Politicians should get less involved in the matter of Romanian programs for non-native speakers, because they often only make things worse. This is the opinion of the philologist Alexei Axan, professor at the Romanian Language House and author of didactic materials for non-native speakers.
Speaking during an IPN debate, Alexei Axan recalled the case of one of his students, a foreign diplomat, whom the prime minister at the time told he would never speak Romanian as it was too complicated. “I asked the diplomat to tell the then prime minister to mind his government affairs and let me do what I know best (...) All my students know that Romanian is not a difficult language. It’s just rich in forms”, said the professor. In this context, he congratulated the governor of Gagauzia, Irina Vlah, who also attended the debate, on her progress in learning Romanian and especially on finding the “right” teacher.
In 2002, the Romanian Language House started an extensive program of courses for non-native speakers. But, according to Alexei Axan, “the politicians” closed it down two years later, and the institution had to “find other ways”.
Today, the Romanian Language House is involved in a municipal project for teaching the Romanian language and this year it’s looking for possibilities to extend it. Alexei Axan hopes that, eventually, the groups will be “mixed”, meaning they will include students from different parts of the country, and the program will also include mutual visits to the localities where the students come from. “We will learn the language and get to know each other”, summed up the professor.
The debate was the 261st installment of the Political Culture Series, run by IPN with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.