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09-Aug-2017 05:01

The international terms "Albania" and "Albanian" are based on the root *alb- , *arb- , which also is the source of the word Arberesh , which is used to describe the Italo-Albanians of southern Italy.

That root also appears as *lab- in Labëria , referring to the southern Albanian region from Vlorë southward to the Greek border, and *rab- in early Slavic, as in raban , rabanski ("Albanian").

In addition, there are about two-hundred thousand Albanians, mostly from Kosovo, living in central Europe (mainly Switzerland and Germany).

In the last ten years, Albanians have emigrated to most other countries in Europe, as well as the United States, Canada, and Australia. The Albanian language, shqip , is Indo-European, although it is not a member of any of the major branches of the Indo-European family.

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.

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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").

Despite its Indo-European affiliation and presence in the Balkans since ancient times, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact ancestry of the Albanian language because of the radical transformations that have taken place within it through the centuries.