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  #1  
Old 09-19-2007, 01:18 AM
Bambi Hassenpfeffer Bambi Hassenpfeffer is offline
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Albanian Insults / Curse Words (translation help, please!)

I have an Albanian coworker who is always muttering insults under her breath. I asked her a couple, and she translated them for me -- but some, she won't translate. I'm curious to know what they mean and how to spell them.

The ones I know are budalla / budallaçkë which is "fool" and gomar / gomarica, which is "jackass".

The ones I don't know sound like:
  1. CHEEN - ga (or guh)
  2. ro - SPEE - ya
  3. COR - va (or vuh)
  4. po - TAAHN - ka (or kuh)
  5. har - JESH - ka (kuh)
I do not know how to spell these in Albanian, and I do not know what they mean. If you do, please help! And if you know, can I have both the feminine and masculine versions? Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2007, 11:24 AM
Windwalker Windwalker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi Hassenpfeffer
The ones I don't know sound like:
[*]po - TAAHN - ka (or kuh)
I don't know a single word of Albanian, but if this word is somehow related to the romance languages, it could mean 'whore' (e.g. in French, it's 'putain', in Spanish and Filipino, it's 'puta', etc.).
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2007, 11:32 AM
Bambi Hassenpfeffer Bambi Hassenpfeffer is offline
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I'm willing to bet that it is. Albanian is an isolate, but I'm sure it's borrowed words from nearby languages.

I speak Spanish and knew about puta, but I didn't know the French.
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  #4  
Old 09-19-2007, 02:35 PM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi Hassenpfeffer
I'm willing to bet that it is. Albanian is an isolate, but I'm sure it's borrowed words from nearby languages.

I speak Spanish and knew about puta, but I didn't know the French.
Albanian is not an isolate, it's a branch of the Indo-European family. I have some dictionaries at home I can check out tomorrow if no one has solved the quandaries by then.
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  #5  
Old 09-19-2007, 02:48 PM
Bambi Hassenpfeffer Bambi Hassenpfeffer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drake
Albanian is not an isolate, it's a branch of the Indo-European family. I have some dictionaries at home I can check out tomorrow if no one has solved the quandaries by then.
I'm sorry -- I misspoke. I meant that it is relatively isolated and largely unrelated to other languages spoken today. It is its own branch of the Indo-European family and is very distinct from other languages in the family.
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2007, 02:56 PM
Lazlo Lazlo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi Hassenpfeffer
CHEEN - ga (or guh)
This one sounds like "fuck" in spanish. At least northern NM spanish.

eg: chinga tu madre

Last edited by Lazlo; 09-19-2007 at 02:57 PM..
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2007, 04:12 PM
Bambi Hassenpfeffer Bambi Hassenpfeffer is offline
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Originally Posted by Lazlo
This one sounds like "fuck" in spanish. At least northern NM spanish.

eg: chinga tu madre
It really, really does. In fact, the first time she said it, our Ecuadorian coworker shot her this look that I still find really funny (a combination of "what did she say?!" mixed with "I didn't know she spoke Spanish!"). It's so close to a conjugation chingar that I've told her it's one she can't say, because we don't want our customers to hear that.

My store's nickname is The United Nations. We have people from the Philippines, Albania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Ecuador, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, India, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Thailand, and England. It gets difficult tracking all of the various ways that people can insult each other. However, most of them are not the only person in the store who speaks that language, so I can usually get someone else to translate. The Albanian in question poses a special problem, because the other two Albanians don't have the English needed to translate the words that she says.

It's kind of frustrating.
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  #8  
Old 09-19-2007, 05:49 PM
sturmhauke sturmhauke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windwalker
I don't know a single word of Albanian, but if this word is somehow related to the romance languages, it could mean 'whore' (e.g. in French, it's 'putain', in Spanish and Filipino, it's 'puta', etc.).
Filipino is not a Romance language, it just has a lot of Spanish vocabulary from the Spanish colonial days. Also, Filipino didn't exist back then; it's a late 20th century invention, largely based on Tagalog.
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2007, 08:08 PM
Windwalker Windwalker is offline
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Originally Posted by sturmhauke
Filipino is not a Romance language, it just has a lot of Spanish vocabulary from the Spanish colonial days. Also, Filipino didn't exist back then; it's a late 20th century invention, largely based on Tagalog.
Yeah, didn't mean to say that it was a Romance language, I just felt like throwing it in there since I happened to know that it took puta from Spanish. It's neat having language links between places half the world apart (even if it is based on imperialist history).
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  #10  
Old 09-19-2007, 09:21 PM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi Hassenpfeffer
I'm sorry -- I misspoke. I meant that it is relatively isolated and largely unrelated to other languages spoken today. It is its own branch of the Indo-European family and is very distinct from other languages in the family.
True, but keep in mind it is heavily overlaid with borrowings from Latin, Greek, Turkish, and god only knows what else.
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  #11  
Old 09-20-2007, 11:30 AM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is offline
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1. CHEEN - ga (or guh)
2. ro - SPEE - ya
3. COR - va (or vuh)
4. po - TAAHN - ka (or kuh)
5. har - JESH - ka (kuh)

My dictionaries weren't as helpful as I'd have liked. For #1, I will tentatively suggest qynq, "pipe," if you're sure you're hearing an [n]. If not, qyqe, literally "cuckoo," can also mean "unfortunate." [q] is pronounced a little like [t] in mature, rather than [ch] in church

No clue about #2–#4 (though I suspect #4 is really a Slavic swear for 'little whore' borrowed in).

#5 is from the root harxh–. Harxhe are expenses, and harxhój is 'I spend, disburse, consume.' At least one person online posted an Albanian message with the word harxheshkë, which is how I think you'd spell it, but I have no idea what it means.
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2007, 08:16 PM
medstar medstar is offline
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"May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits!"

Is that it?
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2007, 08:49 PM
Bambi Hassenpfeffer Bambi Hassenpfeffer is offline
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Got spellings for some of them:

Putanka: clearly related to puta and putain. Mystery solved.

However, these two remain mysteries: çinga and ruspia.
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2007, 08:54 PM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drake
[q] is pronounced a little like [t] in mature, rather than [ch] in church
... which are both pronounced the same way. I love phonetics threads.
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  #15  
Old 09-20-2007, 09:04 PM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is offline
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Çinga, spelled exactly this way, also seems to be an Albanian surname, so it can't be that bad, though I'm guessing the clan avoids travel in Spanish-speaking countries.
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  #16  
Old 09-20-2007, 11:07 PM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi Hassenpfeffer
COR - va (or vuh)
I'm guessing that this one means "whore". Kurva (and alternate spellings) means "whore" in many Slavic languages, and also in Hungarian, which I presume borrowed it. It's not so great a stretch to think that Albanian might have borrowed it as well.
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  #17  
Old 09-20-2007, 11:14 PM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derleth
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drake
[q] is pronounced a little like [t] in mature, rather than [ch] in church
... which are both pronounced the same way. I love phonetics threads.
Depends on your dialect. I suspect that Dr. Drake pronounces the <t> in "mature" with some palatalization—i.e., [tʲ]. However, I suspect that Albanian <q> is closer in pronunciation to the Hungarian <ty>; namely [c] (a voiceless palatal plosive).
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  #18  
Old 09-21-2007, 02:54 PM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychonaut
Depends on your dialect. I suspect that Dr. Drake pronounces the <t> in "mature" with some palatalization—i.e., [tʲ]. However, I suspect that Albanian <q> is closer in pronunciation to the Hungarian <ty>; namely [c] (a voiceless palatal plosive).
Exactly.
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  #19  
Old 09-21-2007, 03:00 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychonaut
I'm guessing that this one means "whore". Kurva (and alternate spellings) means "whore" in many Slavic languages, and also in Hungarian, which I presume borrowed it. It's not so great a stretch to think that Albanian might have borrowed it as well.
Beat me to it, and I'd bet the house it's a cognate.

Edit: I should also add that kurva is often used as a general intensifier, much like the way "fucking" would be used in English.

kurva jó - (Hungarian) lit. "whore good" = "fucking good"
ale kurwa dobre! - (Polish), lit. "but whore good" = "how fucking good!"

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-21-2007 at 03:03 PM..
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  #20  
Old 09-21-2007, 03:38 PM
filmyak filmyak is offline
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My sister-in-law is a language expert in the peace corps, currently stationed in.. you guessed it... Albania. I'll forward this to her, see what she can pry out of the locals.
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  #21  
Old 09-24-2007, 01:40 PM
filmyak filmyak is offline
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Oops -- I meant she's stationed in Macedonia... my apologies. That said, she did have to learn Albanian to work there.

Here is her response:

Well, korva is whore. That one I know for sure. It is also used to mean bitch. The first one probably has something to do with fuck (fuck is çi, pronounced chee). The others I'm not familiar with, but I can ask around. I wonder if this Albanian is from Macedonia or Kosovo, somewhere where the Albanian has a lot of Slavic words, because that is true of korva, and some of those other words look pretty Slavic to me.


Doesn't answer everything, but it's what I got.
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  #22  
Old 02-02-2012, 06:22 PM
VeToMiNaToR VeToMiNaToR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi Hassenpfeffer View Post
I have an Albanian coworker who is always muttering insults under her breath. I asked her a couple, and she translated them for me -- but some, she won't translate. I'm curious to know what they mean and how to spell them.

The ones I know are budalla / budallaçkë which is "fool" and gomar / gomarica, which is "jackass".

The ones I don't know sound like:
  1. CHEEN - ga (or guh)
  2. ro - SPEE - ya
  3. COR - va (or vuh)
  4. po - TAAHN - ka (or kuh)
  5. har - JESH - ka (kuh)
I do not know how to spell these in Albanian, and I do not know what they mean. If you do, please help! And if you know, can I have both the feminine and masculine versions? Thank you.
I'm 100% Albanian from Kosova, & I will translate you the 3-4 most used insults in Albanian:

(english) = (albanian) = (pronunciation)
Fuck = Qi = Chee
Lavire = Bitch = Laweere (not "KURVA" kurva is SERBIAN) ps: the last letter "E" is spelled like hhmmm.... like "HEY" without the H & Y (try to say HEY without H & Y)
Rrospi = Slut = Rrospee (Rr > Strong "R" like Arrrr without the A just the rrrr)
Kar = Dick = Car
Pidh = Pussy = Peeth
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