Albanian (Shqip) is an Indo-European language which forms its own branch in the Indo-European family and has no close relatives. There are two main dialects of Albanian: Tosk, which is spoken by about 3 million people in southern Albania, Turkey, Greece and Italy; and Gheg, which is spoken by about 2.8 million people in Serbia and Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, northern Albania and Bulgaria. The dialects are more or less mutually intelligible and Tosk is the official language of Albania, and one of the official languages of Kosovo and Macedonia.
Albanian has been written with various alphabet since the 15th century. Originally the Tosk dialect was written with the Greek alphabet, while the Gheg dialect was written with the Latin alphabet. They have both also been written with the Turkish version of the Arabic alphabet. The Latin alphabet for Albanian was standardised in 1909, and a unified literary version of Albanian, based on the Tosk dialect, was established in 1972.