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15 Albanian Words that every foreigner should learn

15 Albanian Words that every foreigner should learn

These 15 Albanian Words will instantly make you understand the local culture better, and no matter if you’re moving or traveling to Albania as a foreigner, these words in Albanian will sure come in handy.

The younger generation generally speaks English, but not everyone is fluent, so it’s always a good idea to learn some basic Albanian phrases. This will make your trip to Albania more enjoyable, and you’ll surely be met with smiles and gratitude for trying to speak Albanian. 

Further down in this article you can also see a list of basic Albanian words for everyday use. But first, let’s learn some essential words in Albanian that are used frequently or have no equivalence in English. 


Mirë is the Albanian word for good, and it’s very useful. My favorite way of using it is by saying O sa Mirë, which means something like “Oh, how cool” or “so good”. You should say with enthusiasm to enhance the expression. 


Bre doesn’t really have a meaning on its own in the Albanian language, but it’s just as a sentence enhancer, and you’ll hear it a lot. For example, you could say Qka po bon bre? which can be translated as “What are you doing” or “What’s up?”.


Of all the words in Albanian that a foreigner should learn, I really recommend this one because Albanian food is delicious, and Shijshme means delicious. It is pronounced like “shee-SHMEH” and to say that something is delicious you can say Ishte e shijshme.

Traditional food in Albania

Photo: Shutterstock


This basically means cute, and you can use it to say “how cute”. It is pronounced like Le-zeeeehhh-tshëm. Perhaps not the easiest word in Albanian for a foreigner to pronounce, but it will certainly impress the locals if you’re successful. 


Kismet is more of a locally used word which means “Fate” or “destiny” and Albanians use it to dodge uncomfortable questions that they don’t have a good answer to or rather don’t want to answer.

As a tourist, you might not use this Albanian word, but it’s still good to know!


This is the Albanian word for beauty, and if you want to tell a girl/woman that she is beautiful, you could say Ti Je Bukur. 


The literal translation would be heart, and Zemër can be used to refer to someone that you’re in love with or a dear family member. You can also say Zemra Ime, which basically means my sweetheart in Albanian.

Albanian word for my sweetheart

Photo: Zhuk Roman/Shutterstock


This is the Albanian word for calling someone stupid or an idiot. It might be something you would say to a stranger since it would be rather offensive, but you could use it to joke around with friends. 

With that said, you’ll hear Native Albanians calling others a “budall” once in a while, so now you’ll know what it means. 


You will probably hear someone say Shqiperia (meaning Albania) or Sqhiptar and Sqhip, which basically means Albanian.  


Falemenderit is the Albanian word for thank you, and it will be appreciated if tourists use it instead of just saying thank you in English. You can also say Faleminderit Shüme, which means thank you very much. 


If you’ll be drinking with some friends from Albania, you should say Gëzuar instead of cheers, which is the equivalent word in Albanian. 

Albanian word for cheers

Photo: G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock


Spital means Hospital, and although I hope that you don’t have to visit a hospital during your visit, it’s good to know how to say it. And Farmaci is the Albanian word for Pharmacy in case you need any medicine. 


If you want to wish someone good day or greet a stranger, you can say Mirëdita. It’s always appreciated when foreigners make an effort to speak some Albanian words, even though they are simple like this one. 

If you want to greet someone and say hello in Albanian you can also say Përshëndetje! or Tungjatjeta.

Traditional clothing Albania

Photo: Daniel Reiner /

Basic Albanian Words

Now that you have learned some more advanced Albanian words, it’s time to get back to the basics. These basic words in Albanian can be used almost every day by tourists and expats. 

English Albanian
Hi/Hello Përshëndetje!/Tungjatjeta
Goodbye Tung/Lamtumirë/Mirupafshim!
Yes/No Po/Jo
Thank you Faleminderit
You’re welcome Ju lutem
Big/small Madh/vogël
Good Mirë
Bad Keq
Morning Mëngjes
Afternoon Pasdite
Evening Mbrëmje
Natt Natë
Beautiful Bukur
Ugly i shëmtuar
Easy i lehtë
Difficult i vështirë
Beer Birrë
Coffee Kafe
Water Ujë
Wine Verë

Translate Albanian words into English

Translating basic words in Albanian is usually doable with Google Translate, which can be downloaded to your phone to use offline.

However, it’s not recommended to translate longer sentences because it’ll likely not turn out correct. 

Want to learn more Albanian words? Leave a comment below!