Romanian and Cyrillic

From: D. Starner (
Date: Sun May 02 2004 - 19:12:40 CDT

I posted this message to the message boards of Distributed Proofreaders-Europe <>
(a joint effort of Project Rastko <> and Project Gutenberg <>),
and got this response from one of the site admins.

> nikola wrote:
> Haha Romanian use Cyrillic up to 19th century, so sooner
> or later, we WILL have Romanian books in Cyrillic here

Nikola, David refers to Moldavian situation which is little
bit different compared to situation in modern Romanian state since its formation.

David, here are some preliminary thoughts:

> Prosfilaes wrote:
> From the Unicode mailing list:
> Quote:
>> Since we're talking about Romanian...
>> Prior to 1991, the Soviet-controlled administration attempted to create
>> a distinct linguistic identity, Moldovian, which as I understand it
>> basically amounted to Romanian written in Cyrillic script. (They tried
>> to introduce some archaic Romanian forms and Russian loans, but
>> apparently none of it stuck.)

I expect gradual influx of Romanian, Moldavian, Tzintzar and Vlach members
after May 24. I'm in almost daily contact with our friends and colaborators
from Bucharest and Timisoara these days, relating our Romanian NGO which is
under the registration at the moment, and they'll also serve as medium of our
future local Moldavian network.

Before their more detailed opinion, I can offer some analogies which we have
with similar cases. Bi- or three-alphabet situation is not rare in SE European
or Eurasian cultures. In previous centuries we find all combinations of paralel
use of Cyrillic, Glagolithic, Latin, Grek or Arabic scripts among Serbs, Croats,
Romanians, Albanians etc. Religious or ideological affilitions are to be blame
for very recent and opressive reducing down to usage of just one major script,
but even now we have Serbian case with Cyrillic as only standard script, but
Latin script widely used on daily social level without prejudicies even in the
core of Serbian culture.

Project Rastko's general policy is more or less to OCR/publish version in original
script, but also to provide transliterated versions into other common used scripts.
Although we are proponents of having one "official" script, we publish Serbian works
in additional Latin version in order to be easily read also in Muslim or Croat areas
of former Yugoslavia (which share common language with Serbian culture).

For Romanian and Moldavian books printed in Cyrillic, I suppose only logical solution
is to apply Rastko's rules: to process it in original script but to parallely publish
Latin script version which modern Romanian readers could read.

Prosfilaes wrote:
> Quote:
>> How relevant is Romanian in Cyrillic script at this point? For instance,
>> what's the likelihood that someone might want to put Romanian-Cyrillic
>> content on the web? Already being done? A reasonable possibility?
>> Extremely unlikely?

It is reasonable possibility. The phenomenon of script is supranational
and for academic purposes should be also treated as supraconfessional or supraideological.

Prosfilaes wrote:
> I know DP-EU plans to do it sometime, but do we have stuff that could be uploaded tomorrow,
> or is there something in our plans, or is it something that we'll do if and when something
> clearable comes along (which will be hard, as this is strictly post-1945.)

"Tomorrow"? Yes, if it is desperately needed, it could be uploaded in less 48 hours by Bucharest
guys. More realistically speaking, the end of the summer or last quarter should be more systematic
phase for Moldavian case.

Copyright clearability does not play an issue, since Rastko's material is mostly of modern authors
who gave non-exclusive rights to publish their works on the Net for free.

David, please let us know anything new you get about this subject, for it could be important
for several publishing projects our network prepares [We have in our computers perhaps 100
eBooks processed in 2003 about Romanian culture, waiting to be posted this year]

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