The Albanian language is called Shqip in Albanian (pronounced shchip). There are two main dialects: Gheg and Tosk, that are also divided in subdialects. Tosk is spoken in most of Albania except for the northern part, in which Gheg is spoken, as well as by Albanians living in Kosova (Kosovo) and Macedonia. The two dialects are mostly mutually intelligible. This tutorial will cover the unified version of the language called Standard Albanian, taught in Albania after WWII (which was also taught in Yugoslavia from about 1960 onward). Standard Albanian uses aspects of both Gheg and Tosk and is understood by speakers of any dialect. From 1974 nearly all written texts in Albanian are in Standard.
It's also important to note that Albanian is NOT similar to any other language except the infusion of words from neighboring countries' languages: Turkish from the time of the Ottoman Empire, English, Italian, etc. The grammar, word formation and sentence structure are unique. Albanian is an Indo-European language that is self-standing, without connection to any other branch such as Latin-based, Slavic, etc.
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