Research article
Issue: № 4 (20), 2019


A special attention in Albanian linguistics is given to studies about the terminology problems, the observation of terminological lexicon in particular, broad, narrow and very narrow level of the knowledge fields. In general, these terminologies have been looked at the synchronous axis and in special cases, also have been dealt within the diachronic development line. Problems with the history of terminology development have been largely limited to partial cases, but rarely have been seen as separate issues. Up to nowadays, Albanian technical (technology) terminology generally has been studied in the form of specific terminologies, starting from the terminology of more or less extensive fields, such as economics, medicine, mechanics, agriculture and any other within them, such as agronomy or even narrower ones. From the broad-field terminologies it was able to make basic generalizations, but even narrow ones have been able to delve deeper into specific issues. Conducted generalizations have revealed more detailed aspects of phenomena, especially specific aspects of synonymy, polysemy even for hybrid fields such as agricultural tool terminology, narrow fields, as well as mechanics and machine theory terminology.

Stages of technology development in the world

Stages of technology development have gone through the development of mechanical working tools (their production and use), which are very important elements of the technology. These stages have followed development of working tools since simple tools into complex tools, which are driven by an engine and by the forces of nature (water, wind), by a machine system, driven by an engine in an automatic engine machine system. Each stage in the development of technology corresponds to a certain stage of development of social production. The machine technology appears in the late 18th century after the English Industrial Revolution. The single-engine machine system was developed after the development of the steam engine, which lead to the development of the industry.

The introduction of this mechanical technique dates back to the beginning of the 17th century and is related to the English industrial revolution and the monopoly gained by England.

Development of technological activities in Albania

For the development of technological activities, the acquisition and application of technical knowledge, the opening of technical Italian and American high schools in Albania for this period is of a great importance. (1921-1933, “The Albanian Vocational School”) [9, P. 8], for the preparation of middle level technical staff.

In Albania this activity belongs to a phase that begins after 2-3 centuries, after 1912-1920, which is more related to the introduction of technology from abroad, especially from Italy by brining machines, initially in agriculture, from plows (which replaced in small measure the wooden plow), threshing, harvesting machines, and gradually also in the mechanical industry in the city, mainly machineries and tools, other parts, as well: oil factories, flour mills. It should be noted that some of the names of means, tools, and processes were foreign (Italian), but also calques or formations based on foreign words. A large number were Albanian, especially those coming from special words of crafts, but also from naming the process, derived from general language, as well as crafts. 

Introduction of the mechanical technology in Albania [1, P. 45] (especially processes related to electricity, automation, later partially to electronics (programming), remote control (on cranes, military vehicles), led to the implementation of technology results, albeit to a limited extent. This restriction was also influenced by the policy of isolation of monist society, and especially the policy of building everything with its own forces, which led to the break with the results of modern foreign technologies (1945-1990). Preparation of specialists in higher education in the country, which were formed on the basis of knowledge obtained also from the Soviet technical school. On this basis was created the technical terminology as a system, based mainly on formations created by calques from the Russian language and its term-forming pattern, as well as the modes of translating terms through native lexical source and corresponding term-forming patterns.

Russian term-forming models also served to create phrases that took root in numerous terminology dictionaries (there are 33 terminology series dictionaries).  Here and there some Russian terms were introduced in some technical field, some of which remained, while others were dropped out of the language, replacing them with Albanian or former foreign terms in the field of mechanics. Technical texts are of particular value in the development of technical terminology.

Foreign words in Albanian

Foreign words have entered the Albanian language in the course of time up to the present day with their specific features in two main parts of the lexicon: the general and the terminological lexicon. In the general lexicon they are inserted in terms of hundreds of years of direct contact of Albanian with the languages of the invaders or neighbors, mixing with the native lexicon and formed according to the introductory language, different lexical layers. In the terminological lexicon, in terms of generally indirect and rarely direct contact with foreign languages, such layers have been formed in recent times (the last two centuries) on the periphery of the lexicon, such layers as, Italianism, Frenches, Anglicism, etc., less commonly Russians and Germanics.

Different extra-linguistic and intra-linguistic factors

The stages through which the various extra-linguistic and intra-linguistic factors have passed also have outlined the stages through which the development of these areas and related terminologies would go through.   In terms of cultural factors, they were embodied in the three basic stages of the development of the education system in our country, in the low, middle and high phase.

The low level phase, which included more or less the late 18th century until the declaration of independence of Albania (1912), relates to the emergence and development of basic knowledge domains with relevant terminologies, which was conditioned at large by the spread in most of the country of Albanian lower primary schools and later until the seventh grade.

The middle level phase mainly covers the areas of knowledge with relevant terminologies, which were developed in the context of the creation of secondary education. This phase marks two major phenomena: first, the expansion of conceptual constituent units of the basic fields, which led to the expansion in quantity and quality of lexical units (terms) and secondly the creation of a range of new knowledge domains on different bases.

The high level phase, in the field of science and technology belongs to the period after the 50-s of the last century [22, P. 33-34]. It is conditioned by the levels of modern development of society. Economic factors are particularly influential (the introduction of new technologies), cultural factors (higher education, contacts with the world through foreign literature), whereas today, opening up to the world, a free market economy, etc.

Technical terms reflected in Albanian written texts

Besides being used in oral communication practice, the technical terms present the predominant actualization in written text mainly in the textbooks, which is evident from the very beginning of their creation. This started to a limited extent in the lower level textbooks and later increased to the high school level (before 1945) and to the upper level (after 1945) with the establishment of higher schools in Albania. Each of these levels has its own characteristics in terms of the proportions of foreign terms and Albanian terms.

At the low level the amount of technical terms has been very limited; mainly technical terms of agriculture, mechanics and construction have prevailed. The terms are elaborated by linguistic specialists and specialists as experts in Albanian and foreign languages. Foreign terms generally prevail in them, and Albanian terms in limited quantities.

At the secondary level (high-schools), especially in vocational schools, foreign terms have been introduced, maintaining a degree of equilibrium with the Albanian terms. However, it is noted that terminology is Albanian based.

At higher education level the terminology was created by specialists. In it prevail foreign terms and rarely is seen an attempt for adaption/translation in Albanian.

General principles of terminology and methods of its processing

It should be noted that Eugen Wüster, who also has been described as the father of terminology internationally, Albanian terminologists have relied on the general principles of terminology and the methods of its processing, dealt within his terminological work “Machine tool” [28, P. 22].

Compared to general vocabulary borrowings, already embedded in languages and sharing a common vocabulary with native vocabulary, terminology borrowings as designations of the language of science and technique, clustered in hundreds of fields of knowledge, continue to enter vast quantities of language, especially today, under the influence of the continuous emergence of concepts related to the development of modern science and technology, with the use of sophisticated facilities of new industries (computer, cellphone and any other electronic device or machine). Some foreign terms are embedded alone, as necessary elements of terminological systems (especially today: harduer, softuer, tastierë, monitor--hardware, software, keyboards, monitors), another part operates in terms of competition with the Albanian equivalent terms (beside dimension  also përmasë, beside mouse also mi), and some do not fit into these systems because terminologists, specialists or linguists, have found or formed suitable equivalents for them, as in computing: ruaj, përpunoj, kujtesë,-- save, process, memory, etc.

Standardization of technical terminology in Albanian

A separate problem constitutes the standardization of terminology and in particular introduction to the process of standardization of Albanian words based on common words, which serve as key elements in solving problems of systematization and Albanianization of terminology. Problems of standardization are closely related to the solution of general problems of double-meanings in terminology and polysemy as harmful phenomena for terminology and in particular for technical terminology. 

The phenomenon of globalization

In recent years, with the opening of Albania to the world and in particular, the penetration of the phenomenon of globalization into the field of technical terminology, English [7, P. 197-211], terms have been introduced, but mainly in the new fields of knowledge such as computing, telemetry, genetics, biotechnology. It should be noted, however, that in the fields of technical terminology, compared to other fields of knowledge, the terms from English have been introduced to a limited extent, since these terminologies are nowadays presented as formulated and consolidated lexical entities. It can be underlined that the terminology of informatics in Albanian language and especially in the field of computer science is the part where English [25, P. 98], terms are mostly met, although it has the tendency to introduce terms derived or compounded in Albanian, as well as brought from the general language such as: fjalëkalim, pikëthyerje, faqe, mi, flamur, dritare (diskete)- password, landmark, page, mouse, flag, windows (floppy disks), etc.

Tasks and recommendations for Albanian technical terminology

Noting the large influx of English-sourced words into Albanian, it can be said that English terms are expanding from day to day--the entering gate to foreign standard terms at all levels of discourse. Since most of the foreign elements that enter through this gate are more or less close in form and constitute common patterns of content for other languages, (computer, monitor, display), then these elements serve as entrance gate to other languages as well.

The Albanian technical terminology, entering this common stream, should orient the movement of its flow according to this stream, common to other languages as well, especially those serving in the field of terminology as standardization and codification models, like English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Russian. Albanian technical terminology used in other Albanian-speaking areas such as Kosovo and Macedonia should also be introduced in this course. This means that many problems of Albanian terminology need to be addressed and solved in the context of common problems of other languages of the world, large or small countries. This gives a new orientation to the assessment and reassessment of foreign terms in Albanian, attitude towards them, the place they occupy in relation to the Albanian terms that compete with them, adapting against them a more liberalized language policy than before. This new orientation of the linguistic policy on foreign terminology in Albanian is also related to the realization of the immediate goal of Albania's accession to the EU, where the Albanian language in this process will play its due role in raising the level on gaining the status of a language of this international body. From this point of view, it can be asserted that terminology unites nations with this special fund, foreign and common, for each country.


In terms of rapid development of science and technology cooperation of scientific-technical language with standard Albanian it is continuing with higher intensity than before. Particularly it is noticeable the rapid enrichment of the technical terminology lexicon, due to the emergence and formation of new fields and subfields of technology, such as computing, mechatronics, telemetry, the many concepts of which, on the one hand, are denoted by the denominations of the languages they come mainly from English, whereas, on the other hand, they meet their needs with the native language lexicon source (common words, being raised in terms), with its word-form tools, as well as with the activation of other layers, such as terms phrases. Thus, for example, in the field of computing, there is the introduction of the common vocabulary as mi, dritare, flamur (mouse, window, flag), and beside them terms phrases, that serve to differentiate relevant concepts like: adresë e hiperlidhjes, adresë e uebit, adresë virtuale (hyperlink address, web address, virtual address), etc.   

Given the present state of the Albanian technical terminology, characterized by intensive developments, but unchecked, a focused institutional guidance by a Central Commission appears to be necessary, where the operation with it as a linguistic activity, needs to be on these levels: national, nationwide and international. The methodological scientific guidance will be performed by linguists, terminologist linguists, terminology specialists and computer scientists specializing in the field of computational linguistics (language engineering).

The standard and standardization of terminology today needs to be viewed in the light of new developments that our country is facing, where, as primary problems arise:

  • The total and integrated inclusion of the technical terminology into the network of terminology within the country, as well as nationwide (where Albanian is the mother tongue-in Albania and Kosovo, and as a second official language-in Macedonia) and international, in relation to other terminologies, especially of large countries and primarily with English terminology, which serves as a standardization template (model) on an inter-lingual level;
  • The treatment of terminology and its standard in Albanian language, which will fulfill the conditions for acquiring the status of an EU language in the near future, needs to be performed in the context of a comprehensive activity for the inclusion of Albania in this International European organization.
  • The solving of standardization issues, of the setting of standard terms and normative ones should be carried out on the basis of strict scientific principles and criteria of the terminology as a science and practical activity, as are primarily the requirements for accuracy and clarity of terms, the setting of equivalent term- concept and vice versa to create for each knowledge field a terminological system that responds adequately to the relevant conceptual system.

Finally, the drafting of a coordinated plan seems necessary, for the technical terminology with the three basic Centers dealing with terminology in Tirana, Pristina and Skopje, as well as International Terminology Centers (Infoterm, Vienna, etc.) [22, P. 302].


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