Mongolian Language

Mongolian language is one of the Ural-Altaic family’s language. Today more than 10 million people who live in Mongolia, Kazakh, Buryat, Inner Mongolia in China and others speak Mongolian language.
The language
The history of Mongolian language is divided into three groups.
1.OldMongolianlanguage
2. Middle Mongolian language
3. Modern Mongolian language
The old Mongolian language lasted from ancient times till XII century. The documents of the period inscribed into stone monuments Tonyukuk.
The middle Mongolian period continued from XII-XVI century. During the time, Secret history of Mongols, Arab-Mongolian dictionary and other important documents were composed. Also Mongolian language is divided into southern, eastern and western dialects: Secret history of Mongols belongs to the eastern dialect, Arab-Mongolian dictionary – to the western dialect.
The Mongolian modern language from 17th century until present days. During this period, the scientists said that standard Mongolian language has been started. Mongolians have invented and used about 10 different scripts, such as dorvoljin, tod, soyombo letters and etc. Old Mongolian script is known as Uighur Mongolian script. The old Mongolian script is written from top to bottom. The Uighur adopted their alphabet from the Sogdians in the 13th century. In 1944, the Russian Cyrillic alphabet was adopted, with two additional letters, replacing the old Mongolian scripts. Since that time all ordinary and official documents were written by Cyrillic. Therefore all Mongolian schools re-introduced into their training programs since 1990. Cyrillic has 35 letters and double vowels. Also one important thing is its pronunciation. Mongolian pronunciation is very difficult. Writer Tim Severin said that Mongolian language is like two cats coughing and spitting at each other.
Mongol Script was adopted at the latest by decree of Genghis Khan in 1206 as recorded in The Secret History, and possibly earlier by some scholars’ investigations. According to the linguist Nicholas Poppe, Mongol Script represents a period transitional between Ancient Mongol and Middle Mongol. It is based upon a dialect of the twelfth or early thirteenth century, a dialect which still retained some Ancient Mongolian features, but otherwise displayed Middle Mongolian forms.
Spellings used for Mongol Script represent spellings used in period and has not evolved with the spoken language except to add new words. Only with the adoption of different alphabets in the past century, such as Latin and Cyrillic, were spellings changed to match the modern dialects. Also, some letters in Mongol Script are ambiguous though context and grammatical rules provide distinction. The oldest known copy of The Secret History of the Mongols was written utilizing Chinese characters so names in that text represent phonetic transcription of the local dialect and are at times spelled inconsistently.
The Mongol script has five main vowels and 22 consonants and is written vertically. It can be written quickly and therefore considered similar to shorthand. In many cases, the Mongolian writing system does not correspond with pronunciation. In this respect it is similar to written and spoken English. Because of these complications, Mongols tried to adopt the Square (Pags-pa) script in 1269, the Todu Script in 1648, the Soyombo Script in 1686 and the Cyrillic Script in 1941. The latter, Cyrillic Script was successfully adopted unlike the others, and helped to erase literacy among the population. The Mongolian Cyrillic Alphabet has 35 letters. There have been attempts to revive the old Mongolian Script but so far, there has been little success.
Source:http://www.mongoliatourism.gov.mn/

Leave a Comment