The question of whether “Moldovan” is a distinct language from Romanian has long been a contentious and politically-charged issue in Moldova. Because of this, both the names “Moldovan” and “Romanian” are used to refer to the language in Moldova.
The Law on State Language, enacted in 1989 when Moldova was still the Moldavian Socialist Soviet Republic, refers to a distinct “Moldo-Romanian” linguistic identity. The state language of Moldova is officially termed “Moldovan” by the country’s constitution, while it is referred to as “Romanian” in Moldova’s 1991 declaration of independence from the USSR.
The vast majority of linguists are in agreement that Moldovan is technically a form of Daco-Romanian, as the two languages are essentially identical. Many leading figures within Moldova, including former Minister of Justice Ion Morei and President Vladimir Voronin, have also acknowledged the Romanian and Moldovan languages to be identical. Moldovan people as a whole, however, continue to assert their right to a distinct Moldovan identity, shying away from being classified as Romanian language speakers.