Kësulëkuqja dhe Ujku

Do you find Little Red Riding Hood to be a strange story? I would tend to agree with you if you do. There are some very odd undertones to that fairy tale. You know what makes it weirder? Reading it in an Albanian-language primary school reader. The good news is that I understood so much more of this than I would have a month and a half ago. And I even learned some new words from it, like wolf (ujk), door (derë), and to knock (trokas)!

The not great news is that a month and a half ago I knew essentially no Albanian so this accomplishment is not saying much. The bad news is that this story spurns the huntsman and any trace of the things that make it interesting in favor of “Kësulëkuqja” being saved by a “rojtari”, or “officer” and Grandma making it out without a scratch on her…


I also really enjoyed this poem, featured on another page:


Here’s my best attempt at translating (if there are Albanian speakers reading this, please forgive my errors and remember I’ve only been studying for a month and change):

“The Glass”

Don’t you know that with one glass, you can drink water, all of this world?

They all love/want, mothers of children, to kiss the glass many times in the day.

All of the glasses have – beauty, but I don’t want/love them when they have raki

So that’s fun! It sounds better in Albanian, especially since it rhymes.

I love this crazy language.


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