Speaking Moldovan

This letter to the editor of the Financial Times points out Moldova’s strong linguistic connection to Romania – and the hangover of a Stalinist myth that the country belonged in the Soviet sphere of influence at least from a cultural perspective.

According to the report “Tensions grow over Moldova clashes” (April 9), “most Moldovans speak Moldovan, a language closely linked to Romanian, but a big minority speak Russian and other Slav languages”. Moldovan is, in fact, Romanian.

The news broadcasts on Romanian andMoldovan television are, linguistically, identical. The CIA and theInternational Organisation for Migration describe Moldovan as”virtually the same as the Romanian language”. This insidiousmisrepresentation, begun by Stalin in order to pave the way for theincorporation of Moldova into the Soviet Union, seeks to widen the gulfpolitically between Romania and Moldova and to draw Moldova furtherinto the Russian sphere of influence.

The article did not say,after all, that “a big minority speak a language closely linked toRussian”. A big minority speak Russian, just as most Moldovans speakRomanian.

It is, of course, up to the citizens of Moldova todetermine the nature of their relationship with Romania, Russia, andthe European Union. But the cultural and political realities in Moldovamust at least be accurately represented.

Adriana Fotino,
Boulder, CO, US