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THE LAW OF MOLDAVIAN SOVIET SOCIALISTIC REPUBLIC ABOUT FUNCTIONING OF LANGUAGES ON THE TERRITORY OF MOLDAVIAN SSR

September 1, 1989

Securing of status of Moldavian language as state language by Constitution (Basic Law) of Moldavian Soviet Socialistic republic calls to promotion of full sovereignty of republic and creation of necessary guarantees for its valuable and all-round realisation in all spheres of political, economical, social and cultural life.

Moldavian SSR supports education and satisfaction of cultural demands in native language by Moldavian living outside Republic, and taking into account realities of Moldavian-Rumanian language identity - and Rumanian residing on the territory of USSR.

Attaching to the Moldavian status of state language Moldavian SSR provides protection of constitutional rights and liberties for citizens of any nationality, residing on the territory of Moldavian SSR, independently of language used under conditions of equality of all citizens before the law.

For the purpose of state protection and provision of development of Gagauz language Moldavian SSR ensures necessary guarantees for the consecutive expansion of its social function. Moldavian SSR provides on its territory conditions for application and development of Russian as language of international intercourse of USSR, and also languages of population of other nationalities living in republic.

Chapter 1. General Provisions.


Article 1.

In the correspondence with the Constitution (Basic Law) of Moldavian SSR Moldavian language functioning on the basis of Latin script is state language of Moldavian SSR.

Moldavian language as state one is used in all spheres of political, economical, social and cultural life and in view of this carries out function of language of international intercourse on the territory of republic.

Moldavian SSR guarantees to all residents of republic free teaching of state language at the level necessary for carrying out official duties.


Article 2.

In localities where majority of residents are Gagauz the language of official life spheres is state, Gagauz or Russian.
Article 3.

Russian as language of international intercourse in USSR is used on the territory of republic equally with Moldavian as language of international intercourse which provides realisation of actual national-Russian and Russian-national bilinguism.
Article 4.

Moldavian SSR guarantees utilisation of Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian, Ivrit, Yiddish, Gypsy languages, and languages of other ethnic groups living on the territory of republic for satisfaction of national-cultural needs.
Article 5.

Present Law does not regulate use of languages in personal intercourse, industrial activity of railway and air transport (except spheres of passengers service), in military units and institutions subordinate to the Ministry of Defence of USSR, military units of KGB and Ministry of Internal Affairs of USSR.

Chapter 2. Rights and Guarantees of the Citizen for the Choice of the Language.


Article 6.

On relationships with state authority bodies, government and public organisations and also withy enterprises, institutions and organizations situated on the territory of Moldavian SSR the language of oral and written intercourse - Moldavian or Russian - chooses the citizen.

In localities with Gagauz population the right of citizen to use on the above-mentioned relations also Gagauz language is guaranteed.

In localities where majority of population are Ukrainians, Russian, Bulgarian or other nationalities the language of intercourse is mother tongue or other acceptable language.


Article 7.

For executives, state authority officials, officials of government and public organisations and also for workers of enterprises, institutions and organisations meeting people on official business (public health, public education, culture, mass media, transport, communication, trade, consumer service, housing municipal services, law and order bodies, emergency and rescue service etc.) independent of their nationality in order to ensure the right of citizen for the choice of language the demands are established for speaking the Moldavian, the Russian, and in localities with population of Gagauz nationality - and Gagauz language at the level of intercourse sufficient for the performance of the professional duties. Extent and standard of knowledge are defined in order determined by the Council of Ministers of Moldavian SSR in accordance with the law currently in force.
Article 8.

The choice of language is not limited at the congresses, sessions, plenums, conferences, meetings and other arrangements held in Moldavian SSR.

Chapter 3. Language in State Authority Bodies, Government and Public Organisations, Enterprises, Institutions and Organisations.


Article 9.

Working language in state authority bodies, government and public organisations is the state language, introduced in stages. Interpretation in Russian is provided.

Language of business correspondence in state authority bodies, government and public organisations is the state language. In case of need the documents are translated in Russian.

In localities with Gagauz population the working language and language of business correspondence in state authority bodies, government and public organisation is the state, Gagauz or Russian.

Language of arrangements and business correspondence in state authority bodies, government and public organisations in localities where majority of population are Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian or other nationalities is the state native or any acceptable language.


Article 10.

Statements of state authority bodies, government and public organisations are drawn up and adopted in the state language with subsequent translation in Russian, in localities with population of Gagauz nationality - in the state, Gagauz or Russian with posterior translation.

Statements of local state authority bodies, government and public organisations on the territory where majority of population are Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian or other nationality may be adopted in Russian or any acceptable language with subsequent translation in the state language.


Article 11.

In the appeal of state authority bodies, government and public organisations to the citizen Moldavian or Russian language are used, in localities with Gagauz population - Moldavian, Gagauz or Russian.

When documents are given either Moldavian or Russian or Moldavian and Russian languages are used of the citizen’s choice, in localities with Gagauz population either Moldavian, Gagauz or Russian or Moldavian, Gagauz and Russian.

State authority bodies, government and public organisations, enterprises, institutions and organisations accept and consider documents submitted by citizens in Moldavian or Russian, in localities with population of Gagauz nationality - in Moldavian, Gagauz or Russian language.

Documents presented in other languages must be supplied by translation in Moldavian or Russian language.


Article 12.

Business correspondence at the enterprises, institutions and organisations situated on the territory of Moldavian SSR is realised in state language.

Normative and technical documentation may be used in the language of the original.

Taking into account demographical situation and industrial need business correspondence at the enterprises, institutions and organisations, list of which is determined by the Soviet of Ministers of Moldavian SSR according to proposal of district and city Soviets of People’s deputies may also be realised in Russian or any acceptable language.

Correspondence between enterprises, organisations, institutions, situated on the territory of republic is realised in the state language or language of business correspondence.


Article 13.

Correspondence between state authority bodies, government and public organisations, and also between them and enterprises, institutions and organisations situated on the territory of Moldavian SSR is carried on in the state or any acceptable language.
Article 14.

Documentation and other information sent outside Moldova is drawn up in Russian or any acceptable language.

Chapter 4. Language of Business Correspondence for Criminal, Civil, Administrative Cases, Arbitration Notariat, Bodies of Registration of Civil Status Statement.


Article 15.

Record-keeping of criminal, civil, administrative cases in Moldavian SSR is realised in the state language or language acceptable for majority of persons participating in a case. Participants of process who do not speak language of the legal procedure have the right to get to know the materials of case to participate in inquest with the assistance of an interpreter, and also the right for speech and statement in mother tongue.

Juridical and investigation documents are handed over to defendant, accused and other persons participating in the prosecution after the translation in a language they speak.


Article 16.

Bodies of state arbitration perform their activity in the state language or language acceptable for both sides participating in a trial.
Article 17.

Notarial correspondence in state notary’s offices and executive committees of district, city, village and country Soviets of people’s deputies, and also business correspondence in bodies of registration of civil status statements are in the state or Russian language.

In executive committees of local Soviets of people’s deputies the documents are designed in the state language, according to desire of citizens - in Russian as well, in notary’s offices and bodies of registration of civil status statements - in the state and Russian.

Chapter 5. Language in Spheres of People’s Education, Science and Culture.


Article 18.

Moldavian SSR guarantees the right to obtain pre-school education, secondary specialised, technical professional and higher education in Moldavian and Russian and creates conditions for the realisation of the right of citizens of other nationalities residing in republic for upbringing and education in mother tongue (Gagauz, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Ivrit, Yiddish, etc.).
Article 19.

Pre-school institutions and secondary schools are created on principles of monolinguism. Business correspondence, meetings, sessions, audio-visual information is performed in them in the language of upbringing and study.

Pre-school institutions and secondary schools are created on principle of bilinguism in settlements where number of children does not permit to open monolingual pre-school institutions and secondary schools.

Meetings, sessions, audio-visual information in these schools are in corresponding language of education and study equally, whereas business correspondence - in the state language.


Article 20.

In secondary special, professional-engineering and higher educational institutions education in state and Russian language for the professions necessary in Moldavian SSR is guaranteed.

For the satisfaction of economic and cultural requirements of the republic educational groups and streams in languages functioning on the territory of Moldavian SSR (Gagauz, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Yiddish) are completed.

In purposeful national groups teaching of special subjects is performed in the native language of the pupils and students.


Article 21.

In educational institutions of all levels teaching of Moldavian language as subject in classes and groups with Russian or other language of study is guaranteed (for pupils of Gagauz and Bulgarian nationality to the extent, necessary for intercourse) and Russian language - in classes and groups with Moldavian or other language of study.

Pupils and students after graduating from educational institutions go in final exam correspondingly for Moldavian or Russian which creates conditions for expansion of intercourse sphere on the whole territory of the republic.


Article 22.

Moldavian SSR creates necessary conditions for the development of Moldavian and Gagauz national science and culture, and also for scientific and culture activity in other languages, functioning in republic.

It is possible to defend thesis in Moldavian, Russian or other language determined by corresponding specialised council.


Article 23.

Scientific, scientific-practical conferences, symposia and seminars, other arrangements of republican significance are in the state language (interpretation in Russian is provided), arrangements of all-union significance - in Russian.

Chapter 6. Language of Denominations and Information.


Article 24.

Settlements and other geographical objects on the territory of Moldavian SSR have single official name in its original Moldavian and correspondingly Gagauz forms (without interpretation and adaptation) taking into account historical traditions of locality given.

Correct spelling of denominations of settlements and other geographical objects is defined by special reference book.

Denomination of squares, streets, lanes, city districts are formed in the state language without translation (in localities with Gagauz population - in the Gagauz), whereas in rural localities with majority of Ukrainian, Russian or Bulgarian nationality - in acceptable language.


Article 25.

Denominations of ministries, state committees, departments, enterprises, institutions and organisations and their structural units are formed in the state language with translation in Russian, in localities with population of Gagauz nationality - in Gagauz language.

Denominations given in inverted commas are translated but not transcribed.


Article 26.

The name of the citizen of Moldavian SSR of Moldavian nationality consists from name (or few names) and surname (single or double).

Surname does nvot change by gender, patronymic is used without suffixes.

When Moldavian names and surnames are reproduced in other languages their spelling in the Moldavian is preserved without adaptation.

Spelling of names and surnames of representatives of other nationalities residing in republic is not regulated under the law currently in force.


Article 27.

Official forms, texts of seals and stamps are issued in the state and Russian languages, in corresponding localities - in the state, Gagauz and Russian languages.

Blanks used in social sphere (post offices, saving banks, consumer services etc.) are printed in the state and Russian languages (in corresponding localities - in state, Gagauz and Russian languages) and are completed in accordance with the desire of citizen in one of the languages on the blank.


Article 28.

Signs with denominations of state governmental bodies, state management and public organisations, enterprises, institutions and organisations, indices with the names of squares, streets, lanes, settlements and other geographical objects fulfilled in the state and Russian languages, in corresponding localities - in the state, Gagauz and Russian languages and are arranged on top left in the state language and from the bottom right in the Russian, in corresponding localities - on top left in the Gagauz, in the centre from the bottom in the state language, and on the right below - in Russian.
Article 29.

Texts of public advertisements, notifications, publicity and other visual information are designed in the state language, and may be translated in Russian in case of need, in corresponding locality - in the state, as well as Gagauz or Russian languages.

Denominations of articles and provisions, labels on goods, marking, instructions for goods produced in Republic and any visual information presented to the population of republic is designed in the state and Russian languages.

In any case texts of visual information are arranged in order defined by article 28 of the Law currently in force. Script of the texts in the state language must not be smaller than in other languages.

In rural area with majority of Ukrainian, Russian or Bulgarian population visual information may be designed in corresponding languages.

Chapter 7. State Protection of Languages.


Article 30.

Needs of state bodies, government and public organisations, enterprises, institutions and organisations, situated on the territory of Moldavian SSR bear personal responsibility for observance of the demands of present Law within limits of subordinate sphere in accordance with the Law currently in force.
Article 31.

Propaganda of hostility, neglect of language of other nationality, putting obstacles for functioning of the state language and other languages on the territory of republic, as well as infringement of citizen’s right on language causes responsibility in order defined by Law.
Article 32.

Control after observance of Law on functioning of languages on the territory of Moldavian SSR is exercised by the Supreme Soviet of Moldavian SSR through specially created commission and in districts (cities) - corresponding Soviets of People’s Deputies of Moldavian SSR.

Chairman of the presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Moldavian SSR M. Snegur

Member of the presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Moldavian SSR D.Nikelku

City Kishinev, September 1, 1989


Source: Unofficial Translation


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