Romanian is the official language of the country, although many people refer to the official language as Moldovan. Russian is also widely spoken throughout the country, especially in Chisinau, Balti, and Cahul, the capital of the autonomous territorial of Gagauzia. In Gagauzia some people also speak Gagauz, a Turkish dialect. Residents of Transnistria speak predominately Russian. Ukrainian and Bulgarian are also spoken by some people in Moldova, but these individuals would most likely also speak Russian.

Many Moldovans, especially young people, also speak English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and German. The prevalance and fluency of people speaking foreign languages is increasing. Today, most hotels, restaurants, cafes, and newer retail stores have staff who speak English or other foreign languages.

Outside of Chisinau, the capital, many fewer people speak foreign languages, so travelling without a guide can be problematic.

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