lang_alsAlbanian (gjuha shqipe, or shqip) is an Indo-European language spoken by approximately 8 million people, primarily in Albania and Kosovo but also in other areas of the Balkans in which there is an indigenous Albanian population, including western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, southern Serbia and northwestern Greece. Albanian is also spoken in centuries-old Albanian colonies in southern Greece, southern Italy, Sicily, and Ukraine.
Additionally, speakers of Albanian can be found elsewhere throughout the latter two countries resulting from a modern diaspora, originating from the Balkans, that also includes Scandinavia, Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Singapore, Brazil, Canada, and the United States.
Standard Albanian is based on the Tosk dialect. After World War II standardization was directed by the Institute of Albanian Language and Literature of the Academy of Sciences of Albania. Two dictionaries were published in 1954, an Albanian language dictionary and a Russian–Albanian dictionary.