The official language of Moldova is Romanian, a Romance language related to Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The 1991 Declaration of Independence names the official language Romanian. The Constitution of 1994 stated that the national language of the Republic of Moldova was Moldovan, and its writing is based on the Latin alphabet.

In 2013, the Constitutional Court of Moldova ruled that the name “Romanian”, as used in the Declaration of Independence to identify the official language, prevails over the name “Moldovan”, given in Article 13 of the Constitution.

At the 2014 census (which did not include data from the Transnistrian region), 54.7% of the population named Moldovan whereas 24.0% named Romanian as their first language in daily use. Although only 4.1% are ethnic Russians, Russian is still used as the main language by 14.5% of the total population. Around 50% of ethnic Ukrainians, 33% of Gagauz, 33% of Bulgarians, and 5.7% of Moldovans declared Russian as their daily use language.

Historically Russian was taught in schools as the first foreign language, because of the relationship with the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. In the 21st century, the primary foreign language taught in the schools is English. In 2013 more than 60% of schoolchildren took it as their first foreign language. This was followed by French, taken by less than 50% of students. Since 1996, the Republic of Moldova has been a full member of La Francophonie. German was the third-ranked choice.