Albania dating abroad
Although dialect and cultural differences between the Ghegs and Tosks can be substantial, both sides identify strongly with the common national and ethnic culture. Albanians live in ethnically compact settlements in large areas of the southwest part of the Balkan peninsula, primarily in the Republic of Albania with its centrally located capital city of Tirana and in the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo.The Republic of Albania, which houses only about 60 percent of all the Albanians in the Balkans, is a mountainous country along the southern Adriatic coast across from the heel of Italy.To the east of the Republic of Albania is the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, one-third of which, along the Albanian border, has an Albanian majority.
The Albanian minority in Greece can be divided into two groups: those living in villages and settlements near the Albanian border and the largely assimilated Arvanites who populated much of central and southern Greece in the late Middle Ages.
Also related to this basic root are the Turkish and Greek words for Albanians and the Albanian language.
Albanians now use the designation shqiptar ("Albanian") shqip ("Albanian language"), and Shqipëria ("Albania"). According to the Austrian linguist Gustav Meyer (1850–1900), shqip ("Albanian language"), shqiptar ("Albanian"), and Shqipëria ("Albania") are related to the Albanian verb shqipoj ("to speak clearly") and shqiptoj ("to pronounce") and can be linked to the Latin excipio and excipere ("to listen to, take up, hear").
Among the minority groups living with the Albanian majority are ethnic Greeks, Slavs, Aromunians (Vlachs), and Rom (Gypsies).
Albania is bordered to the north by the Yugoslav republic of Montenegro, which has an approximate 10 percent Albanian minority living in regions along the Albanian-Montenegrin border.