“Consumer Protection” association about status of Russian language

Representatives of the national public association “Consumer Protection”, alongside a number of consumers, complained that their rights are flagrantly violated. One of these rights is related to the spoken language, namely Russian, into which not all the package leaflets of medicines are translated. The pensioners cannot fill out the application to ask for social assistance as the form is provided only in the official language and many do not know it.

In a news conference at IPN, the organization’s head Piotr Guțul said that he made a request to the Parliament Speaker to adopt an organic law concerning the circulation of languages, but didn’t get a response. The renewed approaches also remained without an answer.

Olga Titova, a participant in the conference, said that she often could not obtain information about medicines at the drugstore because the package leaflets in the Russian language were absent. “Moldova has lived alongside the Russian language during many decades. Continuing this way in favor of a small party that wins 2-3% of the vote in elections is unreal and illogical,” stated the woman. According to her, if the intention is for all the citizens to know the Romanian language, this should be taught.

Consumer Stefanida Ungureanu raised another issue. She said she has an individual heating system in her apartment, but the centralized heating supplier obliges her to pay for the pipes that connect the stories. She was sued, but wasn’t informed about the hearings and was ultimately obliged by court to pay the sums invoked by the supplier. She had to go to the “Consumer Protection” association and this helped her to formulate the necessary petitions. But the institutions to which she submitted the petitions asked that these should be translated. “There are now terms, particular words that even the Romanian speakers do not know and have to consult the dictionary to understand them,” complained the woman.

Nona Malitovskaya said that whenever she writes something in Russian, she is told to write in Romanian. “I yet write in Russian as it is easier for me to correctly express my thoughts even if I know the Moldovan language as I studied it at school. We, in the Soviet Union, didn’t have difficulties in communication for the people not to understand each other. The Russian language is a language of communication between nations. It is impossible to learn all the languages in which the nations that live on the territory of Moldova speak,” she stated.

Vladimir Șitin, the head of the local Botanica organization of the Veterans Union, said that both the veterans and the pensioners face a number of problems. In many cases, they do not know the official language and cannot learn it owing to age. Their rights are encroached upon as they do not have access to documents issued by state institutions. They are also unable to go to court as the complaints are filed in the official language. In this case, the solution is to seek help from lawyers, but their services are costly. The medical and social institutions also lack information in the Russian language.

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