Traditional Mongolian script

The Classical Mongolian script originated with the Sogdo-Uighur alphabet. In the 13th century, this alphabet was used as the foundation for the Mongolian alphabet. The oldest known monument with this script is from 1227. In 1247, Tibetan scholars wrote the first Mongolian language grammar book. Since then, the Mongolian language has steadily developed and the script has been revised several times.

Currently use traditional Mongolian script more than five million people in Inner Mongolia in China. In today’s Mongolia was a classical script replaced by modified cyrillic in 1941.

Each letter of Classical Mongolian alphabet has always four versions. It depends on the position of the letter in the word. The letter can stand alone or in initial, medial or final position.

Traditional Mongolian alphabet

Traditional Mongolian Alphabet
Traditional Mongolian Alphabet
  1. Some letters have two final forms: one that joins the word, another that is separated.
  2. Diphthong.
  3. “na” and “γa” can be written in 2 ways. No. 3 is the modernized form as used in Inner Mongolia.
  4. These letters are used only in “strong” (masculine, back) words according to vowel harmony.
  5. These letters are used only in “weak” (feminine, front) words according to vowel harmony.
  6. These letters do not belong to the original Classical Mongolian alphabet, but were introduced because of the use of loan words.
Vowels in traditional Mongolian script
Vowels in traditional Mongolian script

Sources:
Mongolian Grammar, D. Tserenpil and R. Kullmann, Ulaanbaatar 2005
Монгол Бичиг (сурах бичиг), Чоймаа Ш., 2002

2 thoughts on “Traditional Mongolian script”

  1. Hi. I am in love with this beautiful and unique script and would like to have an English quote translated if possible. I would like to have it tattooed on me. The quote is:

    For every dark night there’s a brighter day

    If you could translate this for me in traditional Mongolian script I would be grateful beyond words. I’ve looked everywhere and nobody can seem to translate it for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.