Mongolian language

монгол хэл
Monggol kele.svg
Pronunciation/mɔŋɢɔ̆ɮ xeɮ/
Native toMongolia
RegionAll of state Mongolia and Inner Mongolia; Buryatia, Kalmykia, parts of Irkutsk Oblast, Zabaykalsky Krai in Russia; parts of Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Xinjiang, Gansu and Qinghai provinces in China; Issyk-Kul Region in Kyrgyzstan
Native speakers
5.2 million (2005)[1]
  • Mongolian
Early forms
Standard forms
Khalkha (Mongolia)
Chakhar (China)
Mongolian alphabets:
Traditional Mongolian alphabet
(in China),
Mongolian Cyrillic alphabet (in Mongolia),
Mongolian Braille
Official status
Official language in


Regulated byMongolia:
State Language Council,[3]
Council for Language and Literature Work[4]
Language codes
ISO 639-3mon – inclusive code
Individual codes:
khk – Khalkha Mongolian
mvf – Peripheral Mongolian (part)
Linguaspherepart of 44-BAA-b
Topographic map showing Asia as centered on modern-day Mongolia and Kazakhstan. An orange line shows the extent of the Mongol Empire. Some places are filled in red. This includes all of Mongolia, most of Inner Mongolia and Kalmykia, three enclaves in Xinjiang, multiple tiny enclaves round Lake Baikal, part of Manchuria, Gansu, Qinghai, and one place that is west of Nanjing and in the south-south-west of Zhengzhou
Geographic distribution of Mongolic peoples across Asia (red)
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

The Mongolian language[note 1] is the official language of Mongolia and both the most widely-spoken and best-known member of the Mongolic language family. The number of speakers across all its dialects may be 5.2 million, including the vast majority of the residents of Mongolia and many of the Mongolian residents of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.[1] In Mongolia, the Khalkha dialect, written in Cyrillic (and at times in Latin for social networking), is predominant, while in Inner Mongolia, the language is dialectally more diverse and is written in the traditional Mongolian script. In the discussion of grammar to follow, the variety of Mongolian treated is Standard Khalkha Mongolian (i.e., the standard written language as formalized in the writing conventions and in the school grammar), but much of what is to be said is also valid for vernacular (spoken) Khalkha and for other Mongolian dialects, especially Chakhar.

Some classify several other Mongolic languages like Buryat and Oirat as dialects of Mongolian, but this classification is not in line with the current international standard.

Mongolian has vowel harmony and a complex syllabic structure for a Mongolic language that allows clusters of up to three consonants syllable-finally. It is a typical agglutinative language that relies on suffix chains in the verbal and nominal domains. While there is a basic word order, subject–object–predicate, ordering among noun phrases is relatively free, so grammatical roles are indicated by a system of about eight grammatical cases. There are five voices. Verbs are marked for voice, aspect, tense, and epistemic modality/evidentiality. In sentence linking, a special role is played by converbs.

Modern Mongolian evolved from Middle Mongol, the language spoken in the Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries. In the transition, a major shift in the vowel-harmony paradigm occurred, long vowels developed, the case system changed slightly, and the verbal system was restructured. Mongolian is related to the extinct Khitan language. It was believed that Mongolian is related to Turkic, Tungusic, Korean and Japonic languages but this view is now seen as obsolete by a majority of (but not all) comparative linguists. These languages have been grouped under the Altaic language family and contrasted with the Mainland Southeast Asia linguistic area. Mongolian literature is well attested in written form from the 13th century but has earlier Mongolic precursors in the literature of the Khitan and other Xianbei peoples. The Bugut inscription dated to 584 CE and the Inscription of Hüis Tolgoi dated to 604-620 CE are currently the oldest substantial Mongolic or Para-Mongolic texts discovered.

Geographic distribution

Mongolian is the official national language of Mongolia, where it is spoken (but not written) by nearly 3.6 million people (2014 estimate),[6] and the official provincial language (both spoken and written forms) of Inner Mongolia, China, where there are at least 4.1 million ethnic Mongols.[7] Across the whole of China, the language is spoken by roughly half of the country's 5.8 million ethnic Mongols (2005 estimate)[6] However, the exact number of Mongolian speakers in China is unknown, as there is no data available on the language proficiency of that country's citizens. The use of Mongolian in Inner Mongolia, has witnessed periods of decline and revival over the last few hundred years. The language experienced a decline during the late Qing period, a revival between 1947 and 1965, a second decline between 1966 and 1976, a second revival between 1977 and 1992, and a third decline between 1995 and 2012.[8] However, in spite of the decline of the Mongolian language in some of Inner Mongolia's urban areas and educational spheres, the ethnic identity of the urbanized Chinese-speaking Mongols is most likely going to survive due to the presence of urban ethnic communities.[9] The multilingual situation in Inner Mongolia does not appear to obstruct efforts by ethnic Mongols to preserve their language.[10][11] Although an unknown number of Mongols in China, such as the Tumets, may have completely or partially lost the ability to speak their language, they are still registered as ethnic Mongols and continue to identify themselves as ethnic Mongols.[6][12] The children of inter-ethnic Mongol-Chinese marriages also claim to be and are registered as ethnic Mongols.[13]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Mongools
አማርኛ: ሞንጎልኛ
aragonés: Idioma mongol
asturianu: Idioma mongol
azərbaycanca: Monqol dili
تۆرکجه: موغول دیلی
Bân-lâm-gú: Bông-kó͘-gí
башҡортса: Монгол теле
беларуская: Мангольская мова
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Мангольская мова
български: Монголски език
brezhoneg: Mongoleg
català: Mongol
Чӑвашла: Монгол чĕлхи
čeština: Mongolština
Cymraeg: Mongoleg
español: Idioma mongol
Esperanto: Mongola lingvo
euskara: Mongoliera
Fiji Hindi: Mongolian bhasa
français: Mongol
Frysk: Mongoalsk
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Mùng-kú-ngî
한국어: 몽골어
հայերեն: Մոնղոլերեն
हिन्दी: मंगोल भाषा
hornjoserbsce: Mongolšćina
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Mongol
íslenska: Mongólska
italiano: Lingua mongola
עברית: מונגולית
kalaallisut: Mongoliamiutut
Kapampangan: Amanung Monggol
қазақша: Моңғол тілі
Кыргызча: Монгол тили
latviešu: Mongoļu valoda
lietuvių: Mongolų kalba
Lingua Franca Nova: Mongol (lingua)
magyar: Mongol nyelv
македонски: Монголски јазик
მარგალური: მონღოლური ნინა
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa Mongolia
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Mùng-gū-ngṳ̄
монгол: Монгол хэл
Nāhuatl: Mongollahtōlli
Dorerin Naoero: Dorerin Mongoriya
Nederlands: Mongools
नेपाल भाषा: मंगोल भाषा
日本語: モンゴル語
norsk: Mongolsk
norsk nynorsk: Mongolsk
occitan: Mongòl
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Mongol tili
پنجابی: منگولی
português: Língua mongol
Qaraqalpaqsha: Mongol tili
română: Limba mongolă
Runa Simi: Muñgul simi
саха тыла: Монгуол тыла
Simple English: Mongolian language
slovenčina: Mongolčina
српски / srpski: Монголски језик
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Mongolski jezik
svenska: Mongoliska
татарча/tatarça: Монгол теле
Türkçe: Moğolca
Türkmençe: Mongol dili
тыва дыл: Моол дыл
українська: Монгольська мова
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: موڭغۇل تىلى
Tiếng Việt: Tiếng Mông Cổ
Volapük: Mongolänapük
文言: 蒙古語
吴语: 蒙古语
Xitsonga: Mongolia
ייִדיש: מאנגאליש
粵語: 蒙古話
中文: 蒙古语