MoldovaA report today states that Moldova‘s government is planning to declare Romanian the national language.

The Moldovan Prime Minister states that “Moldovan people speak in Romanian like Americans speak in English. The national language can be renamed in the future from Moldovan to Romanian”.

In Bucharest, however, they disagree, saying that Moldovan is not identical to Romanian and is one of the dialects of Romanian language. The argument over this difference has been raging at least since the tiny country became independent in 1991. At this point the official language was declared as Moldovan, and there has been dispute ever since.

This is an important issue as language is a big part of identity, and indeed there is some discussion over what constitutes a Moldovan identity, with a large proportion of the population holding one or more citizenship.

What would the effect be if Moldovans no longer had a language named after themselves? Would they feel less ‘Moldovan’? A census in 2004 found that 60% of Moldovans thought of their language as Moldovan, whilst only 16% considered it Romanian. There is a similar issue in Montenegro, part of the former Yugoslavia, where some people speak and consider themselves Serbian.

What would you think if your national language was to be renamed? Would it affect your sense of identity?