
Not to be confused with the Australian band, the word kismet is perhaps an entry that almost everyone knows the meaning of. Literally, this means fate or destiny and be used as a one-word response for questions like “when will you be married?” or “when will you have children?”
This word directly refers to the language of the Albanian people and is believed to be from the word “shqiponje” or eagle in English. Instead of calling themselves just Albanian, the people are more commonly known as Sqhip. The country is also fondly known for Shqiperia.
Slang Expressions In the Albanian Language
And since we always want to overdeliver, we also have a list below of some other Alabanian expressions which you can use to sound like a native language. The meanings that we will provide here are directly from native speakers so that we can have the most authentic look on when you can use these:
- Ke para sysh? (Do you feel me?)
- O bo bo! (Oh my!)
- Çfarë pastaj? (So, what?)
- Kujto mikun, bëj gati petaniku! (Look out, I am making pie)
- S’ka gjo (No problem)
- Mos më shqetëso! (Do not bother me)
- s4ea3Çfarë dreqin po ndodh? (What the hell is going on?)
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