Listening to Mongolian

Монгол хэлийг сонсоход яагаад ийм хэцүү байдаг вэ?
directory to mongolian language related content


This is a series of audio clips taken from a popular Mongolian sitcom put together with a view to helping learners understand spoken Mongolian. One of the major reasons the spoken language is so hard to understand for the foreign learner is the fact that the written language is highly conservative and is far removed from language in actual use. What looks like a string of beautiful, clear words when written on the page is reduced in ordinary spoken Mongolian to a brief syllable or two. It's a bit like writing "What are you doing?" in English and pronouncing it "Wotcha doin'?", but worse, because both Mongolian scripts are too straightlaced to ever write something like "Wotcha doin'?" (although the Facebook generation may be changing all that).

This section is an attempt to get to the bottom of this dilemma by comparing the language spoken in an episode of the popular Mongolian sitcom Хөгжилтэй гэр бүл with the way it would be written on the page. The episode is broken up into short segments to allow each part to be digested comfortably. Each segment consists of a still from the show to give a snapshot of the situation, an audio clip of the conversation, and a text putting the dialogue down in written form. The written dialogue can be revealed or hidden at will, allowing users to first listen to the clip and guess what the speakers are saying before looking at the answer.

For beginners it may be discouraging to find such a gap between what they are learning in the classroom and what they hear in the street, but this section has been posted in the hope that it will be less discouraging than the frustration that learners will encounter when applying their hard-won language skills in real life.

This section is still in progress and more episodes will be added gradually.

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