Albanian (shqip ʃcip] or gjuha shqipe [ˈɟuha ˈʃcipɛ], meaning Albanian language) is an Indo-European language spoken by approximately 7.6 million people, primarily in Albania, Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia, and Greece, but also in other areas of Southeastern Europe in which there is an Albanian population, including Montene gro and the Preševo Valley of Serbia. Centuries-old communities speaking Albanian-based dialects can be found scattered in Greece, southern Italy, Sicily, and Ukraine. As a result of a modern diaspora, there are also Albanian speakers elsewhere in those countries as well as in other parts of the world, including Austria, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Turkey. Origin Albanian is often seen as the descendant of Illyrian, although this hypothesis has been challenged by some linguists, who maintain that it derives from Dacian or Thracian. (Illyrian, Dacian, and Thracian, owever, may have formed a subgroup or a Sprach bund; see Thraco-Illyrian). Education Albanian is the medium of instruction in most Albanian schools. The literacy rate in Albania for the total population, age 9 or older, is about 99%. Elementary education is compulsory (grades 1-9), but most students continue at least until a secondary education. Students must pass graduation exams at the end of the 9th grade and at the end of the 12th grade in order to continue their education. Word order In Albanian, the constituent order is subject–verb–object, and negation is expressed by the particles nuk or s' in front of the verb, for example: • Toni nuk flet anglisht "Tony does not speak English"; • Tonis'flet anglisht "Tony doesn't speak English"; • Nuk e di "I do not know"; • S'e di "I don't know".