With only around 2.7 million inhabitants, Albania is hardly the biggest country in the world. Since more than 97% of people who live in the southeastern European country are ethnically Albanian, you’d think the linguistic situation of the country would be pretty straightforward—but not necessarily. For one thing, there are more than 6.1 million speakers of Albanian—far more than the total population of Albania, with the language spoken in a number of neighboring countries. But another factor complicating Albania’s linguistic landscape is that Albanian is split starkly into two dialects: Tosk Albanian and Gheg Albanian.
Standard Albanian is based on Tosk Albanian, native to the southern parts of the country, but Gheg Albanian actually has more speakers, with more than 4.1 million native speakers in northern Albania and nearby countries. Despite this, Gheg Albanian is not officially recognized in any nation, and most publications in Albanian use the Tosk standard—but the Ghegs are passionate about their language, and some authors continue to write in Gheg Albanian. At TranslationServices.com, we believe both variants are equally valuable and deserving of great translation services, which is why we’re proud to announce our dedicated Gheg Albanian translation team today.
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Differentiating Gheg Albanian from Tosk Albanian
Gheg Albanian is native to northern Albania, comprising the varieties spoken north of the Shkumbin River that splits the country roughly across the middle. The language is also native to Kosovo, as well as parts of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and even Croatia. Before the second World War, Gheg Albanian and Tosk Albanian were treated equally, with literature common in both varieties, but in the communist takeover in 1946, the Tosk variety was established as the standard for the entire country—much to the displeasure of the Ghegs.
Even within Gheg Albanian, there’s much diversity to be found. There are three main dialects—Southern Gheg, Central Gheg, and Northern Gheg, with Northern Gheg further divided into Northeastern Gheg and Northwestern Gheg. Southern Gheg is of particular importance, as it’s spoken in Tirana, the country’s capital. Gheg Albanian and Tosk Albanian come together to form the overall Albanian language, which occupies its own branch in the Indo–European language family, making it a unique tongue with no close relatives. The language is characterized by three genders and six cases, with a distinction between definiteness (“the”) and indefiniteness (“a/an”), a feature absent in most of the Slavic languages that dominant southeastern Europe.
A Gheg Albanian translation team for any occasion
Though the status of Tosk Albanian as the standard variety in Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia stifles Gheg Albanian, Ghegs continue proudly speak and even write in their language, and we at TranslationServices.com are here to support them. Traveling all over Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Croatia, we’ve tracked down the best Gheg Albanian translators we could find, and now they fit snuggly into our team, eager to help clients from around the world with their Gheg Albanian translation projects.
We translate both to and from Gheg Albanian—the direction is up to you. While written documents in Gheg Albanian have been relatively rare since nationwide standardization of Tosk Albanian, it thrived as a literary language prior to the communist regime, and passionate Gheg speakers still write in it today. So, whether you want to translate a historical document from Gheg Albanian, convert new literary works into Gheg Albanian, or convert your organization’s promotional materials to a Gheg Albanian audience in northern Albania, our team of passionate translators is ready to help. We can even handle documents that contain esoteric language, since we hire Gheg Albanian translators who are familiar with a wide array of disciplines.
We’re dedicated to quality in our Gheg Albanian translation services. Want to see for yourself? Send us a message to get started!