Cham Albanian dialect

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Not to be confused with Cham language.
19th century distribution of Albanian language dialects.

The Cham Albanian dialect (Albanian: Çamërisht, or Dialekti çam) is the dialect of the Albanian language spoken by the Cham Albanians, an ethnic Albanian minority in the Epirus region of northwestern Greece.


Cham Albanian is part of Tosk Albanian and is the second-southernmost variety of Albanian language, the other being Arvanitika, which is also part of Tosk Albanian. As such, Arvanitika and Cham dialect retain a number of common features.[1]


Like Arvanitika in southern Greece and Arbëresh in Italy, Cham Albanian retains some conservative features of Albanian, such as the old consonant clusters /kl/, /gl/, which in standard Albanian are q and gj, and retention of /l/ instead of /j/.[2]

Cham Albanian Standard Albanian Tosk Albanian Arvanitika Arberesh English
Kljmësht Qumësht Qumësht Kljumsht Klumsht 'milk'
Gluhë Gjuhë Gjuhë/Guhë Gljuhë Gluhë 'language', 'tongue'
Gola Goja Goja Golja Gojë 'mouth'

Written sources[edit]

The first GreekAlbanian dictionary was written by Markos Botsaris (in Albanian: Marko Boçari), which contains the first features of Cham Albanian.[3] Based on this evidence, T. Yochalas, who studied the dictionary, concluded that either the native language of the authors was Greek or Greek had a very strong influence on Albanian, if the latter was possibly spoken in Souli.[4]
During the 19th century, Cham Albanians, started creating bejtes, which was a new kind of poems, mainly in Southern Albania. The most well-known bejtexhi was Muhamet Kyçyku (Çami), born in Konispol. He is the only poet in Albania who wrote in Cham Albanian and, as it seems, was the first Albanian author to have written longer poetry.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ L'étude Euromosaic. "L'arvanite/albanais en Grèce", 2006.
  2. ^ Shkurtaj, Gjovalin. The Dialectological and Ethno-linguistic Values of the Language of Chameria, ISBN 99943-688-2-6, pp. 242-245.
  3. ^ JOCHALAS, Titos, To ellino-alvanikon lexikon tou Markou Botsari, Athens 1980.
  4. ^ Yochalas Titos (editor, 1980) The Greek-Albanian Dictionary of Markos Botsaris. Academy of Greece, Athens 1980, p. 53. (in Greek)
  5. ^ Elsie, Robert. Albanian Literature: A Short History. London, England (Centre for Albanian Studies): I.B. Tauris, 2005, ISBN 1-84511-031-5.