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4. National Language and its Formalization

4.1 Status and Recognition

“Moldovan language” or “Moldovan-Romanian” is the official name for the official language of the Republic of Moldova, being the mother tongue of 2.5 million inhabitants of Moldova. Its essence as an independent language is disputed, because linguistically it is Romanian. Most linguists and specialists in Romanian language assert that the Moldovan language is simply another name for the Romanian language, accepted for political motives and promoted during the Soviet period as a way to separate the Romanian-speaking population of Moldova from Romania. However, there are also linguists who support the idea of the separateness of the Moldovan language.

Until 1989 “Moldovan” was written with Cyrillic letters, since then with the Latin alphabet.

The Law regarding the use of languages on the territory of Moldovan SSR, which was adopted in 1989 and is still valid according to the Moldovan Constitution, mentions the existence of the “Moldo-Romanian” identity. The present Constitution of the Republic of Moldova calls the official language “state language”, and languages issues – such as the name of the language – still arise heated debates. In the break-away republic of Transnistria, “Moldovan” is one of the three official languages, the other two being Ukrainian and Russian. In the Gagauz Autonomous Region in the southern part of the Republic of Moldova, the Gagauz and Russian languages also serve as official languages.

4.2 Major Textbooks

  • Литература ши арта Молдовей, Енчиклопедие, в. 1 [Literature and Arts of the Moldovans. An Encyclopedia, part 1], ред. А. Тимуш. Chişinau 1985.
  • Енчиклопедия Советикэ Молдовеняскэ [Soviet-Moldovan Encyclopedia]. Chişinau 1970–1978.
  • Eremia, Anatol: Contribuţii la studiul formării cuvintelor în limba moldovenească [Contributions to the Study of the Formation of the Moldovan Language Formation] Chişinău 1979.
  • Dîrul, Alexandru: Limba moldovenească literară contemporană. Morfologia [The Contemporary Moldovan Literary Language]. Chişinău 1983.
  • Limba română vorbită în Moldova istorică [The Romanian Language in the history of Moldova], 2 vols. Eds. Klaus Bochmann and Vasile Dumbrava. Leipzig 2002, 2002.
  • Stati, Vasile: Dicţionar moldovenesc-românesc [Moldovan-Romanian Dictionary].Chişinău 2003.