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! I’ve listed the Albanian to English phrases you should know.

While many Albanians speak English (especially younger people), you’ll come a long way with a hello in Albanian or a thank you in Albanian.

Locals really appreciate you doing the effort – and most importantly, it does come in handy in so many situations. 

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. 

Basic Albanian words

Facts about the Albanian language words

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. 

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.

Albanian riviera
The Albanian Riviera

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 or hi in Albanian – Përshëndetje! / Tungjatjeta

Good morning in Albanian – Mirëmëngjes!

Good day – Mirëdita!

Good evening – Mirëmbrëma!

Good night – Natën e mirë

Bye – Mirupafshim!

Albanian 101: Basic Albanian Phrases

Besides greetings, these are some useful phrases and Albanian words to memorise.

Yes – Po

No – Jo

How are you in Albanian? – 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?

Basic Albanian words

Emergency

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

Albanian seafood

Directions

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

Shopping

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

Albanian Numbers

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

ThirtyTridhjetë

Forty – Dyzet

Fifty – Pesëdhjetë

Sixty – Gjashtëdhjetë

Seventy – Shtatëdhjetë

Eighty – Tetëdhjetë

Ninety – Nëntëdhjetë

Hundred – Njëqind

Thousand – Një mijë

Albanian riviera

More about Albania

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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). #albanian

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31 Comments

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. No one talks like this here. For example, “Hello”, the most common greeting, is “saykadur”.

  5. 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
    For sharing

  6. Thanks for your help, your presentation remains very clear.
    I will study your list of vocabulary prior to travelling to TIRANA.
    Best regards, LMP

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