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Early Indo-European Texts


Brian Joseph, Angelo Costanzo, and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Albanian with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Albanian Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Albanian language and its speakers' culture.

Excerpt from the Kanun of Lek Dukagjinit

"Shpija e Shqyptarit sht e Zotit e e mikut." Miku nuk mund t hj n shp, p b z n'oborr. Si t bj z miku, i zoti i shps a kush i shps i pergjegjet e i del perpara. Falet me mik, armen i a mrr, e i prn n shp. Armen i a var n krrab, edh e on n krye t vendit ke votra Perpushet zjarmi, lypen edh dr. "Miku don dr." Mikut do t'i bhet nder: "Buk e kryp e zmer." Buka e krypa e zmra, zjarmi e trungu e do firi per shtroj do t gjindet gadi per mik n do koh t nats e t dits Mikut t lodhun do t'i vhet rreth me t pritun me nder. Mikut i lahen kambt. Per do mik duhet buka si han vet. Per mik t mir duhet kafija, rakija e buka e shtrueme me ndo'i send m teper. Per mik zmret duhet duhni, kafija e ambel, rakija e buk e mish. "Mikut t zmres i lshohet shpija."


"The house of the Albanian is of God and of the guest." The guest cannot enter the house without making noise in the courtyard. When the guest makes noise, the master of the house or someone else of the house answers him and goes out to him. He is greeted by the guest, he takes his weapon, and leads him into the house. He hangs his weapon on a hook, and leads him to the head place near the hearth. The fire is stirred; he requests more wood. "The guest sees to the fire." For the guest, honor must be made: "Bread and salt and the heart." The bread, the salt and the heart, the fire and the log and some material for a bed must be present, ready for a guest at any time of the day or of the night. The tired guest should be surrounded by hospitality, with honor. The feet of the guest are washed. For every guest, the food that they eat themselve is needed. For a good friend, coffee, raki and food laid out are necessary, with something more as well. For a cherished friend, tobacco, sweet coffee, raki and bread and meat are necessary. "To the guest of the heart, the house is given freely."