Mongolian language learning tips

The most important things you should know when you speak Mongolian.

If you are thinking about learning Mongolian or have already started taking classes, these tips will help. These are important grammar and pronunciation rules explained in an easy way &practical way to help beginners avoid the language points that so often cause misunderstanding.

Pronounce the long vowels correctly.

In the Mongolian language there are long vowels,with two consecutivevowels that are the same. They are supposed to be pronounced long because if it is not pronounced long, the meaning of the word may be changed or misunderstood. For example, if ‘’цаас’’the word for ‘’paper’’ is pronounced short, its meaning changes to ‘’цас’’ which means ‘’snow’’. Here are some more examples,

хол (far)                      хоол (food)

зун (summer)              зуун  (century)

бодол  (thought)         боодол (wrap)

зах (market)                заах  (teach)

будах  (paint)              буудах  (shoot)

Examples of the most commonly mispronounced word are ‘’Уланбатaр’’ and ‘’Надаам’’the correct pronunciations are  ‘’Улаанбаатар’’(Ulaanbaatar) and ‘’Наадам’’(Naadam). (This paragraph is unclear in meaning. – I understand what you mean but to a new speaker its would be unclear.)

Dropping the single vowels except for first syllable.

The stress automatically falls on the first syllable if there are no long vowels or diphthongs. Therefore, short vowels for the next syllables are not pronounced. For example, мөнгө, бодол, даалгавар, эхлэнэ. Yet, it doesn`t apply for loan words such as вино, кино.

Pronouncing Diphthongs “ай”correctly.

There are five diphthongs in Mongolian. Those are –ай, -эй, -ой, -уй, -үй which are pronounced how it’s written except for ай which is pronounced () like ‘’map’’.(??) For example, сайн, байна, найз, хайр

байр (apartment)

цай (tea)

зайрмаг (ice cream)

Май (here)

найм (eight)

сайхан (nice)

Тайвандаа (nothing much)

хайрцаг (box)

Sentence structure

Mongolian sentence structure is different from English & some other languages, in that Mongolian langue structure follows the form:  Subject – Time – Object- Predicate (verb). Which can be memorized as STOP.

For example,

Би өчигдөр монгол хэл сурсан.

I yesterday Mongolian studied.

It is often difficult for English speakers to understand this pattern and it takes time for them to adjust to the correct form. (I changed this sentence to make it more polite and less direct)

Making difference between subject and object (cases)

In order to show differences between subjects and objects, a suffix needsto be added to the object. The suffixes that are used with objects are;

be

-д, -т, -нд which is called locative case. It expresses to, for, at

-ыг, -ийг, -г is called objective case which makes object specific.

-аас, -ээс, -оос, -өөс  this suffix is used to express from, since

-аар, -ээр, -оор, -өөр is called instrumental case which expresses with, by, using, during

-тай, -тэй, -той used to express with

-руу, -рүү, -луу, -лүү is used for to, towards, at

Useful Links For Mongolian Language Learners

Information about the Mongolian language and Mongolia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_language
http://www.mongoluls.net

Mongolian Cyrillic keyboard (free download)

http://dusal.blogmn.net/9815/

http://android.blog.banjig.net/post.php?post_id=104586

Online Mongolian dictionary

http://www.bolor-toli.com

Mongolian phrases

http://mongoluls.net/mongolianlanguage/
http://wikitravel.org/en/Mongolian_phrasebook

Online Mongolian news

http://www.ugluu.mn  (Mongolian)

http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn (English)

Online Mongolian national broadcaster (TV)

http://mnb.mn/player/index.php

Online Mongolian radio

http://www.mglradio.com

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