Believe it or not, the Mongolian language is alive and well, with more and more speakers as the days go by.
There is even an online Mongolian language course taught by me 😉
Currently as of 2019, there are about 5.3 million speakers, majority of them being Khalkha Mongolians ~ 3 million.
Mongolian is the official language that is both spoken and written in present day that we call Mongolia. So for the cynics and trolls out there, the Mongolian language is flourishing.
Many uninformed and ignorant people like to point out how Mongolians don’t speak Mongolian nor write in their own language, which is FALSE. While we may have adopted Cyrillic due to political and economic pressures almost a century ago, Mongolians never lost their own language or sold themselves out.
Loan & Borrowed Words
You will however notice a lot of loan words from Russia, China, and Turkic languages. Usually many words related to technology have been borrowed and loaned from Russia.
Words related to food, Buddhism were adopted from the Chinese, and lastly with Turkic languages, there is a vague similarity between them when it comes to grammar, words, pronunciation of things.
While these languages may not necessarily be classified as Mongolian, it is very similar and both speakers could perhaps make out a few sentences here and there. It’s like Swedish and Norwegian.
Buryat Language ~ 300,000 speakers\
North of Mongolia, we have the Republic of Buriatya. It once was part of greater Mongolia, but due to politics, conflicts, and history, it is now part of Russia.
Many Buryats in fact look a lot similar to Mongolians and consider Mongolia a brother nation. Both Mongolians and Buryats are very friendly towards each other and share a common bond.
Oirat Language ~350,000 speakers
And towards West of Mongolia Northwest of China, and Siberian Russia you will find Oirat people. Oirats, like Buryats, are considered a family of Mongolians.
There are many more smaller groups and sub ethnicities of Mongolians, but since the Mongolian empire fell under Manchu rule in 17th century, many Mongolic peoples have scattered throughout North, East and Central Asia and haven’t had much chance to reconnect.