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Arberesh phrasebook

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The Arberesh language (Arbëresh, Arbërisht, or Arbërishte) is similar to the Albanian spoken in Albania and less similar to the Albanian of Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro. Arberesh is derived from the medieval form of Albanian with the same name from which both Arberesh and Albanian are derived. It's mainly spoken by Albanian communities in Southern Italy and Sicily, who migrated there in medieval times.

Learning some basic Arberesh expressions could always come in handy; however, knowing either Italian or Sicilian should be enough for a tourist visiting the Arberesh communities, since all Arberesh people are trilingual.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

For some Arberesh sounds, there is no easy transliteration.

Vowels[edit]

a
like 'a' in "apple"
i
like 'ee' in "cheese"
u
like 'oo' in "pool"
o
like 'o' in "door"
e
like 'e' in "bed"
ë
like 'i' in "bird" or 'u' in "pull", at the end of a word it is silent

Easy Consonants[edit]

b
like 'b' in "bed"
c
like 'ts' in "cats"
ç
like 'ch' in "church"
t
like 't' in "top"
h
like 'ch' in Scottish "loch" (or German "nach")
d
like 'd' in "mad"
dh
like 'th' in 'then'
r
like 'r' in Scottish "row"
z
like 'z' in "haze"
s
like 's' in "sing"
sh
like 'sh' in "sheep"
f
like 'f' in "fun"
k
like 'k' in "kitten"
l
like 'l' in "love"
m
like 'm' in "mother"
n
like 'n' in "nice"
j
like 'y' in "yes"
xh
like 'j' in "jam"
zh
like 's' in "pleasure"

A double 'r' 'rr' is pronounced the same as a single 'r'.

Difficult Consonants[edit]

ll
like 'r' in French "rire"
g
as 'll' in the above example
hj
like 'ch' in Scottish "loch" followed rapidly by a 'y' in "yet"
gj
like 'g' and 'y' in "dogyard"
q
like 'k' and 'y' in "dockyard"
x
like 'dz' in "adze"


When j comes at the end of a word, it is always pronounced in the same way as 'hj'. When b, d, dh, g, gj, ll, x, xh, z, and zh come at the end of a word or before another consonant, they always devoice, e.g.

b - p d - t dh - th g - k gj - q ll - h x - c xh - zh z - s zh - sh

Phrase list[edit]

Some commonly understood Arberesh phrases, use either Italian or Sicilian words; these have been shown in quotes below to avoid confusion.

Basics[edit]

Hello.
Falem
Welcome!
mirë se na jerdhe
How are you?
si rri? (informal), si ë zotrote (strote)? (formal)
(I'm) fine.
rri mirë
Good
mirë
Very well
shumë mirë
And you?
e ti? (informal), e zotrote (strote)? (formal)
What is your name?
Si të thonë? (informal), Si i thonë? (formal)
My name is ______ .
Mua më thonë ______ .
Nice to meet you.
Gëzonem të të njoh (informal), Gëzonem të i njoh (formal)
How old are you?
Sa vjeç ke?
Please.
pi fauri
Thank you.
Të haristis/Ghracji
You're welcome
Mosgjë
Welcome (welcoming someone).
eja, eja rtu (come, come here)
If God wills (or used as 'hopefully')
na do Madhinzot
Really?
më ftet?
Yes.
o, or ara, or ëj
No.
jo
Maybe
omse, mëndjetë
Excuse me. (getting attention)
perdono
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
lip ndjesë
I'm sorry.
skusa
Goodbye
falem
Goodbye (informal)
Çau!
I don't speak Arberesh [well].
ngë flas [mirë] t'arbërisht
Do you speak English?
E flet ngliz?
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Isht njeri këtu çë e flet ngliz?
Help me!
Më ndih!
Okay
Mirë
Look out!
Shih!
For sure/Of course!
çertu!
Good morning.
Mirë menatë
Good evening.
Mirë mbrëma
Good night.
Natën e mirë
I don't know.
Ngë di
Where is the toilet (bathroom)?
Te ku ë rritreu?
Where is the restroom (in a restaurant)?
Te ku janë rritrenjët?
I
U
You
ti (informal), zotrote (pronounced "strote") (informal)
I understand
Drëngonj (or) Kapir
I do not understand
Ngë drëngonj (or) Ngë kapir
Sweetheart
zëmbra
You're the prettiest of them all
Je më e bukura se të gjithëve!
Where are you from?
Ka vjen?

Problems[edit]

Leave me alone
Bëjëm të rri me paqë
Stop it
Basta!
Don't speak to me!
Mos më flit!
I'll call the police.
Ka thërres te poliçia
Stop!
Sose!
Can you help me?
Mënd më ndihësh?
I got lost/I'm lost
U zborëm
I lost my bag.
Kam zbier thesin
I'm sick
Jam sëmurë
I want a doctor.
Dua një dutur
Can I use your phone?
Mënd lluzar telefoninin tot?

Numbers[edit]

1
një
2
di
3
tre
4
kartë
5
pesë
6
gjashtë
7
shtatë
8
tetë
9
nëntë
10
dhjetë
11
njëmbëdhjetë
12
dimbëdhetë
13
trimbëdhjetë
14
kartëmbëdhjetë
15
pesëmbëdhjetë
16
gjashtëmbëdhjetë
17
shtatëmbëdhjetë
18
tetëmbëdhjetë
19
nëntëmbëdhjetë
20
njëzet

For the numbers between 20 and 100, the Arberesh people use the Sicilian or Italian words.

100
qind

Most numbers after 100 are only expressed in Italian or Sicilian.

number _____ (train, bus, etc.)
numri _____ (tren, autobus)
half
gjimpsë
less
manku
more

Time[edit]

now
naní
later
mëtardu
before
përpara
morning
menatë
afternoon
ditë
evening
mbrëma
night/nights
natë/netë

Clock time[edit]

What time is it?
Çë herë bën?
one o'clock AM
ora isht një
two o'clock AM
di menatnet
noon
mjesdita
one o'clock PM
një ditën
two o'clock PM
di ditën
midnight
mjesnata


Days[edit]

today
sot
yesterday
dje
tomorrow
nestrë
this week
këtë javë
last week
java çë shkoi
next week
java çë vjen
Sunday
dieli
Monday
e hënia
Tuesday
e martë
Wednesday
e mërkurë
Thursday
e injtja
Friday
e prëmptja
Saturday
shtunë

Months[edit]

January
jinar
February
shkurte
March
mars
April
prill
May
maj
June
kërshor
July
korrik
August
gusht
September
setembri
October
otobri
November
novembri
December
diçembri

Colors[edit]

black
i zi (masculine) e zeza (feminine)
white
i barth (masculine) e bardhe (feminine)
red
i kuqe (masculine) e kuqe (feminine)
blue
axurru
yellow
xhall
green
virdhi
orange
portokal
brown
kafe

Transportation (Safar)[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

How much is a ticket to _____?
Sa vete një biletë pë' ...
One ticket to _____, please.
Një bilet pë' ...
Where does this bus go?
Te ku vete këtë posta? ...
Does this bus stop in San Giuseppe?
Kjo postë qëndron Murtilat?
When does the bus for leave?
Kur ka vete posta?
When will this bus arrive in Belmonte?
Kur arrëhet Mixanji?
Where are you going?
Ku ka veç?

Directions[edit]

How do I get to _____ ?
Si arrënj _____ ?
...the airport?
...l'arjuportu?
...Piana/Santa Cristina?
...Hora?/Sëndahstinë
...the hotel?
...l'albergu?
Can you show me on the map?
Mënd më shohësh te hartën?
street
strata
Turn left.
jec tek e shtrëmbra
Turn right.
jec tek e drejta
straight ahead/in front
dreq
towards the _____
njera _______?
past the _____
pranë _____
before the _____
përpara _____
up
alarta
down
aposhta


Money[edit]

Do you accept Credit Cards?
Mirrni karta krediti?
Can I pay in cash?
Mënd paguanj me granitë?
That's cheap!
ë frëng!
Expensive!
shtrejtë!

Eating[edit]

A table for one person/two people, please.
Një triesë pë' një/di vete.
Can I look at the menu, please?
Mënd shoh menu?
Can I look in the kitchen?
Mënd shoh te kuçina?
Is there a house specialty?
Isht një speçialità të shpisë?
I'm a vegetarian.
Ngë ha mishtë
I don't eat pork.
Ngë ha mishtë derri
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter)
Mënd i ziesh me pak vaj/gjalpë
breakfast
kulacjuni
lunch
pranxu
I want _____.
Deja ______
chicken
pule
meat
mishë
fish
pishq
ham
mish derri
sausage
likënkë
cheese
udhos
eggs
vezë
salad
ncallatë
vegetables
virdhurë
fruit
frutë
bread
bukë
toast
tost
pasta
brumit
beans
fasolla
prosciuto
hjiramer
May I have a glass of _____?
Mënd më japësh një qerq ________?
coffee
kafeu
tea
te
juice
lunk
water
uja
beer
birra
red/white wine
vera kuqe/bardhe
salt
kripë
black pepper
mustur
butter
gjalpë
I'm finished.
kam sosur


Bars[edit]

Do you serve alcohol?
Jipni alkol?
Is there table service?
Isht një shërbim te triesën?
A beer/two beers, please.
Një/di birrë, pi fauri
A bottle, please.
një butijë, pi fauri
One more, please.
Një pameta
When is closing time?
Kur mblluin?

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything.
Ngë bëra gjë
I want to talk to a lawyer.
Deja të flisja me një avukat

Asking about language[edit]

How do you say _____ ?
Si thuhet ...?
What is this/that called?
Si thërritet?
This Arberesh phrasebook is a usable article. It explains pronunciation and the bare essentials of travel communication. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.