Albanian (shqip in Albanian) is a language which independently forms a branch of the Indo-European language family, originating from the Paleo-Balkan languages. It is spoken by over 6 million people and is made up of two important dialects which are Gheg in the North and Tosk in the South. It is the official or co-official language of Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Montenegro.
The Albanian language has much in common with the geographically neighboring languages forming the Balkan linguistic union together with them. The oldest surviving texts date back to the 13th century; the ancient texts, discovered in 1990 in the Vatican archives, are more precisely dated to 1210. The current standard of written language, based on the letters of the Latin alphabet, was developed from the Tosk dialect.
Structurally, Albanian is a synthetic language, similar to most other Indo-European languages. Nouns are marked by gender, number, case and may have definite and indefinite forms. The majority of nouns are of masculine or feminine gender, though there are rare examples of neutral nouns which progressively function as masculine in singular and as feminine in plural.
The nominal system distinguishes five cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative and ablative. The Albanian verbal system is characterized by the following categories: three persons, two numbers (the singular and the plural), ten tenses, two voices and six moods.