Mongolian, the official language of Mongolia, is spoken by over 5 million people worldwide. For many, learning this ancient language can be an exciting and rewarding experience, as it offers a unique insight into the rich history and culture of the Mongolian people. However, as with any language, there are hard aspects that can make learning Mongolian quite challenging for foreigners. In this blog post, we will explore some of these difficult aspects and discuss how to approach them with determination and positivity.
1. The Unique Script
One of the first challenges learners face when attempting to learn Mongolian is its unique script. While the Cyrillic alphabet is used in modern Mongolia, the traditional Mongolian script, known as the “Old Uyghur” script, is still used in Inner Mongolia, China. This script is written vertically from top to bottom, left to right, which can be a significant adjustment for learners who are accustomed to the left-to-right orientation of most other languages. Mastering the script requires patience and practice, but with time, it becomes second nature.
2. Vocabulary and Pronunciation
Mongolian has a vast and unique vocabulary, with many words and concepts that may not exist in other languages. This can make it difficult for learners to find direct translations for some words or phrases, as well as grasp the nuances of the language. Additionally, Mongolian pronunciation can be quite challenging, with numerous sounds that may be unfamiliar or difficult to produce for non-native speakers. Examples include the unique “х” sound, which resembles a throaty “h,” and the “ү” sound, which is similar to the German “ü” sound. Consistent practice and exposure to native speakers can help learners overcome these pronunciation difficulties.
3. Grammar and Sentence Structure
Mongolian grammar is quite complex, with a large number of inflections and declensions that can be overwhelming for learners. The language is also highly agglutinative, meaning that suffixes are attached to words to convey grammatical information. This can result in very long and complex words that can be difficult to parse for learners. Additionally, Mongolian has a unique sentence structure known as Subject-Object-Verb (SOV), which is the opposite of the more familiar Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) structure used in English. This can make constructing and understanding sentences in Mongolian a challenging task.
4. Lack of Learning Resources
Compared to more widely spoken languages like Spanish, French, or Chinese, there are relatively fewer resources available for learning Mongolian. This can make it difficult for learners to find quality textbooks, online courses, or language exchange partners to practice with. However, the growing interest in Mongolian language and culture has led to the development of more learning resources in recent years, making it easier for learners to access the materials they need to succeed.
Learning Mongolian can be a challenging task, but the rewards of mastering this unique and beautiful language far outweigh the difficulties. By approaching the hard aspects of the language with persistence, determination, and a positive attitude, learners can overcome these challenges and unlock the rich linguistic and cultural treasures that Mongolian has to offer. Embrace the challenge and embark on your journey to learning Mongolian today!