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Mongolian phrasebook

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Mongolian is the main language of Mongolia, and also an official language in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region of China as well as in some other autonomous prefectures.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Vowels[edit]

а (a) 
like the "a" in father
e (э) 
like the "e" in met
i (и) 
like the "ee" in seen or the "i" in machine
o (о) 
like the "o" in pond
у (у) 
like the "oo" in cartoon
u (ү) 
like the "oo" in noodle

If a word is written with double vowel, for example: Ulaanbaatar, treat it like an accent in Spanish, and stress that syllable.

Consonants[edit]

ch 
the "ch" in chat
the "j" in jewel
kh/h 
the "h" in hug
sh 
the "sh" in shoe
ts 
the "zz" in pizza

If an "n" is followed by a vowel, the vowel is silent and the "n" is pronounced like the English "n". For example: Baina is actually pronounced "Bain"

If an "n" is followed by a consonant or comes at the end of a word, then it is pronounced "ng". For example: Ulaanbaatar is pronounced "Ulangbatar".

Common diphthongs[edit]

Writing[edit]

Mongolian is written using the Cyrillic alphabet in Mongolia and written using the traditional Mongolian script in Inner Mongolia.

Cyrillic characters:

the following presents the Uppercase and Lowercase Cyrillic character, followed by the English transliteration, example word and the English transliteration of the word. Be advised that the latin character transliteration used here is what is used locally in Mongolia. Linguists have a complete set of characters to transliterate Mongolian to English, but those characters are not useful for the traveler. The following is the most common transliterations.

А а

Б б - B b - Баянхонгор - Bayankhongor (a province in Southern Mongolia.)

В в - V v - Хөвсгөл - Khovsgol (a province in Northern Mongolia.)

Д д - D d - Дорнод - Dornod (a province in Eastern Mongolia.)

Г г - G g - Говь - Govi (The Gobi desert. see below for the "ь" below.)

Е е - Ye ye - Еэвэн - Yeeven (Means round cake with filling)

Ё ё - Yo yo - Ёотон - Yoton (Means lump sugar)

Ж ж - J j - Жаргалант - Jargalant (Common sum name. A Sum, similar to a US county.)

З з - Z z - Завхан - Zavkhan (a province in Northwest Mongolia).

И и - I i - Нийслэл - Niislel (Means Capital, in the sense Ulaanbaatar is the capital.)

й й - I i - Аймаг - Aimag (Means Province)

К к - K k - Кино - Kino (Means movie)

Л л - L l - Лам - Lam (Buddhist monk, Lama)

М м - M m - Мах - Mah (Means meat)

Н н - N n - Наадам - Naadam (Mid-Summer Holiday, festival, games. First part of July)

О о - O o - Орхон - Orkhon (a province in Northcentral Mongolia, also a River)

Ө ө - O o - Өмнөговь - Omnogovi (a province in Southern Mongolia)

П п - P p - Перс - Persia (The "П" is mostly used for loan words)

Р р - R r - Рашаан - Rashaan (Mineral Spring)

С с - S s - Сүхбаатар - Sukhbaatar (Mongolian Hero, Main Square in UB, Province, city)

Т т - T t - Төв - Tov (center, Province in Central Mongolia surrounding UB)

У у - U u - Улаан - Ulaan (red, Ulaanbaatar Red Hero)

Ү ү - U u - Түүх - Tuuh (Means history)

ф Ф

Х х - Kh kh - Хархорин - Kharkhorin (Sum which contains the ancient capital of the Mongolian Empire) Note 1.

Х х - H h - Хаан - Haan (Emperor)Note 2.

Ц ц - Ts ts - Цэцэрлэг - Tsetserleg ( Capital of Arkhangai Province)

Ч ч - Ch ch - Чихэр - Chiher (Means candy)

Ш ш - Sh sh - Шивээс - Shivees (Means tattoo)

Щ щ

Э э - E e - Эрдэнэт - Erdenet (City in North Central Mongolia, Orkhon Province, Copper mine)

Ю ю - Yu yu - Оюутан - Oyutan (Student at a University).

Я я - Ya ya - Япон - Yapon ( Japan )

ь ь - i i - Говь - Govi ( Acts like a silent e, changes the sound of the preceding vowel)Note 3.

Note 1. These transliterations are from course material from the Language and Culture Department of the Mongolian National University. Dr. Б. Сарантуяа.

Note 2. These transliterations come from the Mongolian Government Website "www.pmis.gov.mn", this site is not consistent.

Note 3. There are two other signs not seen often in place names, "ы" and "ъ". "ъ" generally modifies verbs and "ы" is used to make possesives.

The place names are from "Монгол улс Авто замын Атлас" (Mongol national Auto Highway['s] Atlas)

Much of the difficulty comes from the two sets of vowels. Back  : А, О, У, Я, Ё, ы Front : Э, Ө, Ү, Е, ю Neutral: И Generally words should have only back or front vowels plus the "И" but some words are combined from two words, such as Өмнөговь.

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Common signs

OPEN 
CLOSED 
ENTRANCE 
EXIT 
PUSH 
PULL 
TOILET 
MEN 
WOMEN 
FORBIDDEN 


Hello. 
Sain baina uu. (Сайн байна уу)
Hello. 
Sain uu (informal) (Сайн уу)
How are you? 
Yuu baina? (Юу байна?)
Fine, thank you. 
Sain sain. (Сайн сайн)
What is your name? 
Chinii/Tany* neriig hen gedeg ve? (Чиний/Таны нэрийг хэн гэдэг вэ?)
Who are you / Who is it? 
Chi/ta* khen be?(Чи/Та хэн бэ?)
My name is ______ . 
Mini neriig ______ gedeg. (Миний нэрийг _____ гэдэг.)
Nice to meet you. 
Taniltsahad taatai baina. (Танилцахад таатай байна.)
Please. 
Guij baina . (Гуйж байна.)
Thank you. 
Bayarlalaa . (Баярлалаа.)
You're welcome. 
Zuuger zugeer . (Зүгээр зүгээр.)
Yes. 
Tiim . (Тийм.)
No. 
Ugui . (Үгүй)
Sorry. 
Uuchlaarai : . (Уучлаарай.)
Goodbye 
Bayartai . (Баяртай.)
I can't speak Mongolian 
Bi Mongoloor yarij chadahgui[ ]. (Би Монголоор ярьж чадахгүй[ ].)
Do you speak English? 
Chi angliar yaridaguu? (Чи Англиар ярьдаг уу?)
Help! 
Tuslaarai! (Туслаарай!)
Look out! 
Eniig/teriig hardaa! (Энийг/Тэрийг хардаа!)
Good morning. 
ugluunii mend . (Өглөөний Мэнд.)
Good afternoon. 
udriin mend . (Өдрийн мэнд.)
Good evening. 
oroin mend. (Оройн мэнд.)
Good night (to sleep
saikhan amraarai . (Сайхан амраарай.)
I don't understand. 
bi oilgokhgui baina . (Би ойлгохгүй байна.)
Where is the toilet? 
Biy zasah gazar haana ve? (Бие засах газар хаана байдаг вэ?)
*Ta or Tany - it's like deference form.

Problems[edit]

Don't touch me! 
Nadad buu khur!
I'll call the police. 
Bi tsagdaa duudlaa
Police! 
Tsagdaa!
Stop! Thief! 
Zogsoogooroi! Khulgaich!
PLease help / I need your help. 
Ta nadad tuslahgui yu.
I'm lost. 
Bi toorchihloo.
I lost my bag. 
Bi tsunkhee geechihlee.
I lost my wallet. 
Bi turuivchee geechihlee.
I'm sick. 
Bi uvchtei baina.
I've been injured. 
Bi gemtchihsen.
I need a doctor. 
Nadad emch heregtei baina.
Can I use your phone? 
Bi tanii utsiig hereglej boloh uu?

Numbers[edit]

teg
neg
hoyor
gurav
doruv
tav
zurgaa
doloo
naim
yus
10 
arav
11 
arvan neg
12 
arvan hoyor
20 
hori
21 
horin neg
30 
guch
31 
guchin neg
40 
duch
41 
duchin neg
50 
tavi
60 
jar
70 
dal
80 
naya
90 
yer
100 
zuu
200 
hoyor zuu
1000 
myanga
3451 
gurvan myanga dorvon zuun tavin neg
20000 
horinmyanga
1,000,000 
saya
number ____ (train, bus, etc.) 
nomer/dugaar ____
half 
tal
a lot 
ih
a little 
baga

Time[edit]

now 
odoo
later 
daraa
before 
umnu
after 
daraa
morning 
ugluu
afternoon 
udur
evening 
oroi
night 
shono


Clock time[edit]

one o'clock AM 
shoniin neg tsag
noon 
udriin arvan hoyor tsag
one o'clock PM 
udriin neg tsag
midnight 
shoniin arvan hoyor tsag

Duration[edit]

___ minute(s) 
___ minut
___ hour(s) 
___ tsag
___ day(s) 
___ udur
___ week(s) 
___ doloo honog
___ month(s) 
___ sar
___ year(s) 
___ jil


Days[edit]

today 
unuudur
tomorrow 
margaash
yesterday 
uchigdur
this week 
ene doloo honog
last week 
ungursun doloo honog
next week 
daraagiin doloo honog
Monday 
davaa
Tuesday 
myagmar
Wednesday 
lkhavga
Thursday 
purev
Friday 
baasan
Saturday 
byamba
Sunday 
nyam

Months[edit]

January 
neg dugaar sar
February 
hoyor dugaar sar

(etc. The number of the month (1-12), followed by "dugaar sar")

Writing time and date[edit]

When writing the date with digits, 14/11/08. The 24 hour clock is used, rather than the 12 hour clock.

Colors[edit]

black 
har
white 
tsagaan
gray 
saaral
red 
ulaan
blue 
tsenkher
yellow 
shar
green 
nogoon
orange 
ulbar shar
purple 
chirnelen yagaan
brown 
bor
pink 
yagaan

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

How much is a ticket to ___? 
___ yavah biletnii une hed ve?
One ticket to ___, please. 
___ yavah neg bilet avya.
Where does this train/bus go? 
Ene galt tereg/avtobus haashaa yavah ve?
Where is the bus/train to ___? 
___ yavah avtobus/galt teregnii zogsool haana baina ve?
Does this train/bus stop in ___? 
Ene galt tereg/avtobus ___-d zosgoh uu?
When does the train/bus to ___ leave? 
___ yavah galt tereg/avtobus hodloh ve?
When will the train/bus arrive in ___? 
___-t galt tereg/avtobus hezee ochih ve?

Directions[edit]

How do I get to ___? 
Bi yaj ___-d ochih ve?
... the train station 
galt teregnii buudal
... the bus station 
avtobusnii buudal
... the airport 
ongotsnii buudal
... downtown 
hotiin tuv
... the hotel 
zochid buudal
... the American/British/Canadian/Australian embassy 
Amerik/Angli/Kanad/Avstir elchin saidiin yam
street 
gudamj
Turn left 
zuun tiishee erge
Turn right 
baruun tiishee erge
straight ahead 
chigeeree
towards the ___ 
___ tiishee
north 
hoid
south 
urd
east 
zuun
west 
baruun

Taxi[edit]

Taxi! 
Taxi!
Take me to ___, please. 
namaig ___ ruu hurgej ogooch.
How much does it cost to get to ___? 
___ ruu yavhad hed ve?

Lodging[edit]

Do you have rooms available? 
Uruu baina uu?
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
Neg/hoyor hunii uruu hed ve?
Does the room come with ___? 
Uruund ___ bii uu?
...bedsheets 
ornii davuu
...a bathroom 
bannii uruu
...a telephone 
utas
...a TV 
zuragt
May I see the room first? 
Uruug ehleed uzej boloh uu?
Do you have anything quieter? 
Chimee bagatai uruu bii uu?
...bigger 
tomhon
...cleaner 
tseverhen
...cheaper 
hyamdhan
OK, I'll take it. 
Za, avya.
I will stay for ___ nights. 
Bi ___ udur honono.
Can you suggest another hotel? 
Uur zochid buudal haana baidag ve?
Do you have a safe? 
Safe baigaa uu?
Is breakfast included? 
Ugluunii hool orson uu?
Please clean my room. 
Minii uruug tseverlej ugnu uu.
Can you wake me at ___? 
Ta namaig ___ tsagt sereej ugnu uu?
I want to check out. 
Bi buudlaasaa garya.

Money[edit]

Do you accept American/British/Canadian/Australian currency? 
Ta Amerik/Angli/Kanad/Avstrali mungu avdag uu?
Do you accept credit cards? 
Kredit kart avdag uu?
Can you change money for me? 
Mungu solij ugnu uu?
Where can I get money changed? 
Bi munguu haana soliulj boloh ve?
How much for one ___? 
Neg ___ hed ve?

Eating[edit]

A table for one/two, please. 
Neg/hoyor hunii shiree.
Can I look at a menu, please? 
Bi hoolnii zes harj boloh uu?
I'm a vegetarian. 
Bi mah iddeggui.
I don't eat pork. 
Bi gahain mah iddeggui.
I don't eat beef. 
Bi uhriin mah iddeggui.
Breakfast 
ugluunii hool
Lunch 
udriin hool
Dinner 
oroin hool
I want ___ 
___-g avya.
Chicken 
tahianii mah
Beef 
uhriin mah
Pork 
gahain mah
Fish 
zagasnii mah
Soda 
undaa
Cheese 
byaslag
Eggs 
ondog
Salad 
salat
Vegetable 
nogoi
Fruit 
jims
Bread 
talh
Noodles 
goimon
Rice 
budaa
Corn 
erdene shish
Apple 
alim
Orange 
mandrin
Lemon 
limon
Banana 
banan
May I have a glass of ___? 
Bi neg ayga ___ avch boloh uu?
May I have a bottle of ___? 
Bi neg lonh ___ avch boloh uu?
Coffee 
coffee
Tea 
tsai
Juice 
shuus
Milk 
suu
Water 
us
Beer 
pivo
Alcohol 
arhi
Wine 
vino
Salt 
davs
Pepper 
pierts
Butter 
maslo
I'm finished (full.) 
Bi tsadchihlaa.
It was delicious. 
Goyo amttai baisan.
The check, please. 
Bi munguu tolyo.

Bars[edit]

Do you serve alcohol? 
End arhi zardag uu?
A beer, please. 
Neg shil pivo.
___ (liquor) and ___ (mixer), please. 
___ arhiig ___-tai.
whiskey 
viski
vodka 
tsagaan arhi
orange juice 
orangenii shuus
Coke (soda) 
koka kola
One more, please. 
Dahiad neg.
When is closing time? 
Hezee haah ve?

Shopping[edit]

Do you have this in my size? 
Minii razmer baigaa uu?
How much (is this)? 
Hed ve?
That's too expensive. 
Ih unetei baina.
Would you take _____? 
_____ avdag uu?
expensive 
Unetei
cheap 
Hyamdhan
I can't afford it. 
Bi uniig ni diilehgui um baina.
I don't want it. 
Nadad taalagdahgui baina.
You're cheating me. 
Chi namaig hulhidaj baina.
I'm not interested. 
Bi sonirhohgui baina.
OK, I'll take it. 
Za, bi avya.
Can I have a bag? 
Bi uut avya.
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Shuudangaar ilgeej chadah uu? (dalain chandad)
I need... 
Nadad ____ heregtei baina.
...toothpaste. 
...shudnii oo
...a toothbrush. 
...shudnii soiz
...tampons. 
...tampon / ariun tsevriin hereglel
...soap. 
...savan
...shampoo. 
...shampuuni
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen) 
...uvchin namdaagch
...cold medicine. 
...haniadnii em
...stomach medicine. 
...gedesnii em
...a razor. 
...sahliin tatuurga
...batteries. 
...baterrei
...an umbrella. (rain) 
...zoontik
...a postcard. 
...otkirit
...postage stamps. 
...mark
...writing paper. 
...bichgiin tsaas
...a pen. 
...uzeg
...English-language books. 
...Angli nomnuud
...English-language magazines. 
...Angli setguuluud
...an English-language newspaper. 
...Angli sonin

Driving[edit]

Driving

I want to rent a car. 
Bi mashin prokatlahiig husej baina.
Can I get insurance? 
Bi avto daatgal avch boloh uu?
stop (on a street sign)
Zogs
one way
neg ursgal
yield 
zam tavij og
no parking 
mashin tavij bolohgui
speed limit 
hurdnii limit
gas (petrol) station 
binzen klonk
diesel 
diesel

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything wrong. 
Bi buruu um hiigeegui.
It was a misunderstanding. 
Buruu oilgoltschih shig bolloo.
Where are you taking me? 
Namaig haash ni avch yavj bainaa?
Am I under arrest? 
Bi barivchlagdaj baigaa um uu?
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
Bi Amerik/Avstrali/Angli/Kanad-iin irgen.
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
Bi Amerik/Avstrali/Angli/Kanad-iin elchin saidiin yamtai/konsultai holboo barih heregtei.
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
Bi huulichtaigaa yarihiig husej baina.
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Bi odoo zovhon tulbur hiichihej boloh uu?

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