Colloquial Albanian (Colloquial Series) Paperback – 9 May 1991
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Top customer reviews
When I started to use the first word in the first lesson, "Tungjatjeta" for "hello", I was advised that it was very old fashioned and nobody uses it any more. My Albanian friends have listened to the tape and advise that the pronunciation is Kosovan. The author acknowledges that fact in the Preface, but for me, I bought the book before being aware of that. But the grammar lessons are good and applicable.
If you're going to Kosovo, it's a great book. If you're going to Tirana, it's useful, but learn pronunciation from Albanians. If you're just an academic or language enthusiast who wants to learn a new language, then go for it.
It is good for being about half the price of a lot of the books out there, and if you are persistent then you can battle your way through.
What you must note though is that the pronounciation you will learn from the tape is different from the pronounciation in most of Albania. It's like learning English from a Scotsman then trying to converse in London.
You will probably be able to make yourself understood, and the foundations and vocabulary will be there, but really it's a different dialect to the one that you are most likely to need to use, so it's not the best way to learn a new language.
If you use the book and get an Albanian friend to teach you the proper pronounciation and slightly different spellings of the words in the most common dialect, then you should be ok with this book.
The language in the book is Albanian 'as cultivated in Kosovo'. Bear this in mind if your dealings will be with Albanians from Albania.
The grammar and vocabulary are introduced in reasonably easily "digested" blocks. I think the author has made a good guess at the level of understanding the reader is likely to have about grammar and phonetics. If you're mad enough to want to learn Albanian you have probably studied other challenging/exotic languages e.g. Hungarian that have latin script and complex grammar.
My only gripe is that the book doesn't have a comprehensive appendix of all the grammatical points. But given the size and ambition of the book I think this is a minor point and if I could I'd give the book 4 1/2 stars.
The concise grammar notes make it clear and the answer key and reference section make it complete.
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