English to Mongolian
When visiting any country, it's always a good idea to learn at least some of the language. The Mongolian language is no exception!
So we've put together some typical English to Mongolian phrases to help you prepare for your trip.
Mongol is the official Mongolian language.
The Khalkha dialect is spoken by 80% of the population. Other dialects of Mongol spoken in surrounding countries and regions.
The Mongolian language is a Ural-Altaic language and has some similarities to Turkic. Although, never ask a Mongolian if the Mongol word is Turkic in origin!
Mongolians are fiercely protective of their heritage and history.
For many years, it was believed by linguists that the Mongolian language did evolve from Turkic. However, experts now consider it different.
It is now commonly thought that the Mongolian language is a Sprachbund. This is a group of languages that share standard features due to their geographical proximity.
The modern Mongolian language has evolved from the 13th and 14th centuries. It has not only experienced a change in mechanics, but from external factors. Tibetan, Manchu, Russian, Chinese and even English have a small influence on the language.
The traditional Mongolian script is called Uigarjin. This Mongolian script is written in columns from top to bottom and left to right.
It developed from Uighur scribes who were captured in the 13th century. The text of Mongolian script remained in use for many hundreds of years until the period of the Soviet Union.
In the 1930’s, Stalin experimented with various options until 1940 when a modified Cyrillic script was introduced (more patriotic).
The traditional Mongolian script was to consigned to the archives and museums. Eventually, with the collapse of the USSR and Mongolia’s independence, Mongolian script was to be reintroduced.
Mongolian script is still used today on official documents and signage even being taught in schools.
Mongolia is one of those exceptional countries that when travelling a small amount of the local language goes a long way. You won't be expected to speak Mongolian fluently or hold a conversation, but a few words will earn respect, and maybe earn a good handshake.
When travelling in Mongolia, many Mongolians in the city will speak English, Russian and even Chinese.
After independence, English has become the language of choice for many young Mongolians.
As you travel out to the countryside, your options may become more limited. Older Mongolians will likely speak some Russian and if your lucky and it’s a school holiday there may be some of the younger generations to practice with.
Mongolian is a time-consuming language to learn. It’s not too difficult, however, the pronunciation is challenging.
Like all languages, there are some essentials to get you on the way.
Let’s have a look at some common English to Mongolian phrases.
The most commonly asked question is, how do I say hello?
There are two main ways one formal and one more informal.
*Note, this is best used when visiting local families and greeting elders or important people. You may wish to use it on first meeting a Mongolian.
The less formal greeting is below.
*note this is used amongst friends or peers you may wish to use this with the drivers and guides.
You may also wish to learn goodbye; this is a little easier as in general, there is only one form.
*Note, Mongolian goodbye may be simple in word form although when visiting a local home the process of saying goodbye may take 30-40 mins.
Thank you is always a good word in any language and Mongolians do respond and use it commonly.
*Note, Thank you and goodbye are two common words which for a first-time visitor are easily confused do not worry as Mongolians will not.
Take note of these English to Mongolian phrases before a trip to Mongolia and show off your skills when you're there!
We're sure they'll go a long way.