Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Mongolian)

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Mongol script proposalEdit

I would like to propose that Mongolia-related articles use both Cyrillic and Mongol script for the names of Mongolian concepts. Currently within articles relating to Mongolian culture, geography and history, Mongol terms are generally given in Cyrillic only and omit the Mongol script, to which I consider to be imbalanced. Given that there are two "Mongolian political entities", it would be fair to include the official writing system of both, as neither is more significant than the other. Only in a few cases, an SVG of the Mongol script is provided, but not the Unicode text. Resorting to SVG all the time is not versatile for editors, especially when a new SVG vector image file has to be created for each word used in a new article; I see it as a temporary solution that will inevitably end up with all sorts of problems later down the track, such as server cluttering. It also discourages editing by new editors, as people may not know how to use software such as Inkscape to create SVG files. Overall within Mongol speakers, the use of Mongol script exceeds that of Cyrillic, and therefore should be included.

  1. Mongolian history, culture, language and national identity does not solely and specifically apply to those within the Republic of Mongolia. Ethnic Mongols within Inner Mongolia, People's Republic of China are just as relevant, and exclusion would be unfair on their behalf.
  2. The population of ethnic Mongols within the Republic of Mongolia is 2,134,493 (Reference 1), while the population of ethnic Mongols within Inner Mongolia is 3,995,349 (Reference 2) and within the entire People's Republic of China, 5,813,947 (Reference 3). (Note that figures and sources are used as a rough guide for demonstration purposes only.) Whilst the Cyrillic script is official in the Republic of Mongolia, it is not used within Inner Mongolia nor the rest of the People's Republic of China, where the Mongol script is used officially instead. Therefore, as there is a larger population of Mongols that do not use the Cyrillic script (or do not use it officially), it is unfair that only Cyrillic is used, which does not represent the larger majority of Mongol speakers. A similar analogy for comparison would be that of the Korean language; there are minor language and orthography differences between the spoken and written languages of North and South Korea, for example, "labour" is 로동 rodong in the North and 노동 nodong in the South; "woman" (女) is 녀 nyeo in the North and 여 yeo in the South; "hello" is an-nyong and an-yong, North-South respectively; the surname Lee (李) is 리 Ri and 이 Yi; "friend" is 동무 dongmu and 친구 chingu; "Poland" is 뽈스까 Ppolsŭkka and 폴란드 Pollandeu. However, the common argument is that since the Republic of Korea (South) has a larger population, has greater international influence, better internet penetration and is not politically isolated, the ROK can, so to speak, represent "Korea" for the entire peninsula. That is why the Korean Wikipedia is written entirely in the Southern dialect, using the grammar style used in the South, and not that of North Korea. Similarly, Korean-language textbooks abroad instruct in the Southern dialect, as does various United Nations documents, and Google Translate only renders the Korean language as how it sounds in the South.
  3. A common false perception is that China as a whole has little internet penetration. China has 404,000,000 internet users (Reference 4), and quite a relatively strong internet penetration, and of that total, Inner Mongolia makes up 1.08 million (Reference 5). By ranking countries by internet penetration, China is at No.1, and Mongolia is at No.119 with 330,000 (ibid. reference). China's internet penetration is just as greater than that of the Republic of Mongolia.
  4. Another argument commonly used is in regards to censorship of Wikipedia within China. Currently, the only known censorship of Wikipedia only occurs on the English and Chinese language Wikipedias, and on the English Wikipedia, are keyword-based. Pages blocked are usually political in nature, such as Sino-Japanese relations, Falun Gong and Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. This is by no means a correct argument that "people in China are unable to view pages regarding Mongolian history and culture". Also, readers and editors of Wikipedia from within mainland China are well known to be capable of bypassing filters using VPNs such as Tor.
  5. Regarding technical issues, although some users may be unable to properly display the Mongol script due to a lack of supporting fonts, this does not mean that they should be excluded for this reason. The Mongol script is, and permanently will be a part of Unicode. For the people who are able to correctly display Mongol script, their viewing experience should not be reduced because other people aren't as "fortunate" as them, so to speak. Mongol fonts are included along with Windows 7; although there is no "rule" that all people must upgrade to the latest Windows, this does mean that the option of viewing Mongol script on computers is readily available to many people. Plus, Mongol fonts can be readily downloaded off the internet for people who do not have Windows 7 yet have a desire to view the Mongol script. Similarly, the Tibetan script was not supported on computers until quite recently (Unicode v2.0, fonts included with Windows 7), and presently most (if not all) Tibet-related pages contain Tibetan text.
  6. The argument that vertical text is largely unsupported on Wikipedia is also strongly irrelevant. Although Mongol script is supposed to be written exclusively vertically, this is difficult to render on Wikipedia, where the system generally caters for horizontal text. However, on the Chinese and Japanese Wikipedias, many articles relating to Mongolian-related concepts include names in Mongol script anyways, with it being displayed horizontally (for example, zh:旗, zh:苏木 (行政区划), zh:盟 and zh:兴安盟, as well a few Japanese articles on various lakes and mountains). Due to this, one may choose to install a Mozilla Firefox script, or just simply tilt their head to the side whilst reading the Mongol script. If Chinese and Japanese Wikipedians are able to tilt their head 90 degrees, what makes English Wikipedia any more special? Plus, this is only a minor issue that can possibly be resolved through coding.
  7. Mongol script has been the traditional script of the Mongol people. The Cyrillic script was introduced in the Republic of Mongolia following extensive Russian influence. Excluding the traditional script for one that is relatively foreign is quite an odd thing to do.

Hence, I am proposing a system where both systems are implemented, where concepts explained display names in both scripts in places such as ledes and infoboxes/nameboxes. For example, "Sum (Cyrillic: сум; Mongol script: ᠰᠤᠮᠤ) are a type of administrative district used in China, Mongolia and Russia." would be how the start of a lede appears. Obviously a WP:TEMPLATE must be made to ensure that the correct font size and appearance is displayed, as it does on mainland Chinese Mongol-language websites (currently it appears quite small to read).

Any suggestions, corrections, criticisms, comments or feedback? -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 10:11, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Let me first point out that I believe none of your statistical arguments holds much water. Your reference for speakers of Mongolian in Mongolia (not officially named a 'Republic' anymore, btw.) gives a considerably higher number than you do, and the number of 'Mongolians' in the PRC is notn necessarily identical with the number of speakers of Mongolian (case in point: Ulanhu).
I also think it is unnecessary to turn this into a question of justice or politics. The problem is really only a technical one, i.e. to my knowledge there are only two operating systems that properly support Mongolian unicode, Windows Vista and Windows 7. It is true that you can download and install Mongolian unicode fonts at older windows versions or on Apple computers, but they will only show initial forms of each letter, no medial or final ones. I also think Inner Mongolians typical use workarounds that do not employ unicode, but I don't know for sure (Yuhai might know more about this).
I really think no-one is against including Mongolian script, provided that an acceptable technical solution can be found. At the moment, I am just not really convinced that Mongolian unicode support is (yet) widespread enough to make simply using unicode the best possible solution.
I kind of agree that creating svgs for every article that could use Mongolian is too cumbersome. In fact, a while ago I tried to create a template that simply combines images of single glyphs, however the vertical version failed due to problems with minimal image sizes on wp (I think), and then I lost the interest in creating a horizontal version. Yaan (talk) 14:49, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Corrections, yes.
  • There are four major Mongolian political entities, Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Buryatia, Kalmykia. Of these, the most significant is clearly the Mongolian state, merely due to its will and power to preserve Mongolian culture, language etc, and of course due to its status as a state.
  • Number of ethnic Mongolians in China is much higher than speaker number. E.g. child of mixed Mongolian-Han parents will be Mongolian, but usually not speak that language. Language situation in Kharchin is devastating, and it is rapidly decreasing in Shilingol, Chakhar, even Ordos. Situation is Khorchin is fair, but Mongolian is losing ground here, too.
  • Count the number of web pages, sold books etc. and you will probably know that Mongolian Cyrillic is used more than Mongolian script. It is right that the number of Mongolians using Cyrillic is smaller than the number of Mongolians that does not, but we must take into account the significant number of speakers that are illiterate in Mongolian script systems outside of Mongolia, and the speakers using Oirat and Buryat Cyrillic (or even Clear script). Irrespective of literacy, Inner Mongolians tend to use Hanzi on the web and in SMS (though there are exceptions).
Point 7 (traditional script) has its merit, as would have script of second-most usage frequency. I don’t have anything to add to the technical side of the discussion, though. G Purevdorj (talk) 01:58, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you both for providing those points. I must admit that there are limits to how much I know about the language situation. I have assumed that number of ethnic Mongols equaled to the number of speakers of Mongolian, my bad. As for Yaan's comments, I was thinking that we should include a template for Mongol script text for those with browsers and operating systems that support it. On the Chinese Wikipedia text is naturally large, so it is easier to see, but on the English Wikipedia, the font is very small. We could create a template similar to that of Template:Zh that automatically sets the font to a size that is legible. As for the horizontal/vertical conundrum, perhaps we should just leave it to being horizontal for now like it is on ZH Wiki, until someone is able to fix the issue. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 04:29, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Having played around with syntax a bit, I've tried to see what could be done regarding the extremely small natural font size.

  • Current situation: ᠬᠢᠩᠭᠠᠨ
  • Option 1: ᠬᠢᠩᠭᠠᠨ
  • Option 2: Chinese: ᠬᠢᠩᠭᠠᠨ (with the template being fixed to that it no longer says "Chinese", and that it appears in the right manner)
  • Option 3: ᠬᠢᠩᠭᠠᠨ

Currently the font is too small to be read by most people, let alone those with aging eyesight. However, with options 1 and 3, the text does not appear correctly as it leaves large gaps between each glyph, unlike the original, where all the letters are joined together.

Apparently many Mongol websites in China don't use the Unicode designations, but use the PUA based on a GB standard, as seen at - for now Unicode should be enough for Wikipedia, but using other encodings can also be an option, depending on what consensus is reached. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 04:36, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

I support using horizontal Unicode Mongolian (as is already the case on several Mongolian related articles) rather than the vertical images. It is common practice in printed books and journals to lay out Mongolian words horizontally when embedded in horizontal Chinese or English text, and it is no more trouble to read horizontal Mongolian words than it is to read English words laid out vertically in vertical Chinese text. Incidentally, vertical left-to-right layout as required for Mongolian does work fine in IE8 (see here), but I think that the mixing vertical and horizontal text in the same sentence or paragraph is ugly, and I would prefer to simply use horizontal layout for Mongolian names and words within English text. As to using non-Unicode, I think that this would a very bad idea, as there is no standardized non-Unicode encoding, and Chinese users are (slowly) moving towards acceptance of Unicode Mongolian (the PUA code points are not based on any GB standard -- the only GB standards for Mongolian script mirror Unicode).BabelStone (talk) 21:30, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
What I forgot to mention is that the one huge advantage of using Unicode Mongolian over images is searchability -- only by using Unicode Mongolian text on Wikipedia will users be able to search the internet for Mongolian places, names or words in Mongolian script and get hits on the corresponding Wikipedia articles. Compare the following two Google seaches:
ᠴᠥᠢᠵᠥᠩᠵᠠᠪ -- first hit is the Wikipedia article on Choijinzhab
ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ -- 591 results but none for the Wikipedia article on Mongolian script.
BabelStone (talk) 21:48, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Support last point. Guessing the English article names is quite difficult. Moreover, starting to use the Mongolian script in a wider internet range is really a nice perspective. Wikipedia can contribute its share. G Purevdorj (talk) 03:22, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Support last point also. We should begin to import Mongol-script names for the most basic of Mongolian concepts (such as political leaders, places, historical figures, events in history) if the names happen to be known in the Unicode form already, or if someone is able to contribute with a relevant IME. Very few Mongolia-related pages on English Wikipedia contain Mongol-script text at the moment. As for the first point, I think the vertical SVG images are there for people who are unable to display the fonts. What is to become of them if we start to implement Unicode text? (although I suppose most people who are unable to display the Unicode would also be unable to read Mongol script anyway...) -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 12:46, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
This applies to many other scripts, and usually articles with text in complex scripts have a template that warns the user of the need for correct font an rendering support (see for example the template at the top right of Tibetan script). Since Microsoft introduced support for Unicode Mongolian in Vista there has been a great increase of the number of people in China using Unicode Mongolian and Manchu and creating Unicode Mongolian and Manchu fonts, and there is no doubt in my mind that Unicode Mongolian will eventually replace the currently popular proprietary PUA systems -- after all it was China and Mongolia who were instrumental in getting Mongolian encoded in Unicode, and Chinese experts such as Choijinzhab are responsible for the interesting features of the Unicode encoding model for Mongolian. BabelStone (talk) 08:30, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

And just a quick question: what is the encoding standard used on this Communist Party of China-associated website in Mongolian? If it's not GB18030, is it some other legacy encoding? -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 06:16, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

sorting, templates, categories, et ceteraEdit

{{Mongol|traditional=ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ}}
{{Mongolian-Chinese-box|m=ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ|tc=None (無)}}

If the script proposal all goes to plan, then articles containing such text should be sorted/distinguished using Template:Contains Mongolian script. It automatically adds the category Category:Articles containing Mongolian script text, so that we can monitor what articles contain such text, and what articles do not, and might require them (with the existing "contains Mongolian language text" template). -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 14:43, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

OT: Fishing around, and I've found Template:Mongolian-Chinese-box, Template:Mongol and Template:MongolUnicode. The latter two don't come with docs, so I can only guess what they're designed for. The last one looks like an attempt to make the Unicode Mongol appear large enough. Example here: ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ - template works quite well on Mozilla Firefox, makes the appearance of the text much better (improved from the small, thin text by default). -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 15:08, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
That displays really well as vertical Mongolian on IE8 under Vista. Is it also displayed vertically on Firefox? BabelStone (talk) 08:33, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
No, for me it is horizontal. Currently on Mozilla Firefox, Windows 7. I'll have a look in IE8, give me 30 seconds. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 09:44, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
ED: I see what you mean. The vertical text does work on IE8 using Template:MongolUnicode. I've tried Firefox and Google Chrome as well, and currently they both have the text displayed horizontally, meaning that vertical text does not work in those browsers. I have also noticed that in Firefox, the text appears really smooth and anti-aliased, whereas in IE8 there is no AA and individual pixels that make up the font can be seen. It might just be my personal settings though. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 09:45, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Click to see full size comparison screenshot.
(break) Regarding vertical text, how come the poetry section of the front page of the Classical Chinese Wikipedia at zh-classical:維基大典:卷首 has vertical Chinese text that works fine on Firefox, but for Template:MongolUnicode, anything works vertically with it (Latin, Cyrillic, Mongol, Phagspa script, Chinese), but only in IE8? I'm assuming they work differently. Hello, world.Здравствуй, мир.你好,世界。 Sample test here. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 08:22, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
E n t e r   t e x t   h e r e
Classical Chinese wikipedia seems to be using very short rows to simulate vertical text, see the relevant template page.
I doubt this would work for Mongolian text in unicode. Even when using images instead of unicode, it would probably not work on all browsers (e.g. probably not on IE). Yaan (talk) 11:16, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
P.S. the Mongol unicode template seems to be using a css property that is, per, "deprecated" ("layout-flow:vertical-ideographic") in favour of "writing-mode:tb-rl" (though what we want should look more like "writing-mode:tb-lr"). Not sure if using writing-mode instead of layout-flow really makes any difference re. browser support, though. Yaan (talk) 11:30, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

svg versus unicode againEdit


I think you guys still seem to be not fully aware of the problem with displaying Mongolian in unicode on most currently used operating systems. As far as I know, there is simply no way for the average user to make Windows XP or other systems (except Windows Vista and Windows 7) display Mongolian properly. (But if there is a way, please let me know)

Of course the "most people who are unable to display the Unicode would also be unable to read Mongol script anyway.." mentioned above is trivially true (the number of people who are unable to display Mongolian unicode should be considerably greater than the number of people who can read Mongolian), but I think the issue should be whether those that can read (some) Mongolian will be able to display the fonts or not.

I guess having unicode is better than having nothing, but I also think that Wikipedia should not be useful for users of the newest Microsoft OS only. Yaan (talk) 11:30, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

In regards to official support by operating systems, 35.64% of users is not too bad. The figure may be slightly higher in regards to unstable end-user support (i.e. installing fonts in Windows XP or using Menksoft IME for Windows 9x). Windows XP has a usage share of 50.50%, and each XP system can potentially be Mongol-script compatible, given the correct fonts (where people interested in reading Mongol install the said fonts). The figure for official support should also be set to rise, as new PCs on the market are almost exclusively bundled with Windows 7; also take into account that Mongols in China would generally install localisation software in order to read their own script if they were to run on, say, Windows XP (in this case, the figures from here may not be entirely accurate, given that about 90% of Windows users in China run on a pirated copy, and that it may not taken note of when collecting statistics). -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 11:14, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I think your points re. Windows XP are incorrect. It is possible to download Mongolian fonts on Windows XP, but they still display incorrectly. IIRC, only initial forms of letters are shown. I don't think this rules out the usefulness of adding unicode fonts to wp pages, because after all it still makes sense for maybe one third of all potentially interested users. but it certainly should be something to think about. Yaan (talk) 11:59, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
In this matter, ethnicity and politics (as presented further above) are entirely irrelevant. The rules of selection are very simple: If the spelling in a specific script is relevant to the subject of an article, try to include it. For topics relating to the state of Mongolia (people living there after 1924, geographic names, etc.), only cyrillic is relevant, because that is what is officially used there. For topics relating to Inner Mongolia, only the traditional script is relevant. For historical topics (before 1924), the traditional script is always, and cyrillic often relevant, so we should try to include both.
The technical question is more difficult. In theory, Unicode would be the "correct" method (for standardization and searchability), but in the real world it doesn't seem to be fully practical yet. First, there are fundamental issues of availability and implementation, which means that many interested readers won't be able to see it without installing extra software (if at all). Does anyone have any actual experience of writing Mongolian Script in Unicode for practical purposes? I've heard and read quite different reports about its actual usefulness and functionality. Some people seem to think that the standard is incomplete, and Microsoft could only make it work by adding their own extensions (which would make it hard to repeat their success on other OSes). Some people seem to think that even Microsoft's solution is broken. And yet other people seem convinced that everything works just fine.
Does anyone have up-to-date and competent information about the current state of affairs there? I'd really be very happy to see Unicode deployed in this context. But so far the actual implementation strategy and methods don't look very obvious at all. Can anyone point us to reliable information (preferrably in English) about the specific technical ramifications? Because if we decide to proceed in this direction, then we really must know what we are doing and that the chosen solution is actually the correct one. --Latebird (talk) 08:09, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I can't really comment on the correctness of Microsoft's implementation. But I have created those svg images on wp by simply typing them into InkScape, and for that it seemed to work. It is true that the original font shipped with Windows Vista was completely broken, but they did provide an update and after that it worked. Purevdorj seems to have typed some stuff on Vista, too, so I guess it also worked more or less for him. However, both he and me found the interface somewhat counter-intuitive. I think you can find some details on that topic on our two talk pages, and on his user page. (P.S. I think there also was some criticism on points like the usage of different glyphs for letters that look and behave completely identical, like o/u.)
re. the relevance of Mongolian script, I think the point beyond which only cyrillic is relevant, if there needs to be such a point at all should not be before 1946. And with news like this, it might even become more relevant for recent topics again (at least for the articles on Elbegdorj or the AN).
re. the image template idea mentioned above, I believe it would be possible, and not too difficult technically, to create a template for putting stuff like this one the screen:       . Not sure if it is a better solution than unicode or svg, and anyway it cannot be more than a temporary fix. But it might be something worth checking out until we have widespread Mongolian Unicode support. Yaan (talk) 11:59, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

I've read through the discussion, and I would echo the position that we shouldn't give politics too much emphasis when deciding an issue like this one. My view is that any script, provided it is able to be displayed, regardless of browser, OS, etc., should be included on Wikipedia, if not purely for the fact that I sometimes want to copy and paste Mongolian or Tibetan text to a word processor. Simply because some screens cannot display the text is not a good reason to exclude it. The only problem as I see it is coming up with a reasonable means to make it work as well as we can on multiple browsers. I will donate the personal view that Mongol script is one of the most beautiful I have encountered and it is a little sad that IE8 is the only browser I've found so far that can display traditional Mongol text correctly. But anyhow it's a no brainer to me that barring the technical difficulties, we should be making as great of an effort as possible to include Mongolian text over SVGs. Hopefully Firefox and Chrome will have the power to display vertical text soon...

Just as an aside, Yaan is right in suggesting that the number of Mongol speakers is low compared to those registered as "ethnic Mongolian", although 2 million (35-40% of the Mongol population in China) would not be a bad guess. I agree in urban areas the language is slowly dying out but many rural Mongols still can't even speak Chinese. But because much of the internet usage in China is in urban regions, chances are if you're an ethnic Mongol using the internet, you know how to speak and read Chinese. So exclusively Mongolian websites such as has perhaps only several thousand users. Colipon+(Talk) 00:07, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

What's next?Edit

Now that the consensus seems to be to include Mongolian unicode over anything else, is there someone going to create a template ("This page contains unicode characters for traditional Mongolian. Unless you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, those characters might not display correctly.") and a help page? Yaan (talk) 10:33, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

So far we have this template. I agree that a support page is also necessary; is there a MOS dedicated for those kinds of help pages? and what should be the overall contents of such a page? -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 11:21, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I think the minimum content should be similar to Help:Multilingual support (East Asian), i.e. a list of operating systems that display Mongolian properly, and an image of what properly written Mongolian should look like, together with the same Mongolian written in unicode. Additionally I think some hints on issues like displaying Mongolian vertically, and on which browsers this works, would be good, and a statement that just installing the relevant fonts might not yet be enough to display Mongolian properly. I am not aware of an MOS, but taking the East Asian page as a role model should work well enough. While we are at it, we might as well include some words on cyrillic Mongolian. And if we do that, yet another topic to be mentioned in one or two sentences might be fonts like "Arial mon", as they might still appear in online sources used on wp. (Similar fonts exist for Mongol bichig, too, see
I also would like the template to state that users might not only see "question marks, boxes, or other symbols" without proper rendering support, but also something like "completely improper(ly?) rendered Mongolian script". For example, I am using Mac and Safari at the moment, and see only horizontal(!) lines of vertically(!)-written Mongolian initial(!) characters on this page. Yaan (talk) 11:51, 27 July 2010 (UTC)


Could people please comment at Talk:Mongolian script whether we should be using Greek gamma γ γ or Latin gamma ɣ ɣ in our transliterations? — kwami (talk) 19:43, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Normative encoding?Edit

May I ask technical questions here? Now I have a nice rendering library, Mongolian fonts and a Mongolian input method. And I have in mind some Mongolian words to be shown. But I am not really sure how to encode them.

  • For example, there are at least three encodings to render oyirad correctly, o-y-i-r-a-d, o-i-i-r-a-d, and o-i-FVS2-r-a-d. Which should be used?
  • How about the o/u and ö/ü distinctions in non-initial syllables? (1) [Lessing] Always use 'u/ü', or (2) [Poppe-Mostaert] use either 'o/ö' or 'u/ü' depending on historical sound values?

BabelStone (talk · contribs) pointed out that one advantage of using Unicode Mongolian over images was searchability. But the lack of encoding norm would certainly hurt searchability. --Nanshu (talk) 23:21, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, this is quite a catastrophy. Words look the same, but are not searchable. We NEED to determine a convention for this. I will write more later. G Purevdorj (talk) 06:08, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I want to ask this, too. ––虞海 (Yú Hǎi) 17:11, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
What Nanshu is just pointing out is catastrophic, and it is probably beyond our reach to address this problem. Up to now I believed that what is searchable would be the entered letter forms, not the underlying Latin keys, so that at least “ö” and “ü” (which ALWAYS are written identical) would be the same. Alas, it is not so, and our Mongolian script input tool is nothing more than a funny device to create some optical form without any regard for processing. In principle, we are talking about a point that only the developer (Microsoft) can fix. (Does it make sense to try to contact microsoft technicians on that?) We can try standardization within Wikipedia, but it is hideous to check (you cannot see it, maybe a bot can) and will never gain wide acceptance. Let me address possible standards:
  • Middle-Mongolian-based approach. We can try to write according to reconstructable phonemes. That would mean that we differentiate o/u and ö/ü in non-first syllable according to what we find in the Secret history and the Phags-pa documents. We likely can reconstruct *j in *ojirat (corresponding to the usual orthography <oyirad>), so we’d write <wyirad>. We might reconstruct *kʰøjiɮtʰen and accordingly write <goiten>. As you see, this approach is too difficult for the living, including seasoned experts in Mongolian philology.
  • Khalkha-based approach. We might follow Khalkha orthography in every case it is available. That is usually the case, although I don’t think that we have anything e.g. similar to tʰʉrʃæⁱnu? ‘Do you understand?’ (Khorchin dialect) which should be renderable in Mongolian script. If no information can be obtained from Khalkha, the letter-based approach is applied, e.g. for “i” in Oyirad.
  • Letter-based approach: e.g. always “u”, never “o”. “y” in “Oyirad” would be written “i” as this is the letter as which it is realized.
I think the third solution is the only feasible approach, but that would for example entail that everything I have written in Wikipedia up to now must be revised as I usually confirmed to the second approach.
But before I continue taking shit, I’d like to hear some other opinions on our situation. G Purevdorj (talk) 17:25, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Re who can fix this, I believe this is depends on where you want to search. For web search, I think it is up to the search engine people. Google has no problem with treating 'oe' as a kind of 'ö', I don't really see why they should be unable to come up with something similar for Mongolian. Once they understand the problem and care about it, anyway.
For in-document search, implementation would be a task for the people who write word processors, browsers etc. So if this is your concern, contacting microsoft makes sense.
And if you think the whole encoding should be changed, you'd probably need to talk to the unicode consortium. Judging from the commentaries at, I suspect they won't be too enthusiastic about it.
Re which approach to choose, if you care about searchability, then for the general user (who does not know our wikipedia conventions) one approach is probably as good as the other. IMHO contacting google about this is probably more sensible than enforcing some more or less wp-specific convention. Yaan (talk) 18:57, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
What's the practice on existing websites such as 中国蒙古语新闻网? Isn't there a de-facto standard? --Gregor Kneussel (talk) 11:47, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
They're using non-Unicode coding. In practise both the Menksoft and Saiyin code used. Menksoft code is more common and used in publishing industry (according to Saiyin, "they only accept Menksoft"). During the 200X Urumchi riot, Saiyin's website ( was down and registered by others and now it reopened in ––虞海 (Yú Hǎi) 17:03, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Replace From "kh" to "h".Edit

We should to replace from "kh" to "h". "h" is just simple and same spelling to "kh". "kh" caused on to separate "ch", "sh" through sphere mostly slavic alphabet.

In Mongolian, "ch" is no probemlem, because not writing c+h in middle and last of a Mongolian word. For this, only one conflict. We can easily solve this. с+х; s+h in middle and last of a Mongolian word. For example цасхан, tsas+han. We should in this s+(k)+h. Ok. just simple. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MongolWiki (talkcontribs) 03:23, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

I am very grateful to view this standard (MNS 5217:2003 Mongolian Standard). Now I can replace:

  • from kh to h
  • from ö to o'
  • from ü to u'
Well, if you were to implement the standard in question, you would also have to include ts > c. But there are two reasons against kh > h: 1. kh represents the English pronunciation of the sound in question, but h does not. 2. If we do not want to make too much amentments when transcribing Buryat, having the letter h at hand (e.g. hurakh bichig) would be nice.
Abandoning ö and ü is a matter of convenience, especially for writers from Mongolia. Searching ö and ü (which will include searching o and u) is presumably easier than accounting for a search engine, which favors keeping ö and ü. Moreover, ö and ü are also used for the transcription of all other Mongolian varieties (on wikipedia and elsewhere), are widely implemented on wikipedia and are the usual means of representing the sounds in question in western transcription systems.
So I suggest not to implement any of the proposed changes. At any rate you should stop moving pages until this discussion is settled. G Purevdorj (talk) 06:35, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
Purevdorjoo, Bi oilgomjtoi baih uudnees mongoloor tailbaraa bichye. Minii bie ingej bodsoj baina.
1. Kh - geheer humuus unshihdaa ehleed "k" usegiig todoor unshaad "h" barag l unshihgui baina.
2. Kh - usegiig h usgeer solihod notstoi asuudal baihgui. Harin ch h useg holitsgui tsever duudagdaj unshigdana. Hoyor usgeer temdeglehees neg usgeer temdegleh ni iluu ach holbogdoltoi bogood oilgomjtoi. Munkhkhairkhan gedeg ugig l jisheeleed harahad yamar unshihad tovogtei baigaag harj bolno gej bodoj baina.
3. Mongol helend deer uyesee hereglegdej baigaagui k useg Mongol bichgiig ch ter, kirill usegiig ch ter galiglahad hamgiin iheer oroltsoj baigaa zohimjgui bogood gadnii noloond orson baina.
4. harin ooroos tani mongol bichgeer hevteegeer neruudiig oruulj ogohiig husye, bas mongol bichgees galiglahad q useg, gamma temdeg tavidagiig boliulj ogohiig husye. --MongolWiki (talk) 11:29, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
1. The English are not very likely to pronounce a Mongolian word correctly anyway, but their "h" differs from "h" as in "hereg", so writing the latter differently (irrespective of whether it can be pronounced) does make some sense, just as a warning. 3. As far as terms from Middle Mongolian are concerned, you are wrong. MM had an aspirated k, and such a sound is retained e.g. in Oirat and Khamnigan. Thus, it would not benefit Wikipedia to implement e.g. Mongolian pinyin and write "Möngke" as "Mönghe" or even "Mo'nh". 4. I am not adverse to implementing a transcription for MM that does not use gamma and q (which are mere allophones), but functions on a phonemic basis. But this would mean replacing q with - k, and gamma (depending on how we reconstruct that word) by "g" and (in cases where it got lost) "h". It would be very unfriendly to editors who are not Mongolians or linguists, though, for they would have to diverge from the most common system of transcription. 5. You did not address the point that replacing "ö" and "ü" and inserting "'" is negatively affecting searchability. G Purevdorj (talk) 17:20, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
As a Wikipedia convention was not changed it works. Just now we have an initiative of the single wikipedian with no consensus with other wikipedians. MongolWiki made a lot of article moves with no respect of the existing convention, but a normal way of changes is a convention change discussion, next (if a consensus is present) a convention has to be reformed and next a massive renaming is possible (better using bot), I see. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 19:40, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

For article titles, WP:COMMONNAME is important, and this change would break that policy in almost every case. siafu (talk) 00:17, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Secret History of the MongolsEdit

For people mentioned in the Secret History of the Mongols (or the Blue Sutra), what type of romanization is needed? Obviously, people who appear in other sources throughout history can have their own romanizations, but for people *only* appearing in the SH, should we just use Francis Woodman Cleaves's transliterations or newer ones? --chinneeb-talk 17:12, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Volker Rybatzki, Die Personennamen und Titel der mittelmongolischen Dokumente contains a number of state-of-the-art reconstructions that are preferable to Cleaves. G Purevdorj (talk) 11:55, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Family namesEdit

The text states that there are no family names in Mongolia. I don't think that's completely accurate. While many or most of my Mongolian students (9th graders) say they don't have a family name, some of them say they do and give a name that is different from their father's name. Also, some adults have told me that every Mongolian has a family name whether they know it or not (sounds strange, but that's what more than one educated Monglian has told me). My impression is that family names are entering into use but are nto very widely used. As far as Wik goes, I think for now we should stick with the current practice.Kdammers (talk) 02:22, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

every Mongolian has a family name whether they know it or not - sounds pretty much like clans' names to me, which are sometimes used for aestetic reasons and sometimes left aside. I initially thought that they are of some relevance for Inner Mongolians (who don't automatically use patronyms), but as authors turned out to mention their clans' names very inconsistently across different publications, I started to completely ignore them. And you don't have to have any evidence for e.g. calling yourself Borjigin, e.g. as belonging to the clan of Ghengis Khan. As far as I can observe, the use of clans' names has not broadened during the last few years. G Purevdorj (talk) 12:01, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Byambasuren Sharav vs. Byambasürengiin SharavEdit

What is the expert's opintion on this move request? Is he famous enough abroad to justify an exception from the NC? --Latebird (talk) 19:01, 3 April 2015 (UTC)