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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 have 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

For some Arberesh sounds, there is no easy transliteration.

Vowels

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

Easy Consonants

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

ll 
like 'r' in French "rire"
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"
like 'k' and 'y' in "dockyard"
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

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

Basics

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 favuri (Arberesh people use the Sicilian form)
Thank you. 
Të haristis (Arberesh) Grazii (Sicilian)
You're welcome 
Mosgjë
Welcome (welcoming someone). 
eja, eja këtu (pronounced "eja htu")
If God wills (or used as 'hopefully') 
na do madh'in'zot
Really? 
më ftet?
Yes. 
o, or ara, or ëj
No. 
jo
Maybe 
omse, mëndjetë
Excuse me. (getting attention
"perdono" (Italian is used here)
Excuse me. (begging pardon
lip ndjesë
I'm sorry. 
"sorry" (English is used here)
Goodbye  
falem
Goodbye (informal
"ciao" (Italian is used here)
I don't speak Arberesh [well]. 
ngë flas [mirë] t'arbërisht
Do you speak English? 
E flet nglizë?
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Isht njeri këtu çë e flet nglizë?
Help me! 
Më ndih!
Okay 
Mirë
Look out! 
Shih!
For sure/Of course! 
çertu! (sicilian is used here)
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?
U
You 
ti (informal), zotrote (pronounced "strote") (informal)
I understand 
Ndrëngonj (or) Kapirta
I do not understand 
Ngë ndrëngonj (or) Ngë kapirta
Sweetheart 
zëmbra
You're the prettiest of them all 
Je më e bukura se të gjithëve!
Where are you from? 
Ka vjen?

Problems

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 tënd?

Numbers

një
di
tre
kartë
pesë
gjashtë
shtatë
tetë
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

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

Clock time

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

today 
lunedi
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

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

Colors

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)

Bus and train

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 autobus? ...
Does this bus stop in San Giuseppe? 
Ki autobus qëndron Murtilat?
When does the bus for leave? 
Kur ka vete autobusi?
When will this bus arrive in Belmonte? 
Kur arrëhet Mixanji?
Where are you going? 
Ku ka veç?

Directions

How do I get to _____ ? 
Si arrënj _____ ?
...the airport? 
...aerejportu?
...Piana? 
...Hora?
...the hotel? 
...albergu?
Can you show me on the map? 
Mënd më shohësh te hartën?
street 
dhromi or strata
Turn left. 
jec tek e shtrëmbra
Turn right. 
jec tek e drejta
straight ahead/infront 
dreq
towards the _____ 
deri _______?
past the _____ 
pranë _____
before the _____ 
përpara _____
up
alarta
down
aposhta

Money

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

Eating

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 speçialitet e 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 
collazione (Italian)
lunch 
pranzo (Italian)
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 qelq ________?
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

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

Authority

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

Asking about language

How do you say _____ ? 
Si thuhet ...?
What is this/that called? 
Si thërritet?



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