Archive for linguistics

Use ChinesePod to learn Chinese

We’ve written about some of our favorite ways to learn Chinese, but ChinesePod is now offering a special just for us, Hohhotians! (Is that what we decided to go with? or is Hohhotites better?)


Use the link below with the promo code “HOHHOTPOD” and receive $50 off an Annual Premium subscription!!!




They have hundreds of lessons for free, too, but with just some pocket change you can have access to thousands of lessons you can listen to at your convenience!

Have you used ChinesePod? Tell us about your experience in the comments

Learn Mongolian in 20 minutes

A friend shared this video with us this week. It sets out to teach you everything you need to communicate in Mongolian with only the information from the video and a Mongolian-English dictionary….in only 20 minutes.

It was posted by a wechat public account called Buryat (BuLiYaTa) You can follow them at: buryat_mongol.

The video was made by Santis Educational Services. The video is made for the Outer Mongolian version of Monoglian, but everything I heard in the video applies to the version spoken here as well, minus some minor accent differences.

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What do you think? Can you speak Mongolian now? If you can truly speak Mongolian, what is the video missing?

more help for Chinese typing

I used to know this, then I forgot, then seeing this article reminded me again. Here are some instructions for using pinyin input method when you don’t know the pronunciation of a character. Hope it’s helpful for you!

It is reposted from the wechat account of The World of Chinese. You can follow them using wechat ID Theworldofchinese
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more resources for studying Mongolian

Please don’t think that my Mongolian is actually to the point that I could use the following translation service, but for those of you doing research or for those with much better Mongolian than mine, here’s a resource for you.

Convert from Cyrillic Mongolian to Traditional Mongolian at the click of a mouse

This website allows you to input text from the traditional vertical script and convert to the Cyrillic used in Outer Mongolia, and vice versa. Our local friend who told us about it said it’s fairly accurate.

Happy linguistic pursuits to all of you!


Remember to check out if you decide to try Mongolian. You can also check out this previous post about other options. Caide Consulting can also get you a fabulous Mongolian tutor.

Mongolian calligraphy

I only understand a few hundred words of Mongolian so I can’t understand much of this video, but it’s a beautiful tribute to the Mongolian script.

Remember to check out if you are interested in learning Mongolian.

If you’re interested in getting a Mongolian tutor, check out Caide Consulting.

If the embedded video doesn’t display properly use this link.
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a new useful app for your Mongolian study


From the website: “The Chimee app allows users to write traditional Mongolian on Android phones and tablets and share it with social networking apps. It is optimized for use with WeChat but can be used with any application that can accept images. Android 2.2 or above is required.”
That’s right, folks! You can start wechatting in Mongolian script! Leave a comment if you’ve used the app and let us know how it’s working.

Resources for learning Mongolian

If you are still pressing on in your study of Chinese, keep it up!

If you’re considering taking on another language, or just looking for a break from Chinese language study, today’s post is about some local resources for studying Mongolian.

A few basic facts that you may already know: Hohhot’s population is somewhere between 10-15% Mongolian, depending on which statistics you use. Not as many Mongols from Hohhot can speak Mongol, but most of them from the countryside can.

There are almost 6 million Mongols in China, less than 3 million in Mongolia, and another million plus in Russia and a smattering of other other countries. see wikipedia

The Mongolian spoken here and the Mongolian spoken in the country of Mongolia are different, but can they can communicate orally without many problems. However, in Inner Mongolia, the writing system uses the traditional Mongolian script. In the country of Mongolia, they use the Russia Cyrillic alphabet.

Most locals will tell you the most standard Mongolian is spoken in Xilingol, so if you get a tutor, get one from there.

And now, here’s some help if you decide to embark on the Mongolian study journey.

  1. First, there’s a great website to get your study started, also based right here in Hohhot. This will get you started on learning the Mongol that is spoken here.
  2. Next, for the summer months there is a group offering free classes every morning 9:30-11:00 from June 7 to August 14. The address is: 蒙元素文化艺术中心文化沙龙(乌兰察布东路园艺所院内)This is on the southeast corner of Zhan Dong Lu and Wu Lan Cha Bu Dong Lu. Here is the posting announcement (in Chinese).
  3. I’ve heard the Mongolian Nationality Experimental School (corner of Xing An Lu and Da Xue Lu) also has free classes, but I don’t have the specific information or contact information.
  4. There are a few services you can follow on wechat. One is the “Meng Yu Jiao” or Mongolian Corner. WeChat ID: mengguyujiao. Information is in Chinese, but they have useful tips and often hold Mongolian corners (time to practice and use Mongolian) throughout the city. Another is called “Mongolian Guide” (my translation of Meng Gu Zhi Nan). WeChat ID:tenuun2014. They have good stuff, but don’t post often.
  5. Apps. I was recently recommended three apps for learning Mongolian, but I haven’t yet been successful getting them on my android phone. I’ve heard with iphone if you search “Mongolian” they will come up easily. But with Android we haven’t found the right app store to download them. The app’s website is so try that too.
  6. Lastly, (at least for today) is another free class to study Khoomei (Hu Mai, homei, lots of spellings, who knows which one is right??). Khoomei is a traditional form of singing where two tones are produced simultaneously. The singing will be in Mongolian, so go give it a try! The free class in on June 12th. Here is the information. (in Chinese)
  7. Nei Da (and probably the other universities as well) have official programs to study if you’d like to take a formal class.

Do you have other resources? Leave us a comment about them!
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For those who consider yourself bilingual (or are attempting to be)

I came across this article via a friend living in India who swears her husband has a different personality when he speaks Hindi.

The article’s premise is that when speaking a different language one exhibits a different personality. I’ve thought about this idea some based on the way I hear my Chinese friends describe me. One of my closet local friends recently described me as easy going. (随和 sui he) I think VERY few of my American friends who know me well would describe me that way. They would be more inclined to use words like high-strung or perhaps even compulsive, which are very different from easy-going.

Living in China has chilled me out a bit. And, my Chinese ability isn’t yet so smooth that I can truly convey all I want to in Chinese, so I’m sure that my Chinese language skills don’t accurately reflect my full personality. However, it’s a really interesting concept to consider that we might actually have another personality reflected when we speak another language.

What do you think? Is your personality accurately reflected in your second (or third or fourth) language? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.



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