Indiana University is the only university on the American continent that offers a Mongolian program and formal Mongolian instruction for three levels as a part of a university degree during the academic year. Introductory Mongolian is also available during summer. There are scholarships available for summer sessions and funding opportunities, such as the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships for studying abroad.
Why Study Mongolian?
Mongolian is spoken by over 7 million people, not just in Mongolia, but also in some parts of China (Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) and Russia (Buryatia and Kalmykia). As a member of the Altaic language family, Mongolian shares structural similarities to Turkic and Tungusic language groups.
Mongolian vocabulary is rich in early Turkic, Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese elements that reflect the country’s nomadic, Buddhist, and Asian heritage. Mongolian continues to adopt words from Russian and English, but very much retains its own distinctive character.
It is much easier to begin with Cyrillic Mongolian (МОНГОЛ ХЭЛ) with almost no difference between spelling and pronunciation to learn about cultural riches of contemporary Mongolia and as you advance, progress to the beautiful “vertical” Mongolian script, which was introduced by the legendary Chinggis Khan in the 13th century in order to connect his empire from the Sea of Japan to Eastern Europe.
Learning this language will help you discover Mongolia, which is an emerging democracy and one of the last countries on earth with nomadic peoples. In addition to being a gateway to U.S. government or non-profit careers, Mongolia has become a captivating tourist destination and a highly competitive site for mining industries.
Learn these everyday phrases!
- Good Morning: Өглөөний мэнд (Öglöönii mend)
- Hello. How are you?: Сайн байна уу? (Sain bainuu?)
- I am good/well, and you?: Сайн, сайн байна уу? (Sain, sain bainuu?)
- I am good/well: Сайн (Sain)
- What is your name?: Таны нэр хэн бэ? (Tanii ner hen be?)
- My name is __: Миний нэр __ (Minii ner __)
- Nice to meet you: Сайхан танилцлаа (Saikhan taniltslaa)
- Thanks: Баярлалаа (Bayarlalaa)
- You’re welcome (lit. Okay): Зүгээр (>Dzügeer)
- What’s new?: Сонин сайхан юу байна? (Sonin saikhan yuu bain?)
- Sorry. Excuse me: Уучлаарай. (Uuchlaarai)
- Goodbye: Баяртай (Bayartai)
- Good night / Have a good weekend / Have a good vacation (lit. have good rest): Сайхан амраарай! (Saikhan amraarai)
Why Learn A World Language?
In the increasingly globalized world, the knowledge of a world language becomes an indispensable skill important not only for individual enrichment, but also for the broadening employment opportunities.
According to a study from the University of Chicago, knowledge of a world language helps you boost decision-making skills.
Students who study world languages score higher on standardized tests, as a study from York University in Toronto showed. Students who study a world language for at least one year score an average of 38 points higher on the SATs.
Knowledge of a world language increases your chances of landing a good job, as the recent poll of The Economist showed. An MIT study shows that people who know two or more languages earn an average of $128,000 more over their lifetimes.
Learning a second language has compelling health benefits, as suggested by a study from York University in Toronto that connects prevention of the onset of dementia with foreign language learning.