Albanian Pronunciation Guide

By Dick Oakes

A a, B b, C c, Ç ç, D d, Dh dh, E e, Ë ë, F f, G g, Gj gj,
H h, I i, J j, K k, L l, Ll ll, M m, N n, Nj nj, O o, P p,
Q q, R r, Rr rr, S s, Sh sh, T t, Th th, U u, V v,
X x, Xh xh, Y y, Z z, Zh zh

Albanian, the official language of Albania, has 36 letters of the Latin script that was standardized in 1909. Albanian is a branch of Indo-European and considered to be the only language derived from the extinct Illyrian language. Albanian also is spoken in Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, South Serbia, and Turkey.

Albanian, is called "shquip" in Albanian itself. The ending of a noun depends on whether it is used in the definite or indefinite sense. Not only nowns, but proper names have definite and indefinite forms. In dictionaries, Albanian nouns are listed in the singular indefinite; which form is used depends on the role of the name in the sentence. One says that one is from Tirana or that one lives in Tirane.

Letters not listed below are pronounced approximately as in English.

Thanks to our musician friend, Ian Price, for assistance with the following information.

A, a   - a as in father
E, e   - e as in let
Ë, ë   - e as in term
I, i   - i in machine
O, o   - o as in port
U, u   - u as in push; also u as in bull
C, c   - c as in dance
Ç, ç   - c as in cello
Dh, dh   - th as in that
G, g   - g as in go
Gj, gj   - dj as in adjust
J, j   - y as in yes
L, l   - l as in lady (weak form)
Ll, ll   - ll as in pull (strong form)
Nj, nj   - ny as in canyon
Q, q   - ch as in chew
R, r   - r as in run (weak form)
Rr, rr   - trilled as in the Spanish burro
Sh, sh   - sh as in sharp
Th, th   - th as in third
X, x   - zz as in mezzo (a ts sound)
Xh, xh   - dg as in edge
Y, y   - i as in girl
Zh, zh   - z as in azure

Copyright © 2014 by Dick Oakes