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Links to many online dictionaries for many professions.


Many English lessons and English-Mongolian side-by-side PDF books


Learning English and Buddhism in Mongolia


Learning Medical English for doctors, nurses and dentists in Mongolia

Monday, February 18, 2013

NEWS: Mongolia in the News Feb 18

Yahoo.com (USA) Feb 18
Mongolian grand champ sees good future for sumo

Newly-crowned sumo grand champion Harumafuji said Monday he sees a good future for the ancient but scandal-tainted Japanese sport as well as for his own career as a top fighter. Harumafuji was promoted last year to become sumo's first new grand champion for five years. He is the third Mongolian in succession to reach the sport's top rank, or yokozuna. (read more)

Sudan Tribune (Sudan) Feb 17
Mongolian president visits peacekeeping forces in South Sudan

The Mongolian president, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, visited his country’s troops who are serving as the United Nations peacekeepers in South Sudan Unity State on Friday. The Mongolian president was welcomed by South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit and the UN special representative Hilde Johnson upon his arrival at Juba International Airport on Friday afternoon before heading to Unity state to see the Mongolian element of the United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). (read more)

Huffington Post (USA) Feb 17
9 Countries That Actually Love Horsemeat

The horsemeat scandal currently plaguing Europe has made even the most adventurous eaters a bit squeamish. But when you think about it, is horsemeat really that bizarre? Surprisingly, slaughtering horses for human consumption is legal in the U.S., according to a recent report from NBC News. That said, no new slaughter houses have opened in this country since Congress lifted a ban on funding for the regulation of horsemeat in 2011. Though you might not find a pony burger on a menu in the U.S. anytime soon, there are a number of places around the world where horsemeat is less than taboo. (read more)

Bloomberg (USA) Feb 14
Rio Says Mongolian Project’s Start Depends on End to Dispute

Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second- largest mining company, said its $6.6 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia won’t start until disagreements with the government are resolved. “A number of substantive issues have recently been raised by the government of Mongolia, including the implementation of the investment and shareholder agreements and project finance,” London-based Rio said today in a statement. “Subject to the resolution of these issues, first commercial production from Oyu Tolgoi is scheduled to commence by the end of June 2013.” (read more)

Eurasianet.org (USA) Feb 13
Mongolia: Preservation Challenges Confront Trove of Buddhist Texts

Scholars believe it to be the world’s largest treasury of ancient Buddhist texts. The sheer immensity of the collection held in the National Library of Mongolia has prevented a proper tally to date. The National Library, located in a stout Soviet-era neoclassical building in downtown Ulaanbaatar, is estimated to contain over a million scholarly and religious Buddhist works. Besides original works from Mongolia, the library has rare copies of the early Tibetan Buddhist canon—sacred contemporary records of the Buddha’s oral teachings, called the Kangyur, and commentaries and treatises on the teachings of the Buddha, the Tengyur. (read more)

Friday, February 15, 2013

NEWS: It's goodbye Lenin, hello dinosaur

Originally posted on The Guardian (UK) on Jan 27, 2013

Ulan Bator to transform its Lenin museum into a centre housing prehistoric fossils, including a Tyrannosaurus bataar specimen

A Soviet-era statue of Lenin is removed from its plinth
in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator, last autumn.
Photograph: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Once he bestrode his world, lending his name to more museums, streets, monuments and public institutions than any other 20th-century figure. But in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator, at least, it is goodbye Lenin, as a political dinosaur makes way for the real kind.

Mongolia is to transform a museum once dedicated to the Soviet dictator into a centre for its wealth of fossils, including a 70m-year-old Tyrannosaurus bataar specimen.

The grand building in Ulan Bator, which still boasts a giant bust of Vladimir Ilyich, has been used as offices for several years. The government has now earmarked the complex for a new dinosaur museum.

"Mongolia has been sending dinosaur exhibits abroad for 20 years, while not having a museum at home," said Oyungerel Tsedevdamba, the minister for culture, sports and tourism. "We have a wonderful dinosaur heritage but people are not aware of it."

She said that fossils lent to overseas institutions, and specimens smuggled abroad illegally, would fill several facilities if they were all brought home.

The centre will also be home to a new register for Mongolia's dinosaur finds, allowing proper tracking of discoveries.

The minister said she hoped that education via the Ulan Bator museum and other new exhibits around the country would help turn people into protectors of Mongolia's heritage, and deter smuggling. The government also hopes to encourage tourism.

The Lenin Museum opened in 1980, when the country was a Soviet satellite. "It was a very grand museum with Lenin's statue, everything embellished with red flags and with pictures of Lenin's childhood and history," said the minister.

She learned more about Lenin when glasnost began as she was studying in the Soviet Union, and, like many of her compatriots, "started thinking Lenin was not such a great figure and had caused so much misery to his own and other people".

Since the transition to a multiparty democracy in 1990, the Mongolian People's party has been based in the building, which has also housed a bar and restaurant; at one stage Lenin's bust gazed down over pool tables.

In the building's new incarnation the centrepiece is likely to be the seven-metre long Tyrannosaurus bataar – also known as Tarbosaurus bataar, because experts dispute its taxonomy – which prompted a dispute when it was put on sale by a New York auction house last May. In December, prosecutors in the US said Erik Prokopi, a fossils dealer from Florida, had agreed to surrender the nearly complete Tyrannosaurus bataar and other fossils – paving the way for their return to Mongolia – after pleading guilty to smuggling dinosaur specimens into the US. They described Prokopi as "a one-man black market in prehistoric fossils".

Bolortsetseg Minjin, the New York-based founder of the Institute for the Study of Mongolian Dinosaurs, said the case had proved a turning point, raising awareness among the Mongolian public and officials. "Mongolia is known to have many different species and the preservation is unique: you find complete skeletons in the Gobi desert, which is very rare."

International palaeontologists and the public have been interested in the country's treasures, but many in Mongolia had been unaware of them, she added. She described running an outreach programme for children who lived next to fossil sites in the Gobi but who thought dinosaurs were mythical creatures.

"They should know what they have in their backyard … [but] there were no books they could read in their language and no toys or TV programmes to learn about their inheritance."

The paleontologist has been at the forefront of efforts to promote public interest in dinosaurs and protect specimens such as the Tyrannosaur bataar.

She added: "If they decided to use it as a permanent museum, I would think Lenin's head would need to be removed because in terms of content it doesn't really go. I suppose some people might be against that."

But, she added: "Both are part of our history. Dinosaurs go back millions of years; Lenin was [decades] of history under the Soviets. I don't think there will be strong objections from the public, because they are excited about what's going on with the dinosaurs."

The government has called a new dinosaur centre as an urgent priority because the natural history museum is in a state of disrepair, and other specimens are due to return home soon.

Word List:
  • plinth: a block of stone on which a column or statue stands
  • boasts: to have something that is impressive and that you can be proud of
  • earmarked: to decide that something will be used for a particular purpose, or to state that something will happen to somebody/something in the future
  • deter: to make somebody decide not to do something or continue doing something, especially by making them understand the difficulties and unpleasant results of their actions
  • glasnost: a Soviet policy permitting open discussion of political and social issues and freer dissemination of news and information
  • compatriot: a person who was born in, or is a citizen of, the same country as somebody else
  • misery: great suffering of the mind or body
  • incarnation: the form or character that a person or thing takes at a particular time
  • mythical: existing only in ancient myths
Pronunciation MP3:
= plinth
= boast
= earmark
= deter
= glasnost
= compatriot
= misery
= incarnation
= mythical

Monday, February 11, 2013

FYI: Tsagaan Sar

We wish all Mongolians
a joyous Tsagaan Sar

Below originally posted on Wikipedia

Mongolian Lunar New Year, commonly known as Tsagaan Sar (Mongolian: Цагаан сар; or literally White Moon) is the first day of the year according to the Mongolian lunar calendar. The festival of the lunar New Year is celebrated by the Mongols. The White Moon festival is celebrated two months after the first new moon following the winter solstice. Tsagaan Sar is one of the most important Mongol holidays.

Around the New Year families burn candles at the altar symbolising enlightenment. Also people greet each other by saying phrases like Амар байна уу? (Amar baina uu?), a greeting specific to the event meaning "Are you well-rested?". Mongols also visit friends and family on this day and exchange gifts. A typical Mongol family will meet in the home dwelling of the eldest in the family. Many people will be dressed in full garment of national Mongol costumes. When greeting their elders during the White Moon festival, Mongols perform the zolgokh greeting, grasping them by their elbows to show support for them. The eldest receives greetings from each member of the family except for his/her spouse. During the greeting ceremony, family members hold long pieces of colored cloth called khadag. After the ceremony, the extended family eats rice with curds, dairy products and buuz and drinks airag, and exchanges gifts.

The day before Tsagaan Sar is called Bituun, the name of the lunar phase of dark moon. The lunar phases are Bituun (dark moon), Shined (new crescent moon), Tergel (full moon), and Huuchid (waxing moon). On the Bituun day, people thoroughly clean around home, herders also clean the livestock barns and shades, to meet the New Year fresh. The Bituun ceremony also includes burning candles to symbolize enlightenment of the samsara and all sentient beings and putting 3 pieces of ice at the doorway so that the horse of the deity Palden Lhamo could drink as the deity is believed to visit every household on this day. In the evening, families gather together--immediate family usually, in contrast to the large feast gatherings of White Moon day--and see out the old year eating dairy products and buuz. Traditionally, Mongolians settle all issues and repay all debts from the old year by this day.

Traditional food for the festival includes dairy products, rice with curds (tsagaa-цагаа) or rice with raisin (berees-бэрээс), a pyramid of traditional cookies erected on a large dish in a special fashion symbolising Mount Sumeru or Shambhala realm, a grilled side of sheep and minced beef or minced mutton steamed inside pastry, a dish known as buuz, horse meat and traditional cookies. Tsagaan Sar is a lavish feast, requiring preparation days in advance, as the women make large quantities of buuz and freeze them to save for the holiday.

During Mongolia's Communist period, the government banned Tsagaan Sar and tried to replace it with a holiday called "Collective Herder's Day", but the holiday was practiced again after the 1990 Democratic Revolution in Mongolia.

Friday, February 8, 2013

NEWS: Buddhist monks assist HIV-affected in Cambodia

UNICEF correspondent RobMcBride reports on efforts made by Buddhist monks to support families affected by HIV in Cambodia.

For more information, please visit: http://www.unicef.org


You're watching UNICEF television.

At a Buddhist pagoda (temple) in the heart of rural Cambodia, a gathering designed to give spiritual support. Vulnerable families, especially those affected by HIV and AIDS are finding strength to go on.

People like Ken Chanthy and her husband, both HIV+, regularly attend meditation sessions.

Ken Chanthy: Mother
"Before these sessions, we were stressed and ashamed. We wouldn't want to see anyone and felt discriminated against. Now we are a lot more positive."

In their bedroom of their simple home are the ARV drugs that keep the disease under control.

"Apart from monks leading meditation sessions, officials from the government also about taking our ARVs exactly on time. We know our lives depend on it."

It's all part of the Buddhist Leadership Initiative, a UNICEF supported program that enlists the considerable help and resources of pagodas (temples) in this devoutly Buddhist country.

Ulrike Gilbert: UNICEF HIV Specialist
"From UNICEF's point of view, the support the monks provide to families affected by HIVis critically important because they address the spiritual needs of Buddhist people, as we as, they help to mobilize material support for families. The vast majority of these families are impoverished, live well below the poverty line."

As part of the effort, Venerable Monk Khun Khat received special training to support people living with HIV and AIDS, combining it with the central Buddhist practice of compassion and helping those in need.

Khun Khat: Monk
"Buddhism teaches that we cannot live in isolation. Even if you have difficulties or challenges, you have to live in a society."

On this day, Khun Khat is visiting a neighboring pagoda (temple) where children are meeting. They are all vulnerable in one way or another. Some are HIV+, others are from AIDS affected households, and some are struggling with other issues. All these children need support and guidance. And Khun Khat can draw upon his own experiences of losing both parents at age 12.

At the end of these sessions, material help such as school supplies and money is handed out. It supports children both materially and spiritually. The government also plays a key role in linking communities with a range of services.

Sam Sorpheann: Director, Provincial Department-Culture & Religion
"The material and the spiritual must go hand in hand. You can not just give money without education and advice. And they need to take away something inside. With education from us and spiritual guidance from the monks."

As the session ends, children leave with valuable lessons to share with their communities.

Ung Chantha: 17 years old
"I pass on what I have learned here to by brother and my sister, and also my neighbors."

Min Srey Mom: 14 years old
"And I share the information with friends."

Taking their teachings to peoples homes is a valuable part of the monks work.

Cheng Sophea has received particularly help from Khun Khat for a number of years. She was diagnosed with HIV in 2002 and her husband died of AIDS in 2003. Cheng Sophea is bringing up their son on her own. A life that is hard but just about manageable. Sophea makes a living from a small recycling business she runs in her neighborhood.

Cheng Sophea: Mother
"It is not a good job but I have no choice. And it means we can get some money to support us."

What is more, through the help of meditation, she has learned to cope with her anger.

"Before I started in the program, I used to think I was the only one suffering. And I would get angry and hit my son. But the program has helped me carry on with my life."

Seung Pahna: 11 years old
"There are still days when she does not feel good, but now she won't hit me any more."

Clearly helped as a family, these home visits have a wider impact on rural communities like this one.

"So that has been instrumental in reducing stigma and discrimination because even after 10 years since the epidemic, in Cambodia stigma and discrimination is prevailing. So monks have played a significant role to try to shift that. And I think there is a lot of lessons we can learn in terms of broadening the scope or applying faith-based responses to other development challenges women and children face."

The impact for these families is clear. Early exposure to his mother's life, medical tests and strict drug regimens, has made Sophea's son want to become a medical assistant.

While the future is uncertain, support for local communities from local monks is replacing ignorance and fear, giving families tools to rebuild their lives.

For more information, go to Unicef.org


Monday, February 4, 2013

NEWS: Mongolia in the News - Feb 4

Inside Indiana Business (USA) Feb 4
Indiana University Kelley School of Business Partners With American University of Mongolia

Indiana University's Kelley School of Business continues to expand its global reach. The school has announced a partnership with the new American University of Mongolia to offer an MBA for global executives. The program will involve classes on the Mongolian campus and online instruction. (continued)

Washington Post (USA) Feb 4
Ninja miners: Four pitfalls for Mongolia’s astonishing growth

Traditionally, Mongolian life has been based around herding, with nomadic families sleeping in yurts and tending livestock. That’s why it’s surprising to hear stories like that of Khorloo, a 65-year-old Mongolian who spends her days digging through the Mongolian steppe with metal detectors and shovels, plucking out the occasional gold nugget after days of scratching in the dirt. (continued)

Ninja miners in Mongolia
IB Times (UK) Feb 3
Scotland Yard Hunt Missing Mongolian Dinosaur in Britain

Scotland Yard is trying to locate the skeleton of a 70-million-year-old dinosaur, which has been stolen and is believed to be in Britain. The Mongolian government has sought the help of UK police in finding the rare Tarbosaurus Bataar, a close relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. On the black market, the dinosaur fossil could fetch around £700,000. (continued)

UN News Center (USA) Feb 1
UNAIDS applauds Mongolia for removing HIV-related travel restrictions

The United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has welcomed the recent law reforms in Mongolia that have removed all travel restrictions and other discriminatory provisions for people living with HIV. (continued)

Bloomberg (USA) Jan 31
Mongolia Bars SouthGobi’s U.S. Chief From Leaving Country

Mongolia has banned Justin Kapla, a U.S. citizen and president of Rio Tinto Group’s SouthGobi Sands LLC coal mining unit, from leaving the country as part of a probe into corruption among domestic officials. Kapla was designated as a witness in a criminal case against D. Batkhuyag, the former chairman of Mongolia’s mineral resources authority, SouthGobi Sands said in an e-mailed response to questions yesterday. Batkhuyag was yesterday jailed for six and a half years for illegally issuing over 120 mining licenses, according to Mongolian news agency news.mn. (continued)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

FYI: Understanding American Football

Understanding American football with lemons and tangerines

Super Bowl XLVII is taking place in the US city of New Orleans on Sunday 3 February.

The Baltimore Ravens are facing the San Francisco 49ers, with the winner raising the prestigious Lombardi Trophy.

However, for many people around the world American football is a complicated sport and difficult to understand.

Franco Cuen, a young player, explains the basic rules using lemons and tangerines.

Friday, February 1, 2013

NEWS: Mongolia wins International Snow Sculpture Championships

Originally posted on Huffington Post on Jan 29, 2013

Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships Awards Mongolia 1st Place

The 23rd annual International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge (USA) is an eagerly-awaited event that brings the Colorado snow to life.

This year's first place winner of both the Artist's and People's Choice Awards was Team Mongolia, whose "Mongolian Warriors" sculpture depicted life-like 13th-century warriors and their horses striding out of a solid 20-ton block base of snow.

“Team Mongolia evoked the furious energy of galloping across the Mongolian steppe,” said Jenn Cram, judge coordinator and Breckenridge Arts District Administrator. “The piece is powerful with its deliberate attention to detail and the dynamic alignment of planes. We could see that sculpture done in bronze, in marble; it was truly a sculptural piece.”

Alongside 14 other teams, Mongolia worked a total of 65 hours across five days without the use of power tools, internal support structures or colorants.

Second place was awarded to Team Catalonia-Spain for their homage to Picasso, or "Banyista Nua" piece. Team Estonia won third place with their piece titled "Koit."

The sculptures this year were built from Jan. 22-26, with some artists staying up all night to complete their masterpieces.

Word List:
  • depicted: to show an image of somebody/something in a picture
  • striding: to walk with long steps in a particular direction
  • evoked: to bring a feeling, a memory or an image into your mind
  • furious: with great energy, speed or anger
  • galloping: when a horse or similar animal gallops, it moves very fast and each stride includes a stage when all four feet are off the ground together
  • deliberate: done slowly and carefully
Pronunciation MP3:
= depict
= stride
= evoke
= furious
= gallop
= deliberate