Credit: Ludovic Hirlimann - Flickr.com

Mongolian is a Real Language?

The Mongolian language is an awesome tongue spoken primarily in Mongolia.  Mongolian sounds nothing like tonal Chinese but is rather a more harsh and guttural language.  I refer to it lovingly as angry whispering.  Mongolia the country is a very difficult, harsh yet beautiful place to live  and the language is similar.  The written Mongolian written language is mostly used in the Russian Cyrillic system. The original writing system, however, goes back to Genghis Khan's day and uses elegant, flowing lines from top to the bottom to communicate.

It's fun to go to a new country and learn a new language, especially a secret language used by very few people.    It's also fun to adapt two languages.  Some people have combined English and Mongolian into one hybrid language known as "Mongolish." Taking that one step further - taking the words and phrases that sound like each language and using it on friends in jest is great fun.  So get ready to learn a new language and have some fun along the way!

English Word: Books

Mongolian Meaning: Bum

Reading books is a favorite past time in many homes across the globe.  However, Mongolians refer to the word "books" to mean something a little different.  "Books" means "bum" in Mongolian.  The question, "have you checked out any good books lately?" has a much better meaning than simply stopping by the library and finding a book to take home.  Remember to use the plural form of books otherwise it won't make sense.  "Book" means "all" in Mongolian and the phrase is ruined.  

English: How are you

Mongolian: Is it Spring time?

"How are you?" is a great way to greet your friends in English.  However, in Mongolian the phrase "How are you" is really a way to ask if the season is Spring.  In order to say it correctly make sure you ready your phlegm on the "H" or like when you are clearing your throat or similar to many German words.  After sounding fierce with your "H" combine "how" and "are" into one word and then finish with the you.  How-are is the word for Spring and you is the question mark.  Enjoy figuring out the seasons!

Mongolian response:  "Team" means yes, or "oogui" means no.

English: Anyway

Mongolian: What is this?

I learned this from a Mongolian who had listened to an English speaker who said "anyway" way too much.  He was learning English at the time and was so confused by the English speaker saying, "what is this?" to start every sentence.  The correct way to say "what is this?" is En Yu Way? Say it fast and it sounds a lot like anyway.  

Mongolian response:  Yooch beesh means nothing.  Takhia means a chicken.  Mongus means a monster.  Doo-jin Da-jin means a teeter totter.

English: Dam Poor Son

Mongolian: Bankrupt

No one likes to be poor.  When your son is very poor it can be a darn shame.  That's why "dam poor son" in Mongolian means, appropriately, bankrupt.  If you are bankrupt put "be" before the word, or if you are talking to a bankrupt person be sure to add "Chi" instead.

I recommend staying away from bad investments and buying too many lottery tickets.  Get a job, invest smartly, or write for Infobarrel and get your "get out of jail" free card to get your poor son out of bankruptcy.

Mongolian response:  Hok Chin - Serves you right.

Mongolian Goats
Credit: Francois Philipp - flickr.com

English: You Win

Mongolian: What's up?

 I love to win.  Who doesn't?  Everyone loves winners.  So if you tell someone "you win" it doesn't have to mean a loss for you but instead a what's up for them.  You win is a slang word for the full "you ban" in Mongolian.  So if you want to say it traditionally, now you can!

Mongolian response:  Yoom-gwee-day means not much.  

English: Boss

Mongolian: Cow Manure

Some bosses are just hard to love.  "Why me?" is spoken by many who unfortunately have to be led by a less than satisfactory boss.  Well now you can be respectful to your superior while making fun of him or her at the same time!  Be sure to watch your step!  You don't want to ruin your new shoes!

Darth Vader Breathing

Mongolian: Breathe in: Yes. Breathe out: No

The most interesting words in Mongolian are not words at all but breathing.  Picture Darth Vader all dressed in black.  He can't breathe very well so he has his own iron lung.  When he breathes in it makes a rather loud sound and when he breathes out an equally loud but different loud sound.  You want to emulate those sounds when saying "yes" or "no" in Mongolian.  Of course you can still use team and oogui from above but this way you now control the dark side of the force and can speak an awesome language at the same time!  

Try it out - it's addicting!  

I hope you've enjoyed learning some fun Mongolian words and phrases.  Be sure to practice with a few trusted friends and have enjoy using your new code words to communicate in a whole new way!

Mongolian Flag
Credit: Nick Farnhill