Sunday, 19 February 2017


I was dreaming...

Hey, I haven't come around for a while, but I've been really busy lately as I started a new full-time job and I still try to sort out my time... which sadly is not dedicated as much to my Albanian learning as I would like. But today I got inspiration as I stumbled upon a really beautiful song I wanted to share...

(excuse me if the formatting still looks bad at some places, I tried to fix it to match, but Blogger hates me today :/)

Ëndërroja t'jem me ty dhe të ndërtoj një ardhmëri // I was dreaming that I'm with you and that I'm having a future
Fluturoja si një flutur por krahët mi theve ti // I was flying like a butterfly, but you broke my wings
S'kam më forcë as të them "kthehu përsëri"! // I don't have more strength even to say "come back again"!
(The whole translation by me is here... I feel like I have to practice my skills so I don't forget it sometimes, haha)

So today's topic of the discussion is one of the past tenses - imperfect. Which, in my opinion, is actually the easiest one as it's probably the only one that has only 3 irregulars - jamkam and them. I still have such a hard time trying to process all the different classes and subclasses of verbs in the other two past tenses in the indicative mood, and I actually found out that learning them one by one is probably the only way to do that. I like the imperfect as it's fairly straightforward, plus it forms the conditional "would" (do të + imperfect), which is used quite a lot too. The only peculiarity is that some verbs change stem, otherwise the endings are always ja, je, (n)te, nim, nit and nin for anything other than class 6 (reflexives). Regarding them, the endings are (h)esha, (h)eshe, (h)ej, (h)eshim, (h)eshit, (h)eshin. The n/h ones in the brackets are used only if the stem ends in a vowel - easy and straightforward, almost as nothing else in this language!

As a person, I love reading, I even found a children's book sometime ago in a second hand bookstore here, but I still don't feel confident enough to understand it mainly because the past tenses give me a headache. I feel the lack of good resources there, as it's always covered "for a bit" in the books, and always at the end, not giving you enough practice - probably if a higher level book existed, it would be amazing!

Talking about books, verb-wise I'd personally recommend "541 Albanian verbs" by Bruce Hintz and Rozeta Stefanllari - while it doesn't cover absolutely everything, it's still a good base and it has some of the most popular verbs for you to learn.

Probably I should have started with the present, but hey, I just like to discuss whatever impressed me in some way, or whatever I feel like sharing some knowledge about. There are many, many other things that I would love to write about, I hope I will have some more time in the near future.

Natën e mirë, shpresoj që të shkruajmë së shpejti!

Friday, 3 February 2017


The time

Ky është posti im i parë në shkurt. As I always like to learn the things with prepositions, the times expressions have always been so confusing to me, as pretty much every case uses a different one. I'll take a look not only at the clock-time, but also some expression that indicate time.

The easiest one - no preposition.
Sa është ora? Ora është dy. Ora është gjashtëmbëdhjetë e një çerek. Ora është tetë e njëzet. Ora është dhjetë pa dhjetë, etc.
As far as I know, usually the 24 hours system is used (not for formal occasions though, like airport times etc, then it's 12 hours system), to avoid confusion whether you talk about 8 in the morning or 8 in the evening. However, there are 5 expressions that help you to specify what time of the day is exactly, these are:
(ora është dymbëdhjetë) e ditës - 12 noon (literally, of the day)
(ora është katër e dhjetë) e pasdites - 4 PM (literally, of the afternoon)
(ora është gjashtë) e mbrëmjes  - 6 PM (literally, of the evening) - as far as I know, that one depends on when the sun sets, so probably in the summer can be "e pasdites" instead of "e mbrëmjes"
(ora është dymbëdhjetë) e natës - 12 midnight (literally, of the night)
(ora është tetë) e mëngjesit - 8 AM (literally, of the morning) - morning is considered the time the sun rises, so again, in the summer some hours may become "e mëngjesit" instead of "e natës"

Please note that they still do not have a preposition - "e" is a linking article, part of the genitive case, so they're still following the rule.

Another preposition-less case is when you answer the question "Sa është data sot?" or "Ç'datë është sot?" or "Çfarë date është sot?" - the answer is "Sot është 3 shkurt 2017".

Të is not a preposition either, it's again a linking article, but I'm separating it from the previous one. Të is used mainly for the days of the week to say "on Monday, on Sunday" etc. What you're literally saying is "THE Monday" - the days of the week have an genitive "e" in front of them, which is a "leftover" for "ditë e hënës", and dita was later omitted..
So Të hënën shkoj në punë. This means that I go only this Monday though, if you want to say I go to work all Mondays, then it is Të hënave shkoj në punë. Here we meet two different cases - the first one (on Monday) is accusative (in case you wonder, it answers the question "when", and if I'm not mistaken, it should be a direct object). Të hënave is either genitive or dative because of its ending (I'm not that huge expert on the grammar and I honestly don't know, but I lean towards the genitive because of the linking article).
I used only Monday, but it's the same logic for every day: e hënë - Monday, të hënën - on Monday, të hënave - on Mondays, it can also be seen as e hëna when following the preposition nga (from), or when it's the subject of the sentence (what does that mean and what is a nominative case, you can remind yourself here).

For me, that word has always been a mystery, as it has so many different uses... Regarding the time, it's used to say "on" a specific day, for example më 3 shkurt 2017. Or më 10 korrik 2016. And so on. The only use is to specify the date - and actually to say you're born on some day, you use it again - jam lindur më 10 janar 1985.
Here is a sentence combination of the previous 2 - I was born on Saturday, 7 April 2000 - jam lindur të shtunën, më shtatë prill dy mijë.
is also used in the combination "më datë" - on the date - më datë 29 shtator 1983. Popular one when some kind of history is described.

Now that is the proper preposition. Pretty much it's used for everything else that hasn't been already covered, so I call it almost universal. Learning the exceptions, it should be easy to "guess" it right. Some examples:
in January, March, August - në janar, në mars, në gusht
in 2015 - në 2015/në vitin 2015/në 2015-ën
in the summer, in the winter - në verë, në dimër
in the summer of 2015 - në verën e vitit 2015
on the date 3 February - në datën 3 shkurt
at 10 o'clock - në orën dhjetë

It's also used in a combination with "nga" to indicate "from... to" - the trick here is that the word after "nga" is nominative definite, and after "deri (në)" is accusative definite. (is usually used for hours, and it's the accusative noun is definite because it carries extra information, but I'll write a prepositions post at some point). For example:
I work from Monday until Friday - Punoj nga e hëna deri të premten.
I work from 9AM until 5PM - Punoj nga ora nëntë deri në orën pesë.
I'll live there from 2017 until 2019. - Do të banoj atje nga viti 2017 deri vitin 2019.
And so on.

That's everything I can think about at the moment, thank you for reading. I wish I could post a bit more often, but please bear with me as I'm in a process of staring a new job next week and my birthday is a few weeks away too, so I can say I'm pretty busy in my real life, although I learn Albanian everyday, even for a few minutes. Consistency is a key, it helps a lot.

Oh, and I made the mistake to switch to half-translated by Google Translate Albanian Facebook, but that's a topic for another fun post. Hopefully I'll have time to write about it soon too.

Kujdesi për vetën, mirë u shkruafshim së shpejti.