Arvanitic is a descendent of Albanian spoken by the Arvanite people in Greece. It is closely related to the Tosk dialect of Albanian and Arbëresh, the dialect of Albanian spoken in Italy and there is considerable mutual intelligibility between these varieties.
Around 50,000 people speak Arvanitic, and they live in about 300 villages particularly in the Attica, Boeotia and Peloponnese regions in southern Greece, and also in parts of the northwest and northeast of Greece. All of the them also speak Greek. Intergenerational transmission of the language is decreasing and a language shift towards Greek has accelerated in recent years.
Arvanitic is also known as Arvanitika, Arberichte, Arbërisht or αρβανίτικα. The native name is αρbε̰ρίσ̈τ (Arbërisht). The language is named after the Arvanites, which comes from the place name Arbëna (Άρβανα), which is now part of Albania. The equivalent names in Albanian are Arbërorë and Arbëreshë.
Arvanitic is not often written. The Latin alphabet is generally used nowadays, and the Greek alphabet was used in the past.
η, χ, ψ and ω are also used, but only in Greek loanwords and names.
Áti ýnë që jé ndë qiéjet, ushënjtëróft' émëri ýt.
árthtë mbëretëría jóte; ubëftë dashurími ýt,
si ndë qiél, edhé mbë dhét;
búkënë tónë të përdítëshimen' ép-na néve sót;
edhé fálj-na fájetë tóna,
sikúndrë edhé néve ua fáljmë fajtórëvet tánë;
edhé mos na shtiér ndë ngásie, pó shpëtó-na nga i ljígu;
sepsé jótia është mbëretëría e fuqía e ljavdía ndë jétët të jétëvet.
Άτι ύνε̱ κ̇ε̱ jέ νdε̱ κ̇ιέjετ, ȣσ̈ε̱ν̇τε̱ρόφτ' έμε̱ρι ύτ.
άρθτε̱ μbε̱ρετε̱ρία jότε; ȣbε̱φτε̱ dασ̈ȣρίμι ύτ,
σι νdε̱ κ̇ιέl, εδέ μbε̱ δέτ;
bȣ́κε̱νε̱ τόνε̱ τε̱ πε̱ρdίτε̱σ̈ιμεν' έπ-να νέβε σότ;
εδέ φάλ̇-να φάjετε̱ τόνα,
σικȣ́νdρε̱ εδέ νέβε ȣα φάλ̇με̱ φαjτόρε̱βετ τάνε̱;
εδέ μοσ να σ̈τιέρ νdε̱ νγάσιε, πό σ̈πε̱τό-να νγα ι λ̇ίγȣ;
σεπσέ jότια ε̱σ̈τε̱ μbε̱ρετε̱ρία ε φȣκ̇ία ε λ̇αβdία νdε̱ jέτε̱τ τε̱ jέτε̱βετ.
Information provided by Wolfram Siegel and Michael Peter Füstumum
Page last modified: 23.04.22
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