What Language Do They Speak in Moldova?


What Language Do They Speak in Moldova?

What Language Do They Speak in Moldova?

(Last Updated On: April 9, 2022)


Moldova is a landlocked Eastern European country situated between Romania and Ukraine. Do you have any idea what language they speak in Moldova? If not, you’re not alone because hardly anyone knows the answer to this question.

It turns out that most people don’t even know where it is! However, in reality, Moldova does exist, and it does have an official language called Moldavian. The struggle began shortly after the Soviet Union fell apart when Moldova declared independence and chose Romanian as its national language rather than Russian. Romanian is the primary language in most villages; nonetheless, there are some remote regions where solely Russian is spoken.

what language speak moldova

Soviet Occupation of Moldova

During the Soviet occupation of Moldova, a State Language Law was issued in 1989, declaring Moldovan to be the official language of the country. The “language issue” in Moldova is usually associated with the Russian language and the debate about its status. However, linguistic diversity in the republic is not limited to them. You can learn more about other native languages of Moldova in the video project NM “Moldovan Phrasebook.” In each series, an editorial staff member studies one of the languages of the peoples of Moldova – Armenian, Ukrainian, Gagauz, Bulgarian, Hebrew, and Roma. The teachers are Moldovan journalists, political scientists, activists, and even a rabbi.

people of moldova

European Countries

Many Moldovans emigrate to other European countries, where they frequently learn different languages. Other foreign languages spoken in Moldova include French, Spanish, Italian, and other European languages. Also,  Slavic language like Russian and Ukrainian at the disposal of Moldova have the possibility of securing as an official language on the territory of the autonomous region of Transnistria (it is not controlled by the authorities of the Republic of Moldova). In addition, the Russian language and Gagauz are spoken as official languages on the territory of the Autonomous Region of Gagauzia.

The glottonym “Moldovan” is used in a particular political context, and most linguists consider literary Romanian and Moldovan identical. The number of Moldovans who speak the Russian language is only 5% of the total population of the republic. Mostly these are those who found the time of the Soviet Union. Young people and a little older prefer to communicate in Moldovan or Romanian. The Constitutional Court ruled on January 21, 2021, that a statute approved by parliament making Russian the “language for communication between ethnic communities” was unconstitutional.

Trip to Moldova

When you go on a trip to Moldova, take a Russian-Moldovan phrasebook with you. The fact is that even though the young population is intensively studying English, this language is not considered successful in learning. Therefore, few people own it at the proper level to help you in trouble or orient yourself on the ground if you get lost.

At the same time, in many restaurants of the republic, there is not even a menu in foreign languages. The only good news is that a certain percentage of the inhabitants of the republic still understand Russian. Therefore, at the very least, you can talk to them.

According to political analyst Valery Demidetsky, language and history have become political weapons in Moldova. While politicians are trying to score points on this delicate issue, academicians, whose task is to develop a textbook that everyone would study from, loudly declare that Romanian is spoken in Moldova. Read to know: What is the History of the Russian language?

If you do not want problems and troubles during the journey, it will not be superfluous to use the services of a guide-translator. He will tell you how and where it is better to relax, what to buy, and help in communicating with the local population.

moldava language
language of moldova

Its Official Language: Moldavian

With a population of 3.5 million people, Moldavian is one of Europe’s smallest countries. It shares borders with Romania and Ukraine, as well as several cities that are considered part of Eastern Europe. This includes Odessa, Ukraine’s second-largest city with 1.4 million residents (Moldavian being its official language). The capital city of Chisinau has a population of 707,200 and is located on an island along the banks of the Raut River.

Moldavian or Romanian?

While Moldavia is a distinct region of Eastern Europe that shares a border with Romania, Moldavian and Romanian are different languages. The people of Romania speak Romanian, while those who live in Moldavia speak a dialect of Romanian that is sometimes referred to as Moldavian. There are some differences between these two forms of Romanian.

Interesting facts about Moldavian

It is one of only two Eastern Romance languages that has preserved a stress accent, an archaic characteristic thought to have been common among all early Romance languages. It also retains (to a certain degree) the Latin-derived system of vowel alternations.

Most words are stressed on their first syllable, with some exceptions: for example, casa (house) and mama (mommy). The language does not use verb infinitives or gerunds, and there are no participles. There are three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter, but there is no grammatical gender agreement between nouns and adjectives of different genders as in most Romance languages.

language facts moldavia
Does Moldova speak Russian?

The state language is Romanian, spoken by the ethnic Moldovan majority, whereas Russians, Ukrainians, and others mostly speak Russian.

Are Moldovan and Romanian the same language?

Yes, both are the same language according to Moldova Parliament law.

How do you say hello in Moldova?

“Bună ziua” is Romanian for “hello.” This directly translates to “Hello!”

Is English widely spoken in Moldova?

English is widely spoken in Chisinau, Moldova.

Why is Moldova so poor?

Lack of large-scale industrialization and over-population are the factors behind poverty in Moldova.

What religion is in Moldova?

Orthodox Christianity is the dominant religion with 96% in Moldova.

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