Mongolian Apps

If you have a smart phone here are some recommendations to help you in your Mongolian study. Unfortunately, none of these are for beginners but if you are ready then check them out.

Chimee

Practice your reading and writing by sending messages to your Mongolian friends. The messages are sent as images so that the vertical script will display correctly. It works best if you also have WeChat installed on your phone. There is no iPhone version yet.

Bainu

This is a full fledged chat app. The setup is a little complicated so you might need a Mongolian friend to help you. Once you are registered, though, you can search for people near you. There is potential for endless language practice for the brave. Both audio and written formats are supported.

Dictionaries

There are not any English to Traditional Mongolian dictionaries that I have found. But Almas has made Mongolian-Mongolian, Mongolian-Chinese, and Chinese Mongolian dictionaries if you are already at a decent level in these languages.

Ehshig

This app allows you to listen to a wide variety of Mongolian music.

Boljoo

This is a Mongolian version of Twitter. It is good reading practice.

NMTV

You can watch TV programs from Inner Mongolia and practice your listening.

Others

  • Ariun Nom – read familiar Bible stories
  • Jirog – write Mongolian text on pictures and share them to social networks
  • Mgyxw.net – news.
  • Holvoo – many articles in Mongolian

 

3 comments on “Mongolian Apps
  1. Popolon says:

    I seen there are some efforts from inner mongolia university (内蒙古大学) to put Android to traditionnal mongolian version. But for the moment, your tool is really welcome to try to type mongolian on Android.

    The document is entitled : 基于Android平台的蒙古文输入法研究与实现

    Nationsoft.org (民族语言软件创新平台) also created a traditionnal mongol keyboard for android (基于Android系统的蒙古文输入法), but registration is needed to download it.

    I also see you started to work on an ibus version of an input method ? This will probably be very interesting, because I didn’t see any project in this direction.

    Thanks for all.

    • Suragch says:

      Thanks for the recommendation of the NationSoft website! There are a lot of Mongolian apps there that I didn’t know about. As I have time I will try them out and eventually try to put up some recommendations here for the good ones.

      I had seen the Inner Mongolia University article when I was making the Chimee app and it was useful in thinking about what was involved in developing an input editor. I would like to see a lot more information be put online about Mongolian software development. There is very little (that I could find) in Chinese and even less in English. Trying to figure out how to write vertically without any guides was like pulling teeth. Eventually I will get the source code for the Chimee app online and write up some of the things I learned. I’d also like to meet with some Mongolian Android and iOS developers to learn how to do things in a more standard way. (If you are one, please contact me.)

      There are already a fair number of Mongolian input methods out there. Most of them are better than the Chimee keyboard. (I especially like the MenkSoft one for Android, which is also available on the NationSoft site you mentioned). The problem for most people it seems, though, is that they either need to install a system font that supports Mongolian (for which they would need to root their phone), or the receiver of any Mongolian message needs to have the same messaging software as the sender. Because of these problems, most Mongolians in Inner Mongolia use Chinese to communicate when writing on a cell phone. By making an app that can send Mongolian messages in image format and be sent to anyone using WeChat (most Inner Mongolians?), I was hoping to make it easier for the common person to be able to communicate in written Mongolian (and consequently easier for me and others to learn Mongolian). I expect in the future there will be better and more popular methods for communicating in written Mongolian and I look forward to that day.

  2. Popolon says:

    Thanks for you reply. I tried your method and copy/pasted to an irc client on android, I was able to see the (rotated) text on my Linux irc client, but not on android, because of miss of font as you mentionned. As my phone is rooted I will try to install fonts. On Android 4.3 (Samsung galaxy Note 3 lite Exynos SoC version at least) there is an option in fonts option to download fonts online, it uses “flipfont”, but doesn’t work in my case (rooted font + firewall + lot of system application locked to avoid slowdown and battery drain).

    There is another solution that works on any HTML5 enabled terminal a website dedicated to mongolian vertical writting, it uses javascript, there was a bug in firefox to render vertical script, but I think this works on chromium/chrome.

    http://www.unsen-sambar.com/

    On old Firefox version, it was needed to go into about:config because a value was seen as signed integer instead of unsigned integer : the variable is : gfx.font_rendering.harfbuzz.scripts to change from 255 ( -1 in 8-bit signed) to 87 (as said a mongolian to me), but I suppose that every value <128 should work fine. In more recent of firefox, the bug seems to be corrected, the value is now unsigned int and traditionnal mongolian works fine with default values. But firefox only manage horizontal writing by defaults (fribidi the engine used can manage every direction text, as far I know), so no traditionnal vertical writing by defaut, only a horizontal rotated one, but with help of javascripts.

    There is a global work on font, every browser should comply to WOFF fonts and accept SVG subset in OpenFont (WOFF encapsule OpenFont with author name, licence/permission, and gzip the font). So Firefox is able and soon other browser should be able to display color/animated/… fonts, not really helpfull in our case, could simplify work for traditionnal vertical writing ???

    I worked on french wikipedia about mongolian writting, and see there are a lot beside traditional one, but fonts are very rare for those writting too, and most (like phagspa) are no more used. Don't know if Soyombo and todo bitchig (oirat) is still used ?

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