My name in Mongolian: Шанон Муур. In cursive it is even more confusing. The language is very hard, which I had already gathered from Tom during his months of Mongolian training in DC. I’m not expecting to be able to carry on a conversation of any length, but I do want to read and to do simple things like give taxi directions, understand prices at the market, order food for delivery, and have short friendly exchanges.
I’m in lessons and so far feeling good. Some of the pronunciation rules are hard and I will never remember them, but I am learning my alphabet, and I practice my reading as I walk past signs and storefronts. Mongolian uses the Cyrillic alphabet plus some extra letters for the many vowels in the language.
I have a short class each morning with just one other student, and this time has also been a nice way to learn a little more about Mongolian culture from our teachers. One custom that will take a while to become natural: when Mongolians accidentally touch feet or hit another person with their foot, they shake hands. Our teacher said this explains why sometimes you will see people at dinner shake hands across the table periodically throughout the meal. Love it. No idea where this custom originates.