Talk:Moldovan language

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Hello, I would like to participate in edition of this article. I have found a very interesting source ( ) with numbers and statistics, which will be very useful.--Elstokin (talk) 10:33, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

You are welcome to participate, however, note that the author of that article is none other than Vasile Stati, presenting his own version of various events in a remarkably biased manner. The statistical data mentioned in the article is also already present here. --Illythr (talk) 13:18, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. I was thinking namely of historical references to the research as of 1776 by M.Costin, N.Milescu Spatare, D. Cantemir, and the spread of knowledge about Moldavian language, Moldavian history and Moldavian ethnology in Europe.--Elstokin (talk) 13:30, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
No one can forbid you working on the article just like that, see WP:BOLD. However, seeing as how Stati represents one party of the controversy, I'd advise you to be very careful about using any text authored by him in the article. Take a look at the last two archives (14 and 15) - there's been several extensive discussions about interpretation of these scholars' works. Perhaps they can help avoid needless repetition of what was written here a year ago. --Illythr (talk) 11:25, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Nothing about the actual language?[edit]

Dialect or not, I see nothing here about the real language. I spent few days in Chişinău and I can say that communication is not that smooth. Perhaps the elders in countryside have a more conservative idiom, this can be pointed out if it's the case.

However it's not only my few days experience, there are scholarly resources as well. For example see "Some Influences of Russian on the Romanian of Moldova during the Soviet Period" by Donald L. Dyer in The Slavic and East European Journal 43.1/1999, p. 85-98. The author does not deny the political pressure, but at the same time he observes that "the dialect of Romanian spoken in Moldova for over fifty years was heavily influenced by the Russian language. [...] [Its] lexica were augmented, in some cases replaced, by Russian vocabulary, their sound system affected by Russian phonology and their syntax altered by Slavic phrasal patterns." (p. 89) The author also makes the difference between the literary standard (closer to Romanian) and vernaculars (more influenced by Russian).

Few examples (from conversations and interviews):

Pe Ion l-au sudit pe doi ani (using the Russian verbal stem sud- 'judge/sentence')
English: John was sentenced to two years
La tine mama-i bolnavă (calqued after u tebja mat' bol'naja)
Standard Romanian: mama ta este bolnavă
English: Your mom is sick
Ion lucrează şofer (calqued after Vanja rabotaet šoferom)
Standard Romanian: Ion lucrează ca şofer
English: Ion/Vanja works as a chauffeur

I'm sure there is much more. Daizus (talk) 12:30, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

The main problem is getting sources. Romanian linguist are not ready to recognise the fact that the language spoken in (southern) Romania is quite different from the one in Moldova (i.e. most people from Romania will have problems understanding what two Moldovans talk about in a normal, non-official, situation), so Romanian sources are for the moment out of discussion. I have no idea what Soviet sources had to say about the problem, since it's hard to get to them. Contemporary Moldovan academia mostly keeps out of this discussion, as any suggestion that the language spoken in Moldova is not exactly the same as standard Romanian will get them branded as Stalinist or Soviet apologists. The only ones left are the West European and US scholars, however when they discuss the problems, they just focus on the political problem, and while almost every one of them acknowledges the two varieties are not exactly the same, they don't present what sets them apart (at most they talk in generic terms, like "accent", "lexis"). If you did found some sources about such problems, you are invited to introduce them in the article.Anonimu (talk) 13:02, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
That was a fast reading on JStor. Online and free I also found Elena Buja's "Attitudes toward bilingualism: a case study of the Moldovan-Russian bilinguals". I will search for few more, to get a better grasp on the actual differences. Daizus (talk) 15:49, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
standard "moldavian" and "romanian" are identical. what people speak on the streets has nothing to do with linguistics. the same problem was endorsed by the soviets when they decreed that standard "moldavian" to be the language of illiterate peasants. go into a jail and see that they will not speak the same as those from a university. also go in bucharest and see if people from ferentari speak the same as those in dorobanti or primaverii. but again you will not find any clear difference by viewing the news on a moldavian tv station or a romanian one. even voronin, when he speaks romanian/moldavian (every once in a while), speaks an identical language as basescu! the real problem is that the russian influence is greater then the power of the romanian culture. romanian lingvistics, just as the moldavian ones say the same: romanian = moldavian. so let's get serios, seeing that the "street language" is different does not make for a new language or people! Prometeu (talk) 22:28, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
What people speak on the streets has everything to do with linguistics. Daizus (talk) 03:31, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Daizus, you are right that we should have details in Wikipedia about the dialectal differences within Romanian; your samples could be valuable. But certainly this article is not the place for those details. As far as linguistics is concerned, the Moldovan language does not exist. Moldovan language is simply another name for the Romanian language. The subject of this article is strictly political. I think I've said it here several times: this article is not about a language, but about the name of a language.
The decades of political separation along the Prut must have led to some dialectal differences. Whether they are small and ephemeral or large and permanent, I don't know. Those differences should be described in Wikipedia, just as all other differences among the varieties of the Romanian language, in an article somewhat equivalent to ro:Graiul moldovenesc. But Moldovan language simply isn't the right title for a linguistics article.
Prometeu, I'm sorry to say, but you're mixing urban legends with scientific truth. More of the former, I'm afraid. — AdiJapan 08:07, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
You can call the article "Romanian in Moldova" or "Moldovan Romanian", but I think it should be a separate article like American English, Quebec French, Brazilian Portuguese and many similar others. This article begins with "Moldovan (also Moldavian; Romanian: limba moldovenească/лимба молдовеняскэ) is one of the names of the Romanian language as spoken in the Republic of Moldova, where it is official. The spoken language of Moldova is closer to the dialects of Romanian spoken in northeastern Romania, and the two countries share the same literary standard.", so at least to me this seems to be the place for details. Daizus (talk) 09:21, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
The current wording of the lead section is the result of several months worth of intense daily fighting (see the hefty archives) and as a compromise it doesn't read exactly what it should. It does say that Moldovan is a name for Romanian though, so obviously since we already have an article on Romanian then this one must have a different subject. And it sure does.
Linguists are clear on this: the Romance language spoken in Moldova is Romanian, nothing more, nothing less, just as the language spoken in the US is English. Under the name of Moldovan language you simply cannot have a linguistics article, because there is no reliable source to back up such a title, for any linguistics subject. Instead, you can have all sorts of language facts and views, including dialectal differences, under a title like those you suggested.
However, you still need a separate article for the political controversy over the naming of Romanian in Moldova. And that title is Moldovan language, because we couldn't come up with anything better; the name bears the controversy in itself and was judged to be the best title.
So it's two distinct subjects: one political, one linguistic. Here we have the political one, even if the title may be misleading to someone who doesn't already know the subject. The other article doesn't exist yet. — AdiJapan 11:11, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
This article is perfect to discuss linguistics. Unlike the majority of US, Brits or Australians, who call their language "English", the majority of Moldovans do call their language Moldovan. The argument that the title may be misleading is an obvious non sequitur. It's hilarious to think that readers of Wikipedia read only article titles, without even looking at the first sentence (and the first sentence makes the identity of the two literary standards very clear). Also, it's natural to think that a reader coming to an article about the "Moldovan language" wants to know about the language spoken in Moldova, and hiding that info through links buried in the text is clearly in violation of NPOV, the only reasons for separating the two perspectives on the language (i.e. glottonym from linguistics) being eminently politicalAnonimu (talk) 11:42, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, Anonimu, I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with you on almost all of your claims.
The perfect place to discuss linguistics stuff is under a title that is used by linguists. That seems obvious to me, and if you are an experienced Wikipedian and believe in verifiability, so should it seem to you. The fact that many Moldovans do call their own language Moldovan is just part of the political subject and has little or nothing to do with linguistics. So go look for the non sequitur in your own garden.
No, readers don't just look at article titles, that's not what I meant. Readers do, however, also read the title; usually this the first thing they do. And when you see a title worded Foo language you naturally think it is about a language called Foo. Well, this article here is an exception. It's not about a language, it's about the renaming of a language. But you are right that readers also generally also read the first lines, and here they discover what the actual subject is: a name, that is, another name for Romanian.
No, a reader who wants to know what language they speak in Moldova goes to the article Moldova. Assuming that the language of a country and the country itself have related names is risky. And no, the information is not hidden in any way.
No, it's not two perspectives on the language, it's one perspective on the language (held by linguists) and two perspectives on the language name (held by politicians and the general public).
But let's make small steps. Do you at least agree with me that a linguistic subject should be discussed using the terminology preferred by linguists? — AdiJapan 12:50, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
PS. A title that truly reflects the subject of this article would be Name of the Romanian language in Moldova, or something like that, possibly also including words like controversy, political, renaming, etc. — AdiJapan 12:57, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
If this article is not about linguistics then why is it linked in the "Eastern Romance languages" box? (this is how I got here). Why not merge it to Controversy over linguistic and ethnic identity in Moldova, or at least rename it and have two articles on the two topics: controversy over ethnic identity and controversy over language? Usually an article about a language, is well ... about that language.
Most of the controversy in our discussion seems however over the name. Another solution is to rename the article, have some sections on history and controversies but dedicate the rest of the space to linguistics.
Meanwhile the section "History and politics" could be enhanced. On JStor I also found Charles King, "The Ambivalence of Authenticity, or How the Moldovan Language Was Made" in Slavic Review, 58.1/1999, p. 117-142, which is about the attempts to create a literary Moldovan language in the 1920s and 1930s. This "ambivalence of authenticity" is about (p. 120):
There is ample evidence that the Moldovans, those in the MASSR as well as those who joined Greater Romania in the territorial changes after 1918, did not think of themselves as unambiguously Romanian in the period between the wars. Under both Romanians and Soviets, peasants referred to themselves and their language as "Moldovan" well into the 1930s, a practice that infuriated pan-Romanian nationalists in Greater Romania. Subjects of the Russian empire from 1812 to 1918, these Moldovans had missed out on all the defining moments in the emergence of a pan-Romanian national consciousness in the nineteenth century.
And there's this consistent footenote, which can be mined for sources:
For evidence of the use of the ethnic designation "Moldovan", see the travelers' accounts in Charles Upson Clark, Bessarabia: Russia and Roumaina on the Black Sea (New York, 1927); Charles Upson Clark United Romania (New York 1932); Em. de Martonne, What I Have Seen in Bessarabia (Paris, 1919); Henry Baerlein, Bessarabia and Beyond (London 1935); Henry Baerlein, In Old Romania (London 1940)
For representative critiques of the lack of Romanian national consciousness among Moldovans, see Arhimandritul Gurie, "Moldovene, învaţă-te a te preţui." România nouă 4 February 1918, 1; Cassian R. Munteanu, Prin Basarabia românească: Însemnări de călătorie (Lugoj 1919); Porfirie Fala, Ce neam suntem? O lămurire pentru Moldovenii din Basarabia (Chişinău, 1920); T. Vicol, "Constatări triste", Basarabia: Ziar săptămânal independent 18 Decembrie 1924, 1; I. Zabrovschi, "Basarabia: Câte-va precizări istorice", Viaţa Basarabiei (journal), 1, no. 2 (1932): 25-28; Al. Terziman, "Mizeria culturală în Basarabia", Viaţa Basarabiei (newspaper), 9 June 1933, 1 and Ion Pelivan, Să vorbim româneşte (Chişinău, 1938)
More details can be read in Charles King's The Moldovans: Romania, Russia, and the politics of culture (1999), a book which is included in this article's bibliography, but not reflected in the text. Daizus (talk) 13:07, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
(RE: to AdiJapan) Err... not quite. The glottonym Moldovan is at least as old as Romanian, and there's nothing political in people calling the language that way. They didn't participate in the nation-building process started by the Romanian state in the 19th century, so they weren't forced to adopt the "standard" name for their language. The nation-building in Moldova took place about 40 years later, and their variant of nation-building preferred the traditional name Moldovan instead of the standarised one in Romania.
If you start from the premise that WP readers have sub-median IQ levels, and fail to grasp a basic fact stated in the lead, I don't know how much you can abide by NPOV. None of the definitions of language implies that two languages must be markedly separated. Language is just a neutral term, a shorthand for "The way Moldovans communicate with each other". (The paradigm about a difference between "language" and sub-"language" was just one constructed by romanticist/nationalist linguist in the 19th century to justify the identification of "nations". Take the term "grai" which Romanian nationalist linguists decided means sub-language, despite the fact that there was no semantic difference between "grai" and "limba", a semantic equivalence still present in vernacular Moldovan).
No, for the user who wants to know about the language spoken by Moldovans, the short mention in Moldova is not enough, just as it's not enough for people desiring to know the language most spoken in the US to look at the US article.
Agreed, at the moment it is not hidden, simply because the info is not present on Wikipedia. But your proposal above shows the intention to hide it.
Again, trying to separate the two perspectives is counter-factual. The "Moldovan language" was not invented out of the blue by Stalin (despite claims to the contrary by Romanian linguists), it just standardised a traditional glottonym and attempted to standardise a dialect for a "literary language" by choosing a variety far from standard Romanian (which is what the Romanian elite was doing in the 19th century, by creating a standard dialect which relegated all words of Slavic origin to a "language spoke by uneducated people", and, when it lacked native words to replace the Slavic equivalents, it preferred importing neo-latinate words, with the intent to create a standard language as far as possible from the standards in the neighbouring countries).
It depends. I consider most Romanian linguist inherently biased in the matter, just as most Romanian historians were biased towards the theory of north-Danubian lands as the main place of Romanic continuity (fortunately, in the latest years, they began to accept the problems posed by such theory). So, until the paradigm shifts, and Romanian linguists stop acting monolithically, I think we can only accept Western linguist as "preferred terminology".Anonimu (talk) 13:32, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

To Daizus. Template:Eastern Romance languages mentions Moldovan and Vlach as alternative names for Romanian. Probably it shouldn't, because the name variation is not a linguistic fact. I agree both to merging the article into Controversy over linguistic and ethnic identity in Moldova and to having two separate articles on the two controversies, linguistic and ethnic. I don't really like the term linguistic controversy, because it suggests there is a scientific controversy among linguists, while in fact the controversy is among speakers and politicians. As much as linguistics is concerned, this article can have a section on the socio-linguistic problem of how speakers perceive their own language and how politicians fight for one view or the other, but that's about it.

The template doesn't give two alternative names for Romanian, but three distinct articles: Romanian, Moldovan, Vlach. All the articles in that box are about linguistics (even Thraco-Roman has a "Language" section). The lead in this article is about a language. The images cover linguistic aspects (one caption reads: "major varieties of the Romanian language"). There are many claims and also weasel words in the text about "Moldovan language" and Romanian. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. Regardless of your intention (or other editors' if you can speak in their name) this article is about a language. Somehow I expected it, but nevertheless I'm disappointed to learn that some Romanian editors don't like to read here there's more about Moldovan varieties, it's not only a standard Romanian language and/or a "grai moldovenesc".
As Anonimu pointed out, a language variety is nevertheless a language. There are articles about American English, Quebec French, Brazilian Portuguese (but also on English, French language, Portuguese language). The name variation is also a linguistic fact. And there are scientific controversies, not about Moldovan being or not a variety of Romanian, but on many other topics, e.g. about the differences between varieties spoken in each country (see D. L. Dyer's article, p. 86-7: "Russian-language influence on the Romanian speech of Moldova is considerable and certainly greater than I had previously reported in discussing influences on phonology and the lexicon.") Daizus (talk) 17:30, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

To Anonimu. I'm afraid we don't mean the same thing when we say language and linguistics. You talk much about glottonyms, their age, two perspectives, etc., but these things don't pertain to linguistics. Linguists don't care what we call a language, they are only concerned with its grammar, vocabulary, phonology and the like. From their point of view we can say that Moldovan is spoken in Chișinău, Cernăuți, Timișoara, Constanța and Satu Mare. But they will tell you it's one language, because that's what they're good at, analyzing languages.

By the way, when I talk about linguists I don't necessarily mean Romanian linguists. They can be from Chișinău, Madrid or Sydney, it's not my problem. True linguistics doesn't care about politics, country borders, governments, unionists, separatists or anything like that. The consensus among linguists is that there is one Romanian language (or Moldovan, name it whatever you like, but they prefer Romanian), with local variations that do not justify having two names for it. If you don't trust Romanian linguists, fine by me, go for Western sources and use their terminology. Now, with this clarification, do you agree that the linguistic facts should be stated using the terminology preferred by linguists?

I think we have a deeper communication problem than I anticipated, so I will stick to the essence and give up telling you that you're wrong where I think you are, otherwise this discussion will be too long. — AdiJapan 16:26, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Just bring the sources talking about the Moldovan vernacular. The article already states that the two literary standards are identical, even PCRM agrees (even if it strongly disagrees with the use of the glottonym "Romanian"), so there's no real a dispute to need further sources. What I thought Daizus requested, and what I support, is that this article presented the differences in vernacular, those that any speaker from Romania can observe, from a linguistic point of view. You (and Prometeu) brought the language politics in discussion. A language is as much cultural context (glottonym, history, tradition, speakers' attitude) as it is linguistics (just read a random WP article about an European language, including the one about Romanian). Thus I oppose the splitting of the two (unless there's a wide consensus on WP and we split the two perspectives for each and every article about means of communication on WP).Anonimu (talk) 17:07, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Please read about dialects. And are you really sure we should use the terminology preferred by (some) linguists? Daizus (talk) 17:49, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I was trying to be concise and save everyone's time. It didn't work.
Daizus, yes, the template leads to three distinct articles, but that's not because there are three distinct languages. It's one language that happens to have three names in three areas. Every systematic approach of the Romance languages classifies "them" as one language, with a number of local varieties. Terms like Moldovan language may occasionally appear in linguistic works, but not to denote a separate language.
I'm not defending the present version of this article, not at all. If you find weasel words, please take them out. It looks like a duck because people with extra-linguistic interests wanted it to look like a duck.
I totally agree that we also need an article about the version of Romanian spoken in Moldova. It would be a linguistic article, showing the dialectal particularities, their evolution, reasons, and so forth. It would be as justified as the articles we have on the American English, Canadian French, etc. That article should rely on linguistic sources and use the terminology therein.
Yes, a language variety is still a language. In fact each of us have our own language, called idiolect, so there are billions of languages in the world, which moreover vary in time and have further circumstantial variations (formal, colloquial, etc.). But not every language variety has a name like Foo language. If you do find a language classification that includes the Moldovan language, it will certainly be the rare exception, because the current consensus is that the Moldovan vernacular is part of the Romanian language.
Yes, I know about the difficulties in defining a dialect, thank you. But it's beside the point here. I'm not saying that the language spoken in Moldova is or is not a dialect. All I'm saying is that when we talk about that language or dialect or whatever we should use the names currently used by linguists. And Moldovan is not it.
Anonimu, you cannot have linguistic content under the title Moldovan language, because linguists don't use this name. If you insist they do, bring on the sources. You might even find something looking like sources, but the overwhelming body of linguistic works on the subject use the name Romanian language. What you can and should have here is the history and reasons for having a second name for the same language. That is, this article is about the controversy.
I'm not splitting anything. You're trying to merge two totally different subjects: a vernacular and a political controversy.
From the linguistic viewpoint here is what things look like: there is a Romance language extending over the territory of Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, and less in other countries. This language has local varieties, 5 or 6 in all, probably more if you look at finer details. It has one single standard, upheld by both AR and AȘM, although we must keep in mind that language standardization is only marginally a linguistic aspect. Prescriptive linguistics (which deals with language standardization) is a small dot within the field of linguistics, even if most non-specialists believe that's all there is, totally neglecting the much much wider descriptive linguistics. In reality all linguistic research is descriptive: it studies how the language is, not how it ought to be.
From this viewpoint it simply doesn't matter what name a language has. But because we somehow must communicate, a name was chosen for that language, and the name turned out to be Romanian. Not my fault, don't blame me for it, I didn't choose it. In the linguistic context the term Moldovan language does not exist, it means nothing, it doesn't have a proper definition attached to it, because it would overlap with that for Romanian. The term Moldovan language appears almost exclusively in non-linguistic contexts, particularly political and social writings. Again, not my fault, but you seem to blame me for it. (By the way, I'm not interested in politics, so I don't care much about the controversy and I don't take any stand in it. From where I am, both Romania and Moldova look small and insignificant. But I find pleasure in studying linguistics and I can see how it's being utterly misunderstood and abused.)
We can have individual articles for any language variety, provided we have sources for it. I'm sure there are sources dealing with the particular variety spoken in Moldova, I just don't have access to them, so I can't start writing an article on that variety, but surely someone someday will. I see an attempt at ro:Graiul moldovenesc, but it lacks sources for most of the linguistic claims.
The definition of Moldovan language is something like "the official language of Moldova" or "the language spoken by Moldovans". The fact that the word language is included in the definition doesn't make it a linguistic definition. For it to be a linguistic definition it must specify the language structure and relationship with other languages. And doing that would unavoidably and automatically make Moldovan and Romanian synonymous, so there would be one too many.
As such, as long as this article is entitled Moldovan language it cannot contain linguistic claims; that would be wrong, because linguists reject the notion of a separate Moldovan language. I believe we agreed that linguistic matter should be discussed using the terminology preferred by linguists.
I do agree that this article should contain linguistic information for those readers who might be misled to think that Moldovan is a distinct language, specifically to help them avoid that misconception. — AdiJapan 10:50, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, this long diatribe just mixes facts and fallacies to assert a political point of view. For simplicity, I'll reduce my request to a simple one : split every thing that's not descriptive linguistics from the article about Romanian language, and then we can have a separate article only about the distinctive features of the Moldovan vernacular. If not, the only neutral thing to do is explaining those features that hinder communication between a speaker of standard Romanian and a speaker of the generic Moldovan vernacular (the spoken form of the "Moldovan language") in this article.Anonimu (talk) 13:31, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Those three articles are not about a language with three different names (and if they are, they shouldn't be), but about three language varieties, spoken in Romania, Moldova and Serbia. It's like saying the articles on Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese and Angolan Portuguese are articles about the same language which happens to be known under three different names in Portugal, Brazil and Angola. But not really. They speak Portuguese in Brazil and Angola but at the same time a different Portugese. As many linguists will tell you there's no real linguistic difference between languages and dialects ("A language is a dialect with an army and navy"). Defining a language involves politics and history and other non-linguistic aspects. It looks like a duck, because it is a duck - it is a language.
"Moldovan dialect" is often used for the Romanian varieties spoken in Republic of Moldova and it's different from ro:Graiul moldovenesc! (in the little what I could read by D. L. Dyer, he also used "Moldovan Romanian", "Romanian speech in Moldova" or simply "Moldovan", however also in contexts like: "I am today more interested in the real effects that Russian-language influence has had on Moldovan, effects to which we are presently witness") I assume "Moldovan language" is not used in formal contexts, not to be confused with the ideological position that Moldovan is a language different from Romanian. However any "Foo" which is a form of speech (phonology, lexicon, grammar) can be justifiably called a "Foo language" (see, for example, the articles on Italian dialects and closer to our topic see Aromanian, is it a dialect of Romanian or a separate Romance language?). Thus I see no problem to have an article on the "Moldovan language", discussing both the political controversies and the language (and most linguists indeed consider it a dialect of Romanian, a fact which is not clearly spelled out in the text of our article here). What I can't understand though is why from a naming issue we get to deny a fair presentation of the Moldovan form(s) of speech, regardless if we end up calling it language, dialect, variety, idiom or whatever (idiolect is a red herring, this discussion is about notable particularities). This article being about the language, it's much easier and constructive to change its name if necessary and not oppose the addition of relevant content.
You end your message by saying "this article should contain linguistic information for those readers who might be misled to think that Moldovan is a distinct language, specifically to help them avoid that misconception". This is admirable, but at the same time pushes a POV, like most of the current article does. The current bibliography supports the existence of a individualized dialect. It is at least as important not to mislead the readers by suggesting there are no differences between the languages spoken in Romania and Moldova. Daizus (talk) 13:52, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

More sources (from a Chişinău journal, Limba Română):

Irina Condrea has also a nice article here: "Formarea identităţii persoanei în condiţii de bilingvism"

These two seem important:

  • Gustav Weigand, Die Dialekte der Bukowina und Bessarabiens (Leipzig 1904)
  • Maria Marin, Iulia Mărgărit, Victorela Neagoe, "Graiuri româneşti in Ucraina şi Republica Moldova" published both in Fonetică şi dialectologie (17/1998) and in Cercetări asupra graiurilor româneşti de peste hotare (2000) Daizus (talk) 15:52, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Anonimu, your simple request is irrelevant, because there is a huge difference between the terms Romanian language and Moldovan language: the latter is never used by linguists to describe linguistic information, of any sort. You still have to find sources to prove me wrong.
Daizus, I completely agree that we can have linguistic information about the Moldovan vernacular under the title Moldovan dialect, although a better title may be found, because this one doesn't specify the dialect of what (Russian? Bulgarian? Ukrainian?). Probably one of Dyer's other wordings might work better for us. But Moldovan language is something else, and specifically it's not a term used by linguists for anything whatsoever.
We also cannot rename this article into Moldovan dialect, Romanian speech in Moldova, or anything similar, because that's not what the Moldovan authorities and Constitution call it.
I'm not denying a fair representation of the Moldovan vernacular, what are you talking about? I have made myself abundantly clear that I wish we had an article on it, and I'm glad you found some sources. I'm just saying these are two distinct subjects, and there is no possible title that can accommodate both subjects under the same umbrella. You either use a political title, not accepted by linguists, or a linguistic title, not accepted by politicians. Whatever you chose, it will be wrong. And no, it's not about the debate around language or dialect, I've already explained that.
Also remember that when politicians and the public say Moldovan language, they mean the whole national language, including in particular the standard (which ironically is called Romanian by those who standardize it). At the same time, when linguists talk about the Moldovan dialect, they only mean the vernacular, specifically excluding the standard language, which by definition is not a vernacular and is anyway identical to the Romanian standard. So it's not just the impossibility of finding an acceptable title, it's also the impossibility of delimiting the actual subject.
But here is the thing: Wikipedia is not the first encyclopedia ever. This so called Moldovan language, if it's an actual language known under this actual name, must have been described in lots of other works. How come we can't find them? I mean, come on, we find works about languages that have much fewer speakers left, that are much more isolated from the civilized world. What's going on?
I'm getting tired trying to explain the obvious. — AdiJapan 18:19, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
It's not my/our problem if you choose to repeat the same things over and over. Many of the works mentioned above discuss both the "Moldovan dialect" (the vernacular) and the "Moldovan language" (the literary language known under that name in Moldova and how it was invented) in the same narrative. Saying an encyclopedia can't do that (when it does for all other languages I presented) is thus a self-defeating position. Not only self-defeating but hypocritical, because this article already covers linguistic aspects, but only to claim "it's all Romanian, what else do you care?". The inconvenient variety and complexity (dialectal, sociolinguistic, etc) is hidden from view.
Of course some linguists use also "Moldovan language", only not so often for the reason I already mentioned. Few quotes excerpted from various materials available on Google Books:
  • Bernard Connie's foreword to Donald Leroy Dyer's Studies in Moldovan: the history, culture, language and contemporary politics of the people of Moldova (1996): "While there is no distinct Moldovan language, Moldovan is still the term by which the indigenous language of Moldova is referred to in that country, and despite the reversion to the Latin alphabet and Rumanian spelling conventions, there are still differences between the written and, one assumes, even more so the spoken languages of Moldova and Rumanian, such as the relative incidence of Russian loanwords in the two varieties. The language of Moldova is thus still a worthy subject of study, especially now that ideological constraints on this study have been largely removed." In a review from Balkanistica (1998) we learn that "a considerable shortcoming" of this book is that "even after reading all seven essays in the collection, one is still left in a position to make no more than assumptions about contemporary Moldovan-language usage".
  • Language Learner Autonomy: Policy, Curriculum, Classroom (2010), p. 258: "The position of Moldovan language has strenghened since 1989. [...] As nearly all Moldovans speak their own language fluently, the demographic data would suggest that the size of the Moldovan language community has increased in both absolute and relative terms."
  • Matthew H. Ciscel, The language of the Moldovans: Romania, Russia, and identity in an ex-Soviet republic (2007), p. 12: "In essence, Moldovan was always the basilect, i.e. the low-status, intimate language, in a diglossic relationship with dominant Russian. This low prestige is also apparent in the attitudes of standard Romanian speakers toward the Moldovan dialect and Russian borrowings, as I will show later. In conclusion, the notion of a separate Moldovan language is sustainable only based on the criterion of social group distinctions, since low status is a poor justification for the existence of a language. In the chapters that follow, I will explore the language dimension of Moldovan identity issues, focusing on competing language groups and the multilingualism that binds them together. The three language identity groups are: Romanian, Moldovan, and Russian."
Thus "Moldovan language" is a legitimate name. It may be controversial, and then you can use "Moldovan Romanian", "Romanian in Moldova", "Moldovan dialect", or simply "Moldovan". Daizus (talk) 20:26, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

False claims here. Speaking Romanian with many Russian loanwords cannot create a language. The authors you mention relate to the "Moldavian Language" as a geographic term, not a real language. The term is used by them just to show that they relate to the Romanian spoken in Bessarabia/Moldavia. If tou try to find differences you will most brobably find them, but it is enough to make for a language or people? Does the misuse of a language can?Prometeu (talk) 20:52, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Not at all, they describe Moldovan language as a real language, a variety of Romanian (which may be constructed "on the criterion of social group distinctions"). If you'd bother to read my replies, and more important to click on the links I provided, you can see that for yourself.
Here are more sources about Moldovan language and Moldovan identity (linguistic or ethnic):
  • Mihaela Narcisa Arambaşa in "Everyday life on the eastern border of the EU" shows the how identities are perceived and assumed in Moldovan villages near the Romanian border. From the people interviewed only 15% want a Romanian passport to feel like a Romanian, most of them want it for practical reasons. When questioned about the mother tongue, 53% of them answered Moldovan, 44% Romanian and 3% Russian. All the village elites referred to Romanian as their mother tongue. When questioned about their ethnic identity, 66% referred to themselves as Moldovan, 17% Romanian, 13% Moldovan and Romanian, 1% Moldovan and Russian, 1% Russian, and 3% made other choices. In Colibaşi a representative of the village elite "had never thought about which nationality" he had: he saw himself as an "inhabitant of Moldova". At the same time 80% agreed that Romanians are their brothers, 77% see Romanians and Moldovans as one nation. Read the study for other figures. "The question for national belonging or identity, hence, might be answered in a flexible, contradictory or even exploitative way by interviewees depending on the concrete discourses and specific situations applying on both sides of the border in a fluid process."
  • Silviu Berejan published this essay about the Russian influence on the Romanian varieties spoken and written in Moldova. Thus the Russian influence (dismissed as "rusisme") affected the language of most of the speakers ("cuvinte şi expresii întregi, folosite curent de majoritatea oamenilor simpli din această zonă a românismului" dar care "au intrat şi în limbajul unor intelectuali"). Apparently there's a Russian influence on the standard written language as well ("prestigiul politico-economic şi cultural al limbii ruse a fost şi continuă să fie foarte înalt [...] fapt ce a determinat şi determină substanţial deteriorarea calitativă a limbii de cultură prin rusificarea terminologiilor naţionale în mai toate domeniile vitale ale societăţii"). If you compare all the papers I gathered so far on language topics, you'll find that the differences between the varieties from Romania and Moldova are obvious, the POV is different. So far it's a bit difficult to combine all these views without violating WP:SYNTH because not all the authors refer to the same things. However it seems the same Russian influence can be dialectal innovation, code-switching (Berejan calls bilingualism "a very dubious social phenomenon" - I think this POV is fringe), slang, or simply dismissed as "pollution", "barbarization", "deterioriation" etc of the Romanian language. Daizus (talk) 15:03, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
These are some childish arguments, misusing a language leads, in your conception, to a completely new language and people. Well you should know that during the 90' the "moldavian" language was even more russified and, according to your conception, we would be entitled to say that there was a different "moldavian" language then compared to today, when it is more less russified. Finding difference in the street language, that is the russified street language, is very far from a different language. Also the rural "moldavian" language might be very less russifiend, thus leading to a third "moldavian" language. Again, the moldavians of geographic Transnistria speak a highly ukranianised/russified language, leading, according to your theory, to yet another "moldavian" language. You are really trying hard to find argument but let's face it - it is simply not enough. Moldavians and Romanians are different only in a sociological sense, not an ethno-lingvistic one. Prometeu (talk) 16:15, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I brought lots of sources already. Sure, scholars always have childish arguments when they don't support the nationalistic and xenophobic POVs. When some other editors will read this discussion and this article, the sources will win the discussion, not the sophistry. I am not trying to win any argument - this is not a forum - and I don't have a theory of my own about Moldovan. What I am trying to do is get more editors to support the enhancement of this article and to find and use reliable sources for that. So far I've found only two opposing Cerberi. But hope dies last ;) Daizus (talk) 17:07, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I did not contested the validity of the presented arguments, but that is way to far to call it a different language. I would like you to take into account that Martin Luther famous book had to be translated into about 14 "German languages" and before the Italian Unification the inhabitants had real problems in undersanting each other. Currently the Germans of southern Germany must resort to standard German in order to understand northern Germans. So were are the 14 German people-language? were are the 7-10 Italian people-languages? Even Germans can't undersand each other comparing with the Moldavians/Romanians that can understand each other without any dificulties.Prometeu (talk) 17:27, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Look, if you want to discuss with me, then read carefully what I write and especially what I link. If you'd have read the article on Italian dialects, for instance, you'd have noticed Tuscan language, Piedmontese language, Lombard language, Venetian language, Emiliano-Romagnolo ("is a Romance language ...") etc. Leaving Italian dialects/languages aside, mutual intelligibility is no reason not to consider a variety a language (have you checked what "language" means, as Anonimu suggested some time ago?), thus in Spain we have Galician language (a Portuguese variety) and even a Fala language (same). Macedonian language is mutually intelligible with Bulgarian. Serbian language, Croatian language (read the lead here: "Croatian is the collective name for the standard language and dialects spoken by Croats"), Bosnian language and Montenegrin language are all mutually intelligible varieties of Serbo-Croatian. A certain autonomy of the speakers and, most important, their own perspective (see above for studies on Moldovan) are usually good enough reasons. As I conceded already, "Moldovan language" is a controversial name because of politics, but even so it is occasionally used (also by scholars!) to name the Romanian varieties from Moldova. If you don't like "Moldovan language", then rename it to "Moldovan Romanian" or "Romanian language in Moldova" - I think I said this too many times already.
As for my point above on "rusisme", the things should be obvious if you know about prescriptivism vs descriptivism in linguistics. Thus some scholars say Moldovan is just Romanian, and the Russian or any other influence is a bad, barbaric, artificial phenomenon, while some other scholars take things as they are: the language of Moldovans is the language they use, not the language some "authorities" would want them to use. Daizus (talk) 18:49, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Daizus, I'd very much like not to be considered a cerberus, and I certainly dislike being put together with Prometeu, if you don't mind. Can you do that for me? Thanks. Anyway, this discussion is not about users.
There is a huge difference between the "Moldovan language" and the languages of Italy. While Piedmontese, Lombard, Venetian, etc. are classified (by linguists, of course) as separate languages, Moldovan is not. Neither with the name Moldovan language, nor with any other name. See for instance the classification at Ethnologue: there are five Gallo-Italian languages and one Romanian language (which has Moldavian as an alternate name). Of course there are dialectal differences within each language. Of course those differences should be described in Wikipedia, possibly in separate articles. But... anyway, you know what I'm about to say, and you don't seem to like it.
No, you cannot rename this article to "Moldovan Romanian" or "Romanian language in Moldova", because then you are in frontal conflict with the terms used by the Moldovan authorities and laws. The official language of Moldova is Moldovan language, nothing else.
I'd like to ask you a simple question, the same question that needs to be answered clearly at every single article in Wikipedia: what is the subject of this article? Please give a definition of what you think the subject should be, as detailed as to avoid any ambiguity. In my understanding, that is the essence of this dispute. — AdiJapan 06:25, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
C'mon man... the only thing separating a "Language" from a "language" is politics. I've yet to see an explicit definition of where language ends and where dialect begins, without mention of politics. Even the existence of a prescriptive standard is purely political, as most of the time (including for Romanian), the standard is an artificial dialect that doesn't correspond exactly to any real existing vernacular. And as "Language" is eminently political, separating the politics of a language from its descriptive presentation (which obviously would be a "vs standard Romanian" in the case of this article) is just trying to assert a political point of view in Wikipedia. As Daizus proved above, linguist do use the term Moldovan language to refer to the vernacular, while nothing the strong similarity with Romanian (we also do this in our article). As for the subject, it's obvious: the Moldovan language, i.e. the mean of verbal communication (aka "language") used by the majority of Romance speakers in Moldova to talk between each other, with a de facto "vernacular standard" that is differently enough from standard Romania that it can hinder communication between the two groups of speakers, and the cultural, and thus political, aspects of this mean of communication. We already have the cultural parts, and it's time we go into describing the vernacular.Anonimu (talk) 09:25, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Much of what you say is true (although strangely phrased), but it does not follow that we should mix the political controversy with the language facts. See the section below. — AdiJapan 11:47, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

I would insist into clearly ostracizing the word "Moldovan" which is invented for the sake of confusion in English, where there is an old word, namely "Moldavian" which has been used to designate exactly that population which we call in Romanian "Moldovean", thus 'Moldovan'. So I urge anyone who favors this duplication of vocabulary to explain why they are in favor of confusion? Otherwise I will reintroduce the proper and old English designation to put an end to confusion. And next I urge anyone who believes there is a controversy to explain the logics of the controversy. And try to translate it in terms of any other European language - they will then realize that what here is called a controversy is a totally artificial, imposed creation, and Wiki should not serve the purpose of this false conflicts. Wike can mention that their is an political line of thinking that was developed under Russian occupation, trying to create an artificial distinction within the Romanian language. Period. Nobody plays around with the distinctions between Swabian and Sachsonian - and they are so much deeper! I could bring dozens of examples, if needed. It should not be needed - Wiki is a free, democratic place, not a place were slaves give right to all directions, in a spineless, political correct, manner.PredaMi (talk) 21:33, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

about the actual language - part 2[edit]

Adi, I know there's a quite a difference between Moldovan and the Italian languages (Prometeu brought Italian and German dialects in discussion), however my paragraph continued with "[l]eaving Italian dialects/languages aside, mutual intelligibility is no reason not to consider a variety a language". And at Ethnologue, "sociopolitical attitudes" on Macedonian are "strong: called 'Slavic' in Greece, considered a dialect of Bulgarian by some in Bulgaria", Serbo-Croatian is a "macro-language" (whatever that means) having three member languages: Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian (no Montenegrin though, but see the Wikipedia article I linked above) and we can read that both Serbian and Croatian were previously "considered part of the Serbo-Croatian language". Galician has 85% intelligibility with Portuguese and Fala is "[i]ntelligible to speakers of Galician". The article currently has this: "The difference between the language spoken in Chişinău and Iaşi and the language spoken for example in Bucharest could be roughly compared to that between Standard British and Scottish or American English." But American English and Scots language have their own language articles, and they are not "graiuri englezeşti"!

You say you don't like being put together with Prometeu, yet as him you argue against "Moldovan language" (on this talk page you've maintained your position for at least two years) because it's no "separate language". Separate as in what? I never denied Moldovan as a Romanian dialect. But the speakers are separated! And some linguists do mention "Moldovan language" when referring to Romanian language in Moldova. Then you add this article can't be renamed (because the official name is "Moldovan language"), so here's your answer: the "Moldovan language" title should stay.

What is this article about? About Moldovan. "Moldovan is the collective name for the standard language and dialects spoken by Moldovans" or "Moldovan is the language of Moldova" followed by a brief summary on controversies. If you worry about literary vs vernacular varieties, then please also read on diglossia and many of the language articles above (e.g. in Brazilian Portuguese article we can read: "The written Brazilian standard differs from the European one to about the same extent that written American English differs from written British English". "Several Brazilian writers were awarded with the highest prize of the Portuguese language". "The written language taught in Brazilian schools has historically been based on the standard of Portugal, and until the 19th century, Portuguese writers have often been regarded as models by Brazilian authors and teachers." However "the spoken language suffered none of the constraints that applied to the written language"). The relation between Moldovan and Romanian is more or less like the one between Macedonian and Bulgarian, Montenegrin and Serbian, Norwegian language and Danish language (there was a naming and identity controversy in the 19th century, at that time many argued that Norwegian is nothing but Danish), Brazilian and Portuguese and as in other similar cases. Daizus (talk) 10:09, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Well, Moldovan language cannot be the name of the standard language, because the standard is called Romanian language by the very people who standardize it. So we cannot have a description of the standard "Moldovan language", since a standard does not exist under that name.
Just as well, Moldovan language cannot be the name of the vernacular, since analyzing vernaculars is done by linguists, not by politicians or lay people, and when linguists publish their findings on the vernacular they call it other names, just not Moldovan language.
As such, Moldovan language is not the collective name for the standard language and dialects spoken in Moldova. Your definition is wrong, it's not verifiable. Moldovan language is something else: it is a politically motivated name for Romanian (and I can back that up with lots of sources). Of course you will find this name also in linguistic works; you find it in descriptions of sociolinguistic facts, in social and ethnic statements about Moldovans, in histories of language policies, and so on.
You ask me, "Separate as in what?" Separate as in separate languages, according to linguists' opinion. As far as I know only Vasile Stati considered himself a linguist and claimed separate Moldovan and Romanian languages. But again, not being separate languages doesn't imply not having separate articles in Wikipedia, because we do indeed have articles on vernaculars and we should. I just want linguistic articles to have linguistic titles, if I'm not asking for too much.
All the other stuff about other languages is irrelevant here and doesn't contradict my claims in any way. I totally agree to having linguistic information in an article with a title that is acceptable to linguists, like we have American English, Norwegian language, Brazilian Portuguese, Scots language, etc. By the way, Ethnologue has separate entries for those languages that have language in their title in Wikipedia, such as Norwegian and Scots. — AdiJapan 11:41, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
My definition is not wrong because a certain editor doesn't agree with it and builds a straw man to dismiss it. Have you read the other articles I linked? Most probably not. Why separate languages? (I did not ask you "separate in what", it was a rhetorical question I answered myself; but you did not read my reply - see also below on Brazilian) Why not just a language? On the "separate language" obsession see M. H. Ciscel above ("notion of a separate Moldovan language is sustainable only based on the criterion of social group distinctions"). On Moldovan as a language see the other sources. I'm adding one more reference, making an explicite mention of mutual intelligibility. Mark Sebba, Spelling and Society (2007), p. 81: "The festival, called Limba Noastră, 'Our Language', celebrated the first anniversary of the reintroduction of the Roman alphabet to the Moldovan language, which until that time had been written using the Cyrillic alphabet. In changing scripts, written Moldovan simultaneously becamse 'reunited' with the Romanian language, with which it is mutually intelligible."
"Moldovan language" is perfectly acceptable to some linguists, to describe both the vernacular (e.g. see above "position of Moldovan language has strenghened [...] nearly all Moldovans speak their own language fluently") but also the literary standard of the language. Claiming otherwise is cecity (physiological or metaphorical) and is not and can not be an argument. "Scots language", "Brazilian Portuguese", "Macedonian language" and many other language articles ( Ethnologue is not the ultimate resource, it has no entry on Montenegrin language for example, it only records it as an alternate name for Serbian ) are both about literary language and vernaculars (obviously you did not read my quotes from 'Brazilian Portuguese' article), both about descriptive linguistics, sociolinguistics, social, cultural and political contexts and controversies and whatever can possibly be relevant to each topic. Removing the vernacular from the rest of the narrative is a blatant POV, attempting to minimize (or even hide) the inconvenient differences.
All language identities and names are politically motivated. And I can back it up with lots of sources, starting with Weinreich's "a language is a dialect with an army and navy". But you were already told all these, only that you did not read them or you chose to ignore them. Daizus (talk) 12:21, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

From the same M. H. Ciscel, "Uneasy compromise: Language and Education in Moldova" in Aneta Pavlenko (ed.) Multilingualism in post-Soviet countries (2008), p. 99-121. The language is named "Moldovan or Romanian" or "Moldovan / Romanian". "Even so, language identity is determined by political and social forces, not merely by structural similarity or mutual intelligibility among varieties. For this reason, a separate Moldovan standard is possible to the degree that Moldovans identify their language as distinct from Romanian. In fact, some studies have found a vibrant ideology of Moldovan linguistic separateness, particularly among the rural population and post-Soviet leadership in Moldova. However, the political insistence on separateness may well be countrproductive to strengthening the status of standard Moldovan/Romanian in the face of the post-Soviet inertial dominance of Russian in some aspects of society. In conclusion, although both the content of the corpus and the need for greater status suggest the opposite, at least the label 'Moldovan language' must be recognized as long as large numbers of speakers of this language continue to invest in the ideology of separateness, even if this separation is superficial." Daizus (talk) 14:33, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Peculiarities of the language spoken in Moldova[edit]

The above long discussion by Dazius is very interesting. In fact, international borders can lead to language splitting, as can be seen not only in Romania/Moldova, but in toher situation like North/South Korea, East/West Germany, Germany/Austria etc. These are often quite recent phenomena that supersede older traditional dialect differences such as between central and northern Romania.

A few examples:

  • German "Januar" - Austrian German "Jänner"
  • German "parken" - Swiss Standard German "parkieren"
  • West German "Plastik" -East German "Plaste"

Notice that Austrian dialects of German are closely related to the neighboring Bavarian dialects, in Switzerland the dialect is closely related to that of Southwest Germany and Alsace, and dialects spoken in the former GDR are as diverse as those in the West.

That said, the name "Moldovan" is not meant to denote the differences refered to by Dazius. Russian words in spoken Romanian are still regarded as colloquialisms by those advocating "Moldovan". As far as I understand, the literary standard is the same in both countries.  Andreas  (T) 16:11, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

There is much absurdity in this to and frow discussion. You take a peasant from just about anywhere, and you will have sometimes problems to understand his speech, even if it is not defined as a local dialect. In German, in French, in Italian or English you will have this happen - and the distinction is most of the times much deeper than the one between the spoken language in Chisinau and the one in Bucarest. We should therefore ask what do all these long chats mean, from a distance, from the perspective of attempting at least some unified attitude towards the distinctions language/dialect/idiom. The controversy then vanishes. It is not fair to present an evidence as a controversy. The truth is different - the language spoken in Bessarabia (East Moldavia, Moldavian Republic - Moldovan is also a non-word, never existed in English, invented just for the sake of confusion) is Romanian with a Russian impact. Just like DDR German definitely had words unknown in western Germany. And for so much more, the reminiscence of German spoken by the Volga-Germans were strongly influenced by Russian - yet nobody went there to stipulate the existence of some other, inexistent language. So PLEASE, allow common sense and not political correctness to guide you, folks!PredaMi (talk) 21:19, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

I thank Andreas for his down to earth contribution. Since Wikipedia sometimes has sleepy discussion, I would like to mention that, in lack of comments, I will personally elliminate the confusion between Moldovan/Moldavian and switch back to correct English, namely "Moldavian". Concerning the question of whether we may speak of a language or not, there is only one really close comparison in Europe: the allemanic dialects. Some people may understand Alsacia as territories with some similitude to Eastern Moldavia (Bessarabia). Fact is that they are part of a larger area of territorries - which have never been one country, much to the difference of Moldavia which has been so for 500 years! - where Allemanic dialects are spoken. This goes from B-Würtenberg, over German - Switzerland and Voralberg to Alsacia. Now imagine that some French Academy would follow the Russian model, and invent a new language called "ALLEMANIQUE" (say) - and that language would happen to be very close to Swiss and to Schwäbisch, but less so to written German. Therefore, in terms of facts they would have more reason for their invention than the russians had for inventing moldavian language. I urge anyone hear to explain, for what reason they believe that nobody has invented Allemanique yet? I bet you, I know that dialect and it is at least as overflooded with french words and expressions, as the spoken language in Chisinau became overflooded by russian terms, it is natural and obvious. Yet the French still have the common sense not to declare that into an independent language, and start an independent, french study of german 'languages'. I pretend that the civilized attitude is the one that Wikipedia should follow, the conclusion being that there is as much of a Moldavian Language as there is of a Allemanique Language!

As a last remark - some people tried desperate comparisons to Scottish, etc. I would like to recall those inovative individuals that Scottland has been over periods independent as a whole, like the Principality of Moldavia. And, whoever has heard them speak, will know that they speak a 'grai' with as pronounced dialectal differences as Swiss German to written German. But the main point is not this, the main point is that the discussion here is about the language spoken in the half of a historical region, which was occupied by abuse of international right (clear text: as a consequence of a peace between tirants, the Hitler - Stalin pact). So it is a half language, therefore not Scottish is the correct metaphor, but Allemanique, a language whose existence nobody will ever dare to claim, although the phonetic - linguistic base exists to a larger amount that in the case under discussion. I leave it to all participants to draw their own conclusions. PredaMi (talk) 21:48, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

March 2014[edit]

Anonimu and others, please abide to the current consensus on the introduction of this article. This article is about the name "Moldovan language" wich is used in some official documents in Moldova as the official designation of the Romanian language in Moldova. By that I mean especially the Constitution of Moldovan. Other legal documents use the name Romanian (Declaration of Independence, various other laws, the education system) use Romanian. Others use "the state language" to avoid choosing a designation or other. People's opinion varies. While in the capital city of Chişinău the absolute majority named their language Romanian even by the 2004 census, in rural areas the absolute majority uses the term Moldovan. Of course, without implying the language is different. Websites in turn use overwhelmingly the term "Romanian". All sources are found in the article. Please read it! Stating that "Moldovan is the name for Romanian in Moldova" is false, as a large amount of legal texts, people and businesses use the term Romanian not Moldovan.
I also reverted your changes about the decision of the Constitutional Court. The decision itself as well as all press reports I have found show that the Constitutional Court ruled the official designation to be "Romanian". There is no need to talk about the prevalance of the Declaration of Independence in the general context, as there is explicit reference to the designation Romanian language in the Courts´ decision as well as in the press. I added more sources so it is better referenced: as you can see the text written in the article is the exact copy of those sources' title. Changing or distorting those sources means breaking the rules of Wikipedia. I rephrased the whole introduction to avoid doubts. --Danutz (talk) 11:45, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
That's not a consensus, that's you opinion. "Moldovan language" is not jut some legal fiction, it is a name commonly used by people in Moldova (and Ukraine, and Russia) to refer to their own language. Yes, in its formal register the language is barely distinguishable from the language commonly referred to as Romanian, but that doesn't change the fact that, as far as we know (per census results), the majority of the language's speakers in Moldova call it Moldovan. In order to recognize that it is not the sole designation of the language, I'm going to change the article to its indefinite form. Your formulation ignores the real existing use of this term among the population, and thus fails WP:NPOV.
Actually, the official press release only mentions the language issue to describe the initial request. The actual conclusions decided that the Declaration of Independence prevails over the Constitution, that means indeed in the matter of the official language, but also on any other matter covered by both text. The prevalence of the Declaration over the Constitution is thus the only legal justification for calling the language Romanian rather than Moldovan, and we should mention that in the lead.
Since the article is called "Moldovan language" and not "Official language of Moldova", I've rewritten the lede following the structure of the version that provided more context for the former term, with the decision of the Constitutional Court concluding a paragraph describing a chronological overview of the term's status. While the WP:MOS recommends to keep refs in the lede at a minimal level and not make it into a ref farm, I've decided to let them be; however, in my opinion they are redundant, as nobody contests the facts (they're also ugly and may signal to the reader that something is wrong with the phrase, since somebody took the effort to find so many sources for a seemingly simple fact). A couple of them (preferably the official press release and one secondary source) would suffice, and would be best placed in the content of the article. But whatever...Anonimu (talk) 19:52, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Anonimu, while I mostly agree with your edits, I just want to point out that you can read the whole decision of the CC on their website (you have it cited in the article). Paragraph 124 is at its end and it directly refers to the Romanian language.
The CC of Moldova has in its attributions to interpret the Constitution. What it did, it interpreted two constitutional norms (the Declaration of Independence and Article 13) and decided the former prevails over the latter:
"Prin urmare, Curtea consideră că prevederea conţinută în Declaraţia de Independenţă referitoare la limba română ca limbă de stat a Republicii Moldova prevalează asupra prevederii referitoare la limba moldovenească conţinute în articolul 13 al Constituţiei." (para. #124 )
Actually I guess it is obvious from the title of the decision that it adresses the article 13: [1] "Hotărâre Nr. 36 din 05.12.2013 privind interpretarea articolului 13 alin. (1) din Constituţie în corelaţie cu Preambulul Constituţiei şi Declaraţia de Independenţă a Republicii Moldova (Sesizările nr. 8b/2013 şi 41b/2013)."
The decision of the CC is legal binding so talking just about the Article 13 would be a truncation of the Constitution (which is composed out of the Decl. of Independence and out of CC's interpretations) and while I agree that this article is not necesarrily about the "official name of the language in Moldova", we cannot extrapolate the Article 13 from the context, because we end up distorting the current state of affairs which is that the Declaration of Independence is part of the Constitution and that Romanian is the official language. Of course Moldovan is still written in the Article 13, but the Court interpreted that this precise article (see quote) is superseded by the Declaration of Independence. That is why all independent press sources (from Moldova, Romania, Russia, USA and elsewhere, including Komsomolskaya Pravda, Vesti, RIA Novosti, etc.) all noted that "Romanian is/became/was recognised as the official language".--Danutz (talk) 05:30, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Suggested merge into Moldavian subdialect of Romanian[edit]

It has been suggested that we merge this article into Moldavian subdialect of Romanian. I must say I totally disagree, for the simple reason that these are two very distinct subjects, on all conceivable dimensions:

  • The Moldovan language is not a linguistic subject. It is a political and social one, a matter of ethnic self-identification. There exists no reliable source on the Moldovan language as a language, as a linguistic subject. There are instead lots of sources published by linguists that discuss the precisely non-linguistic character of the subject, the lack of linguistic substance of the term "Moldovan language".
  • On the contrary, the Moldavian subdialect of Romanian is a legitimate linguistic subject, treated in reliable sources. However, this subject doesn't have any political, social and nationalistic overtones. It is a purely scientific matter.

Moreover, what some people call Moldovan language is something else that what is called Moldavian subdialect. Moldovan language refers to the Romanian language within the Republic of Moldova territory and comprises all dialectal varieties, including the standard language (in fact, it refers especially to the standard language), which from the linguistic viewpoint is identical to the standard used in Romania. On the other hand, the Moldavian subdialect is a regional variety of Romanian, spoken not only in the Republic of Moldova, but also in the eastern part of Romania.

In short, the two articles are not even about two aspects of the same thing. They are about two different things. — AdiJapan 04:01, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Your last sentence answers your suggestion: two different things means two different articles. There's nothing to merge.Anonimu (talk) 08:05, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
It wasn't my suggestion, but Codrinb's. I came here to speak against it. Actually, I would have just removed the mergeto template from the article, but I thought it would be nicer to first say why merging was a bad idea. — AdiJapan 12:57, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Ok, now I understand. My bad.Anonimu (talk) 17:51, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Inaccurate article[edit]

I ran into this article by accident and I couldn't help but notice that this article states some things that are not true.

For example: "Soviet policy emphasized distinctions between Moldovans and Romanians due to their different histories" Moldova was part of Romania, how do they have a different history?

The facts mentioned in this article do not add up. I think this article is very biased and that it need to be rewritten from scratch. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:630:340:1006:0:0:F:4412 (talk) 16:51, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

How is this not true? It's supported by the article Moldovenism (related: Controversy over ethnic and linguistic identity in Moldova), as well as the history of Moldova (see also Moldova#Modern history and Moldavia). It was not always part of Romania, and during Moldova's time in the Russian Empire, steps were taken to phase out use of the Romanian language and make Moldova more Russian. The Soviets did the same. clpo13(talk) 17:05, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

In the infobox, how to say it's retired?[edit]

Per ISO, mol is retired. I would like to mention it in the infobox next to the code itself, but I couldn't find any example on template documentation neither on any other languages ISO codes of which are marked as retired (e.g. mhv Arakanese, lmt Lematang, eni Enim; see full list of Google results). So how to do it? --Gikü (talk) 11:13, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

The language code is retired. The language name [exists] under ron code. So it's more like "re-coded" rather than "retired".--Volta Mwamba (talk) 03:48, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

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External links modified (February 2018)[edit]

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Speaker numbers[edit]

Can someone supply how many people speak this?