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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One comment

  1. Bucktooth says:

    Sain bain! That is a lot of good resources. I’m hoping to make it to some of the morning classes and see how they are.

    If you get serious about it there is one book that is always talked about as the “bible” of Mongolian grammar. Aptly named, Mongolian Grammar by Kulman. I’m not sure if you can get it in Hohhot, but you can definitely get a copy online. You might have to try Amazon, ebay, and more, but you should be able to find one reasonably priced. (around 30-40 USD) I think the more you study the better of a resource it is.

    The best resource is persistence and some Mongolian friends. I find they really like it when I can use some Mongolian, and they are incredibly patient with me. If you haven’t worked on Mongolian before I recommend you try it for the summer and see what you can learn. You’ll probably make some good friends in the process.

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