Words Words Words

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

Thursday, June 27, 2013

NEWS: Mongolia set for 'fairest' presidential poll

Originally published on Al Jazeera's YouTube Channel on June 25, 2013

Incumbent president hopes to win a second term, but among those out to stop him are a former wrestler and a female doctor. For the first time in the countries history, there are strict campaign guidelines to ensure that all parties are on equal footing. International monitors say this will be the fairest election in the country so far. Al Jazeera's Divya Gopalan reports from the capital Ulaanbaatar.

Word List:
  • incumbent: a person who has an official position
  • strict: that must be obeyed exactly
  • footing: the position or status of somebody/something in relation to others; the relationship between two or more people or groups
Pronunciation MP3s:
= incumbent
= strict

Monday, June 24, 2013

NEWS: Genghis Khan Rides Again: Huge Statue of Emperor Dominates the Mongolian Steppe

Originally posted on Kuriositas.com - April 7, 2013

Just over thirty miles east of the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator the old Emperor, Genghis Khan, rides again. Sat atop his horse, surveying his dominion (which was after his death to become the largest contiguous empire in history) a huge 131 feet statue of Genghis Khan dominates the steppes of Mongolia.

The sculpture, designed by D. Erdenebileg and architect J. Enkhjargal stands at the banks of the Tuul River. It is here that the great emperor was said to have found a golden whip at the age of fifteen – though there is no exact evidence to support this. It was, however, this whip that is said to have inspired the young Temujin (his birth name) to go on to conquer much of the known world.

Temujin was born in the middle of the twelfth century in Delüün Boldog close to Burkhan Khaldun mountain and the Onon and Kherlen rivers now in contemporary northern Mongolia. It is in this eastern direction that the statue symbolically points. Below the statue (seen above towards the end of its construction in 2008) is a museum, surrounded by 36 columns, one for each of the Khan dynasty of emperors.

Visitors to the statue can walk through the statue to the head of the horse (there is also a lift if you are not inclined to tackle the steps). Here, cradled by the great man they can enjoy the panoramic views a statue of this size affords. It came at something of a price too – the whole complex cost over $US4 million, which was spent by the Genco Tour Bureau, the company responsible for most of the tourism in Mongolia.

Known locally as Chinggis Khaan, the statue is the latest (and largest) of a number of monuments which have risen to honor the founder of the Khan dynasty since the country relieved itself of communism in 1989. The image of Chinggis Khaan is now everywhere in the country, the nineteenth largest but most sparsely populated country in the world.

Mongolia, now an independent nation, is looking to effectively re-brand itself (and Khan) after centuries of foreign influence, being bordered by the behemoths of China and Russia. Through projects such as this the Mongolian people are seeking to draw Genghis Khan not as a ferocious and merciless ruler who ordered the deaths of innumerable people but as something a little more palatable to contemporary sensitivities.

However impossible it is to treat the ‘Universal Ruler’ (as his name translates) as a simple and straightforward national hero, the statue comprehensively ignores any such gradation. There is little room for shade and tone here. Genghis Khan is portrayed very much as the brilliant military strategist, who joined warring tribes together in order to establish the world’s biggest empire ever. One thing is for sure - he is magnificent.

Word List:
  • dominion: an area controlled by one ruler
  • cradled: to hold somebody/something gently in your arms or hands
  • ferocious: very aggressive or violent; very strong
  • palatable: pleasant or acceptable to somebody
Pronunciation MP3:
= dominion
= cradle
= ferocious
= palatable

Monday, June 17, 2013

NEWS: In remote, winter-blasted regions of Mongolia, inclusive education for children

Originally posted on UNICEF.org - Feb 13, 2013
By Sabine Dolan

Reaching children in remote communities in northern Mongolia is challenging. UNICEF is supporting schools in order to provide education for all.

The Khuvsgul region of northern Mongolia is a land of mountains, yurts, nomads and herds.

UNICEF reports on efforts to support inclusive education for children in remote communities in northern Mongolia

Reaching children in the remote communities of Khuvsgul is challenging. Roads are rough tracks that often change throughout the year, depending on the season. Families are isolated and poor. Many of them herd animals for their livelihoods, and children are expected to work.

Khuvsgul is home to diverse ethnic groups. Nine-year-old Murun is from the Tuva ethnic minority. Her family herds goats, cows and reindeer. When we visited Murun’s yurt, her father was away, deep in the forests with their herd of reindeer, which eat a special lichen during the harsh winter season.

Life away from home

Murun’s school is far from her home, and, like so many children here, she lives in the school’s dormitory. First-time students enrol when they are only 6 years old. Living away from their families is difficult.

Murun tells us that being away from her parents is hard. “I miss my mom a lot,” she says. For pupils of ethnic minorities whose native tongue is not Mongolian, the adjustment is even harder.

Children who live near the school can walk, but night closes in quickly, and some children must walk long distances in the dark. Temperatures can reach –45⁰ C. Children who live further away sometimes suffer frostbite on their faces and hands.

Challenges of water and sanitation

There is no running water in the village of Tsagaannuur. The community gets its water from the nearby lake. In the school, children fetch water to wash themselves from containers that store the lake’s water.

The school’s latrines are outdoors, which makes it difficult for children, in particular, girls, especially during the winter and at night. Pointing to the latrines, Murun explains, “Our latrines are far from the dorm. At night, when we need to go, we’re scared.”

For so many countries worldwide in which UNICEF is working, access to clean, safe water and sanitation is a challenge. This holds true in Mongolia, which presents a unique set of issues, among them, the freezing temperatures. Schools across the country, especially in rural communities, face challenges such as unreliable sources for drinking water, poor hygiene conditions and a lack of hand-washing facilities, and insufficient shower facilities in dormitories.

Indoor toilets, outdoor latrines, inclusive education

In the next two years, UNICEF will provide Tsagaannuur’s school with indoor toilets for boys and girls, including toilet units for children with disabilities and urinals for boys. UNICEF will also provide outdoor ventilated latrines. The goal is to ensure that there are sufficient toilets, as well as showers, for all students.

UNICEF has been supporting Tsagaannuur school with teacher training, supplies and special integration programmes for children who have dropped out of school and children with disabilities. UNICEF’s non-formal education initiatives allow out-of-school children to catch up with the curriculum and be reintegrated into their classrooms. They also allow children with special needs to access basic education in a supportive, child-friendly environment so that they are not left behind and further stigmatized.

With its partners, UNICEF is also providing guidance and training to make the Tsagaannuur school a child-friendly school that provides quality education and promotes child participation, protection and inclusiveness.

Children like Murun are motivated to learn and value their education. “When I grow up,” she says, “I want to become a primary school teacher.” To make Murun’s dreams come true and unlock the potential for economic growth, we need to invest in children’s education.

The Schools for Asia initiative is determined to do just that and provide children with the best possible start in life.

Word List:
  • isolated: far away from any others
  • diverse: very different from each other and of various kinds
  • lichen: a very small grey or yellow plant that spreads over the surface of rocks, walls and trees and does not have any flowers
  • ventilated: to allow fresh air to enter and move around a room, building, etc
  • ensure: to make sure that something happens or is definite
  • stigmatized: to treat somebody in a way that makes them feel that they are very bad or unimportant
  • inclusiveness: including a wide range of people, things, ideas, etc
Pronunciation MP3:
= isolate
= diverse
= lichen
= ventilate
= ensure
= stigmatize
= inclusive

Monday, June 10, 2013

NEWS: In Mongolia, an Unexpected Genre Takes Root

Originally posted on Wall Street Journal - Mar 19, 2013
By Debra Bruno

A still from ‘Mongolian Bling’

Ulaanbaatar isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think about hip-hop.

But the Mongolian capital of 1 million people is the unlikely center of a rap renaissance. That spirit has been captured in “Mongolian Bling,” a film by first-time director Benj Binks.

The 90-minute documentary, which opened Beijing’s Asian Cinema Week, has a busy schedule ahead. After its showings in Beijing and Shanghai, it plays next month in Toronto, Vancouver and Hartford, Conn., followed by May screenings in London and San Diego.

“Mongolian Bling” trails Gennie, Gee and Quiza, hip-hop artists of varying degrees of local success as they attempt to build their careers, develop a following and debate the authenticity of their work. The film’s theme is “identity, youth, passion, the influence of Western culture and trends on traditional culture,” said Mr. Binks, 34 years old, a native of Australia who got interested in Mongolia while leading tours on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

“I arrived in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, expecting nomads and herders, and instead found hip-hop, which just caught me off guard,” he said.

Even though he had only one five-minute short under his belt, Mr. Binks decided that making a film about hip-hop would be a way to tell “what it means to be Mongolian in this day and age.” It took him six years to finish.

Mongolia’s rappers style themselves after what they’ve seen of the American hip-hop scene, with tattoos, baseball caps and hooded sweatshirts. But their sound is distinctive because of the consonant-heavy Mongolian language and, in some cases, the use of traditional instruments like the matouqin, a stringed instrument similar to a cello.

Middle-class Mongolian teenagers discovered Vanilla Ice and Jay-Z in the 1990s, but hip-hop took hold more strongly in Ulaanbaatar’s ger district, where many of the city’s residents live in smoggy, semi-nomadic conditions. One traditional musician, Bayarmagnai, argues that rap showed up even earlier, with Genghis Khan, citing nomads’ use of rhythmic storytelling set to music.

“Mongolian rappers say they’re developing hip-hop that originated in America in 1979,” he says in “Mongolian Bling.” “I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s obvious hip-hop traveled to America from Mongolia.”

But it is twentysomething Gennie, called “the queen of Mongolian hip-hop” by one musician in the film, who commands the most attention. A rare example of a woman with a local following, she listens in “Mongolian Bling” as her grandmother demonstrates traditional singing techniques and warns her about becoming too westernized.

The lyrics to Gennie’s own music hint at her frustrations with traditional life. “I’m one of the women who are the majority among our few people,” begins one. “In this society of chaos, everybody says they have equal rights — to be honest, there is very little truth in that.”

Monday, June 3, 2013

Plan Your Free Online Education at Lifehacker U: Summer Semester 2013

Originally posted on LifeHacker.com on May 15, 2013

Your education doesn't have to stop once you leave school—freedom from the classroom just means you have more control over what you learn and when you learn it. We've put together a curriculum of some of the best free online classes available on the web this fall for our third term of Lifehacker U, our regularly-updating guide to improving your life with free, online college-level classes. Let's get started.

Orientation: What Is Lifehacker U?

Whether school's out for the summer or you just graduated (congratulations!), there's no reason to stop learning and growing just because the temperature is going up. Take your laptop out on the patio with you, or your tablet down to the beach, and enjoy the incredible amount of free, university-level courses that become available on the web every school year. Anyone with a little time and a passion for self-growth can audit, read, and "enroll" in these courses for their own personal benefit. Schools like Yale University, MIT, Stanford, the University of California at Berkeley, and many more are all offering free online classes that you can audit and participate in from the comfort of your office chair, couch, or computing chair-of-choice.

If you'll remember from our Spring 2013 semester, some of these classes are available year-round, but many of them are only available during the a specific term or semester, and because we're all about helping you improve your life at Lifehacker, we put together a list of courses available this summer that will inspire you, challenge you, open the door to something new, and give you the tools to improve your life. Grab your pen and paper and make sure your battery is charged—class is in session!

Computer Science and Technology

Udacity - Introduction to Computer Science
University of Michigan - Internet History, Technology, and Security
Udacity - Web Development
University of London - Malicious Software and its Underground Economy: Two Sides to Every Story
Udacity - HTML5 Game Development
Saylor University - Information Security
University of Washington - Introduction to Data Science

Finance and Economics

University of Michigan - Introduction to Finance
Marketplace - Money 101: Credit, Debt, and Saving
Marketplace - Money 101: Retirement and Investing
Saylor University - Money, Banking, and Financial Markets
The Open University - Contemporary Issues in Finance


University of California, Berkeley - Descriptive Introduction to Physics
MIT - 8.02x: Electricity and Magnetism
University of British Columbia - Useful Genetics
TED - Neuroscience
The University of Texas, Austin - UT.1.01x: Energy 101
Harvard - SPU27x: Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science
Johns Hopkins University - Critical Analysis of Popular Diets and Dietary Supplements


Udacity/San Jose State University - Elementary Statistics: The Science of Decisions
Saylor University - Beginning Alegbra
La Trobe University - The Algebra of Everything

Social Sciences, Classics, and Humanities

University of Texas, Austin - UT.2.01x: Ideas of the 20th Century
Yale University - SOCY 151: Foundations of Modern Social Theory
Georgetown University - INFX523-01: Globalization's Winners and Losers: Challenges for Developed and Developing Countries
University of Texas, Austin - UT.3.01x: Age of Globalization
Rutgers University - The Future of Humankind


Case Western Reserve University -Introduction to International Criminal Law
The University of Cambridge - The Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law Seminar Series
Johns Hopkins University - Animals in Research: Law, Policy, and Humane Sciences
Harvard University - Justice

Cross-Disciplinary Courses and Seminars

University of Oklahoma - Introduction to Management
Vanderbilt University - Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative
University of Washington - Introduction to Public Speaking
University of California, Berkeley - Edible Education 103: Telling Stories About Food and Agriculture
Carnegie Mellon University - STEM Readiness

Extra Credit: How To Find Your Own Online Classes

The cirriculum at Lifehacker U is rich and deep, but it may not reflect all of your areas of interests or expertise. If you're looking for more or more varied course material, here are some resources to help you find great, university-level online classes that you can take from the comfort of your desk, at any time of day.

Academic Earth curates an amazing list of video seminars and classes from some of the world's smartest minds, innovators, and leaders on a variety of topics including science, mathematics, politics, public policy, art, history, and more.
TED talks are well known for being thought provoking, interesting, intelligent, and in many cases, inspiring and informative. We've featured TED talks at Lifehacker before, and if you're looking for seminars on the web worth watching, TED is worth perusing.
edX is a collection of free courses from leading Universities like the University of California, Berkeley, MIT, and Harvard. There aren't many, but the ones offered are free, open to the public, and they rotate often.
Coursera has a broad selection of courses in-session or beginning shortly that you can take for academic credit (if you're enrolled) or just a certificate of completion that shows you've learned a new skill. Topics range from science and technology to social science and humanities, and they're all free.
Udacity offers a slimmer selection of courses, but the ones offered are not only often for-credit, but they're instructor led and geared towards specific goals, with skilled and talented instructors walking you through everything from building a startup to programming a robotic car.
The Saylor Foundation offers a wide array of courses and entire course programs on topics from economics to political science and professional development. Interested in a crash course in mechanical engineering? The Saylor Foundation can help you with that.
Education-Portal.com has a list of universities offering free and for-credit online classes to students and the public at large.
Open Culture's list of free online courses is broken down by subject matter and includes classes available on YouTube, iTunes U, and direct from the University or School's website.
The Open Courseware Consortium is a collection of colleges and universities that have all agreed to use a similar platform to offer seminars and full classes—complete with notes, memos, examinations, and other documentation free on the web. They also maintain a great list of member schools around the world, so you can visit universities anywhere in the world and take the online classes they make available.
The Khan Academy offers free YouTube-based video classes in math, science, technology, the humanities, and test preparation and study skills. If you're looking to augment your education or just take a couple video classes in your spare time, it's a great place to start and has a lot of interesting topics to offer.
The University of Reddit is a crowd-built set of classes and seminars by Reddit users who have expertise to share. Topics range from computer science and programming to paleontology, narrative poetry, and Latin. Individuals interested in teaching classes regularly post to the University of Reddit subthread to gauge interest in future couses and announce when new modules are available.
The Lifehacker Night School is our own set of tutorials and classes that help you out with deep and intricate subjects like becoming a better photographer, building your own computer, or getting to know your network, among others.
The beautiful thing about taking classes online is that you can pick and choose the classes you want to attend, skip lectures and come back to them later(in some cases - some classes require your regular attendance and participation!), and do examinations and quizzes on your own time. You can load up with as many classes as you choose, or take a light course load and come back to some of the classes you meant to take at another time that's more convenient for you.

With Lifehacker U, you're free to take as many or as few of these classes as you like, and we'll update this course guide every term with a fresh list of courses on new and interesting topics, some of which are only available during that academic term.