Mongolian Words

Hi guys,

Memory League is growing and it is great to see so many competitors from around the world participating. However, especially the discipline “Words” seem to suffer from translation problems. In yesterdays match @blabla17 from Mongolia, who has proven that he is capable of great scores in the other disciplines, again had problems in Words.

Since I think we all agree that ML should be as fair as possible for everyone and that would definitely help to grow the community, I want to invite @shijir-erdene and all the other Mongolians here in the forum to discuss the difficulty of words and how to improve the translations.

I think that @shijir-erdene could really help here because he speaks Mongolian and English fluently and understands the differences.

To be open and honest here I want to point out that I’m not always convinced when people tell me that their words are more difficult and strange since there are also words in German which I would describe as strange and difficult. Hard to compare.

Anyway, here is a list of 20 words from ML translated with Google into English:

гурвалжин - triangle
зөөлөн - soft
завь - boat
чихэх - stuffing
корпораци - cooperations
үзүүлэх - show
түвшин - level
өвлийн - winter
хашхираан - screaming
халдлага - attack
эерэг - positive
хувилгаан - incarnation
мэргэжилтэн - specialist
буцаан - back
цэргийн - army
бөөрөлзгөнө - Blackberry
оронтой - digits
тавцан - platform
гамбургер - hamburger
хөрвүүлэгч - converter

Could you perhaps give your thoughts and insights on this list? @shijir-erdene. Would be great to also see how you would translate the English words into Mongolian.

Thank you!


If I understood Shijir correctly in yesterdays stream, then the Mongolian words cause trouble due to diclension forms. So maybe we could have one Mongolian get the list of all Mongolian words and change those into their stem form? Of course if the English word is in plural or for instance a perfect tense then that should still apply to the Mongolian words, but I guess a lot of words could still be simplified that way. I believe we had some similar issues in the beginning of ML with German words, right? I vaguely remember being annoying regularly by not remembering how I had to put adjectives for instance. Like ugly could have been hässliche in German instead of hässlich as in der hässliche Mensch. I believe we did have problems like that and words got improved a lot for Germans since then.

I’m not saying we now have perfect words. For instance yesterday Boris recalled Albtraum instead of Alptraum. Both spellings are correct in German language. But Boris lost a word because he didn’t pick the very version ML wanted him to pick.

Maybe for fairness reasons we have to make English words harder instead of desperately trying to make our words as easy as theirs. :smiley: We could demand them to mix English with American English and then we all can enjoy the frustrated faces of the English athletes trying to figure out if it was “labor” or “labour” etc :smiley: Jost joking of course :smiley:


Thanks Johannes for the post! It makes sense that ML Mongolian words have some flaws since it uses Google translate and Mongolian is not fully supported in Google translate yet.

As for the above 20 words, the actual meaning of the translated words are fully accurate and the spelling is also pretty good in my opinion. The only annoying part is that some words have extra suffix at the end that doesn’t change the words’s meaning unless combined with other words.

The most common suffixes that appear in ML are:
ын, ийн, ны, ний - which is equal to adding s to the end of the word in English (Micheal -> Micheal’s)
той, тай, тэй - which is equal to adding with before word in English (Micheal -> with Micheal)

From the 20 words Johannes gave, 3 words have these suffixes which makes these words:

өвлийн - winter’s
цэргийн - army’s
оронтой - with digits

The proper Mongolian words would be:

өвөл - winter
цэрэг - army
орон - digits

I think plural words, past-present-future tense verbs, gender words are fine since most other languages have them.

So, from my perspective, if we just remove the suffixes I mentioned above, the overall experience of Mongolian words would become much more convenient.


Oh declinations…

Thanks @Hannes, @Philodoof and @shijir-erdene!

@shijir-erdene, are there any rule-based changes we can make to remove the unwanted suffixes?

Changing оронтой to орон looks like a simple case of dropping “той” at the end of the word. Is it generally true that we should drop “той” at the end of a word?

How about өвлийн to өвөл, and цэргийн to цэрэг - is there a pattern there we could use for other words?

Hey @Simon, the general rule could be just searching for (той, тай, тэй, ны, ний, ын, ийн) at the end of the word and removing it. But for cases like өвлийн to өвөл, and цэргийн to цэрэг, we’re adding that extra vowel before the last letter which only happens for ын and ийн most of the time.

So if I had to come up with a general rule we can turn into a code, it would be something like:

let suffix = word[word.lenght -1] + word[word.lenght -2] + word[word.lenght -3]

if(suffix == "той" || suffix == "тай" || suffix == "тэй" || suffix == "ны" || suffix == "ний"){
word = word.substr(0, word.length -3)
} else if ( suffix[1]+suffix[2] == "ын" || suffix == "ийн"){
//cut ын and ийн, push the most repeated vowel at position word.lenght-2

Still there might be some edge cases,but I think rules like this can dramatically improve the overall experience of words for Mongolians.


The Mongolian words have now been updated, and hopefully improved.

@shijir-erdene, if you have time to take a look, it would be great to get your feedback.