Mongolian Resources

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Mongolian Resources

Postby rdearman » Sat Aug 31, 2019 1:44 am

For every action, there is a reaction.
Last edited by Speakeasy on Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:47 am, edited 79 times in total.
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Re: Mongolian Resources

Postby zenmonkey » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:34 am

There is also material in French by Jacques Legrand from INALCO

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_L ... (Mongolist)

I'm going to guess that there is some selection of Russian-Mongolian material but I don't know anything about that.
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Re: Mongolian Resources

Postby Speakeasy » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:13 pm

Merci, zenmonkey! It would appear that Jacques Legrand is a highly-respected expert in the field. I have inserted his "Parlons Mongol" (much appreciated by the Amazon.FR reviewers) to the list of resources above, along with a link to AbeBooks which lists his works.

EDITED:
Erreurs de frappe.
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Re: Mongolian Resources

Postby Chung » Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:02 am

If anyone in the English-speaking world (particularly in the USA) would like to learn Mongolian, the American Center of Mongolian Studies (part of the Center for East Asian Studies at University of Pennsylvania) might be of use. It runs summer classes for Mongolian in Mongolia (I think that you need to be a student at UPenn but the classes aren't cheap) and also has a bookstore where you can order fairly rare textbooks and reference material for Mongolian. The site also used to host an extensive series of free online lessons in Mongolian (at least 20 sections if I remember correctly) covering material up to what the ACMS deemed intermediate (A2? B1?) but they've been gone for several years already. A shame.

Of the rarer books, I do have the first volume of the 3-part series Сайн Байна уу? and its accompanying audio. All of the audio is available at Indiana University's CELT portal but you need to be a registered student there. I remember a time when a lot more audio on the archive was available to the public even if that audio was part of a book that was (is) still under copyright. Anyway, the book itself is meant for an English-speaking learner attending Mongolian classes although the appendices have transcripts and translations of the dialogues and the answer key covers about half of the exercises in each chapter. It could be used by a fairly motivated independent learner although I think that it should be supplemented with another course, or even better, used with the help of a Mongolian tutor/friend.

On the "Colloquial" series in general, I think that Speakeasy is unduly harsh by considering the series as meant to provide the user with CEFR A0 competency of the target language. That's too damned low and, with all due respect, wrong. A lot of the material in the second half of a regular "Colloquial" language course would be covered by students at A2 if not B1; it'd be beyond what someone at A1 (let alone A0) would be expected to know. After having used several of the books myself (and also having "Colloquial Mongolian" on the shelf), I've gathered that most are similar to most volumes of the "Complete" series from "Teach Yourself" which are honestly assessed as taking the learner up to CEFR A2 (in other words, most users can move on to struggle with a textbook advertised for users starting at B1(.1)) in their German adaptations/translations published by Cornelsen. The "Teach Yourself" books are, however, dishonestly assessed as taking you up to B2 in their English "Complete" editions (that's just false advertising as there's no way that anyone having just finished only a Teach Yourself language book will then have a fighting chance using a textbook targeted at users with competency at B2 let alone at C1).

There are a few Mongolian resources in Russian (look up монгольский язык, учебник монгольского языка and similar) but like what we can get in English, they vary from stuff issued during the Cold War (they're published in cities followed by CCCP (USSR)) to stuff issued this century although they're all meant for classroom instruction. The variety of material is limited.
Last edited by Chung on Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mongolian Resources

Postby Speakeasy » Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:23 am

Thank you Chung, for your recommendations concerning alternate resources for the study of Mongolian. As I implied in my introductory comments [How We (I) Got Here], I strongly suspected that you might have something very valuable to contribute on the subject, and so you did!

I agree with your assessment of the Teach Yourself language courses. In my opinion, they do not have the potential for taking even a gifted student to level beyond the CEFR A1 level and they might even not help the average person reach this level. They're not bad, they're simply (too often) over-rated.

Now then, as to my being “unduly harsh … wrong” in my assessment of the Routledge Colloquial courses, it is quite clear that we hold opposing points of view. Mine are based primarily on my study of the Colloquial German course, which I reiterate would take the student no higher than CEFR A0. Although this course does introduce the user to same very basic notions of German grammar, in the final analysis, it is not much better than a phrase book. Nevertheless, I freely admit that some of the Colloquial courses go further (as I remarked in my comments on the Colloquial Mongolian course, above). Examples are: Colloquial Dutch and Colloquial Polish, both of which I completed and both of which I have previously assessed as having the potential of taking the student somewhere within the CEFR A1+ zone; however, I have my doubts about CEFR A2.

In all cases, I believe that, were someone having no previous knowledge of a given foreign language (and were such a person to be bereft of a massive vocabulary of cognates upon which he/she could rely to ease his/her acquisition of the new language) to embark on a study programme based solely on a Colloquial course, without recourse to any other language resources or any other means of contact with the target language whatsoever, such a person would be insufficiently prepared to sit a genuine CEFR A2 examination and he/she would most certainly not be prepared to sit a B1 examination. Should you wish to continue to debate the virtues and vices of the Colloquial series, I respectfully invite you to join me at the address below:

Routledge's Colloquial series
https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=4884
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Re: Mongolian Resources

Postby Daristani » Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:56 pm

1) Another useful learning source for Mongolian is the two-volume "Colloquial Mongolian: An Introductory Intensive Course" by Jugderiin Lubsangdorji and Jaroslav Vacek, published in 2004 by Charles University in Prague, which I think is based on an earlier Czech original. Copies of the physical book seem to be exceedingly scarce, but PDFs have been floating around the internet for several years.

I don't think there was ever any audio produced for this, but I recall seeing someone mention (perhaps on the old HTLAL forum?) that it was being used in a university course, thus presumably attesting to its quality.

2) Indiana University also published a textbook entitled "Modern Mongolian: A Primer and Reader" by James E. Bosson in 1964, which again is pretty rare these days but is available in PDF form. Again, no audio as far as I'm aware.

3) Indiana's "Mongol Reader" cited by Speakeasy above actually included a set of graded lessons explaining the basic grammar, accompanied by reading selections, so it could be used ab initio to develop a reading ability in the language.

4) I share Chung's recollection that the Indiana language lab at one time had a broader selection of audio available to the public than now. My computer seems to have the audio for the Basic Course, the Mongol Reader, and John Hangin's "Intermediate Mongolian" (a follow-on to the basic course cited above, but it's actually more of a reader with grammatical notes than the intermediate textbook it's labeled as). I think I likely obtained all of these back when the university website was less restrictive.

5) Glossika has a Mongolian course.

6) There's "An Elementary Mongolian Grammar" by Daniel Elliott, T. Uranchimeg, and P. Yandii, available on Amazon; it's a long reference grammar, arranged in an extended outline form, and so definitely not a textbook.

7) "Mongolian Grammar", by Rita Kullmann and D. Tserenpil, is a detailed reference grammar published in Mongolia that has the virtue of showing everything in both Cyrillic and also the traditional Mongolian script. Again, it's a pure reference grammar, and not a textbook.
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Re: Mongolian Resources

Postby Cavesa » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:20 pm

Daristani wrote:1) Another useful learning source for Mongolian is the two-volume "Colloquial Mongolian: An Introductory Intensive Course" by Jugderiin Lubsangdorji and Jaroslav Vacek, published in 2004 by Charles University in Prague, which I think is based on an earlier Czech original. Copies of the physical book seem to be exceedingly scarce, but PDFs have been floating around the internet for several years.

I don't think there was ever any audio produced for this, but I recall seeing someone mention (perhaps on the old HTLAL forum?) that it was being used in a university course, thus presumably attesting to its quality.


I've seen this! A physical copy in a normal big bookstore. I remember, because it falsely raised my hopes of finding the Routledge Colloquial courses for my target languages :-D. It was based in English, I am not sure there has ever been a Czech original (as far as I know, the students of the rarer languages at Charles University are expected to know at least one or two huge languages, so they might just be using the English version.

So, it exists, and might not bet that impossible to find.

Hmm... what am I doing on a thread about Mongolian?
At least I can recommend a bit of music: The Hu might be worth your attention, Mongolian learners.
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Re: Mongolian Resources

Postby Daristani » Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:24 pm

Welcome to Mongolia, Cavesa!

Based on your comment, I wondered where I'd gotten the idea of an original Czech version, so I looked at the PDF of the English version and saw that the Czech original had been published back in 1979. Unless there was a craze for Mongolian culture in Czechoslovakia in those days, I suspect it may well have been a pretty small print run...

I assume this probably derived to some extent from the "socialist solidarity" prevailing at the time. In East Germany, a decade earlier, the VEB Verlag Enzyklopaedie in Leipzig had published a "Lehrbuch der mongolischen Sprache" by Hans-Peter Vietze. VEB also published a "Woerterbuch Mongolisch Deutsch", by Vietze and others, in 1988. (I think there was a German-Mongolian version as well, but I don't have it.) VEB also issued a "Chrestomathie der mongolischen Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts" by Erika Taube in 1972.
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Re: Mongolian Resources

Postby Cavesa » Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:38 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome.

The hyperold Czech version makes sense, but I should perhaps add the historical not to my log, to not clutter this thread.

I still recommend the Hu, but there must be surely more good bands. The Hu is actually internationally known these days, musically interesting, and with Mongolian lyrics of course.
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Re: Mongolian Resources

Postby Random Review » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:07 pm

FWIW I think CEFR level achieved, CEFR levels being communicative, is a more useful metric when assessing intermediate or advanced courses. Without naming any names, I can think of several really good and worthwhile beginner's courses that don't take you beyond A0, but empower you to make rapid progress thereafter and several that rush you through to a bad A2 and leave you in severe danger of plateauing there forever.

Especially with a difficult language like Mongolian, the attained CEFR level would not be a major consideration for me when choosing a beginner's course. Genuinely.

From B1 onward, they would. Maybe that's just me.
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