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Nansen Model for Intercultural Education

Promotion of a Macedonian-Albanian / Albanian-Macedonian Phrasebook

In its efforts to fulfil its vision as a non-governmental organization that promotes better education based on interculturalism and interethnic cohesion, Nansen Dialogue Centre from Skopje encouraged the development of a Macedonian-Albanian/Albanian-Macedonian phrasebook, a project supported by the High Commissioner on National Minorities of OSCE, and prepared by two authors, university professors, Dr. Berton Sulejmani and Dr. Veselinka Labroska.

The phrasebook was published in 2019, and consists not only of a classic print edition, but also of an electronic version available free of charge at a special internet address intended for this phrasebook which has been designed by Vane Rujkov as a designated electronic application, where the dialogues can be heard being spoken by appropriate speakers of a given language. The phrasebook is available on the following website www.fraza.mk. Additionally, the phrasebook can also be downloaded for free on a mobile phone – Android from the Play Store and iOS from the App Store.

The phrasebook contains the following sections: Preface, Content, Keywords where the following contents are given: Numbers, Greetings, Expressions of politeness, Days of the week, Months of the year, City names in the Republic of North Macedonia, Names of larger cities in the nearest region, Names of countries, Holidays, Albanian-Macedonian phraseology, Macedonian-Albanian phraseology and then, the central part of the book contains a total of 42 Dialogues, describing different situations from the daily life of a group of high school students (parts of the titles of the dialogues are as follows: In the taxi, At the train station, On the train, In the kiosk, By city bus, In the gymnasium, At the post office, On the way to the airport, Information, Meeting people, In the summer camp, In the registry office, At the shoemaker, In the restaurant, In the market, Out for a walk, Boat trip, etc.).

The dialogues are conducted by specific characters and reflect the real standard pronunciation in both languages, but with colloquial vocabulary wherever there is a need for the dialogue to sound more natural. After each dialogue there is a short vocabulary with words/expressions from the given topic discussed in the dialogue, as well as a short grammatical content for a selected word from the specific dialogue (verb form, noun, adjective, pronoun, conjunction, preposition, article, etc.), all this beautifully designed and made by the authors, Sulejmani and Labroska. As a way to enrich the knowledge, at the end of each dialogue there is a proverb, usually identical in meaning and word composition in both languages, Macedonian and Albanian. The dialogues are enriched with content that offers interesting geographical and historical data about the places of characters from the phrasebook.

With the help of this phrasebook for learning Macedonian/Albanian language, the first of its kind in our environment, anyone who wants to learn by simply listening to the pronunciation, but also with the simultaneous opportunity to follow the correct writing of the given statement, can now do it faster and easier, with a few clicks on the phrasebook’s application www.fraza.mk or, more classically, by using the printed version.

With this phrasebook, Nansen Dialogue Centre from Skopje and the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the OSCE have enabled the implementation of yet another beautiful project for a better understanding in this part of the Balkans, through the realization of values of multilingualism, creativity and originality. This phrasebook, as well as the previously published two-way Macedonian-Albanian/Albanian-Macedonian Dictionary (available at www.hcnm-ndc.org), represent another step forward in the direction of better interethnic understanding and cohesion in the Republic of North Macedonia.