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Family members


Whether you are in Mongolia with a host family, or just staying for a short time, some of the first words you should get down quickly are the family vocabulary. 

These are not too tricky as most words and concepts can translate directly from English, however there are a couple of things to watch out for, the main one being the distinction of age. 

In English we have one word for brother and one word for sister.  In Mongolian, these are divided differently.  The word Ах is for older brother and the word Эгч is for older sister.  For younger siblings, there is only one word, the ubiquitous дүү, which is used for any younger sibling regardless of sex (although you can specify by saying эрэгтэй дүү, эмэгтэй дүү). 

One last thing to point out: these words are used very liberally and often do not denote biological siblings or relatives.  Mongolians have a wider and more far-stretching concept of family.  Anybody younger than you could be your дүү, and calling someone older than you эмээ does not necessarily mean they are your grandma.  Mongolia is one big family after all!    

family members in Mongolian
Хүүsonhüü   (like who)
эрэгтэй дүүyounger brothereregtei düü
эмэгтэй дүүyounger sisteremegtei düü
Ахolder brotherAh
Эгчolder sisteregch
Aч хүүgrandsonach hüü
Ач охинgranddautherach ohin
Авга ахuncleavga ahh
авга эгчauntavga egch

Хадам- the in-laws

Хадам аавFather-in-lawhadm aaw
Хадам ээжMother-in-lawhadm eej
Хүргэн ахBrother-in-lawhürgen ah
Бэр эгчSister-in-lawBer egch

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5 Responses

  1. This is a very good site! I think it could be a good idea to add audio files to the lessons. It’s also very important to pronounse words slowly and explain how souds are pronouned. as for me I can’t understand how “сайн” is pronounsed. Should I pronounse it like [sain] in Spanish or like [san] in Spanish or the way they pronounse eg letter “a” in “dad” in English?
    Still this site is a great step forward! Thank you very much.

    1. I understand you already know this, but in any case it could be helpful to someone. The pronunciation of the vowels in “сайн” would be like /ves/ in Spanish (an open “e”) like /é/ in Português or /guess/ in English.

  2. Very interresting website! I just have a question about vowels pronouncing : I read your lesson about pronouncing only the 1st vowel except when there are long vowels or diphtongs vowels in the word (is that correct ?).
    But, in this vocabulary lesson, I don’t understand why some vowels are pronounced whereas there is no long nor diphtong vowel (for instance : Охин which seems to be pronounced “ohin” instead of “ohn”).
    Could someone explain this to me, please ? :)

  3. Well, if you ask me, essential to vocabulary learning are sample sentences. I am not saying that lists of words are useless, but more important would be to see how these words are used in simple sentences.
    If you start implementing this simple rule of giving one or to simple sample sentences to each word, the value of your teaching material on your website would increase exponentially.

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