In language class the other day, we were discussing just how much Albanians use the word, “mirë” (good). Pretend you’re a Midwesterner saying the word, “mirror.” That’s how mirë is pronounced (meer).
Here is a list of just some of the ways mirë is used on a daily basis:
Mirëdita! (Good day)
Ditën ë mire! (Not a literal translation, but basically, “Day is good!”)
A je mirë? (Are you good?)
Shume mirë (very good)
Jo mirë (No good)
Beftë mirë (equivalent of “bon appetite”)
Mirëmbremja (good evening)
Natën ë mirë (good night)
Shkou më i mire (male best friend)
Shaqja më e mire (female best friend)
In 2012, I studied in China for two weeks, and I managed to get by just knowing how to say “hello” (ni hao) and “thank you” (xiexie, pronounced “shay shay”). In Kosovo, the two words I use most are “mirë” and “po” (yes). Whenever my host family says something I don’t understand, I’ll respond with one of those two words. (I know they’ve caught on, though. Sometimes they’ll give me a strange look when I answer. I wonder what I’m saying “good” and “yes” to …)
We had our last language class on Monday and I am sad it is over. Language was my favorite part of pre-service training (PST).
I found a list of languages ranked from easiest (category I, like Spanish) to most difficult (category V, like Mandarin) for native English speakers to learn, and Albanian falls into category IV, meaning it has “significant linguistic and/or cultural differences from English.” You can look at the ranking I found here.