Albanian Writing: #1 Guide To Mastering The Skill

Learning Albanian writing is a crucial part of mastering Albanian. Writing opens up a whole new vista of learning. First of all, the good news is that the Albanian alphabet is relatively similar to the English alphabet. It isn’t like Chinese or, worse, Japanese, which has 4 different alphabets!

Have you been meeting your language learning goals recently? Ling could be just the jumpstart you need.

Ling will be recognizable to you if you’ve previously studied with language learning apps. There is reading practice as well as audio practice. All of Ling’s audio is recorded by native speakers, which improves your overall comprehension. There is also speaking practice with our patented chatbot, which uses AI technology to simulate a real-life conversation.

Undoubtedly the best thing about Ling is its intuitive SRS flashcards. They are scientifically proven to enhance your vocabulary by utilizing the mechanisms that allow the transfer of memory from short to long term.

And finally, Ling also has writing practice. We have an interactive whiteboard that allows you to touch your phone screen and recreate the letters of the alphabet.

What Does The Albanian Alphabet Look Like?


Many of these letters will be familiar to you; however, a certain number will not. For you English speakers out there, we’re quickly gonna explain the sounds of those that might be a mystery.

Ç= Chief

Dh- Those

Gj- Geese

J= Yan

ll- Skull

Nj- Canyon

R- Pero(in Spanish)

Rr- Perro(in Spanish)

Th- this

X- s in Dad’s

Xh- J in Joke

zh- S in Vision

Albanian writing

History Of The Albanian Alphabet

Albanian is unique in the Indo European language family and the alphabet of Albania has come a long way in the last 700 years. Modern Albanian (Shqip) is estimated to be spoken by about 8 million people. But where did it come from?

The answer is nobody is really quite sure. The best guess is that it derived from Illyrian in about the 6th century. The Albanian alphabet shares much in common with neighboring countries, such as the Greek alphabet and Slavic alphabet.

Interestingly Albania has two different Albanian dialects, the Tosk (Southern Albania) and the Gheg (Northern Albania). The Tosk dialect was written in Greek and the Gheg in Latin. In the 1900s, however, the Latin alphabet became standardized and the official language of Albania. 

Some History On The Modern Albanian Alphabet

The prospect of an Albanian alphabet is closely tied to the nation’s fight for its independence. In the 19th century, the Ottomans ruled Albania and thought that if the country had its own alphabet, it would try to fight for other political and civil liberties. In 1870 an alphabet was standardized and attempted to be put into practice in schools; however, as you might expect, the Ottoman government refused to finance the move.

It wasn’t until 1878 that more progress was made in a meeting called the league of Prizren. 

By the 20th century, the Istanbul alphabet was widely used in Albania. 

However, the Istanbul alphabet gradually fell out of favor and became extinct in favor of the Bashkimi alphabet. It could have been very different for Albanians during the Young Turks movement as they wanted the alphabet changed to an Arabic alphabet; however, there wasn’t the political will to do it.

Who Is The Current Most Famous Albanian Writer?

We over at Ling love to read books from the countries that we have a language course built around. That being said, it can be difficult to know where to start. The great thing about the Goodreads platform is that it offers a modern look at classic literature. According to what people are reading on Goodreads, undeniably the most famous Albanian current writer is Ismail Kadare. And his life story is well worth exploring a little bit. 

Albanian writing

Who Is Ismail Kadare?

Ismail Kadare is Albanian but was French-born, which always made him highly suspicious according to the communist Albanian authorities. Of course, the tone and nature of his writings made him even more of a target of the secret police. 

His writing is heavily political and about the psychology of power. He’s been compared to Kafka as well as Orwell.

His novel, the General of the Dead Army, saw him become internationally renowned and resulted in such awards as the Man Booker international prize. So respected is Kadare in Albania, that he has been encouraged to run for Albanian president on numerous occasions.

writing in albanian

Learn The Albanian Language With Ling

We hope you enjoyed this blog regarding Albanian writing. As you can see, there are many interesting facets to explore, including the construction of the alphabet and fascinating writers who write beautiful Albanian prose, such as Ismail Kadare.

When you buy access to Ling, you don’t just gain access to 1 language but also 60 others. That means you really stand the best chance with Ling at becoming a polyglot if that’s what your goal is. Ling focuses on lesser spoken languages such as Albanian, as well as other Baltic languages. We believe every language, no matter how few speakers it has, deserves its place in the sun.

If you enjoyed this blog, check out some others that have been popular recently, including Albanian vocabulary for family and friends and congratulations in Albanian.

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