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!
|hüü (like who)
Хадам- the in-laws