ISO 639 JAC decision re mo/mol

John Cowan cowan at
Tue Nov 4 16:30:49 CET 2008

Doug Ewell scripsit:

> "Romanian" as currently used in Romania is overwhelmingly written in 
> Latin.  "Moldovan" or "Moldavian" as used in Moldova (a different 
> dialect of the Romanian language, as now recognized by the RA) is 
> primarily, but not exclusively, written in Latin.  Moldovan (Romanian) 
> as used in Transnistria is primarily, perhaps even overwhelmingly, 
> written in Cyrillic.  Historical Romanian from Romania is written in 
> 'Cyrs'.

This analysis is correct as far as it goes, but it is not quantitative.
I'll conservatively assume that only people of Romanian or Moldovan
nationality speak Romanian/Moldovan, although this is certainly false.
The population of Romania (2002) is 21.70 million, with 90% of them
ethnic Romanians, providing 19.53 million speakers.  The population
of Moldova exclusive of Transnistria (2004) is 3.38 million, with 76%
of them ethnic Moldovans, providing 2.56 million speakers.  Finally,
the population of Transnistria (2004) is 0.55 million, with only 32% of
them ethnic Moldovans (the rest are almost all Russians or Ukrainians,
which is one reason why Transnistria is breakaway), providing 0.17
million speakers.

So we are dealing with a total of 22.26 million speakers of
Romanian/Moldovan, of which a full 99% are using Latin script in Romania
and Moldova, versus only 1% using Cyrillic script in Transnistria.
I call that overwhelming.

> Thus: the overall language that will be represented by 'ro', in its 
> various flavors, is not overwhelmingly written in any one script, and 
> consequently the existing Suppress-Script for 'ro' will no longer be 
> appropriate and should be removed.

Au contraire.

You let them out again, Old Man Willow!                 John Cowan
What you be a-thinking of?  You should not be waking!   cowan at
Eat earth!  Dig deep!  Drink water!  Go to sleep!
Bombadil is talking.                          

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