Mongolian Language


 Information on the Language

 Simple Phrases

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Information on the Language

 Mongolian is in the Altaic language family, and is most closely related to Turkish.

 The majority of people speak the Khalkha dialect.

 The traditional script was replaced by the Russians with Cyrillic in 1944. The Mongolian Cyrillic has 35 characters, two more than the Russian alphabet.

 In 1991 the parliament voted to revive the old script, but it's slow going because few still know it. Above I have an example of the old script. I believe it says "Mongolia".

 Adult Mongols speak at least some Russian.

 English is spreading rapidly and many official signs are written only in the traditional script and English.

 Different Romanizations, using an alphabet of 26 letters, have caused many variances. A "loose standard" was adopted in 1987.

 When using a Roman spelling double vowels indicate a stress.

 The use of "kh" is pronounced as in 'loch' from Old English and Scottish English. It does not exist in American English. It has a clearing of the throat feel. It is a harsh sound at the back of the throat. The r's are rolled.

 Below is a small listing of words and phrases as taken from the Lonely Planet, with slight changes as my Mongolian friends suggested. I have put the words only in their Roman alphabet form due to the difficulty in using a Mongolian font on my computer, the need for the reader of the page to have this font on their hardrive if I use it, and I feared the slowness of upload if I put it in as a graphic. If you really want to see what the language looks like you can look at the contact me section on the main page.

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Words and Phrases

Yes. teem

No. oo-gwee

Thank You. bayarlaa

I'm sorry/Excuse Me. uuchlaraa (if you have stepped on someone's foot you must immediately shake their hand)

What did you say? you genay?

Hello(literally 'how are you')? sain bainuu

Fine. sain

Goodbye. Bye-arsh-te.

My name is _____. minee ner _____

I'm from America. bi Americas irsen

I don't understand. bi oilgokhgwee bain

I understand. bi oilgoj bain

Where is the _____? _____khaan bain vay?

Where is the toilet? jorlong khaan baidag ve.

Peace Corps. Peace Corpes

Ger(Mongolian house). gair

Horse. moir

I'm cold. bi darch bain


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Last Revised: April 26, 2000