How Does One Say Troll in Albanian?

My post on Kosovo invited thoughtful commentary from “John” (, who shares the namesake of my favorite Albanian but apparently not his sense of humor. Among other things, it convinced me that removing my comment policy from the sidebar was a mistake. As for what John actually wrote, I’m not going to litter my comment database with his “writing,” but I have reprinted the entire comment below.

John begins,

Kosova has never been Albanian dick?

At first I wondered if John was trying to call Kosovo the male member of Albania, then I realized he just forgot a comma. For his efforts, we’re sending John a complimentary copy of Eats, Shoots, & Leaves.

But wait, there’s more–

Kosovars have been there 5000 years ahead of the time Serbs came from Mongolia.

Two things here: first, in the words of Robert Plant, it really makes me wonder, when did 5,000 years become the gold standard for historical legitimacy? Those of us in Asia have heard it from Korean and Chinese nationalists for the last decade, so perhaps there was a secret meeting of hypernationalists from around the world in the late 90s — a sort of Davos for Evil — that encouraged them to all start using the words “5,000 years” in their propaganda. Anyways, it will come as news to most historians that there was anything like a “Kosovar” (read: Albanian) identity 5,000 years ago or that the Serbs came from Mongolia. (The Slavic peoples were historical victims of the Mongolians, not Mongolians themselves.)

This brings me to the second point: the ruthless way that both sides have sought to “orientalize” their enemies. For example, on the Serb side we hear such rhetoric as recognizing Kosovo “grant[s] new legitimacy to centuries of Ottoman violence,” thus making the Albanians Turks-by-association. John’s attempt to smear the Serbs as Mongol interlopers is, I suspect, a popular meme on the Albanian side, yet just as ridiculous. Though both sides are ultimately wrong, in this fight the Serbs may have the stronger side of the argument, since the Albanians really do have a link to the Muslim invaders of the region. (I eagerly await John’s next comment where he proves that “Mohamed” and “Ibrahim” have been Albanian names for 5,000 years.)

Returning to John’s correspondence, he gives us this little non-sequitir:

Do you think the whole world reads the history with your ass eyes?

I’m not sure what “ass eyes” are, but if plastic surgeons can give Asians double eyelids, they can surely correct my condition. Note that John’s use of “the history” suggests English is his second language, which, given that his ISP is in New York, makes me rethink my liberal stance on immigration.

We are left with John’s parting shot:

Don’t try to teach the world how to read idiot!

I don’t know how to read idiot but I can read English and some Chinese. Oh, wait…


2 thoughts on “How Does One Say Troll in Albanian?

  1. Very astute commentary on the Albanian insistence on ownership of Kosovo, by dint of longevity of occupation, whilst ironically living anywhere else except Albania, it seems.
    You couldn’t make it up.

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