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Home > Mezzofanti > Biography > 1836 to 1838 > Albanese

Sample of Mezzofanti's handwriting in Turkish : Click to enlarge picture
Sample of Mezzofanti's handwriting in Turkish
Another language which Mezzofanti, in 1839, told Dr. Tholuck he had studied, but in which Dr. Tholuck had no means of trying him, was the Albanese. The late M. Matranga mentioned that he also spoke this language with some Albanian students who were in the Propaganda, soon after his arrival in Rome : but that, as they were from upper Albania, and spoke a corrupt half Turkish dialect of Albanese, he conversed but rarely with them. I may add, however, that Signor Agostino Kicci who came to the Propaganda in 1846, assured me, in a note written two years since, that, between 1846, and the Cardinars death in 1849, he had " repeatedly conversed with him in Albanese, and that he spoke it very well." (assai bene.)

For Armenian, Turkish, and Greek, the Propaganda also supplied abundant resources. The students, Hassun and Musabini—the first, it will be recollected, whom Mezzofanti chanced to meet at his earliest visit— ever afterwards continued his especial favourites and friends. With the former he always spoke in Turkish, with the latter in Greek. A youth named Tigrani, supplied him with practice in Armenian ; but to this language, which he enjoyed other opportunities of cultivating, he seldom devoted much of the time which he spent in the Propaganda. It was the same for most of the European languages which he constantly met outside. In the college, for the most part, he confined himself to those which he had no means of cultivating elsewhere.

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