Sainuu? That’s Mongolian for ‘Hi! How are you?’ In the Cyrillic alphabet, it’s Сайн уу. When greeting someone for the first time, you’d say Sain bainuu? Sain also means ‘good.’ So, if someone asks you how you’re doing, you’d actually say, Sain. Sainuu? or ‘I’m good. Are you good?’
My first ten weeks in-country will be spent learning the language and culture, living with a host family for a total immersion experience. I’ve been reading the blogs of some of the PCVs who are in country now, and one of them described speaking the language as ‘filling your mouth with as many consonants as possible, and then saying them all at once, in two syllables.’ People have confirmed that Mongolian is one of the most difficult languages to learn in the world, and I suspect I’ll be developing new muscles as I try to get my mouth to move in ways it never has before!
If you’re interested, click the Play button below to hear a (very) short dialogue.
Daraa uulzii! (See you later!)