Mongolian Latin alphabet

The Mongolian Latin script (Монгол Латин үсэг, Mongol Latin üseg in Cyrillic; ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ
in traditional Mongolian script; Mongol Latiin ysyg in itself, [ˈmɔŋɡɔɮ ɮɑˈtin usəx]) was officially adopted in Mongolia in 1931. In 1939, a second version of the Latin alphabet was introduced but not widely used until it was replaced by the Cyrillic script in 1941.[1]


In the early 1930s, under the influence of latinisation in the Soviet Union, a draft alphabet on a Latin basis was developed in the Mongolian People's Republic. This alphabet was used in several articles in the Ynen newspaper, but did not receive official status.[2]

On February 1, 1941, Mongolia officially switched to a modified Latin alphabet, which was successfully used for some time to print books and newspapers. However, two months later, on March 25, this decision was canceled. According to official explanations, the adopted writing system was not well thought out: it did not cover all the sounds of the Mongolian language and was difficult to use.

The adoption of the Cyrillic alphabet occurred almost simultaneously with the Cyrillization in the USSR, therefore, the rejection of the Latin alphabet could be due to political considerations.

In the Mongolian version of the Latin alphabet, there were additional letters “ө”, “ç” (“ч”), “ş” (“ш”) and ƶ (“ж”); "Y" corresponded to the Cyrillic "ү". "K" transliterated the sound that would later come to be represented in Cyrillic by "х" in native Mongolian words.

The letters f, h, p, v were rarely used except in Russian loanwords, and q, w, and x were almost never used.

In 1975, preparations began for the romanization of Mongolian writing in China. According to the plan, the Latinized alphabet should have been introduced in 1977, but the death of Mao Zedong and the changes in domestic policy that had begun did not allow the project to materialize.[3]

Although neither widely enforced nor maintains official status, Mongolians use the Latin alphabet in smartphones and social networking services on the onset of 2010s.[4]


First Latin alphabet was using "y" as feminine "u", with additional feminine "o" ("ө") and with additional consonants "ç" for "ch", "ş" for "sh" and "ƶ" for "j", it successfully served in printing books and newspapers. A few of the letters (f, k, p, v) were rarely used, being found only in borrowings, while q, w and x were excluded altogether. Since k transcribed [h] in loans, it is unclear how loans in [kʰ] were written. "j" is used for vowel combinations of the [ja] type. Letter "c" is used for the sound [ts] and "k" is used for the sound [h]. The first version was inspired by the Yanalif script used for the Soviet Union's Turkic languages.

The second version of Latin alphabet made few minor changes to make the way it works to look more familiar to European languages. That change was including replacement of "y" by "ü", "ө" by "ö", "ƶ" by "j", "j" by "y" and also "k" by "x" in native words. Also reduced the number of letters in the alphabet by erasing "ç" "ş" and write them as a combination of ch and sh. And the rest of the alphabet and orthography kept same.

List of charactersEdit

IPA a e i ɔ ʊ ɵ u n
m ɮ p
f χ
s ʃ t t͡s t͡ʃ d͡z d͡ʒ j r h
Latin 1931 -


1939 -


A E I O U Ö Ü N M L B P F K X G S Sh T D C Ch Z J Y R H
Cyrillic А Э И О У Ө Ү Н М Л В П Ф К Х Г С Ш Т Д Ц Ч З Ж Й Р Х

The unaspirated stops are often realized as voiced [b d dz dʒ ɡ/ɢ]. The non-nasal sonorants are often devoiced to [ɸ ɬ].

Text samplesEdit

Traditional script
ᠮᠠᠨ ᠤ ᠤᠯᠤᠰ ᠤᠨ ᠨᠡᠶᠢᠰᠯᠡᠯ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ ᠤᠯᠠᠭᠠᠨᠪᠠᠭᠠᠲᠤᠷ ᠪᠣᠯ 80 000 ᠰᠢᠬᠠᠮ ᠬᠦᠮᠦᠨ ᠲᠡᠢ᠂ ᠤᠯᠤᠰ ᠤᠨ ᠣᠯᠠᠨ ᠨᠡᠶᠢᠲᠡ ᠶᠢᠨ᠂ ᠠᠵᠤ ᠠᠬᠤᠢ ᠶᠢᠨ ᠲᠥᠪ ᠭᠠᠵᠠᠷ ᠤᠳ ᠣᠷᠣᠰᠢᠭᠰᠠᠨ ᠶᠡᠬᠡᠬᠡᠨ ᠣᠷᠣᠨ ᠪᠣᠯᠤᠨ᠎ᠠ᠃
ᠲᠤᠰ ᠤᠯᠤᠰ ᠤᠨ ᠳᠣᠲᠣᠷ᠎ᠠ ᠠᠴᠠ ᠭᠠᠷᠬᠤ ᠲᠦᠭᠦᠬᠡᠢ ᠵᠤᠶᠢᠯ ᠢ ᠪᠣᠯᠪᠠᠰᠤᠷᠠᠭᠤᠯᠬᠤ ᠠᠵᠤ ᠦᠢᠯᠡᠳᠪᠦᠷᠢ ᠶᠢᠨ ᠭᠠᠵᠠᠷ ᠤᠳ ᠢ ᠪᠠᠶᠢᠭᠤᠯᠬᠤ ᠨᠢ ᠴᠢᠬᠤᠯᠠ᠃
Latin 1931-1939
Manai ulasiin niislel koto Ulaanbaatar bol 80 000 şakam kyntei, ulasiin olon niitiin, aƶi akuin tөb gazaruud oroşison jikeeken oron bolno.
Tus ulasiin dotoroos garka tyykii zuiliig bolbosruulka aƶi yildberiin gazaruudiig baiguulka ni çukala.
Latin 1939-1941
Manai ulasiin niislel xoto Ulaanbaatar bol 80 000 shaxam xüntei, ulasiin olon niitiin, aji axuin töb gazaruud oroshison yixeexen oron bolno.
Tus ulasiin dotoroos garxa tüüxii zuiliig bolbosruulxa aji üildberiin gazaruudiig baiguulxa ni chuxala.
Манай улсын нийслэл хот Улаанбаатар бол 80 000 шахам хүнтэй, улсын олон нийтийн, аж ахуйн төв газрууд орошсон ихээхэн орон болно.
Тус улсын дотроос гарах түүхий зуйлыг боловсруулах аж үйлдвэрын газруудыг байгуулх нь чухал.
Transliteration of Cyrillic into Latin
Manai ulsyn niislel khot Ulaanbaatar bol 80 000 shakham khuntei, ulsyn olon niitiin, aj akhuin töv gazruud oroshson ikheekhen oron bolno.
Tus ulsyn dotroos garakh tüükhii zuilyg bolovsruulakh aj üildveryn gazruudyg baiguulkh n' chukhal.


The orthography of the Mongolian Latin is based on the orthography of the Classical Mongolian script. It preserves short final vowels. It does not drop unstressed vowels in the closing syllables when the word is conjugated. The suffixes and inflections without long or i-coupled vowels are made open syllables ending with a vowel, which is harmonized with the stressed vowel. The rule for the vowel harmony for unstressed vowels is similar to that of the Mongolian Cyrillic. It does not use consonant combinations to denote new consonant sounds. For both of the version, letter "b" is used both in the beginning and in the middle of the word. Because it phonetically assimilates into sound [w], no ambiguity is caused.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lenore A. Grenoble: Language policy in the Soviet Union. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2003; S. 49.
  2. ^ The Latinization Attempt in Mongolia
  3. ^[dead link]
  4. ^ "Russian Influence in Mongolia is Declining". Global Security Review (March 2, 2019).