November 28, 2009
CHISINAU -- In a sign of growing rapprochement with neighboring EU-member Romania, Moldova's government has changed the language signs on all of its websites from "Moldovan" (MD) to "Romanian" (RO), RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.
The Moldovan Constitution states that the official language of the country is "Moldovan," although most linguists say the language spoken in Moldova does not differ enough Romanian to be considered a different language.
The new pro-Western government has said it will try to amend the constitution in the future to remove the "Moldovan language" concept.
The term "Moldovan language" was coined by the Soviets after they annexed what is now Moldova from Romania at the beginning of World War II.
They also imposed use of the cyrillic alphabet in the new Soviet republic, to differentiate it even more from the Latin-writing Romania.
Romanian President Traian Basescu has said that Moldovan leaders from previous governments have requested a translator during official meetings with their Romanian counterparts, despite speaking essentially the same language.