I can understand some of it, but not always. At the same time, I have been living in Moldova for 30 years and I still haven’t managed to learn the language. Why?
The answer is very simple – I didn’t need it. Of course, I felt a bit uneasy when I was in an environment with speakers of Romanian, but it didn’t happen to me that much. I surrounded myself with Russian-speaking friends and colleagues, consuming a huge amount of Russian-language content from TV and the Internet. It’s no secret that almost everyone in Moldova knows Russian. And if there’s no need, the brain doesn’t understand why it should have to bother.
I tried several times to learn Romanian – with the help of language courses, teachers, dictionaries. But insufficient need killed any motivation and I couldn’t force myself to learn it.
But now it’s different. Things have changed. With each passing day I realize more and more that I NEED Romanian. I need it as a basic skill. I am aware that I need to learn Romanian, to start speaking and writing Romanian. This awareness has been steadily growing in me, but the last straw was… war.
It is paradoxical that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has done much for the development of the Romanian language. And it’s not about rejecting everything that is Russian language and culture. Russian culture will always be the main part of my personal culture, and this will never change. The war did an amazing thing. It killed the attractiveness of the Russian language. Unfortunately, it is now increasingly associated with aggression. And outside the borders of Moldova I often find myself avoiding to speak Russian.
That’s why one of the main new tasks I’ve personally set myself for next year is to learn Romanian to a level where I can understand everything and speak it relatively well. After which I want to master it as well as Russian. Sooner or later I will achieve this.
For Moldova, Romanian is the language of the future. It’s an important skill to learn now if you want to be competitive in our country. And I clearly realize this right now.
PS: I will try to share my experience with others on the way. Maybe this will be useful for the Russian-speaking community.