The Republic of Kosovo is a disputed territory and partially recognized state in Southeastern Europe. The state is landlocked at the center of the Balkans and is bordered by Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia, and Montenegro. Kosovo covers an area of approximately 4,203 sq mi, ranking as the 171st most extensive country or dependency in the world, and has an estimated population of 2.2 million, which makes it the 11th most populous state in the Balkans. There are two major ethnic groups in Kosovo, Albanians and Serbs, although other minority groups also exist. The most commonly spoken languages in Kosovo are highlighted below.
The Four Most Commonly Spoken Languages spoken in Kosovo
Given that nearly 90% of Kosovo’s population are ethnic Albanians, is it not surprising that the Albanian language is the most popular. In fact, it is spoken as a first language by 94.5% of Kosovo's population. Albanian is also one of Kosovo's official languages, along with Serbian. The language belongs to the Indo-European language family, and is divided into two dialects, Tosk and Gheg. The majority of Kosovars speak the Gheg dialect.
Bosnian is currently the second most common language in Kosovo, and is spoken as a first language by 1.7% of the population. The language is a form of the Serbo-Croatian language, and is spoken primarily by Bosniaks. Bosnian is recognized as a minority language in Kosovo, as well as in other countries such as Serbia and Montenegro. The language uses both Latin and Cyrillic alphabets, but uses Latin for everyday use, and also has several loanwords from other languages including Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and Arabic.
Serbian is the third most common language in Kosovo, and is spoken as a first language by approximately 1.6% of the population. Serbian is also an official language of Kosovo. However, it was downgraded from the second to the third most common language, at least partly because North Kosovo boycotted the most recent census. Otherwise, Serbian is considered the de facto second most common language. Serbian is a form of the Serbo-Croatan language, and is the only European language that uses both Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. In addition to Kosovo, the language is also spoken in countries such as Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia.
There are approximately 20,000 Turkish people in Kosovo, which represents about 1.1% of the population, and the Turkish language is recognized as one of the state's minority languages. Most Turkish speakers in Kosovo live in Mamusa and Prizren, which are both located in the Prizren District. The Turkish language belongs to the Turkic group of languages, and is the most widely spoken language in the group, with about 15 million speakers worldwide.
Other Minority Languages
Other minority languages spoken in Kosovo include Romani, which is spoken by about 0.3% of the population, Gorani, and several other unspecified languages. English and German are popular languages among youths and expatriates.
Diversity in Kosovo
Although Kosovo is a small state, it is known to be very diverse given its population, culture, and languages. For centuries, several ethnic groups lived together in Kosovo and shared common values. Since Albanians make up the majority of Kosovo's population, they have had significant influence on other communities. In addition to being the most common first language in Kosovo, Albanian is spoken as a second language by almost the entire population. Although Kosovo has no official religion, Islam is most widely practiced.