Gora dialect

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Not to be confused with Gorani in Kurdistan.
Gorani dialect
Native to Kosovo, Albania
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None
Area where Torlakian dialects are spoken. Number 4 (in southern Kosovo) indicates the Gora dialect area.
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

The Gorani or Našinski (literally meaning "our language") language is the variety of South Slavic spoken by the Gorani people in the border area between Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia. It is part of the Torlakian dialect group[1] which is the transitional dialect between Eastern and Western South Slavic languages.[2][3][4][5]

Distribution and classification[edit]

The dialect is spoken across the Gora region. It is spoken in 19 villages in Kosovo, 11 in Albania and two in the Republic of Macedonia. In Kosovo and Macedonia it is written in either the Serbian or Macedonian Cyrillic Alphabets, whereas in Albania, the Latin Albanian alphabet is used. In the 1991 Yugoslav census, 54.8% of the inhabitants of the Gora municipality said that they spoke the Goranian language, roughly in proportion to the number who considered themselves ethnic Gorani. In the same census a little less than half of the inhabitants of Gora described their language as Serbian.[6]

The dialect is related to the neighbouring PrizrenSouth Morava dialect area to the northeast, which comprises the Serbian/Torlakian varieties spoken in the southern half of Kosovo and in southeastern Serbia, as well as to the northernmost dialects of Macedonia. In the context of Macedonian dialectology, it is described as having particular close links to the Lower Polog dialect of the Polog and Tetovo regions,[7] which are situated just opposite the Gora area on the other side of the Šar Mountains.

Goranian has also been classified as a part of the Bulgarian dialect area, by Bulgarian[8] as well as some foreign anthropologists.[9] In 2007 the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences sponsored and printed the first Gorani–Albanian dictionary (with 43,000 words and phrases) by Goranian researcher Nazif Dokle, who considers the language a Bulgarian dialect.[10]

On the other hand, former Yugoslav linguists Vidoeski, Brozović and Ivić identify the Slavic dialect of the Gora region as Macedonian.[11] According to some sources in 2003 the Kosovo government acquired Macedonian language and grammar books to be taught in Gorani schools.[citation needed]

Phonological characteristics[edit]

The Gora dialect shares with standard Serbian, the northernmost dialects of Macedonian and western dialects of Bulgarian the vocalisation of earlier syllabic /l/ in words like vuk ('wolf') (cf. Macedonian volk, standard Bulgarian vălk). With Serbian it also shares the reflex of */tj, dj/ as /tɕ/, as opposed to standard Macedonian /c/ (ќ).[12] With the westernmost dialects of Macedonian, as well as most of the Bulgarian dialects, it shares the reflex of "big Yus" (*/ɔ̃/) as /ə/ (ӑ) in words like păt ('road') (cf. Macedonian pat, Serbian put). With standard Macedonian and some Bulgarian dialects it shares the reflexes of */ĭ, ŭ/ as /e, o/ in words like den ('day') and son ('dream'). With standard Macedonian, standard Serbian and some Bulgarian dialects it shares the retention of syllabic /r/ in words like krv ('blood').[13]


English Našinski
Hello Meraba
I am Gorani Ja som Goranec
I speak Gorani Zborim Našinski jezik
How are you? Kako si?
Thank you Fala
Good day Dobar den
Hasan is my uncle Asan je moj Adžo
Adlija is my sister Adlija je mua sestra
Your sister Tvua sestra
What are you doing? Šo rabotaš/praiš?
I knew Som znof or "som znaau"
Do you know? Ti znaš? or "Ti a znaeš?"
He was a good Muslim On bif ubav musliman
I am from Tetovo Ja som od Tetof
One woman from the new village Jena žena od novo selo
One day and one night Jen den i jena noc

Typical words[edit]

Here is a song sung in the typical Gora dialect.

Što se beli, gore Šar planina?
Da l'je snegče, il'je belo stado?
Nit'je snegče, nit'je belo stado.
Da je snegče, bi se rastopilo,
Da je stado, bi se rasturilo.
Več toj beše Milkino čadorče,
Pod čadorče bolna Milka lega.
Brata i gu Turci zarobili,
Zarobili, paj ga obesili.

Another two songs in Gorani, from Shishtejec

Verba đurđevdenjova
Ta što si gi granke širnala
Mori verbice đurđevdenova
Dali jeno gajle si nemala
Ja mater som go imala
Mati mi go gajle galuala
So mleko presno me ranjila
Za tija som tenka i visoka
Za tija som bela i cervena
Tvuje da ti srce izgore.
Verno libe
Gledaj me gledaj libe, abe verno libe,
nagledaj mi se dur ti som ovde.
Utre ke odim abe vrno libe dalek-dalek
na pusti Gurbet.
Racaj, poracaj libe šo da ti kupim,
ti da mi kupiš
abe gledaniku cerna šamija, ja da ga nosim
abe gledaniku i da ga želam.
Racaj, poracaj abe verno
libe šo da ti pratim
Ti da mi pratiš abe
gledaniku šarena knjiga
Ja da ga pujem abe
gledaniku i da ga želam


  1. ^ Browne, Wayles (2002): Serbo-Croat. In: Bernard Comrie, Greville G. Corbett (eds.), The Slavonic Languages. London: Taylor & Francis. [1]. p. 383
  2. ^ Concise encyclopedia of languages of the world, Keith Brown, Sarah Ogilvie, Elsevier, 2008, ISBN 0-08-087774-5, p.120. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-03-24. 
  3. ^ Papers from the 6-th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Current issues in linguistic theory, Jacek Fisiak, John Benjamins Publishing, 1985 ISBN 9027235287, p. 17 - Henrik Birnbaum: Divergence and convergence in linguistic evolution. Books.google.bg. Retrieved 2013-03-24. 
  4. ^ The handbook of language contact, Blackwell handbooks in Linguistics, Raymond Hickey, John Wiley & Sons, 2010, ISBN 140517580X, p. 620. Books.google.bg. 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2013-03-24. 
  5. ^ Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World, Keith Brown, Sarah Ogilvie, Elsevier, 2009, ISBN 0080877745, pp. 119-120. Books.google.bg. Retrieved 2013-03-24. 
  6. ^ Goran speech by dr. Radivoje Mladenovic (Serbian)
  7. ^ B. Koneski (1983), A Historical Phonology of the Macedonian Language by Blaže Koneski
  8. ^ Младенов, Стефан. Пътешествие из Македония и Поморавия, в: Научна експедиция в Македония и Поморавието 1916, София 1993, с. 184. (Mladenov, Stefan. Journey through Macedonia and Pomoraviya, in: Scientific expeditions in Macedonia and Pomoraviya 1916, Sofia 1993, p. 184) Асенова, Петя. Архаизми и балканизми в един изолиран български говор (Кукъска Гора, Албания), Балканистични четения, посветени на десетата годишнина на специалност “Балканистика” в СУ “Св. Климент Охридски”, ФСлФ, София, 17-19 май 2004 (Assenova, Petya. Archaisms and Balkanisms in an isolated Bulgarian dialect (Kukas Gora, Albania), Balkan studies readings on the tenth anniversary of the major Balkan studies in Sofia University, May 17–19, 2004)
  9. ^ Albania: from anarchy to a Balkan identity, Miranda Vickers, James Pettifer, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 1997, ISBN 1-85065-279-1, p. 205.
  10. ^ Dokle, Nazif. Reçnik Goransko (Nashinski) - Albanski, Sofia 2007, Peçatnica Naukini akademiji "Prof. Marin Drinov", s. 5, 11, 19 (Nazif Dokle. Goranian (Nashinski) - Albanian Dictionary, Sofia 2007, Published by Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, p. 5, 11, 19)
  11. ^ http://www.seelrc.org:8080/grammar/mainframe.jsp?nLanguageID=3 Macedonian by Victor Friedman, pg 4 (footnote)
  12. ^ B. Videoski (1999), Dijalektite na Makedonskiot jazik, MANU.
  13. ^ Friedman, Victor (2001), "Macedonian" SEELRC, p.7