Romanian Language: History, Challenges, Preservation

Today, International Mother Language Day is celebrated worldwide to recognize the diversity and importance of mother tongues within our global society.

Founded by UNESCO in 1999, this day honours the right to cultural and linguistic identity. A mother tongue is a core element of an individual's and community's cultural heritage, and this day emphasises the importance of preserving linguistic diversity in our changing world.

The Romanian language's situation, given its history and geopolitical context, is a subject of continued interest and concern for many. Throughout history, it has faced various influences and pressures. During the Soviet period, policies of Russification heavily impacted the Romanian language, with restrictions on its use in education and public administration.

Today, amidst significant migration, the Romanian language faces new challenges. Many children born to Moldovans outside the country lose their connection to their mother tongue or never learn it. However, the diaspora offers opportunities for children to learn and cultivate the Romanian language, including its correct pronunciation and writing.

Veronica Tcaci, a Romanian language teacher with over 20 years of experience, launched the "Speak Romanian with Nika" project during the pandemic. A friend's desire to help her child maintain their Romanian language skills inspired this initiative. Since then, Veronica has worked with groups of children from the Romanian diaspora in countries like Italy, Ireland, Germany, the UK, and others.

"The initiative came about during the pandemic when parents were unable to return to the country. After two years in their new environments, they felt the Romanian language slipping away. I began lessons with a child from Ireland, and now the project is over two years old," says teacher Veronica Tcaci.

This project helps children in the diaspora improve their Romanian and stay connected to their culture and identity. It fosters a deeper appreciation for linguistic and cultural values.

International Mother Language Day reminds us to celebrate the richness of linguistic diversity and to support efforts worldwide that protect and promote these languages, which are vital to our identities and cultural heritage.

Translation by Iurie Tataru

Doina  Pozdirca

Doina Pozdirca


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