Traditional Mongolian alphabet
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Mongolian script. (Discuss) Proposed since December 2013.|
|ca. 1204 – present|
Oirat alphabet (Clear script)
|U+1800 – U+18AF|
The traditional or classical Mongolian alphabet, sometimes called Hudum 'traditional' in Oirat in contrast to the Clear script (Todo 'exact'), is the original form of the Mongolian script used to write the Mongolian language. It fails to distinguish several vowels (o/u, ö/ü, final a/e) and consonants (t/d, k/g, sometimes ž/y) that were not required for Uyghur, which was the source of the Mongol (or Uyghur-Mongol) script. The result is somewhat comparable to the situation of English, which must represent ten or more vowels with only five letters and uses the digraph th for two distinct sounds. Ambiguity is sometimes prevented by context, as the requirements of vowel harmony and syllable sequence usually indicate the correct sound. Moreover, as there are few words with an exactly identical spelling, actual ambiguities are rare for a reader who knows the orthography.
Letters have different forms depending on their position in a word: initial, medial, or final. In some cases, additional graphic variants are selected for visual harmony with the subsequent character.
|ᠠ||a||А||Distinction usually by vowel harmony (see also q/γ and k/g below)|
|ᠢ||[note 1]||i, yi||И,Й, Ы, Ь||At end of word today often absorbed into preceding syllable|
|ᠣ||o, u||О, У||Distinction depending on context.|
|ᠥ||ö, ü||Ө, Ү||Distinction depending on context.|
|ᠨ||[note 3]||n||Н||Distinction from medial and final a/e by position in syllable sequence.|
|ᠩ||ng||Н, НГ||Only at end of word (medial for composites).
Transcribes Tibetan ང; Sanskrit ङ.
|ᠪ||b||Б, В||In classical Mongolian v is used only for transcribing foreign words, so most "В (V)" in Cyrillic Mongolian correspond to "Б (B)" in Classical Mongolian.|
|ᠫ||p||П||Only at the beginning of Mongolian words.
Transcribes Tibetan པ;
|ᠬ||q||Х||Only with back vowels|
|ᠭ||γ||Г||Only with back vowels.
Between vowels pronounced as a long vowel in oral Mongolian.[note 5] The "final" version only appears when followed by an a written detached from the word.
|ᠺ||k||Х||Only with front vowels, but 'ki/gi' can occur in both front and back vowel words
Word-finally only g, not k.
g between vowels pronounced as long vowel.[note 6]
|t, d||Т, Д||Distinction depending on context.|
|ᠴ||č||Ч, Ц||Distinction between /tʃ'/ and /ts'/ in Khalkha Mongolian.|
|ᠵ||j||Ж, З||Distinction by context in Khalkha Mongolian.|
|ᠶ||y||-Й, Е*, Ё*, Ю*, Я*|
|ᠷ||r||Р||Not normally at the beginning of words.[note 7]|
|ᠸ||v||В||Used to transcribe foreign words (Originally used to transcribe Sanskrit व)|
|ᠹ||f||Ф||Used to transcribe foreign words|
|ᠻ||ḳ||К||Used to transcribe foreign words|
|ᠼ||(c)||(ц)||Used to transcribe foreign words (Originally used to transcribe Tibetan /ts'/ ཚ; Sanskrit छ)|
|ᠽ||(z)||(з)||Used to transcribe foreign words (Originally used to transcribe Tibetan /dz/ ཛ; Sanskrit ज)|
|ᠾ||(h)||(г, х)||Used to transcribe foreign words (Originally used to transcribe Tibetan /h/ ཧ, ྷ; Sanskrit ह)|
|ᡁ||(zh)||(-,-)||Transcribes Chinese 'zhi' - used in Inner Mongolia|
|ᠿ||(ř)||(-,-)||Transcribes Chinese 'ri' - used in Inner Mongolia|
|ᡂ||(chi)||(-,-)||Transcribes Chinese 'chi' - used in Inner Mongolia|
- Following a consonant, Latin transliteration is i.
- Following a vowel, Latin transliteration is yi, with rare exceptions like naim ("eight") or Naiman.
- Character for front of syllable (n-<vowel>).
- Character for back of syllable (<vowel>-n).
- Examples: qa-γ-an (khan) is shortened to qaan unless reading classical literary Mongolian. Some exceptions like tsa-g-aan ("white") exist.
- Example: de-g-er is shortened to deer. Some exceptions like ügüi ("no") exist.
- Transcribed foreign words usually get a vowel prepended. Example: Transcribing Русь (Russia) results in Oros.
- Transliteration: Vikipediya čilügetü nebterkei toli bičig bolai.
- Cyrillic: Википедиа чөлөөт нэвтэрхий толь бичиг болой.
- Transcription: Vikipedia chölööt nevterkhii toli bichig boloi.
- Gloss: Wikipedia free omni-profound mirror scripture is.
- Translation: Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia.
- György Kara, "Aramaic Scripts for Altaic Languages", in Daniels & Bright The World's Writing Systems, 1994.
- Lingua Mongolia: Mongolian Alphabet, including tutorial
- photos of a well-preserved printed book discovered at Turfan
- Making sense of the Mongolian alphabet, an introduction to the traditional alphabet and how it is learnt
- StudyMongolian: Written forms with audio pronunciation
- Looking up Mongolian dictionaries, Handwritten vs printed