Mongolian/The Alphabet

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Mongolian has been written in a variety of alphabets over the years. The traditional Mongolian script was adapted from Uyghur alphabet in 1208, although it has undergone transformations, and occasionally been supplemented by other scripts. The Mongolian alphabet was used in Mongolia until 1931, when it was temporarily replaced by the Latin alphabet, and finally by Cyrillic in 1937. The traditional alphabet was abolished completely by the pro-Soviet government in 1941, and a short-lived attempt to reintroduce the traditional alphabet after 1990 was abandoned after some years.

In the People's Republic of China, the Mongolian language is a co-official language with Standard Mandarin in some regions, notably the entire Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The traditional alphabet has always been used there, although Cyrillic was considered briefly before the Sino-Soviet split. The classical script used in China in fact represent a very old state of language, and there is no one-to-one correspondence between Cyrillic and classical script.

Currently Mongolian in Outer Mongolia is written in the Cyrillic alphabet. The modified Cyrillic alphabet used for Mongolian is as follows:

Cyrillic Name Sounds Like Transliteration Cyrillic Name Sounds Like Transliteration
Аа а "a" in come a Пп пэ "p" in pop p
Бб бэ "b" in Bob b Рр эр "r" in rrrrr r
Вв вэ "v" in vote v Сс эс "s" in see s
Гг гэ "g" in green g Тт тэ "t" in tall t
Дд дэ "d" in dance d Уу у "u" in food u
Ее е jε~jɜ, e ye Үү ү u ü
Ёё ё yo Фф фэ~фа~эф ( f ) f
Жж жэ zh Хх хэ~ха x, h
Зз зэ ts z Цц цэ tsʰ ts
Ии и i i Чч чэ tʃʰ ch
Йй хагас и i y Шш ша~эш ʃ sh
Кк ка ( k ), ( ) k Щщ ща~эшчэ (stʃ ) shch
Лл эл ɮ,ɮʲ l Ъ ъ хатуугийн тэмдэг "
Мм эм m, m Ыы эр үгийн ы i ï
Нн эн n, n Ьь зөөлний тэмдэг ʲ '
Оо о ɔ o Ээ э e e
Өө ө o ö Юю ю , ju yu
Яя я ja, j ya

Үү and Өө are sometimes written as Vv and Єє, mainly when using Russian software or keyboards that don't support them.

Notes for good writing[edit]

When writing the iy sound on the end of a back vowel word you write it as ы (this is referred to as the jarin-nigin (sixty one) iy). When writing this sound at the end of front vowel words you write the normal iy: ий.


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