Name of Transnistria

Although most commonly known in English as Transnistria, the official name of the region is Pridnestrovie. Here is a detailed explanation of the names used for Transnistria, both official and unofficial, as they appear in the local languages and in English.

Official names, long

Transnistria has three official languages: Russian, Moldavian (in the Cyrillic alphabet), and Ukrainian. In each of the three national languages the name reads:

  • Russian: Приднестровская Молдавская Республика (Pridnestrovskaya Moldavskaya Respublika), abbreviated ПМР
  • Moldavian Cyrillic: Република Молдовеняскэ Нистрянэ (Republica Moldovenească Nistreană), abbreviated РМН
  • Ukrainian: Придністровська Молдавська Республіка (rydnistrovs'ka Moldavs'ka Respublika), abbreviated ПМР

The abbreviations of each name in the official languages also appear on the Transnistrian coat of arms.

The Constitution of Transnistria gives the official name as Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublica (PMR).[1]

Some authorities, such as the President's office, translate this name to English as the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic.[2] The official abbreviation in English is PMR.[3]

Official names, short

The official shortform name (the name in daily usage) in Russian is "Приднестровье", Pridnestrovie, which literally means "Cisdniestria". Short name in Moldavian is Нистрения - Nistrenia, in Ukrainian Придністров'я - Prydnistrovya.

The PMR government favours not to translate the country name when written in English: "Pridnestrovie" is also the official shortform name in English.[4] Per a 2000 presidential naming decree, the official transliteration in Latin script is Pridnestrovie.[5]

Other names in use

In Russian, the names used for Transnistria are always consistently either Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublica or Pridnestrovie (the two official names, long- and short- respectively). However, in English a wide variety of names have been used to describe the region, among them: Trans-Dniester, Transdnistria, Transdniestria, Transdniestr, Trans-Dniestria, Transdniester, Transniestria, Transdnestr,[6] also Trans-Dnjestr and Trans-Dnjester.

The government of Moldova refers to the region Stînga Nistrului, which means "Left Bank of the Dniester" although in the Moldavian Latin script, the official name is Republica Moldovenească Nistreană (which translates to English as "Nistrian Moldavian Republic").

The European Court of Human Rights used the name Moldavian Republic of Transdniestria or Moldovan Republic of Transnistria (MRT), while Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and others sometimes refer to it as the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic (TMR). Author Charles King, in his book The Moldovans, uses the names Dnestr Republic and Dnestr Moldovan Republic (DMR).

Naming background

All of the names cited above have their root in the name of the river Dniester. In Romanian/Moldavian, the river is known as Nistru. The name "Transnistria" is Romanian/Moldavian and literally means "beyond the river Dniester". The name has been in use in Romania as early as 1924, but it was popularized internationally during World War II.

In both Russian and Ukrainian, the name has a more literal meaning as it is called "Cisdniestria" which means "On this side of the Dniester", "By-The-Dniester" or "On-The-Dniester" (as opposed to beyond the Dniester).


External links

  • What's in a name: "Pridnestrovie" vs "Transnistria" (English)
  • PMR government's naming decree (Russian)
  • Transnistria naming background (English)
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