Basic Albanian phrases and words you need to know (English to Albanian)
Are you going to Albania and want to learn some basic Albanian phrases? What a great idea! While many Albanians speak English (especially younger people), you’ll come a long way with a “hello” or “thank you” in Albanian. Locals really appreciate you doing the effort – and most importantly, it does come in handy in so many situations.
Read next: The ultimate travel guide to Albania
In Albania, you’ll notice that people also speak Greek, French and Italian. I even met several men (50+ years) who also spoke German – how about that! This actually came quite in handy for me because I know German.
Okay, let’s get to it.
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Albanian phrases to know
To help prepare you for your trip to Albania, I’ve made a list of the most useful Albanian phrases and words.
I’ve included the most essential phrases in Albanian (from English to Albanian), and they will help you to quickly learn and use Albanian in various situations (like in a hotel or restaurant, on a trip, smalltalk, shopping, getting to know people, at the doctor, at the bank, and many similar situations). You can find more Albanian words here.
With no prior knowledge, you can learn the most basic Albanian sentences like a pro in no time.
Facts about the Albanian language
First, a few facts about the Albanian language…
Albanian is the national language of Albania (obviously). But it’s also an official language in Kosovo and North Macedonia.
Albanian has two main dialects; Gheg and Tosk. In Albania, the Shkumbin river is roughly the dividing line, with Gheg spoken to the north of it and Tosk to the south. The official Albanian language is based on Tosk dialect and perceived to be a softer version of the language.
The two dialects sound alike, but there are obviously some differences. As a traveler, you probably won’t notice them, but you will most likely see this one on city signs and maps:
- Gheg has nasal vowels while Tosk does not. For instance: Gheg âsht vs. Tosk është
Or for example; in South Albania they use ¨, which you can see in several of the city names (Gjirokastër or Sarandë). They don’t use ¨ up north.
Read Next: Gjirokaster Albania: A fairy tale hillside town
Albanian Phrases (English to Albanian)
Let’s take a quick look at how you pronounce Albanian phrases and words.
The rule is that the main stress falls on the last word of a phrase and on the last syllable of a word. So, for instance, you will pronounce Mirëdita (good day) like this: Mirëdita.
The modern Albanian alphabet consists of 36 letters, and it’s easier to learn than it appears. That’s because you more of less pronounce the letters as they appear.
Basic Greetings in Albanian
Knowing a few basic phrases and words in Albanian will get you a long way. Like a “hello” on the street, or a “good bye” when you leave the restaurant. I find that locals are much more open and friendly if you know a few words or just show that you’ve made a little effort.
Hello – Përshëndetje! / Tungjatjeta
Good morning – Mirëmëngjes!
Good day – Mirëdita!
Good evening – Mirëmbrëma!
Good night – Natën e mirë
Bye – Mirupafshim!
Read Next: Where To Find The Most Fantastic Beaches On The Albanian Riviera
Albanian 101: Basic Albanian Phrases
Besides greetings, these are some useful phrases and Albanian words to memorise.
Yes – Po
No – Jo
How are you? – Si Jeni?
What’s your name? – Si quheni?
Nice to meet you – Gëzohem që ju takoj
Sorry – Më fal
Excuse me – Më falni
Thank you – Faleminderit
You’re welcome – Ju lutem
I don’t understand – (Unë) nuk kuptoj
Do you speak English? – Flisni Anglisht?
Where can I find the toilets? – Ku është tualeti / banjoja?
What time is it? – Sa është ora?
Can you help me? – Mund të më ndihmoni?
Read Next: Check out my guide on Albania Travel Tips
If something happens and you need help while you’re traveling in Albania, it’s important to know how to ask for it. I’ve included the most essential emergency words and phrases, and at the bottom of this section, you’ll also find the Albanian emergency numbers.
Help! – Ndihmë!
Look out! – Kujdes!
Fire! – Zjarri!
Go away! – Largohu!
Stop thief! – Hajdut Stop!
Call the police! – Tërhiqni vëmendjen e policisë!
I’m sick – Unë jam i sëmurë
I’m lost – Unë jam i humbur
I need a doctor – Unë kam nevojë për një doktor
Does anyone speak English? A flet njeri anglisht?
Emergency numbers: Ambulance (127), Fire brigade (128), Police (129), general emergency (112)
Basic Albanian for Eating and Ordering Food
Here are a few Albanian words essential for eating, drinking and ordering food. Also, when eating in a restaurant, it pays to compliment them by saying “shee-SHMEH” (delicious) for the food when you’re about to pay. I always do this when I eat at restaurants or food stalls. Trust me, a small compliment goes a long way!
A table for one person/two people, please – Një tavolinë për një person/dy njerëz, ju lutem.
Could I please see the menu? – A mund të shoh menunë, ju lutem?
I’m vegetarian – Jam vegjeterian
How much is it? – Sa kushton?
The check, please – Faturën, ju lutem
Breakfast – Mëngjes
Lunch – Drekë
Dinner – Darkë
A beer/two beers, please – Një birre/dy birra , ju lutem
A glass of red/white wine, please – Një gotë vere e kuqe/e bardhë, ju lutem
It was delicious – Ishte e shijshme
If you’re exploring a new town or can’t find a certain sight or restaurant, it’s really helpful to know the most basic Albanian phrases to ask for directions. And of course – to understand the answer.
I always ask locals for directions when I travel, and almost every single time they make the effort to either follow me to my destination or at the very least make sure that I know where I’m going. People in the Balkans are so warm and helpful more than anywhere else in the world.
Where? – Ku?
Here – Këtu
Left – Majtas
Right – Djathtas
How do I get to… ? Si mund të shkoj te
Is it within walking distance? – A mund të shkoj më këmbë atje?
Taxi – taksi
Bus – autobus
Read Next: Admire the beautiful mountains views in Berat
I’ve never had to bargain for anything in Albania, but it’s still good to know the basic phrases for buying a gift or a souvenir.
How much is this? – Sa është kjo?
That’s too expensive – I shtrenjtë
That’s cheap – I lirë
And when you go shopping, it’s essential that you know the Albanian numbers. Especially at local markets, because you can’t be sure that everyone speaks English there.
One – Një
Two – Dy
Three – Tre
Four – Katër
Five – Pesë
Six – Gjashtë
Seven – Shtatë
Eight – Tetë
Nine – Nëntë
Ten – Dhjetë
Twenty – Njëzet
Thirty – Tridhjetë
Forty – Dyzet
Fifty – Pesëdhjetë
Sixty – Gjashtëdhjetë
Seventy – Shtatëdhjetë
Eighty – Tetëdhjetë
Ninety – Nëntëdhjetë
Hundred – Njëqind
Thousand – Një mijë
More on Albania:
- Albania Travel Guide | Everything you need to know
- 10 things to do in Berat
- Gjirokaster, Albania: A fairy tale hillside town
- The 10 best beaches in Albania
- Syri i Kalter: How to visit the mysterious Blue Eye, Albania
- 15 magical pictures that will make you want to visit Albania now
Are you going to Albania? Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!
I can hear good sound thank you so much for sharing nice post.
I find the lecture very interesting
Glad to hear that!
I am Albanian. And you have done a great job.
Thank you 🙂
I am Albanian. And you have done a great job with albanian phrases.
Thanks, Kelta! I’m so glad to hear that!
You laid it out quite well
Thanks so much.
You’re very welcome 🙂
Hi, very nice account of Albania. I plan to go next year, and would like to get some Albanian friends on the internet. HOW can I get or find them? Thanks
Sorry, I don’t know 🙂
How do you say if can you understand . Sorry if that’s to much
Thank you so much
This is really helpful
Sorry, I don’t understand. Which sentence do you need translated?
Hi Miriam I’m trying to learn Albanian and was wondering about a certain expression that google translate doesn’t seem to understand either. I was hoping you might be able to help as I think it’s quite common and is maybe more of a phrase so can’t be translated literally. “Me cfare Mirësh ti” I really don’t think it means “with what good are you?”
Anyway love your blog – super interesting. Thank you
It translate more literally to: with what do you deal. So like: what do you do?
Hi ,I think u done a great job keep going it helped me a lot cause I am still learning Albanian !
Thanks for the friendly comment.
This would be super helpful IF the pronunciations were spelled out phonetically for English…
These are not common letter combinations for english speakers, & the accents are also often totally foreign. Without an audio recording of how to pronounce, or phonetic spelling, there’s no way that any but the most basic or words/ phrases (eg po, yo) are going to be spoken properly by most, unfortunately.
Hi Adrian, I see your point. It’s a good idea to add the pronunciations.
No one talks like this here. For example, “Hello”, the most common greeting, is “saykadur”.
It worked just fine for me 🙂
Miriam thank you for your helpful post. I am in Sarande now, first time in Albania. From Ireland. Just used your ‘delicious’ phrase after breakfast and the waiter loved it. Your post helped me find my apartment last night and I expect I will use all your phrases throughout my visit. Thank you
I’m SO glad to hear that! 😀 A few phrases will take you far.
Have a wonderful trip.
Thanks for your help, your presentation remains very clear.
I will study your list of vocabulary prior to travelling to TIRANA.
Best regards, LMP
You’re welcome! Have a great trip 🙂
Is there any one that can teach me Albanian ?