The now completed second term at my Mongolian classes was devoted to building up reading skills. This was done by reading from a children’s textbook. As we went along, we were told the meaning of vocabulary, given an idea of grammatical structures encountered (verb tenses, etc.), and told the meanings of the passages. For the curious, I’ve started creating HTML versions of a few lessons (giving them in traditional script and Cyrillic) for my own personal use, which I’ve uploaded here on the off-chance that they might prove of interest.
Towards the end of term, colloquial readings were introduced. This involved (1) racing through a battery of phonological rules for deducing colloquial pronunciations from the written form and (2) rereading the material already studied using colloquial pronunciations. Many students are finding it hard to keep up, with complaints that no one is learning any Mongolian.
The point of this post, however, is to introduce a new site for learning Inner Mongolian online as it should be learnt: Study Mongolian, by a gentleman named Jonathan who is (it appears) learning Mongolian at a school in Inner Mongolia. Since the site is new, as yet it has only got as far as telling the date, but it shows considerable promise. It is attractively and professionally laid out, lessons are given in the form of simple conversations, pronunciation is given in IPA (not the traditional script, although that is also introduced), there are audio files for listening to pronunciation, and there are exercises to help make use of what has been learnt. I’ll certainly be dropping by regularly for a dose of simple spoken Mongolian. I recommend Jonathan’s site to anyone who is interested in Mongolian (of any variety) and look forward to watching it develop!