If you do have a language or linguistics background, then you know that "Romanian" refers to a Romance language spoken in the Balkans — a Romance language with influences from Slavic — cue in the inhabitants of the nation Romania.
Unconsciously, everytime I refer to Romanian myself, a picture of Romania comes up in my mind. With the attention given recently to the Moldovan accent, I'm on a mission to change that.
Everytime I say "Romanian" now, I will imply the term "Romanian-speaking world", modeled after the colonial Romance languages spoken in many countries — Spanish-speaking world, synonymous with Latin America and Spain, also including the various nations with a significant number of Spanish speakers where Spanish is not an official language, though certainly an influential one.
What else could "Romanian" refer to, if not to the national language of Romania? Well, you see, there's an even smaller country right next to Romania which has Romanian as its official language as well — one tiny country that is rarely the subject of any conversation. A country tied to Romania itself historically and linguistically. A European state that shares its name with a region in Northern Romania: the Republic of Moldova. Romania at least has Transylvania for which people worldwide may know of Romania (even if they think it's near Rome); the Republic of Moldova has none of that (well, it had O-Zone a few years back, but even then, the band was said to be "Romanian" most of the time).
With this in mind, my resolution is to give Moldova its deserved place on the map. My proposition is that everytime we think of the Romanian language, we conjure up an image of both Romania and the Republic of Moldova as one unit — the two countries in which the language is official and is used everyday at a national level.
So that instead of just this:
We add this:
To come up with this, visually:
|Romania + the Republic of Moldova as one entity|
The popular speech of the Republic of Moldova is very similar to what is heard in the Romanian region of Moldova. Among the most notable differences between the regional Moldovan accent and the Romanian standard are: unstressed, final e becoming i; ci is rendered as și; and the combination bi results in ghi, making a word like limbii sound like linghii, coincidently closer to its Latin root (LINGUAE with [ŋg], not with [mb] as in Standard Romanian). The formal accent, however, like the one used in television broadcasts, is almost identical to what is heard in a formal context in Romania. Generally speaking, all the di's (for de), șâ's (for și), and ghini's (for bine) are absent from formal speech from what I have been exposed to so far.
I ended my previous post saying that "becoming familiarized with the Moldovan accents is a step forward towards getting to know the speech of the Republic of Moldova." And it's true. As an example, I found the following text written in a Moldovan accent (from the Republic of Moldova) by a Moldovan living in Romania. With very few changes, I could swear this was spoken by a Moldovan on the Romanian side of the border:
Uăi moldoveni. Voi şi, nu ştiţi şi sărbătoari-i az? Az noi ni felişităm cu şeia şi nu avem, “cu limba, bre oamini buni”. Iaca, noi grăim ca şiubotili, ni-o zâs unu az. Da eu i-am râs în faţâ, uăi, îi zâc, şiubotili nu grăiesc, dacâ ar grăi, ar faşi-o mult mai ghini decât noi, moldovenii. Eu nu înţăleg, eu nu prişep, di şi avem noi zâua linghii. Uăi, eu aş vre sâ nu avem zâua linghii, dar sâ avem limbă. Dacâ vreţ, este ca şâ de zâua fumeii. Noi, moldovenii, respectăm fumeia numai de zâua ei, dar şâ atunşi pânâ când ni îmbatăm…And he says zâua (just like the Romanian Moldovans), one of my favourite pronunciation features about the Moldovan accent. Welcome, Moldova!