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Thread: Pronunciations/Words used by Albanians in Macedonia (FYROM)

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    Pronunciations/Words used by Albanians in Macedonia (FYROM)

    Hi guys!

    Noticing alot of Albanians in these forums and people with good knowledge on linguistics I'd like some help on the following. Being from a village in the Polog Valley (Village name is Nerasht written about first by Greek/Byzantine travellers as Nerast/Narest in the 1300s). I have noticed that we have some words that aren't used in Kosovo (Which i know, since my girlfriend is from Kosovo), and neither in Albania (atleast Durrës area where my grandmother is from), here are some of the words. Would be great if someone could identify if they are loans or not, and if they are used by Albanians in other parts of Albanian lands:

    Alb - English
    Hanxhare - Something close to a Machete (not a sword or a knife(where we use the general term "Thik")
    sos - used as in "u sos" (It was finished, that was finished) or "a u sos" (was it finished). Kosovars would say "A e kryve msimin?", while we say "A e sose msimin?" (did you finish the lecture?)
    Gjep - Cradle
    Tiqe - Further, as in "Esht ma tiqe" (it's further away)
    Teka - Closer, as in "Eja ma teka" (Come closer)
    Xhi - What, equivalent to when Kosovars use Qka(what) or qysh(what/how). In a sentence it would be "Xhi ki ba!?" (What have you done!?)
    Ke - What (Same as above, only a few villages use this), in sentence; "Ke esht kjo"(What is this?) or "Ke tha?" (What did he/she say?)
    Shtahi - Now , "Ta them Shtahi" (I will tell you now)
    Kallenxhoj - They are Albanian dances (Vallë) only done in Polog valley (I think), they are/were used before and after wars. Divided into two main categories:

    1) Kallenxhojat e let (The "light versions") which were danced after the men returned from wars (These days used in Weddings after the Groom is shaved by his closest friends/family members (men only). For those interested, here is a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHhS6FXJ5yo&t=22m25s (this is a simplified version btw). As you can see the tempo and drum rythm is fast and the dance(vallja) requires one to be light on your foot.

    2) Kallenxhojat e rënd (The "Heavy versions") These were danced before wars, they are called "Heavy" since the Drum rythms are very slow, and the person(s) dancing are moving slowly and controlled (very exhaustive).


    Also in the Polog valley, nearly every village pronounce the same words different:

    Std.Alb - Varius villages in Polog valley - English
    Shtëpi - Shpaj (Tetovë (City)) - Shpoj (Nerasht (Lowlands)) (Norwegian Å) - Shpej (Slatinë(Highlands)) (the Norwegian Æ) - House/Home
    Shi - Shaj - Shoj - Shej - Rain
    (There are even more, some heavily use the nose (like a heavy version of how the French use their nose to pronounce/speak)

    These villages are in an area with a lenght of 18 km. So just wondering what can cause such differences in such a small area, or is this normal?

    (Started this due to a discussion with my dad on what is a loan word and what is not a loan word, I.e. Sokak (small street/street alley) which is only used by elderly and which I think is a Turkish word?)

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    I will start with the last one - "sokak" is a Turkish word, so you are right. It is in use both in Albanian and Serbian. The correct word in Albanian for sokak iz "udhë" or "rrugë". Usually "udhë" means local road same as "sokak" while "rrugë" will usually be used for those that are not local - main roads and elderly would use the term "xhade" which is again from Turkish "cade".

    The word "sosë", is used differently in Kosovo. For eg, in Dukagjini area it is used to tell that a quantity of something is finished more precisely "is fully consumed", while for the activity the term "me e kry" will be used. While in Lap region (near Prishtina) "sosë" is used when you get burned, "e sosa dorën" means "I've burned my hand". Strange .

    "Gjep" is same as "djep" that is in use in Kosovo, it is just a different pronunciation. In Gjilan people would pronounce Gj wherever there is Dj, so there is a similarity.

    "Tiqe" and "tutje" again are similar. In Kosovo will usually be used "atje". I see that "tj" is pronounced in e simpler "q".

    Teka - I like this word, it sounds as an old preserved expression, quite similar with Slavic Macedonian "tuka" though. In old Ghehg "kha" is used but now the most common would be "k'tu" which in use as "këtu" in standard Albanian.

    This is all from me for now. Hope I did not add more confusion to your discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FBS View Post
    I will start with the last one - "sokak" is a Turkish word, so you are right. It is in use both in Albanian and Serbian. The correct word in Albanian for sokak iz "udhë" or "rrugë". Usually "udhë" means local road same as "sokak" while "rrugë" will usually be used for those that are not local - main roads and elderly would use the term "xhade" which is again from Turkish "cade".

    The word "sosë", is used differently in Kosovo. For eg, in Dukagjini area it is used to tell that a quantity of something is finished more precisely "is fully consumed", while for the activity the term "me e kry" will be used. While in Lap region (near Prishtina) "sosë" is used when you get burned, "e sosa dorën" means "I've burned my hand". Strange .

    "Gjep" is same as "djep" that is in use in Kosovo, it is just a different pronunciation. In Gjilan people would pronounce Gj wherever there is Dj, so there is a similarity.

    "Tiqe" and "tutje" again are similar. In Kosovo will usually be used "atje". I see that "tj" is pronounced in e simpler "q".

    Teka - I like this word, it sounds as an old preserved expression, quite similar with Slavic Macedonian "tuka" though. In old Ghehg "kha" is used but now the most common would be "k'tu" which in use as "këtu" in standard Albanian.

    This is all from me for now. Hope I did not add more confusion to your discussion.
    Great answer and Very interesting. Ill elaborate on the Teka part. Thing is when we say ketu as you say, we say Kah. In my village thought Kta is used more(although Kah is also used), while in my mothers villages Kah is used more (they also use Kta). Kah is used more like when we are stressing the fact that its here/there i.e. It's here man, here! - Esht kah be, kah. Also Teka is written Tekah (spelling mistake from me, asked my old man about this). The younger generations are however not pronouncing the -h in kah, so they just say Ka (varies from village to village). Honestly, I thought Kah was a "Slang" word we use in Polog area haha.

    More words from me:
    Also, Ive also experienced the word "nanemadhe" (meaning great mother), instead of Gjyshë (Grandmother).

    Paja - come , as in Paja tekah (eja tekah) - Come here (rarely used, mostly elderly) (might have spelled this wrong)

    Looking forward to more answers on the other words too, hope more people will engage in the discussion (and not only Albanians :) )

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    Also forgot to add, I encountered a funny situation with the word Xhi, on a coincidence. A Persian guy heard me say it, and he told me it means the same and they use it in the same way as we do. How did a Persian word get into our dialect?? (ottomans? But I know the turks dont use this word)

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    FBS pretty much got it.

    Hanxhar is a Turkish loanword, just by looking at it.

    It seems tiqe used to be pronounced *tikje which indeed seems like a corruption of tutje. (don't take the word 'corruption' wrong, it's just something that normally happens)

    Sos has the same meaning in Standard Albanian as in Kosovo version.

    Teka, I think I've heard it in Arberesh too, perhaps *te ka(h)<*te nga. It's pretty common change from (n)g to k even in Albania.

    Xhi seems to be with a voiced variant of ch (c with cedilla, I'm not allowed to copy it in here for some reason). Try pronouncing those two they sound a like. As for Kosovo version since you guys can't tell them apart, in the Standard q is harsher than ch because there's more friction. Not really similar to Persian, there's a h coming out when pronounced with force. Softer than xh, stronger than ch type of sound, not the same.

    Ke seems to be a merge of nominal case with genitive. Do you have other examples of this? Meaning when they answer the questions kush? and ke? it's the same word, the ending doesn't change. Example kush? djali, ke? djaliN. The endings change in Standard Albanian. Do you tell the apart as well? I wonder if that's a lost case.

    Shtahi < a metathesis (rearranging syllables) of Tashi. H is secondary, to divide a from i. Tashi/Tani are dialectal variations, but tash- has more derivative words (example: koha e tashme)

    Not sure on kallenxhoj. Maybe kalle- is a variation of kala-? The thing is kala- has no etymology, nor does it stand on it's own, but judging by the words it's attached to (kalaman-child, kaladibrance-type of game, kalakic-piggy back ride etc.) it has something to do with children and games. I was just looking at that video earlier today. The bride's costume is simple and gorgeous, similar to the Cham women costumes.

    All the variations of house are normal. We say shpi in my region and probably entire Central Albania (similar variations too). Same about rain. Malesia dialect (which is what is usually assumed when Gheg dialect is mentioned) has 17 vowels as opposed to Tosk 7. Many of them are nasal vowels. Tosk has schwa for every single Gheg vowel they can't pronounce.

    Sokak is Turksh.

    Nenamadhe it's not a big difference from my region where we say Nana. In Tirana, Nona. As for the adjective attached, Arberesh have something similar with uncle (mother side) 'lalebukuri'. Similarly we simply say lale.

    Paja can you get the right pronunciation?
    Last edited by Zemra; 13-03-14 at 20:24.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemra View Post
    FBS pretty much got it.

    Hanxhar is a Turkish loanword, just by looking at it.

    It seems tiqe used to be pronounced *tikje which indeed seems like a corruption of tutje. (don't take the word 'corruption' wrong, it's just something that normally happens)

    Sos has the same meaning in Standard Albanian as in Kosovo version.

    Teka, I think I've heard it in Arberesh too, perhaps *te ka(h)<*te nga. It's pretty common change from (n)g to k even in Albania.

    Xhi seems to be with a voiced variant of ch (c with cedilla, I'm not allowed to copy it in here for some reason). Try pronouncing those two they sound a like. As for Kosovo version since you guys can't tell them apart, in the Standard q is harsher than ch because there's more friction. Not really similar to Persian, there's a h coming out when pronounced with force. Softer than xh, stronger than ch type of sound, not the same.

    Ke seems to be a merge of nominal case with genitive. Do you have other examples of this? Meaning when they answer the questions kush? and ke? it's the same word, the ending doesn't change. Example kush? djali, ke? djaliN. The endings change in Standard Albanian. Do you tell the apart as well? I wonder if that's a lost case.

    Shtahi < a metathesis (rearranging syllables) of Tashi. H is secondary, to divide a from i. Tashi/Tani are dialectal variations, but tash- has more derivative words (example: koha e tashme)

    Not sure on kallenxhoj. Maybe kalle- is a variation of kala-? The thing is kala- has no etymology, nor does it stand on it's own, but judging by the words it's attached to (kalaman-child, kaladibrance-type of game, kalakic-piggy back ride etc.) it has something to do with children and games. I was just looking at that video earlier today. The bride's costume is simple and gorgeous, similar to the Cham women costumes.

    All the variations of house are normal. We say shpi in my region and probably entire Central Albania (similar variations too). Same about rain. Malesia dialect (which is what is usually assumed when Gheg dialect is mentioned) has 17 vowels as opposed to Tosk 7. Many of them are nasal vowels. Tosk has schwa for every single Gheg vowel they can't pronounce.

    Sokak is Turksh.

    Nenamadhe it's not a big difference from my region where we say Nana. In Tirana, Nona. As for the adjective attached, Arberesh have something similar with uncle (mother side) 'lalebukuri'. Similarly we simply say lale.

    Paja can you get the right pronunciation?

    Thing is, Hanxhare isnt used in turkish, their word for machete is -pala-.

    Also nenamadhe is not used for mother (nanë) but for grandmother, its not that common though.

    Paja is pronounced straight like Paia as far as I know.

    about Ke, I dont think they say that as a substitution for kush, only for What, when we use Xhi they use Ke/Ka. So they dont use it for kush? (who?) but for what? (Ke?)

    So are we in the Pollog valley the only ones that use Xhi? (the xh- is pronounced the same as the xh- in xhemaili (name)), I know they dont use it in Pelagonia (Struga - Ohër - Manastir area)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devils Advocate View Post
    Thing is, Hanxhare isnt used in turkish, their word for machete is -pala-.

    Also nenamadhe is not used for mother (nanë) but for grandmother, its not that common though.

    Paja is pronounced straight like Paia as far as I know.

    about Ke, I dont think they say that as a substitution for kush, only for What, when we use Xhi they use Ke/Ka. So they dont use it for kush? (who?) but for what? (Ke?)

    So are we in the Pollog valley the only ones that use Xhi? (the xh- is pronounced the same as the xh- in xhemaili (name)), I know they dont use it in Pelagonia (Struga - Ohër - Manastir area)
    Old vs. new words. It's not used in modern Turkish, it was used before.

    Nana is not used for mother either, but for grandmother.

    Pa eja > Pa ja

    Voicing vs unvoicing doesn't make a a loanword. Gheg zogj vs Tosk zoq for example it doesn't make them different words. But xh is not pronounced the same everywhere. There are regions with more or less frictions than others. Different positions of the tongue mean different sounds. The voiced vs unvoiced differentiation is enough.

    PM me if you need more examples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemra View Post
    Old vs. new words. It's not used in modern Turkish, it was used before.

    Nana is not used for mother either, but for grandmother.

    Pa eja > Pa ja

    Voicing vs unvoicing doesn't make a a loanword. Gheg zogj vs Tosk zoq for example it doesn't make them different words. But xh is not pronounced the same everywhere. There are regions with more or less frictions than others. Different positions of the tongue mean different sounds. The voiced vs unvoiced differentiation is enough.

    PM me if you need more examples.

    Another word that is used alot is ma frejk (faster, do it faster) instead of ma shpejt. But its not used for speed. I.e. if we are driving in a car, we'd say "sham huxhum (shum shpejt) (not sure how it spelled only how its pronounced) esht to qu" , while we use frejk when we say for example "hets ma frejk" (ec ma shpejt)

    So word of interest:
    Frejk - Faster
    Huxhum - Fast, as in driving fast

    And Thank you Zemra for answering all my questions haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devils Advocate View Post
    Another word that is used alot is ma frejk (faster, do it faster) instead of ma shpejt. But its not used for speed. I.e. if we are driving in a car, we'd say "sham huxhum (shum shpejt) (not sure how it spelled only how its pronounced) esht to qu" , while we use frejk when we say for example "hets ma frejk" (ec ma shpejt)

    So word of interest:
    Frejk - Faster
    Huxhum - Fast, as in driving fast

    And Thank you Zemra for answering all my questions haha
    The first looks of Latin origin, compare with Italian 'fretta' meaning 'haste'/'nxitim'. The second Turkish

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemra View Post
    The first looks of Latin origin, compare with Italian 'fretta' meaning 'haste'/'nxitim'. The second Turkish

    Another one :P

    Brimagë / Brimaga = Spider (we dont use Marimangë)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devils Advocate View Post
    Another one :P

    Brimagë / Brimaga = Spider (we dont use Marimangë)
    Standard Albanian is vrimak, literally 'hole-dweller'. 'Brima' is used conversationally for 'vrima'. Sorry for the late reply. I've had work to do.

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    What about in the Kercova villages. On the Oslomej side we say "coullët" for kids as in "Si i ke coullët?", while in the Zajaz side they say "xhovitë" for the same meaning (kids). Does anybody know where these two terms might come from, and if they are used elsewhere?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojet View Post
    What about in the Kercova villages. On the Oslomej side we say "coullët" for kids as in "Si i ke coullët?", while in the Zajaz side they say "xhovitë" for the same meaning (kids). Does anybody know where these two terms might come from, and if they are used elsewhere?

    Coullët is also used in the polog valley. However, being myself from Polog valley, I've never heard the word xhovitë, very interessting. Need to take that up with my old ones :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devils Advocate View Post
    Coullët is also used in the polog valley. However, being myself from Polog valley, I've never heard the word xhovitë, very interessting. Need to take that up with my old ones :)

    Btw, still have no "clear" answer why some albanians between gostivar and Tetove use Ke instead og qka/xhi? Anyone? Is it a loanword or something stuck with them through the times?

    sentence:

    eng: What is he saying?
    Geg: Qka/xhi thot ki?
    word of question in the sentence: Ke thot ki?

    It is not used instead of kush. As i stated earlier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devils Advocate View Post
    Coullët is also used in the polog valley. However, being myself from Polog valley, I've never heard the word xhovitë, very interessting. Need to take that up with my old ones :)
    Both from Romance. Compare Italian gioventù and fanciullo (ciullo is a shortening of it that has come to mean 'immature, ignorant'). Old dictionaries have it as cull, diphthongization is common in Polog area.

    Unless is a variation of <gj>, <ç>, or sometimes Standard <dj>, <xh> never occurs in native words. In this case is a variation of <ç>, and it is a native word. xhi is a dialectal variation of Standard Albanian ç'. Other variations to consider çi (older people in some villages near Gjirokastra, otherwise Standard is used), çë (in Arbëresh dialects). xh~ç happen, just like gj~q in Gheg zogj vs Tosk zoq.

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