Survival phrases

If you are travelling to Inner Mongolia and you want to be able to say a few things but don’t have the time to do the whole course, then this is the place for you. These are all of the most useful words and phrases.

Also check out the Survival Phrases Anki flashcard deck if you would like to continue learning offline. It is convenient to use on your smart phone when you have a few spare minutes. See this page for more information about using Anki.

Most Basic of the Basic

If you only have enough time or interest to learn a few simple phrases then learn these first. You will get a lot of use out of them.

Hello.
sæːn ʊː?
Goodbye.
bɑjə̌rtæː
Thank you.
bɑjə̌rllɑː
I don’t understand.
bi œːlə̌gsə̌n gue
Do you speak English?
ʧi æŋgə̌l xəl jærə̌ʤ ʧædn ʊː?
I can’t speak Mongolian.
biː mɔŋgə̌l xəl jærə̌ʤ ʧædə̌x gue
I love you.
biː ʧɑmə̌d xæːrtæː

Common Conversation

Where is the restroom?
ʤœrlə̌ŋ xɑː bæːn be?
Where is the supermarket?
dəlguːr xɑː bæːn be?
    It’s over there.
tənd bæːnɑ
You speak Mongolian well.
tɑː mɔŋgə̌l ug sæːxə̌n jærə̌ʤ bæːn
    No, no, I can’t speak Mongolian well.
ugue ugue    bi mɔŋgə̌l ugə̌n dəːn ɑːnæː
What is your name?
tɑnæː nər ʧin xən be
    My name is John/Mary.
miniː nər _____
Where do you come from?
tɑː xɑːnɑːs irsə̌n be?
Where are you from (nationality)?
tɑː xɑːnxiːn xun be?
    I’m from America. I’m an American.
biː ɑmærə̌kɑːs irsə̌n    bi ɑmærə̌k xun
    I’m from China. I’m Chinese.
biː dʊmdə̌d ʊlsɑːs irsə̌n     bi bɔl dʊmdə̌d ʊlsiːn xun
    I’m from Germany. I’m German.
biː gærmɑnɑːs irsə̌n    bi bɔl gærmɑn xun
    I’m from (South) Korea. I’m Korean.
biː kʊriɑgɑːs irsə̌n    bi bɔl sɔlə̌ngɔːs xun
    I’m from the UK. I’m British.
biː æŋgə̌l ɑːs irsə̌n    biː bɔl æŋgə̌l hun
    I’m from Australia. I’m Australian.
biː ɑstrɑliɑgɑːs irsə̌n    biː bɔl ɑstrɑliɑ hun
How long have you been here?
irəːd hədiː ʊʧə̌x e?
    one day
irəːd nəg oːdə̌r bɔlʤin
    one week
irəːd nəg gærə̌g bɔlʤin
    one month
irəːd nəg sɑr bɔlʤin
    one year
irəːd nəg jil bɔlʤin>
Are you accustomed to things here?
ənd dɑsʤin ʊː
    I’m accustomed to it.
dɑsʤinɑː
What do you do?
tɑː jɑmə̌r ɑʤə̌l tæː be
    I’m a student.
biː sʊrə̌gʧ
    I’m a teacher.
biː bɑgʃ
    I’m a businessperson.
biː mæːmæːʧə̌n
Where are you going?
xɑː jæbə̌x be
     I’m going out.
biː gɑdə̌n gɑrijɑː
What are you doing?
juː xiːx be

Using Language to Learn Language

What is this?
ən juː be
What is that?
tər juː be
How do you say this in Mongolian? (point at something)
ənig mɔŋgə̌lɔːr juː gəx be
How do you say that in Mongolian? (point at something)
tərig mɔŋgə̌lɔːr juː gəx be
How do you say “friend” in Mongolian?
“friend” ig mɔŋgə̌lɔːr juː gəx be
How do you say “computer” in Mongolian?
“computer” ig mɔŋgə̌lɔːr juː gəx be
What is the meaning?
jæmə̌r ʊtə̌g tæː be
What does ___ mean?
_____ gədə̌g ug jæmə̌r ʊtə̌g tæː be
What did you say?
juː gənəː
Can you please repeat that?
tɑː dæxɑːd nəg xəlxuː
Please speak slowly.
ugəːn udɑːn ʃig jærɑː tɑː

Useful (or commonly heard) Vocabulary

foreigner
gɑdgɑːd in xun
Russian
ɔrə̌s xun
black (person)
xɑr ɑrsdə̌n
I (me)
biː
you
tɑː
this
ən

At a Restaurant

What would you like to eat?
tɑː juː idxiː
     (I) want this. (Point at food or menu.)
əniː ɑbjɑː
    (I) want Mongolian stuffed dumplings.
mɔŋgə̌l bʊːs ɑbjɑː
    (I) want milk tea.
suː tæː ʧæː ɑbjɑː
    (I) want millet and cream.
joːxeː tæː bʊdɑː ɑbjɑː
    (I) want cheese.
xʊrʊːd ɑbjɑː
    (I) want fried bread.
xæːrsə̌n bɔːb ɑbjɑː
    (I) want cream.
joːxeː ɑbjɑː
    (I) want boiled meat.
ʧænsə̌n mɑx ɑbjɑː
    (I) want beef.
uxriːn mɑx ɑbjɑː
    (I) want lamb.
xœnə̌n mɑx ɑbjɑː
waiter/waitress
uilʧə̌lə̌gʧəː
    Could you bring us some chopsticks.
sɑbə̌x ɑbjɑː
    Could you bring us a cup.
ʧɔmɔː ɑbjɑː
    Could you bring us a plate.
pil ɑbjɑː
    Could you bring us some napkins.
ʧɑːs ɑbjɑː
    Could you bring us two bowls.
xɔyə̌r ɑjə̌g ɑbjɑː
Do you have Coke?
kəkʊ kələ bæːnʊː
Do you have a spoon?
xɑblə̌g bæːnʊ
How much money is it?
xədiː jɔːs be
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
nəg, xɔjə̌r, gʊrə̌b, dorə̌b, tɑb, jʊrgɑː, dɔlɔː, næːm, jus, ɑrə̌b
20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500
xœr, gʊʧ, doʧ, tæb, ʤir, dɑl, nɑj, jir, ʤʊː, xɔjə̌r ʤʊː, gʊrbə̌n ʤʊː, dorbə̌n ʤʊː, tɑbə̌n ʤʊː
11, 21, 31, 41, 51, 61, 71, 81, 91, 101
ɑrbə̌n nəg, xœrə̌n nəg, gʊʧə̌n nəg, doʧə̌n nəg, tæbə̌n nəg, ʤirə̌n nəg, dɑlə̌n nəg, nɑjə̌n nəg, jirə̌n nəg, ʤʊː bogə̌d nəg

 

8 comments on “Survival phrases
  1. J says:

    I liking the phrases a lot. Some of the content is difficult to say. Oh I have two request- could you also put it in Cyrillic and could you add phrases for dating?

    • Suragch says:

      Thanks for your comment. I agree that some of the content is hard to say. With practice it becomes easier, though.

      This website is focused on the Mongolian that is used in Inner Mongolia, China, where the traditional Mongolian script is used. Cyrillic is used in the country of Mongolia. Neither I nor my Mongolian teachers have the knowledge to add Cyrillic to the lessons. Check out the links page, though, for some good sites that teach Mongolian with Cyrillic.

      What kinds of dating phrases were you thinking of? (It is the Mongolian/Chinese New Year holiday now, though, so I won’t see my teachers for a while.)

  2. Peter TC says:

    Could you tell me:
    1)how to address a waiter or waitress to bring me the bill after I have eaten at the restaurant?
    2) how to tell the taxi driver to take me to Ganden Monastery? to the airport?

    • Suragch says:

      1) In Inner Mongolia in small Mongolian restaurants you usually just go to the counter and ask “xədiː jɔːs be?” (see above). You could call the waiter or waitress (uilʧə̌lə̌gʧəː) and ask the same question.
      2) My teachers aren’t here now so for now I’ll just give you my non-expert answer and try to update this at some later date. If it were me I would say “____ ɔʧnɔː” (go to ____) and then put the location in the blank. Sorry, this answer is not very good. I like your idea of having taxi survival phrases, though, so I’ll add that some time.

  3. Veradej says:

    The language spoken here is quite the same as one in Mongolia itself, although written language is in different script. Oh by the way, the ‘b’ in Mongolian language is quite allophonic in nature. Is letter ‘b’ originated from one letter in Traditional Mongolian script? I see that many times ‘be’ are pronounced as ‘ve’ except when it follows ‘n’ or ‘m’ such as ‘hen be’, otherwise ‘ju be’ sounds like ‘ju ve’. In Cyrillic script, this is explicitly write out as “вэ/бэ” to show sound difference although they mean the same thing.

  4. Veradej says:

    What would you like to eat? tɑː juː idxiː

    It is an interrogative question. Shouldn’t there be question particle ‘be’?
    tɑː juː idxiː be

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