Mongolian script

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Mongolian script
ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ
Poem composed and brush-written by Injinash, 19th century
Script type
Time period
c. 1204 – 1941 (used as main script)
1941 – Present (used as co script)
DirectionVertical up-to-down, left-to-right
LanguagesMongolian language
Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
Manchu alphabet Oirat alphabet (Clear script)
Buryat alphabet
Galik alphabet
Evenki alphabet
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Mong (145), ​Mongolian
Unicode alias
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

The traditional Mongolian script,[note 1] also known as the Hudum Mongol bichig,[note 2] was the first writing system created specifically for the Mongolian language, and was the most widespread until the introduction of Cyrillic in 1946. It is traditionally written in vertical lines Top-Down, right across the page. Derived from the Old Uyghur alphabet, it is a true alphabet, with separate letters for consonants and vowels. It has been adapted for such languages as Oirat and Manchu. Alphabets based on this classical vertical script continue to be used in Mongolia and Inner Mongolia to write Mongolian, Xibe and, experimentally, Evenki.

Computer operating systems have been slow to adopt support for the Mongolian script; almost all have incomplete support or other text rendering difficulties.


The so-called Stone of Genghis Khan or Stele of Yisüngge, with the earliest known inscription in the Mongolian script.[1]: 33 

The Mongolian vertical script developed as an adaptation of the Old Uyghur alphabet for the Mongolian language.[2]: 545  Tata-tonga, a 13th-century Uyghur scribe captured by Genghis Khan, was responsible for bringing the Old Uyghur alphabet to the Mongolian Plateau and adapting it to the form of the Mongolian script.[3]

From the seventh and eighth to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Mongolian language separated into southern, eastern and western dialects. The principal documents from the period of the Middle Mongol language are: in the eastern dialect, the famous text The Secret History of the Mongols, monuments in the Square script, materials of the Chinese–Mongolian glossary of the fourteenth century and materials of the Mongolian language of the middle period in Chinese transcription, etc.; in the western dialect, materials of the Arab–Mongolian and Persian–Mongolian dictionaries, Mongolian texts in Arabic transcription, etc.[4]: 1–2  The main features of the period are that the vowels ï and i had lost their phonemic significance, creating the i phoneme (in the Chakhar dialect, the Standard Mongolian in Inner Mongolia, these vowels are still distinct); inter-vocal consonants γ/g, b/w had disappeared and the preliminary process of the formation of Mongolian long vowels had begun; the initial h was preserved in many words; grammatical categories were partially absent, etc. The development over this period explains why the Mongolian script looks like a vertical Arabic script (in particular the presence of the dot system).[4]: 1–2 

Eventually, minor concessions were made to the differences between the Uyghur and Mongol languages: In the 17th and 18th centuries, smoother and more angular versions of the letter tsadi became associated with [] and [] respectively, and in the 19th century, the Manchu hooked yodh was adopted for initial [j]. Zain was dropped as it was redundant for [s]. Various schools of orthography, some using diacritics, were developed to avoid ambiguity.[2]: 545 

Traditional Mongolian is written vertically from top to bottom, flowing in lines from left to right. The Old Uyghur script and its descendants, of which traditional Mongolian is one among Oirat Clear, Manchu, and Buryat are the only known vertical scripts written from left to right. This developed because the Uyghurs rotated their Sogdian-derived script, originally written right to left, 90 degrees counterclockwise to emulate Chinese writing, but without changing the relative orientation of the letters.[5][1]: 36 

The reed pen was the writing instrument of choice until the 18th century, when the brush took its place under Chinese influence.[6]: 422  Pens were also historically made of wood, bamboo, bone, bronze, or iron. Ink used was black or cinnabar red, and written with on birch bark, paper, cloths made of silk or cotton, and wooden or silver plates.[7]: 80–81 

Mongols learned their script as a syllabary, dividing the syllables into twelve different classes, based on the final phonemes of the syllables, all of which ended in vowels.[8]

The script remained in continuous use by Mongolian speakers in Inner Mongolia in the People's Republic of China. In the Mongolian People's Republic, it was largely replaced by the Mongolian Cyrillic alphabet, although the vertical script remained in limited use. In March 2020, the Mongolian government announced plans to increase the use of the traditional Mongolian script and to use both Cyrillic and Mongolian script in official documents by 2025.[9][10][11] However, due to the particularity of the traditional Mongolian script, a large part (40%[12]) of the Sinicized Mongols in China are unable to read or write this script, and in many cases the script is only used symbolically on plaques in many cities.[13][14]


The script is known by a wide variety of names. As it was derived from the Old Uyghur alphabet, the Mongol script is known as the Uighur(-)Mongol script.[note 3] From 1941 onwards, it became known as the Old Script,[note 4] in contrast to the New Script,[note 5] referring to Cyrillic. The Mongolian script is also known as the Hudum or 'not exact' script,[note 6] in comparison with the Todo 'clear, exact' script,[note 7] and also as 'vertical script'.[note 8][15]: 308 [1]: 30–32, 38–39 [16]: 640 [17]: 7 [18][19]: 206 [20]: 27 [21]


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 does not distinguish several vowels (o/u, ö/ü, final a/e) and consonants (syllable-initial t/d and k/g, sometimes ǰ/y) that were not required for Uyghur, which was the source of the Mongol (or Uyghur-Mongol) script.[5] 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.

The rules for writing below apply specifically for the Mongolian language, unless stated otherwise.

Sort orders[edit]

  • Traditional: n, q/k, γ/g, b, p, s, š, t, d, l, m, č...[22][23]: 7 
  • Modern: n, b, p, q/k, γ/g, m, l, s, š, t, d, č...[22][23]: 7 
  • Other modern orderings that apply to specific dictionaries also exist.[24]

Vowel harmony[edit]

Mongolian vowel harmony separates the vowels of words into three groups – two mutually exclusive and one neutral:

  • The back, male, masculine,[25] hard, or yang[26] vowels a, o, and u.
  • The front, female, feminine,[25] soft, or yin[26] vowels e, ö, and ü.
  • The neutral vowel i, able to appear in all words.

Any Mongolian word can contain the neutral vowel i, but only vowels from either of the other two groups. The vowel qualities of visually separated vowels and suffixes must likewise harmonize with those of the preceding word stem. Such suffixes are written with front or neutral vowels when preceded by a word stem containing only neutral vowels. Any of these rules might not apply for foreign words however.[4]: 11, 35, 39 [27]: 10 [28]: 4 [24]

Separated final vowels[edit]

Two examples of the two kinds of letter separation: with the suffix ‑un ( ) and the final vowel ‑a ( )

A separated final form of vowels a or e is common, and can appear at the end of a word stem, or suffix. This form requires a final-shaped preceding letter, and an inter-word gap in between. This gap can be transliterated with a hyphen.[note 9][4]: 30, 77 [29]: 42 [1]: 38–39 [28]: 27 [30]: 534–535 

The presence or lack of a separated a or e can also indicate differences in meaning between different words (compare ᠬᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ⟨?⟩ qar‑a 'black' with ᠬᠠᠷᠠ qara 'to look').[31]: 3 [30]: 535 

Its form could be confused with that of the identically shaped traditional dative-locative suffix ‑a/‑e exemplified further down. That form however, is more commonly found in older texts, and more commonly takes the forms of ᠲ᠋ᠤᠷ tur/tür or ᠳ᠋ᠤᠷ dur/dür instead.[27]: 15 [32][1]: 46 

Separated suffixes[edit]

1925 logo of Buryat–Mongolian newspaper in Mongolian script
1925 logo of Buryat–Mongolian newspaper:
ᠪᠤᠷᠢᠶᠠᠳ ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠤᠨ ᠦᠨᠡᠨ᠃
Buriyad Mongγol‑un ünen 'Buryat-Mongol truth' with the suffix  ᠤᠨ⟨?⟩ ‑un.

All case suffixes, as well as any plural suffixes consisting of one or two syllables, are likewise separated by a preceding and hyphen-transliterated gap.[note 10] A maximum of two case suffixes can be added to a stem.[4]: 30, 73 [27]: 12 [32][33][28]: 28 [30]: 534 

Such single-letter vowel suffixes appear with the final-shaped forms of a/e, i, or u/ü,[4]: 30  as in ᠭᠠᠵᠠᠷ ᠠ⟨?⟩ γaǰar‑a 'to the country' and ᠡᠳᠦᠷ ᠡ⟨?⟩ edür‑e 'on the day',[4]: 39  or ᠤᠯᠤᠰ ᠢ⟨?⟩ ulus‑i 'the state' etc.[4]: 23  Multi-letter suffixes most often start with an initial- (consonants), medial- (vowels), or variant-shaped form. Medial-shaped u in the two-letter suffix  ᠤᠨ⟨?⟩ ‑un/‑ün is exemplified in the adjacent newspaper logo.[4]: 30 [30]: 27 

Consonant clusters[edit]

Two medial consonants are the most that can come together in original Mongolian words. There are however, a few loanwords that can begin or end with two or more.[note 11]

Compound names[edit]

In the modern language, proper names (but not words) usually forms graphic compounds (such as those of ᠬᠠᠰᠡᠷᠳᠡᠨᠢ Qas'erdeni 'Jasper-jewel' or ᠬᠥᠬᠡᠬᠣᠲᠠ Kökeqota – the city of Hohhot or 'Blue-city'). These also allow components of different harmonic classes to be joined together, and where the vowels of an added suffix will harmonize with those of the latter part of the compound. Orthographic peculiarities are most often retained, as with the short and long teeth of an initial-shaped ᠥ‍‍ᠥ᠌‍ ö in ᠮᠤᠤ‍‍ᠥ᠌‍‍ᠬᠢᠨ Muu'ökin 'Bad Girl' (protective name). Medial t and d, in contrast, are not affected in this way.[4]: 30 [35]: 92 [1]: 44 [17]: 88 

Isolate citation forms[edit]

Isolate citation forms for syllables containing o, u, ö, and ü may in dictionaries appear without a final tail as in ᠪᠣ bo/bu or ᠮᠣ᠋ mo/mu, and with a vertical tail as in ᠪᠥ᠋ / or ᠮᠥ᠋ / (as well as in transcriptions of Chinese syllables).[24][1]: 39 


Native Mongolian[edit]

The script represented as a syllabary, 19th century
Native Mongolian
[4]: 17, 18 [2]: 546 
Contextual forms Transliteration[note 12] International Phonetic Alphabet
Initial Medial Final Latin Cyrillic[37][36] Khalkha[29]: 40–42  Chakhar[24][38]
ᠠ‍ ‍ᠠ‍ ‍ᠠ


a а /a/ /ɑ/
ᠡ‍ ‍ᠡ‍ ‍ᠡ


e э /ə/
ᠢ‍ ‍ᠢ‍ ‍ᠢ i и /i/ /i/ or /ɪ/
ᠣ‍ ‍ᠣ‍ ‍ᠣ o о /ɔ/
ᠤ‍ ‍ᠤ‍ ‍ᠤ u у /ʊ/
ᠥ‍ ‍ᠥ᠋‍


‍ᠥ ö ө /ɵ/ /o/
ᠦ‍ ‍ᠦ᠋‍


‍ᠦ ü ү /u/
ᠨ‍ ‍ᠨ‍




n н /n/
‍ᠩ‍ ‍ᠩ ng нг /ŋ/
ᠪ‍ ‍ᠪ‍ ‍ᠪ b б /p/ and /w/ /b/
ᠫ‍ ‍ᠫ‍ p п // /p/


‍ᠬ q


х /x/







г /ɢ/ /ɣ/
ᠮ‍ ‍ᠮ‍ ‍ᠮ m м /m/
ᠯ‍ ‍ᠯ‍ ‍ᠯ l л /ɮ/ /l/
ᠰ‍ ‍ᠰ‍ ‍ᠰ s с /s/ or /ʃ/ before i
ᠱ‍ ‍ᠱ‍ ‍ᠱ š ш /ʃ/
ᠲ‍ ‍ᠲ‍ t т /t/
ᠳ‍ ‍ᠳ‍


‍ᠳ d д /t/ and // /d/
ᠴ‍ ‍ᠴ‍ č ч /t͡ʃʰ/ and /t͡sʰ/ /t͡ʃ/
ᠵ‍ ‍ᠵ‍ ǰ ж /d͡ʒ/ and d͡z /d͡ʒ/
ᠶ‍ ‍ᠶ‍ ‍ᠶ y й /j/
ᠷ‍ ‍ᠷ‍ ‍ᠷ r р /r/

Galik characters[edit]

In 1587, the translator and scholar Ayuush Güüsh created the Galik alphabet (Али-гали Ali-gali), inspired by the third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso. It primarily added extra characters for transcribing Tibetan and Sanskrit terms when translating religious texts, and later also from Chinese. Some of those characters are still in use today for writing foreign names (as listed below).[39]

In 1917, the politician and linguist Bayantömöriin Khaisan published the rime dictionary Mongolian-Han Bilingual Original Sounds of the Five Regions,[a] a bilingual edition of the earlier Original Sounds of the Five Regions,[b] to aid Mongolian speakers in learning Mandarin Chinese. To that end, he included transliterations of Mandarin using the Mongolian script, and repurposed three Galik letters to represent the Mandarin retroflex consonants. These letters remain in use in Inner Mongolia for the purpose of transcribing Chinese.[40]

From left to right: Phagspa, Lantsa, Tibetan, Mongolian, Chinese and Cyrillic
Galik characters
Letters[4]: 17–18 [2]: 546  Contextual forms Transliteration[note 12][4]: 27–28  IPA
Initial Medial Final Latin Cyrillic[37][36] Sanskrit Tibetan[41]: 241–256 
ᠧ‍ ‍ᠧ‍ ‍ᠧ ē е ཨེ /e/
ᠸ‍ ‍ᠸ‍ ‍ᠸ w в /w/
ᠹ‍ ‍ᠹ‍ ‍ᠹ f ф /f/
ᠺ‍ ‍ᠺ‍ ‍ᠺ k к /k/
ᠻ‍ ‍ᠻ‍ ‍ᠻ kh к //
ᠼ‍ ‍ᠼ‍ ‍ᠼ c ц /t͡s/
ᠽ‍ ‍ᠽ‍ ‍ᠽ z з /d͡z/
ᠾ‍ ‍ᠾ‍ ‍ᠾ h х /h/
ᠿ‍ ž[c] ж /ʐ/, /ɻ/[d]
ᡀ‍ lh[e] лх ལྷ /ɬ/
ᡁ‍ zh[f] з /d͡ʐ/
ᡂ‍ ch[g] ч /t͡ʂ/
  1. ^ simplified Chinese: 《蒙汉合璧五方元音》; traditional Chinese: 《蒙漢合璧五方元音》
  2. ^ Chinese: 《五方元音》
  3. ^ Used in Inner Mongolia, and always followed by i. Only used to transcribe the Mandarin Chinese retroflex r, as in ; : ᠿᠢ.
  4. ^ Lee & Zee (2003) and Lin (2007) transcribe these as approximants, while Duanmu (2007) transcribes these as voiced fricatives. The actual pronunciation has been acoustically measured to be more approximant-like.[38][42]
  5. ^ Only used in Tibetan loanwords to represent ལྷ syllables, such as in ᡀᠠᠰᠠ (“Lhasa”). Treated as a separate letter due to representing an independent phoneme, but can be analysed as a digraph of ᠯ‍ (l) and ‍ᠾ‍ (h) (noting the latter is in medial position).
  6. ^ Used in Inner Mongolia, and always followed by i. Only used to transcribe the Mandarin Chinese retroflex zh, as in ; zhī: ᡁᠢ. Takes the form of medial h, but used in initial position.
  7. ^ Used in Inner Mongolia, and always followed by i. Only used to transcribe the Mandarin Chinese retroflex ch, as in ; chī: ᡂᠢ.

Punctuation and numerals[edit]


Example of word-breaking the name Oyirad 'Oirat', 1604 manuscript
Abbreviation exemplified with the initial syllable of the Mongolian tögrög (ᠲᠥ‍᠂)
Abbreviation exemplified with the initial syllable of the Mongolian tögrög (ᠲᠥ‍᠂)

When written between words, punctuation marks use space on both sides of them. They can also appear at the very end of a line, regardless of where the preceding word ends.[35]: 99  Red (cinnabar) ink is used in many manuscripts, to either symbolize emphasis or respect.[35]: 241  Modern punctuation incorporates Western marks: parentheses; quotation, question, and exclamation marks; including precomposed and .[30]: 535–536 

Punctuation[34]: 106, 168, 203 [4]: 28 [43]: 30 [35]: 99 [36]: 3 [30]: 535–536 [21]
Form(s) Name Function(s)
Birga[note 13] Marks start of a book, chapter, passage, or first line
'Dot'[note 14] Comma
'Double-dot'[note 15] Period / full stop
'Four-fold dot'[note 16] Marks end of a passage, paragraph, or chapter
'Dotted line'[note 17] Ellipsis
[...][note 18] Colon
'Spine, backbone'[note 19] Mongolian soft hyphen (wikt:᠆)
Mongolian non-breaking hyphen, or stem extender (wikt:᠊)


15 on 'year of 15' on a 1925 tögrög coin, with the number written across the baseline.[44] ᠑᠕
89 (top) written vertically on a hillside, with the number written on the baseline.
Khoroo 11, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - panoramio (10).jpg
Qančui 3, with the numeral rotated 90 degrees clockwise.[21] ᠬᠠᠨᠴᠤᠢ ᠓
Traditional Clothing Felt Coat (35670324566).jpg
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Mongolian numerals are either written from left to right, or from top to bottom.[4]: 54 [37]: 9  For typographical reasons, they are rotated 90° in modern books to fit on the line.[27]: 56 

Components and writing styles[edit]


Listed in the table below are letter components (graphemes)[note 20] commonly used across the script. Some of these are used with several letters, and others to contrast between them. As their forms and usage may differ between writing styles, however, examples of these can be found under this section below.

Common components
[34][2]: 539–540, 545–546 [37]: 4–5 [43]: 29–30, 205 [46][47]: 111, 115 [35]: 82–83, 86, 108–112 [1]: 35–36 [23]: 1 [48][49]: 20 [19]: 211–212 [50]: 10–11 [51][52][21]
Form Name(s) Use
᠊ᠡ‍ 'Tooth'[note 21] Main part of a and e (from Old Uyghur aleph), n and first part of ng (nun), q and γ (gimel-heth), m (mem), l (hooked resh), d and t (taw), etc. Historically also part of k and g (kaph), as well as r (resh).
'Tooth'[note 22]
ᠡ‍ 'Crown'[note 23] Exaggerated initial (swash) tooth. Used for the leading aleph of initial vowels (a, e, i, o, u, ö, ü, ē), and with some initial consonants (n , m, l, h = nun, mem, hooked resh, ha etc).
᠊᠊ 'Spine, backbone'[note 24] The vertical line running through words.
‍᠊ᠠ 'Tail'[note 25] The swash final of a, e, n, d, etc.
‍᠊ᠰ᠋ 'Short tail'[note 26] The swash final of q and γ, m, and s (samekh-shin and zayin).
᠎ᠠ⟨?⟩ Crook[note 27] Separated final a/e.
Crook, 'Sprinkling, dusting'[note 28] Connected lower part of final a/e; the lower part of final (kaph) g.
‍ᡳ᠌ 'Hook'[note 29] Lower part of final i (after bow-shaped b, k and g) and d.
ᠵ‍ 'Shin, stick'[note 30] A main part of i, ǰ, and y, and final part of initial ö and ü (yodh); the upper part of final (kaph) g; etc.
'Straight shin'[note 31]
'Long tooth'[note 32]
ᠶ‍ 'Shin with upturn'[note 33] Initial and medial y (yodh).
ᠸ‍ Shin with downturn[note 34] Any ē and w (bet).
ᠷ‍ Horned shin[note 35] Any r (resh). Historically also the upper part of final g and separated a/e.
ᠳ᠋‍ 'Looped shin'[note 36] Lamedh t and d. Historically with its enclosed (counter) endpoint varying in shape: open/closed, hook-shaped, pointy/round etc.
ᡁ‍ 'Hollow shin'[note 37] Letters h and zh (from the Tibetan script) .
‍ᠢ 'Bow'[note 38] Final i, oü, and r; ng, b and p (pe), k and g, etc.
‍᠊ᠣ‍ 'Belly, stomach,' loop, contour[note 39] The counter of oü (waw), b, p, initial t and d, etc.
ᠲ‍ 'Hind-gut'[note 40] Initial t and d.
[...][note 41] Initial q and γ.
‍᠊ᠮ‍ 'Braid, pigtail'[note 42] and 'Horn'[note 43] Letters m and l.
‍᠊ᠰ‍ 'Corner of the mouth'[note 44] Letters s and š (samekh-shin).
‍ᠴ‍ [...][note 45] The letter č (angular tsade).
'Fork'[note 46]
‍ᠵ‍ [...][note 47] The letter ǰ (smooth tsade).
'Tusk, fang'[note 48]
‍᠊ᠹ‍ Flaglet, tuft[note 49] The left-side diacritic of f, z, etc. Names only used for such components created for foreign words .

Writing styles[edit]

As exemplified in this section, the shapes of glyphs may vary widely between different styles of writing and choice of medium with which to produce them. The development of written Mongolian can be divided into the three periods of pre-classical (beginning – 17th century), classical (16/17th century – 20th century), and modern (20th century onward):[34][4]: 2–3, 17, 23, 25–26 [27]: 58–59 [2]: 539–540, 545–546 [37]: 62–63 [47]: 111, 113–114 [29]: 40–42, 100–101, 117 [1]: 34–37 [53]: 8–11 [19]: 211–215 

Cursive sample in (pre-classical) Middle Mongol: Uridu maqam‑un qaǰiun medekü
Cursive sample in (pre-classical) Middle Mongol: Uridu maqam‑un qaǰiun medekü

Rounded letterforms[edit]

  • Rounded letterforms tend to be more prevalent with handwritten styles (compare printed and handwritten arban 'ten').
Block‑printed Pen-written form Modern brush‑​written​ form Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. form semi-modern forms
arban 'ten'


  • Final letterforms with a right-pointing tail (such as those of a, e, n, q, γ, m, l, s, š, and d) may have the notch preceding it in printed form, written in a span between two extremes: from as a more or less tapered point, to a fully rounded curve in handwriting.
  • The long final tails of a, e, n, and d in the texts of pre-classical Mongolian can become elongated vertically to fill up the remainder of a line. Such tails are used consistently for these letters in the earliest 13th to 15th century Uyghur Mongolian style of texts.
Examples of lengthened letterforms d and n in ‑daγan (left), and their regular equivalents (right)
Block‑printed Pen-written forms Modern brush‑​written​ forms Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. forms semi-modern forms
ba 'and'


  • A hooked form of yodh was borrowed from the Manchu alphabet in the 19th century to distinguish initial y from ǰ. The handwritten form of final-shaped yodh (i, ǰ, y), can be greatly shortened in comparison with its initial and medial forms.
Block‑printed Pen-written forms Modern brush‑​written​ forms Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. forms semi-modern forms
sain/sayin 'good'
yeke 'great'


  • The definite status or function of diacritics was not established prior to classical Mongolian. As such, the dotted letters n, γ, and š, can be found sporadically dotted or altogether lacking them. Additionally, both q and γ could be (double-)dotted to identify them regardless of their sound values. Final dotted n is also found in modern Mongolian words. Any diacritical dots of γ and n can be offset downward from their respective letters (as in ᠭᠣᠣᠯ γool and ᠭᠦᠨ ᠢ⟨?⟩ n‑i).


  • When a bow-shaped consonant is followed by a vowel in Uyghur style text, said bow can be found to notably overlap it (see bi). A final b has, in its final pre-modern form, a bow-less final form as opposed to the common modern one:[1]: 39 
Block‑printed Pen-written forms Modern brush‑​written​ forms Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. forms semi-modern forms
bi 'I'
ab (intensifying particle)

Gimel-heth and kaph[edit]

  • As in kü, köke, ǰüg and separated a/e, two teeth can also make up the top-left part of a kaph (k/g) or aleph (a/e) in pre-classical texts. In back-vocalic words of Uyghur Mongolian, qi was used in place of ki, and can therefore be used to identify this stage of the written language. An example of this appears in the suffix ‑taqi/‑daqi.[29]: 100, 117 
Block‑printed Pen-written forms Modern brush‑​written​ forms Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. forms semi-modern forms
[...] (emphatic particle)
köke 'blue'
köge 'soot'
ǰüg 'direction'


  • In pre-modern Mongolian, medial ml (‍ᠮᠯ‍) forms a ligature: .
The word čiγšabd in a Uyghur Mongolian style: exemplifying a dotted syllable-final γ, and a final bd ligature.[citation needed]

Short tail[edit]

  • A pre-modern variant form for final s appears in the shape of a short final n ‍ᠰ᠋, derived from Old Uyghur zayin (𐽴). It tended to be replaced by the mouth-shaped form and is no longer used. An early example of it is found in the name of Gengis Khan on the Stele of Yisüngge: ᠴᠢᠩᠭᠢᠰ᠋ Činggis. A zayin-shaped final can also appear as part of final m and γ.
Block‑printed Pen-written forms Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. forms semi-modern forms
es(‑)e 'not, no', (negation)
ulus 'nation'
nom 'book'
čaγ 'time'

Taw and lamedh[edit]

  • Initial taw (t/d) can, akin to final mem (m), be found written quite explicitly loopy (as in nom 'book' and toli 'mirror'). The lamedh (t or d) may appear simply as an oval loop or looped shin, or as more angular, with an either closed or open counter (as in daki/deki or dur/dür). As in metü, a Uyghur style word-medial t can sometimes be written with the pre-consonantal form otherwise used for d. Taw was applied to both initial t and d from the outset of the script's adoption. This was done in imitation of Old Uyghur which, however, had lacked the phoneme d in this position.
Block‑printed Pen-written forms Modern brush‑​written​ forms Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. forms semi-modern forms
[...] toli 'mirror'
[...] ‑daki/‑deki
[...] ‑tur/‑tür
[...] metü 'as'


  • Following the late classical Mongolian orthography of the 17th and 18th centuries, a smooth and angular tsade (‍ᠵ‍ and ) has come to represent ǰ and č respectively. The tsade before this was used for both these phonemes, regardless of graphical variants, as no ǰ had existed in Old Uyghur:
Block‑printed Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. form semi-modern form
čečeg 'flower'
Block-printed semi-modern form Pen-written form Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
qačar/γaǰar 'cheek/place'


  • As in sara and ‑dur/‑dür, a resh (of r, and sometimes of l) can appear as two teeth or crossed shins; adjacent, angled, attached to a shin and/or overlapping.
Block‑printed Pen-written form Modern brush‑​written​ form Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. form semi-modern forms
sar(‑)a 'moon/month'


Wikipedia slogan
Manuscript Type Unicode Transliteration
(first word)
ᠴᠢᠯᠦᠭᠡᠲᠦ ᠨᠡᠪᠲᠡᠷᠬᠡᠢ ᠲᠣᠯᠢ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ ᠪᠣᠯᠠᠢ᠃
ᠸᠢ‍ wi/vi
‍ᠺᠢ‍ gi/ki
‍ᠫᠧ‍ /
‍ᠳᠢ‍ di
‍ᠶ᠎ᠠ⟨?⟩ y‑a or ‍ᠶᠠ ya
  • Transliteration: Wikipēdiya čilügetü nebterkei toli bičig bolai.
  • Cyrillic: Википедиа чөлөөт нэвтэрхий толь бичиг болой.
  • Transcription: Vikipedia chölööt nevterkhii toli bichig boloi.
  • Translation: Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia.



The Mongolian script was added to the Unicode standard in September 1999 with the release of version 3.0. However, several design issues have been pointed out.[54]

  • The 1999 Mongolian script Unicode codes are duplicated and not searchable.
  • The 1999 Mongolian script Unicode model has multiple layers of FVS (free variation selectors), MVS, ZWJ, NNBSP, and those variation selections conflict with each other, which create incorrect results.[55] Furthermore, different vendors understood the definition of each FVS differently, and developed multiple applications in different standards.[56]


The Unicode block for Mongolian is U+1800–U+18AF. It includes letters, digits and various punctuation marks for Hudum Mongolian, Todo Mongolian, Xibe (Manchu), Manchu proper, and Ali Gali, as well as extensions for transcribing Sanskrit and Tibetan.

Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+180x FVS
1.^ As of Unicode version 15.1
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

The Mongolian Supplement block (U+11660–U+1167F) was added to the Unicode Standard in June 2016 with the release of version 9.0:

Mongolian Supplement[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1166x 𑙠 𑙡 𑙢 𑙣 𑙤 𑙥 𑙦 𑙧 𑙨 𑙩 𑙪 𑙫 𑙬
1.^ As of Unicode version 15.1
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

Keyboard layout[edit]

The Windows Mongolian traditional script keyboard layout for personal computers is as follows:[57]

Unshifted layout[edit]

FVS3 1










NNBSP = Backspace
Tab Q























Caps A



















FVS1 Enter
Shift \ Z
















. Shift
Ctrl Alt Alt Ctrl

Shifted layout[edit]

~ 1
















MVS + Backspace
Tab W










Caps H







FVS2 Enter
Shift Z








? Shift
Ctrl Alt Alt Ctrl

See also[edit]


  1. ^ In Mongolian script: ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ mongγol bičig; in Mongolian Cyrillic: монгол бичиг mongol bichig
  2. ^ In Mongolian script: ᠬᠤᠳᠤᠮ ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ qudum mongγol bičig; Khalkha: худам монгол бичиг, khudam mongol bichig; Buryat: Худам Монгол бэшэг, Hudam Mongol bèšèg; Kalmyk: Хуудм Моңһл бичг, Huudm Mon̦ḥl bičg[citation needed]
  3. ^ ᠤᠶᠢᠭᠤᠷᠵᠢᠨ ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ uyiγurǰin mongγol bičig (уйгар/уйгаржин/уйгуржин монгол бичиг/үсэг uigar/uigarjin/uigurjin mongol bichig/üseg)
  4. ^ ᠬᠠᠭᠤᠴᠢᠨ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ qaγučin bičig (хуучин бичиг khuuchin bichig)
  5. ^ ᠰᠢᠨᠡ/ᠰᠢᠨ᠎ᠡ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ sine/sin‑e bičig (шинэ үсэг shine üseg)
  6. ^ ᠬᠤᠳᠤᠮ ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ qudum mongγol bičig (худам монгол бичиг khudam mongol bichig)
  7. ^ ᠲᠣᠳᠣ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ/ᠦᠰᠦᠭ todo bičig/üsüg (тод бичиг/үсэг tod bichig/üseg)
  8. ^ ᠪᠣᠱᠤᠭ᠎ᠠ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ bošuγ-a bičig (босоо бичиг bosoo bichig)
  9. ^ In digital typesetting, this shaping is achieved by inserting a U+180E MONGOLIAN VOWEL SEPARATOR (MVS) between the separated letters.
  10. ^ In digital typesetting, this shaping is achieved by inserting a U+202F NARROW NO-BREAK SPACE (NNBSP) between the separated letters.
  11. ^ Examples of such include: (dotless š) gšan 'moment' (), gkir 'dirt' (), or bodisdv 'Bodhisattva' ().[4]: 15, 32 [27]: 9 [34]: 385 
  12. ^ a b Scholarly/Scientific transliteration.[36]
  13. ^ ᠪᠢᠷᠭ᠎ᠠ⟨?⟩ birγ‑a (бярга byarga)
  14. ^ ᠴᠡᠭ čeg (цэг tseg)
  15. ^ ᠳᠠᠪᠬᠤᠷ ᠴᠡᠭ dabqur čeg (давхар цэг davkhar tseg)
  16. ^ ᠳᠥᠷᠪᠡᠯᠵᠢᠨ ᠴᠡᠭ dörbelǰin čeg (дөрвөлжин цэг dörvöljin tseg)
  17. ^ ᠴᠤᠪᠠᠭ᠎ᠠ/ᠴᠤᠪᠤᠭ᠎ᠠ⟨?⟩ ᠴᠡᠭ čubaγ‑a/čubuγ‑a čeg (цуваа цэг tsuvaa tseg)
  18. ^ ᠬᠣᠣᠰ ᠴᠡᠭ qoos čeg (хос цэг khos tseg)[citation needed]
  19. ^ ᠨᠢᠷᠤᠭᠤ niruγu (нуруу nuruu)
  20. ^ Mongolian: ᠵᠢᠷᠤᠯᠭ᠎ᠠ⟨?⟩ ǰirulγ‑a / зурлага zurlaga
  21. ^ ᠠᠴᠤᠭ ačuγ (ацаг atsag)
  22. ^ ᠰᠢᠳᠦ sidü (шүд shüd)
  23. ^ ᠲᠢᠲᠢᠮ titim (тит(и/э)м tit(i/e)m)
  24. ^ ᠨᠢᠷᠤᠭᠤ niruγu (нуруу nuruu)
  25. ^ ᠰᠡᠭᠦᠯ segül (сүүл süül)
  26. ^ ᠪᠣᠭᠤᠨᠢ ᠰᠡᠭᠦᠯ boγuni segül (богино/богонь сүүл bogino/bogoni süül)
  27. ^ ᠣᠷᠬᠢᠴᠠ orkiča (орхиц orkhits)
  28. ^ ᠴᠠᠴᠤᠯᠭ᠎ᠠ⟨?⟩ čačulγ‑a (цацлага tsatslaga)
  29. ^ ᠳᠡᠭᠡᠭᠡ degege (дэгээ degee)
  30. ^ ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ silbi (шилбэ shilbe)
  31. ^ ᠰᠢᠯᠤᠭᠤᠨ ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ siluγun silbi (шулуун шилбэ shuluun shilbe)
  32. ^ ᠤᠷᠲᠤ ᠰᠢᠳᠦ urtu sidü (урт шүд urt shüd)
  33. ^ ᠡᠭᠡᠲᠡᠭᠡᠷ ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ egeteger silbi (э(э)тгэр шилбэ e(e)tger shilbe)
  34. ^ ᠮᠠᠲᠠᠭᠠᠷ ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ mataγar silbi (матгар шилбэ matgar shilbe)
  35. ^ ᠥᠷᠭᠡᠰᠦᠲᠡᠢ ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ örgesütei silbi (өргөстэй шилбэ örgöstei shilbe)
  36. ^ ᠭᠣᠭᠴᠤᠭᠠᠲᠠᠢ ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ γoγčuγatai silbi (гогцоотой шилбэ gogtsootoi shilbe)
  37. ^ ᠬᠥᠨᠳᠡᠢ ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ köndei silbi (хөндий шилбэ khöndii shilbe)
  38. ^ ᠨᠤᠮᠤ numu (нум num)
  39. ^ ᠭᠡᠳᠡᠰᠦ gedesü (гэдэс gedes)
  40. ^ ᠠᠷᠤ ᠶᠢᠨ ᠭᠡᠳᠡᠰᠦ⟨?⟩ aru‑yin gedesü (арын гэдэс aryn gedes)
  41. ^ [...] (ятгар зартиг yatgar zartig)
  42. ^ ᠭᠡᠵᠢᠭᠡ geǰige (гэзэг gezeg)
  43. ^ ᠡᠪᠡᠷ eber (эвэр ever)
  44. ^ ᠵᠠᠪᠠᠵᠢ ǰabaǰi (зав(и/ь)ж zavij)
  45. ^ ᠰᠡᠷᠡᠭᠡ ᠡᠪᠡᠷ serege eber (сэрээ эвэр seree ever)
  46. ^ ᠠᠴᠠ ača (ац ats)
  47. ^ [...] (жалжгар эвэр jaljgar ever)
  48. ^ ᠰᠣᠶᠤᠭ᠎ᠠ⟨?⟩ soyuγ‑a (соёо soyoo)
  49. ^ ᠵᠠᠷᠲᠢᠭ ǰartiγ (зартиг zartig Wylie: 'jar-thig)


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  7. ^ Berkwitz, Stephen C.; Schober, Juliane; Brown, Claudia (2009-01-13). Buddhist Manuscript Cultures: Knowledge, Ritual, and Art. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-00242-9.
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  9. ^ "Mongolia to promote usage of traditional script". (March 19, 2020).
  10. ^ Official documents to be recorded in both scripts from 2025, Montsame, 18 March 2020.
  11. ^ Mongolian Language Law is effective from July 1st, Gogo, 1 July 2015. "Misinterpretation 1: Use of cyrillic is to be terminated and only Mongolian script to be used. There is no provision in the law that states the termination of use of cyrillic. It clearly states that Mongolian script is to be added to the current use of cyrillic. Mongolian script will be introduced in stages and state and local government is to conduct their correspondence in both cyrillic and Mongolian script. This provision is to be effective starting January 1st of 2025. ID, birth certificate, marriage certificate and education certificates are to be both in Mongolian cyrillic and Mongolian script and currently Mongolian script is being used in official letters of President, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament."
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  22. ^ a b "Unicode Technical Report #2". Retrieved 2017-12-13.
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  25. ^ a b by Manchu convention
  26. ^ a b in Inner Mongolia.
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  57. ^ jowilco (22 June 2023). "Windows keyboard layouts - Globalization". Windows keyboard layouts. Retrieved 2023-09-02.

External links[edit]

Keyboards Mongolian script layout online[edit]