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Thread: Conversational Mongolian: Expressions

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    Conversational Mongolian: Expressions



    Mongolian Greetings

    1. How are you ?
    Q: saim bainuu ? (well-are-question marker uu==How are you ?)
    A: saing, ta saim bainuu ? (fine-you-well-are-question marker uu==Fine, How are you ?)

    vocabulary:
    saing, saim (well, fine, good)
    bain (is, am, are)
    uu (question particle)
    ta (you, singular)
    tanai (your, singular)

    2. How is your health ?
    Q: tanai biye saim bainuu ? (your-body-good-is-question marker==Is your health good ?)
    A: bayarllaa, bi saim bain. (Thank you-I-well-am.==Thanks, I'm fine.)

    vocabulary:
    biye (body)
    bayarllaa (thank you)
    bi (I)

    *A Mongolian greeting takes several stages;
    1) General well being of the person
    2) Health of the person
    3) Well-being of the family
    4) Well being of the cattle

    This is the standard greeting when visiting a herdsman at his yurt.
    After that one should ask "What's new ?"

    *The Mongolian expressions for "thank you" vary according to the situation. One should naturally use "bayarllaa" sparingly as it does not have the same usage as in many European languages.

    [adapted from John G. Hangin, Basic Course in Mongolian, Indiana Univ. Press, 1987]
    Last edited by lexico; 17-03-05 at 15:31.
    Z: The fish in the water are happy.
    H: How do you know ? You're not fish.
    Z: How do you know I don't ? You're not me.
    H: True I am not you, and I cannot know. Likewise, I know you're not, therefore I know you don't.
    Z: You asked me how I knew implying you knew I knew. In fact I saw some fish, strolling down by the Hao River, all jolly and gay.

    --Zhuangzi

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    Also,

    I'm fairly certain "Yuckshte" or something near that pronounciation means "bullsh*t" in Mongolian.

    Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice.

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    Coversational -> Controversial Mongolian Expressions ?

    Thank you MadPierrot ! It's quite common to pick up the juicy words so much quicker for the simple reason that they stick !

    I'll try that the next time my PC freezes up; Yuckshte ! Hahahaha.....
    You have some Mongolian friends, don't you ?
    At least one of your friends, Mark was it?, working in the Tibeto-Mongolian Restoration Project. Excellent stuff !
    Last edited by lexico; 17-03-05 at 15:31.

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    Glad I could contribute!

    I learned that word while I was in Mongolia a few years ago. While en route to the site, the van I was in kept breaking down. Consequently, our driver would repeatedly get out, kick the car, and yell, "Yuckshte, yuckshte!" Not understanding him, I calmly asked the translator what he was saying....


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    Conversational Mongolian Day 2

    Today we will do the following to finish the 5-part visitor's greeting formula.

    3-1. Family
    Q: tanai ger-bul saim bainuu ? (your-family-well-is-?=How is your family ?)
    A: saing, tanai ger-bul saim bainuu ? (well-your-family-well-is-?=Fine. How is your family ?)

    vocabulary
    ger (home, yurt)
    ger-bul (family)

    3-2. Wife & Children
    Q: tanai exner xuuxed saim bainuu ? (your-wife-children-well-are-?=How are your wife and children ?)
    A: saing, tanai exner xuuxed saim bainuu ? (well-your-wife-children-well-are-?=Fine. How are your wife and children ?)

    vocabulary
    exner (wife)
    xuuxed (children)
    *x is the unvoiced velar spirant, occurs between vowels. Roughly in the English /g/ position, but without the stop, but as a fricative like the English f, s, th, v. It can be considered close to a strong /h/ sound.

    4. Cattle
    Q: tanai mal saim bainuu ? (your-cattle-well-are-?=How are your cattle ?)
    A: saing, tanai mal saim bainuu ? (well-your-cattle-well-are-?=Fine. How are your cattle ?)

    vocabulary
    mal (cattle, livestock, animals)

    5. What's up ?
    Q: soning yuu wain ? (news-what-is-?=What's new ?)
    A: soning yumγui. (news-thing-none=Nothing new.)

    vocabulary
    soning (news, strange)
    yuu (what)
    yum (thing)
    -gui; -γui; uγui (none, no)
    *γ is the voiced velar spirant, occurs between vowels. Roughly in the English /g/ position, but without the stop, but as a fricative like the English f, s, th, v. It can be considered close to a weakened /g/ sound.

    As noted earlier, inquiring about 1) the person, 2) his health, 3) his family, & 4) his cattle is formulaic. The last exchange of 5) "What's up ? Nothing much !" is also formulaic and unchangeable, and is the most important part of a greeting, only 2nd to 1) "saim bainuu?" After that, one is free to announce a shocking news such as a fire, death, or an earthquake.

    Our next lesson will deal with a little chit-chat on less serious inquiries following the formula for the visitor that we covered in these two lessons.
    Saing suuγaarai ! (well-sit! = Goodbye!: said by the one who is leaving.)
    Saing yawaarai ! (well-go! =Goodbye!: said by the one who remains.)
    Last edited by lexico; 17-03-05 at 22:35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lexico
    Coversational -> Controversial Mongolian Expressions ?
    LOL, that's actually what I thought it said at first!

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    Hey Lexico,

    You're really interested in Mongolian, huh? I also think it's a very interesting language, especially after reading your first two lessons (and mad pierrot's). We can compare it with Japanese, for sure:

    tanai    ger-bul saim bain uu ?
    なたの  家族は  元気です  か

    As I'm short of time I can't give more examples, but this is _so_ interesting I promise I shall return to this thread. Maybe after some corned beef and cabbage. Happy St. Patrick's Day all!
    「まんぐりますか?」
    「まんぐりますよ 。」

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    Happy St. Patrick's, Cacawate !
    tanai    ger-bul saim bain uu ?
    なたの  家族は  元気です  か
    Truely amazing coincidences, aren't they ?
    Allowing for certain quirks, parallelisms like these really make you wonder whether all these languages were like one girl in many different dresses.
    As for your corned beef and cabbages, are they well ?
    tanai uxriin max baichaa saim bainuu ?

    vocabulary
    uxriin max (beef)
    baichaa (chinese cabbage; 白菜)

    Did you know that many Mongol Khans and queens were Christians, and were defiant of the French king's and the Pope's demand to convert to Christianity and to kneel before their authority as their junior in the Christian order ? The Khan's answer was, "I am already Christian. Why don't you convert to my Church and kneel before me instead ?" How shocked they must have been ! The Nestorian Church who was reponsible for the conversion of the Mongols were as orthodox as the Romans; quite a different story from what some would like us to hear.
    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    LOL, that's actually what I thought it said at first!
    Actually that IS what I thought how MadPierrot read it. It grabs your attention, doesn't it ? How could anyone forget Yuck+shte ! All making such good sense, too. Now let us all practice the magical Mongol curse, Yuckshte ! Yuckshte !
    Quote Originally Posted by mad pierrot
    in Mongolia a few years ago. While en route to the site, the van I was in kept breaking down. Consequently, our driver would repeatedly get out, kick the car, and yell, "Yuckshte, yuckshte!"
    I would hate to miss this opportunity you provided to comment on one significant aspect of language namely verbal magic. I suspect that the 4-letter words in informal (casual-to-humorous-to-violent) spoken English are what is left of the ancients' belief system that reality can be modified by the proclamation of the nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs in the optative mood. Even when the way of things was beyond repair, reality in itself was not considered to be complete without the magician's uttering the conclusive qualification, "Damned !" In that regard, what we often consider illogical or mad in the modern thought system are simply the vestiges of the old system which the enlightenment activists failed to destroy under the blanket qualification as superstition. For more examples of verbal magic, see posts on talking to oneself in thread Imaginary Friends, where reality is created through verbalization.
    See also English as an Abusive Language.
    More abusive language in Don't Give Me a Sh*t
    Any magico-abusive words, phrases, or sentences that you would kindly share with others ?
    Last edited by lexico; 18-03-05 at 17:55.

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    I had to look to see what this thread was about. How many more languages are you going to teach us lexico san? It's nice to see such a language, might come in useful when I'm driving around, especially the cursing.
    How come the first thing everyone wants to now or share is how to curse in a foreign language?

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    lexiko, you're great - respect to you
    I am your student
    there is only one problem to me, but I think I will manage it: the pronunciation: you already gave some explanation, but e.g. if you write uu for the question mark - do I read it as an double "u" in Japanese or a long vowel in English which sounds an "a" in Japanese - I got confused and maybe after my question you also :)
    when we were talking about Mongolian I forgot to tell you why I am interested in that Language
    well first of all I saw a movie about 15 years ago, which was called "Urga"; I was really impressed
    second; when I started learning Japanese I heard that the Mongolian and Japanese are somehow related ...
    and third they have a interesting alphabet (unfortunately I can't write it with my PC)
    four: now it's time to train my brain again
    I am looking foreward to seeing more of the course - thx

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    Quote Originally Posted by iwao
    the pronunciation: you already gave some explanation, but e.g. if you write uu for the question mark - do I read it as an double "u" in Japanese or a long vowel in English which sounds an "a" in Japanese - I got confused and maybe after my question you also :)
    Mongolian had two traditional scripts; one was called the Mongolian Script adopted from the Uighur Script in 1204, decending from a Semitic script, only written vertically like the Chinese script of the period. A seceond 'square' script was called P'ags-pa, a modified Tibetan script used 1269-14th century.

    Since 1946 the Mongolian People's Republic began using a mdified Russian alphabet, the Cyrllic script, which is used to this day. The romanisation that I am using is only to facilitate learning, and eventually we will have to move on to Cyrllic.

    To answer your question, I collaped the plain vowels /u, o/ and the umlauted vowels (fronted, i.e. moved from back to central position) /u.. o../ for the time being. As for the "uu", they are pure, long vowels /u:/ in IPA, not the English schwa /@:/.

    Among the vowels that appeared till now, there were 4 instances of umlauts; bu..l, xu..u..xed, yu..m, and gu..i.

    There are a total of 7 vowels; i, e, a, u, o, u.., o.. in modern spoken Mongolian. They can be either short or long.
    Quote Originally Posted by iwao
    when we were talking about Mongolian I forgot to tell you why I am interested in that Language. well first of all I saw a movie about 15 years ago, which was called "Urga"; I was really impressed

    second; when I started learning Japanese I heard that the Mongolian and Japanese are somehow related ...

    and third they have a interesting alphabet (unfortunately I can't write it with my PC)

    four: now it's time to train my brain again
    I am looking foreward to seeing more of the course - thx
    All very good resaons, Iwao ! We'll get to see more and more in time ! Thanks for the motivation; it's great to find people who share the passionate interest !
    Last edited by lexico; 20-03-05 at 12:30. Reason: type-o

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    Mongolian had two traditional scripts; one was called the Mongolian Script adopted from the Uighur Script in 1204, decending from a Semitic script, only written vertically like the Chinese script of the period. A seceond 'square' script was called P'ags-pa, a modified Tibetan script used 1269-14th century.
    yes, that's what I am looking for - the semitic script. A mongolian student showed me (unfortunately did not teach) that way to write. It looks very interesting.
    well, as far as I understand, if I want to study contemporary mongolian besides your class, I have to learn cyrillic?

    bayarllaa

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    Arrow Shall we continue ?

    1Q. saim bainuu ?
    2Q. tanai biye saim bainuu ?
    3Q. tanai ger-bu.l sain bainuu ?
    (or tanai exner xu.u.xed saim bainuu ?)
    4Q. tanai mal saim bainuu ?
    5Q. soning yuu wain ?

    1A. saing. ta saim bainuu ?
    2A. bayarllaa. bi saim bain.
    3A. saing.
    4A. saing.
    5A. soning yu.mgu.i

    Quote Originally Posted by iwao
    yes, that's what I am looking for - the semitic script. A mongolian student showed me (unfortunately did not teach) that way to write. It looks very interesting.
    If your are interested in the Classical Mongolian Script, we could probably do that after getting comfortable with the Cyrillic script. We would need a way to handle Mogol Script turned sideways counter clockwise 90 degrees, and that would run from left to right the same way we write English.
    Quote Originally Posted by iwao
    well, as far as I understand, if I want to study contemporary mongolian besides your class, I have to learn cyrillic?
    That is correct. The Cyrillic orthography for Khalkha Mongolian was naturally influenced by Russian sound conventions, hence does show some inconsistencies. This problem will be overcome in three stages.

    1. Romanization: Units 1-4 will primarily use romanized sound symbols properly representing Molgoian Khalkha sounds. At the same time Mongolian Cyrillic sounds will be introduced for the following units.
    2. Mainly Cyrillic with romanized supplementary lessons: Units 5-20.
    3. All Cyrillic: Units 21-24.

    Thje above is what Hangin's textbook is doing, but we could do a selection of it so as not to drag the learning period too long. So shall we continue with the small talk in Mongolian ?

    6-1. Nice Trip ?
    ta saing irwu.u. ? you-well-came-? (Did you have a nice trip ?)
    tung saixang yawlaa. very-nice-trip. (I had such a nice trip.)

    vocabulary
    irew came. arrived --> irwu.u. vowel e contracted + u.u. question marker
    tung very, extremely
    saixang nice, beautiful
    yawlaa trip (?)

    6-2. Nice Trip ?
    ta saing yabbuu ? you-well-went ? (Did you have a nice trip ?)
    tung saixang yawlaa. very-nice-trip. (I had such a nice trip.)

    vocabulary
    yawax to go
    yawaw went

    7. Tired ?
    ta yadarwuu ? you-well-went ? (Did you have a nice trip ?)
    yo.rdo.o. zu.dersenggu.i. at all-be tried-(past)-not (I wasn't tired at all.)

    vocabulary
    yadraw tired
    yo.rdo.o. at all, in general
    zu.drex be tired, be worn out, have a hard time
    ugu.i none, no, not

    grammar
    -seng verbal noun suffix (ending marker) in the past tense, -s(v)ng
    Expresses perfective past of an action. As nouns/adjectives, is fully declinable and has all the qualities of a noun/adjective. As such can be used as Subject, Object, Attribute (adjective preceding noun), or Predicate (adjective-verb postceding noun).

    As a noun (Subject, Object) can be likened to the infinitve/gerund "to have -ed (past participle)" or "having -ed (p.p.)" in the sense of "-ing in the past or completion".
    As a preposed adjective, can be likened to the present participle -ing.
    As a postposed adjective-verb (predicate), can be likened to be+to+infinitive.

    Review of 6-1 and 7 in a compound sentence:
    ta saing irwu.u. ? ta yadarwuu ?
    tung saixang yawlaa, yo.rdo.o. zu.dersenggu.i.

    Review of 6-2 and 7 in a compound sentence:
    ta saing yabbuu ? ta yadarwuu ?
    tung saixang yawlaa, yo.rdo.o. zu.dersenggu.i.

    Parting formula: Good bye! So long !
    bayartai !
    Last edited by lexico; 30-03-05 at 23:29.

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    Hey thats pretty cool, I seem to learn more phrases in different languages everytime I log on. Thanks for sharing Mad Pierriot.
    “To every man there comes a time in his lifetime that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing unique to him and fitted to his talent; what a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour.”

    Sir Winston Churchill

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    a simple correction

    dear all,

    i'm a Mongolian and i would like to correct the translation of "yakshte" (actually, "yag sh de" or "яг ш дээ" in cyrillic). Its literal and closest translation is "yeah, right" with a sarcastic tone when spoken. It's not like curse but it expresses something like dislike, disapproval or disgusting. Some say it when joking or teasing. The bullshit translation could be "nowsh" новш in cyrillic, which is a real curse. I just didn't want anyone would misunderstand anything.

    Thanks

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