Moldavia isn't Moldova with a silent "i"

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/04/27 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

So the other day I was asked about Microsoft's lack of support for the Moldavian currency.

There is a very good reason that no such support could be found.

Because there is no Moldavian locale.

And there is a pretty good reason that no such support exists.

Because there isn't a Moldavia any longer.

I could get into it but I do not have as much detail as Wikipedia provides:

Moldavia (Romanian: Moldova), is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river. An initially independent and later autonomous state, it existed from the 14thcentury to 1859, when it united with Wallachia as the basis of the modern Romanian state; at various times, the state included the regions of Bessarabia (with the Budjak), all of Bukovina and (under Stephen the Great) Pokuttya. The western part of Moldavia is now part of Romania and the eastern part belongs to the Republic of Moldova, while the northern and south-eastern parts are territories of Ukraine.

Perhaps the person asking the original question actually meant Moldovan.

If that's the case, we have another problem.

There isn't Moldovan currency support, either.

But there is a very good reason for that.

There isn't a Moldovan locale in Windows.

Unfortunately, there isn't quite so good of a reason for that....

True enough.

No request, no data. Though there is a subsidiary I think, and a subweb (see Microsoft Moldova here, contrast with Microsoft Romania here). I guess no one got around to asking for it yet.

Michael, I hope you did not write an entire blog that provides no hope whatsoever.

There is some hope, actually.

Factlet: the language (Moldovan) is pretty much Romanian (more or less), and their currency is the Moldavan leu (MDL), which is not exactly the same thing as the Romanian leu (RON).

Since Moldovan - Moldova (ro-MD, though the [deprecated] mo-MD could technically also be used but I'd fear for interoperability issues) is largely considered to be like Romanian, a custom locale could be created by taking ro-RO and making minor changes to it to take care of the region specific and currency specific stuff. And the formatting appears to be the same as well...

Which points to why there may not be huge rush to support a locale, since immediate needs are met? This is just a guess on my part, but it seems plausible. I haven't heard tell of calls from Moldova, at least....

Why didn't you say so in the first place?

Because the initial question referred to a place that hasn't existed for over 150 years! The "hope" is only hope if they meant something else entirely....

Kathleen on 27 Apr 2011 9:41 AM:

Just wondering how many historical currencies are supported -- how is one to write about them without support? Surely authors aren't converting them to modern currencies...

John Cowan on 27 Apr 2011 12:14 PM:

As you'll note, the Romanian/Moldovan name of the place has always been "Moldova"; "Moldavia" was just a Latinized form.

Adrian.Nastase on 28 Apr 2011 2:36 AM:

"Because the initial question referred to a place that hasn't existed for over 150 years!"

You are quite wrong from this point of view. Moldova declared itself as independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldovan USSR in 1991. 2011-1991 = 20 years. And it's not the only case, if I'm not mistaking URSS was made of 15 republics/states, many of them declaring their independence during the same time.

You can find Moldova also in ISO list ( Now my question: shouldn't be the ISO list somehow synchonized with the list of locales Microsoft provides? As Microsoft is an international vendor, I found it natural to provide itself a solution for such cases, rather than waiting for a country or individual forward such a request!

To make things also more complicated, Moldova is called also a province from Romania. There are chances that the two countries will be united in the near future, though that's out of the table for now.

PS: There are many countries who haven't existed for thousands of years.

Adrian.Nastase on 28 Apr 2011 2:42 AM:

Oh, I forgot another point. In Romania there are for the moment two parallel Currencies: LEU referring to the old currency, respectively RON - the new currency (1 RON = 10 000 LEU). Probably will come also EUR into the picture, as Romania is supposed to adopt it soon.

Not sure if still valid, but for some time the companies in Romania were supposed to show the prices in both currencies.

Michael S. Kaplan on 28 Apr 2011 7:01 AM:

Moldavia is not Moldova -- look at the Wikipedia article....

Michael S. Kaplan on 28 Apr 2011 7:44 AM:

Obviously Windows didn't exist in 1859, but by our crietria if it did then the 'Moldavian locale' would have been be marked "former" and there would be a new one....

Adrian.Nastase on 29 Apr 2011 12:45 AM:

"Moldavia is not Moldova", "Moldavia was just a Latinized form"

You are both right, though from different contexts. Moldavia is indeed just the Latinized form of Moldova. I'm not a historic and history was not my favorite subject, though I kind of coming from the region. Moldavia, as the Wikipedia is saying, corresponded to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river, while the actual country Moldova extends from Prut River to Dniester river, the remaining region between Carpathians and Prut River being known also as Moldova (region) and belongs to Romania. So, when somebody says Moldova, (s)he might refer to the country Moldova or to the Romanian region known as Moldova, both were making together the principality/region known earlier as Moldova or Moldavia.

Michael S. Kaplan on 29 Apr 2011 2:36 AM:

So given the original question:

"So the other day I was asked about Microsoft's lack of support for the Moldavian currency."

Thus it was clearly a question about Moldavian, which is not used for Moldovan, even as an English form.

So I was right. :-)

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