Lingua Franca: Anglo-Saxan Chronicle 14


We returned to the UK for a few weeks to get our affairs in order. When you’ve spent the last few decades tucked away in rural Cambridgeshire, emigrating is a big thing.

I decided I didn’t want to appear the Little Englander, so I’d make a start on learning the language. That will surprise them, when at the press conference on my first day in charge I tell them, ‘It’s a wonderful club and I’m proud to have been given the opportunity to manage here’ in fluent…well, fluent what?

What exactly do they speak?

A little research suggests that according to most people the Moldovans generally speak Romanian. A few would describe the language as Moldovan, but to all intents and purposes that seems to mean nothing other than ‘Romanian when it’s spoken in Moldovan’ – though evidently there’s some political sensitivity around the question.

But a little further digging reveals it’s not quite so straightforward. In the south of the country, which is where FC Saxan is based, many people speak the Gagauz language, a Turkic language with its roots in the Balkans.

Well, I don’t want to spend weeks learning one language only to find I should really have spoken the other. And I certainly don’t want to learn both — unlike my wife, I’m no great linguist.

I decide that my strategy will be to:

  1. start by speaking English VERY LOUDLY;
  2. rely on someone – Karen? — as my interpreter
  3. pick stuff up as I go along.


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Notts County supporter, at least nominally. Regularly watch Stevenage, Cambridge Utd, and Peterborough. On FM, favour teams from the eastern Med, especially on Greek islands. Addicted to searching for liberos and to signing Darren Lavery. According to Liam Billington, I'm 'the Iniesta of Higher Tempo Press' :)