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Moldovan language: What language is spoken in Moldova?
There is no real Moldovan language in Moldova. Or rather, one usually speaks the Moldovan language in reference to the Romanian language, which is widely used within the country. Romanian is a Romance language spoken by about 75 per cent of Moldova's population. However, Moldova is a multilingual country, which means that there are also minority languages, listed below:
The Russian language is widespread, especially among the ethnic Russian people and those who lived under Soviet influence. According to some estimates, about 14% of Moldovans speak Russian as their mother tongue.
Ukrainian is a Slavic language that is spoken mainly in the north-western part of the country, where Moldova borders Ukraine. The speakers, according to some estimates, make up about 6% of the population.
One of the main language minorities in Moldova is Gagauzo, spoken by about 4% of Moldovans. It is a Turkic language spoken mainly in the autonomous region of Gagauzia, located in the southern part of the country.
Bulgarian, spoken by a small minority of the Moldovan population, is also a Slavic language spoken in the south-western part of the country, on the border with Bulgaria.
Thus, the official language in Moldova is Romanian. Romanian is the mother tongue of the majority of the Moldovan population, is derived from Latin and is similar to other Romance languages such as Italian, French and Spanish. The Moldovan language respects most of the grammatical rules of the Romanian spoken in Romania; however, there are some minor differences in pronunciation (e.g. with the letter 'a') and vocabulary. In general, however, the two peoples manage to understand each other well even when communicating with these two different varieties of Romanian.
But what language do they speak in Moldova besides the official language? Along with Romanian, Russian was one of the official languages in Moldova during the Soviet period. Later, in the early 1990s, the Russian language lost this status but continued to represent a large group of people. Even today, as we saw earlier, Russian constitutes the largest linguistic minority in the country.
Romanian is written using the Latin alphabet with the addition of some letters with diacritical marks such as 'ă', 'â', 'î', 'ș' and 'ț'. It has a complex grammar, with the presence of three genders for nouns (masculine, feminine, and neuter) and five cases (i.e. the nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and vocative). In addition, the verbal form of the subjunctive is also used in Romanian to express wishes, doubts or hypotheses, and adjectives are matched in gender and number with the noun.
The vocabulary is very rich and varied, with many words derived from Latin, Greek and Turkish. Also, many words that are similar or identical to words in other Romance languages, such as Italian, Spanish and French. The pronunciation of the Romanian language can be difficult for non-native speakers, due to some vowel and consonant sounds that may be different from those of other languages. For example, the 'ț' in Romanian is pronounced as a 'ts', while the 'ș' is pronounced as a 'sh'.
In this section, we provide a short list of basic expressions and terms in the Romanian language, which may come in handy while you are in the country. Learn them by heart before your trip to Moldova!
Thanks / Thank you very much
Mulțumesc / Vă mulţumesc
Sunteți bineveniți / Cu plăcere
Îmi pare rău
I didn't understand
Can you please repeat?
Poţi să repeţi, te rog?
I don't speak Romanian
Nu vorbesc româneşte
I'm Italian / I'm Italian
Sunt italian / Sunt italiancă
Where is the toilet please?
Unde este toaleta, vă rog?
How much does it cost?
Cât va costa?
As always, we at Sprachcaffe recommend learning a new language for many different reasons: to communicate more easily with people of different nationalities, to have more job opportunities, and in general to expand your knowledge. At Sprachcaffe you will find various study holiday packages with numerous destinations in many countries around the world, such as England, Spain, France, Morocco, Canada, and the United States. Want to learn the Romanian language and move to Moldova? The process is always the same! Find a foreign language school and enrol in the various courses available by staying in the city for some time. In
This way you will not only learn the language directly from the speaker, but also get to know the deeper aspects of a new culture.
If you wish, you can also opt for online courses to learn languages. These are group or private lessons, which you can manage according to your own time and needs, and also according to your initial level of preparation. On our website, for example, you will find courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. Take our test to find out where you should start, and if you have any doubts, don't hesitate to contact us! You can do this digitally through the form on the website.