When it comes to how Mongolian sounds like people have different opinions on the sound of Mongolian. Some say it sounds very similar to Russian, German, Welsh, while some other say it sounds somewhat similar to Korean, Japanese, etc.
To a degree, it’s correct, but do know Mongolian is not related to any of those languages and moreso related to Central Asian languages when it comes to grammar and structure.
The reason why Mongolian might sound similar to those languages mentioned is because Mongolian has a wide range of sounds that bear resemblance to many other languages.
General overview of what Mongolian sounds like
Here is a clip of the Mongolian language. The accent and the way of speaking is mostly that of modern day Mongolians who live in the capital city Ulaanbaatar. Though there can be some variation of accents based on region, there isn’t much of a difference between the provinces.
As you may hear, the Mongolian language sound has elements that have resemeblance to many other countries. It’s a language rich in many different aspects when it comes to sound.
Does Mongolian sound like German
There have been stories where some Mongolians mentioned they were mistaken for German citizens by foreigners when they were conversing in Mongolian.
This mostly has to do with the harsh sounds that Mongolian language has and also the similar vowel pronunciations.
Mongolian and German share Ya, Ye, Yo, Yu vowels and also very similar sounding Z.
Does Mongolian sound like Russian
Mongolian does use the Cyrillic alphabet, so since adopting it, the Mongolian language sound may have subtlely changed to become somewhat similar to Russian.
However, the most plausible answer to why some people think Russian and Mongolian sound similar is because a lot of loan words related to technology came from the Russians and during the 20th century, Mongolians were culturally influenced by the Soviets.
Mongolian modern art, drama, and entertainment were inspired by and borrowed from the Russians.
Does Mongolian sound like Welsh
People frequently comment on how Welsh and Mongolian sounds very similar. If you listen to the Welsh clip above, there is a resemblance on how the language flows.
However, Welsh seems to be lacking the guttral harsh sounds that Mongolian has, but the soft vowels do sound very similar. Welsh sounds more Elvish to be honest.
Does Mongolian sound Korean or Japanese
According to the Altaic language family theory, which is hotly debated, the Mongolian language is supposed to share similarities with Japanese and Korean, and people do comment on how Mongolian has a blend of Japanese and Korean sounds.
Korean – Korean and Mongolian seem to share the guttural and breathy sounds in certain instances and poetic Mongolian does have an eerie resemblance to how official Korean TV broadcasts.
Japanese – Mongolian and Japanese seem to share similar consenances sounds in certain sitiuations and have similar speaking pace.
Does Mongolian sound similar to Spanish
Mongolian people who learn Spanish most often seem to naturally have a better grasp of pronunciation of Spanish words.
It’s not difficult for Mongolians to roll their R and produce the throaty KH sound like Spanish speakers, because a lot of Mongolian words have both those elements, so it comes naturally to Mongolians. Hence, this might explain why Mongolian can sound somewhat similar to Spanish.
So what does it sound like then?
Depending on the listener’s background, there are many answers and how it sounds to them. Because Mongolian has so many elements of sounds such as the guttural R, H, soft vowels such as o e, and harsh aggressive sounds, people’s interprations vary person to person.
I’ve heard French, Icelandic, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, German, Spanish, Amerindian languages, and sometimes even African… so it’s up to you to decide.