Ready to impress the locals? In today’s post, we will dive deeper into the Mongolian proverbs that can help you understand more about Mongolia’s cultural beliefs and traditions. What better way to navigate and know more about a country’s environment and society than through knowing its proverbs and sayings, right? If you are ready for that, let’s get started!
Aside from the basic greetings in their native language, there is one concept that you should learn in order to surprise the locals truly. This is the concept of using Mongolian proverbs in real-life conversations.
Proverbs, in general, are used to gain more wisdom and give someone a piece of advice. It is a great way and tool to provide a family member or a friend with great comfort and help them navigate through the complexities of life. Without it, one may be too naive and careless with how they should live their lives and might end up in a compromised position.
And so, if you plan on talking to someone from Mongolia or plan to have a trip there, these might come in handy, especially if you talk to the locals! Not to mention, these Mongolian proverbs are a great way to have very meaningful and deep conversations!
Without any further ado, here are the Mongolian proverbs that you must know:
1. Хүн долоон удаа бүтэлгүйтэж, найман удаа босдог
Literal translation: A man fails seven times and rises eight times.
Meaning: A person that fails will grow and eventually become better.
This is one of the few proverbs that one must keep in mind. Because aside from learning through someone else’s failures, one can also learn by assessing his or her mistake. It is a good reminder that when you fail, it does not entirely mean that you are a failure but rather someone growing and wiser.
2. Айсан бол бүү эхл, нэгэнт эхэлсэн бол бүү ай
Literal translation: Do not start if afraid; once begun, do not be afraid.
Meaning: When you are about to do something, do it fearlessly. And then, when you are already doing it, don’t limit yourself.
This is the way to remind people to take the leap of faith and do it wholeheartedly because it’s not always that people are given a chance to do things. And so when given a chance, one should do it and give it its 100%.
3. Сэтгэл цэвэр бол хувь тавилан сайхан
Literal translation: If the mind is clean, fate is good.
Meaning: If someone’s intentions are clean, they are destined for good things.
This proverb is an excellent reminder that when one’s intentions in doing something are pure and doesn’t have anything malicious planned, that person will reap what it sowed. It is important to have genuine senses and a pure mind to pursue what you want to pursue if a certain opportunity is given.
4. Өндөр барихыг хүссэн хүн гүн ухах ёстой
Literal translation: He who wants to build high must dig deep
Meaning: A person that dreams big must all go through a long journey
No journey to success is easy. And although things might vary from person to person, one thing is certain: if one wants to achieve something, it is not given away freely, but it is something that one should work for.
5. Өөрийнхөө дүрмээр зов
Literal translation: Suffer from your own rule
Meaning: Facing suffering and consequences is better if it’s under your choice and not others.
Such a proverb promotes not only independence but also accountability. Accountability means that when you face the consequences of something or have a hard time, it is better to feel that way because of your choices and not because of others’ decisions. Not only that, but this proverb can teach you to do things on your own so that when things don’t go to plan, you learn from it as well.
6. Холбоо бол амжилтын эх үүсвэр юм
Literal Translation: Union is the source of success
Meaning: When there is unity, there is a success.
This is self-explanatory. When people are united toward the goal they want to pursue and have the same objectives they want to achieve, it often ends up being successful. Teamwork makes the dream work, right?
7. Шунал нь хүмүүсийг мөнхөд ядуу байлгадаг, энэ ертөнцийн элбэг дэлбэг байдал ч тэднийг баян болгохгүй
Literal translation: Greed keeps men forever poor; even the abundance of this world will not make them rich.
Meaning: Greedy people will never be contented
Although it is human nature to always keep on wanting things, to be greedy is different. It drives someone to do morally wrong things. In the same light, greediness makes someone see things from a different perspective – instead of being grateful, it is the other way around. Hence, when driven by greed, he will always look at himself as someone poor and uncontented.
8. Нугын өвс ногоо өөр байдаг шиг улс орон бүрийн ёс заншил өөр өөр байдаг.
Literal translation: Each country’s customs are different, just as each meadow’s grass is different.
Meaning: Don’t expect things to be the same when you go to a different place.
This is one of the Mongolian proverbs that are helpful when you travel. It also encourages the trait of being adaptable in the place you are going to. It is important to know that a country’s customs will be different from the place that you grew up in. When this is established, it will be easier for you to adjust and adapt.
9. Сайн үгээр гурван өвлийн дулаан байдаг; нэг хорон үгэнд зургаан жавартай сарын өвдөлт байдаг
Literal translation: There is three winters’ warmth; in one malicious word, there is a pain for six frosty months.
Meaning: Always be careful and sensitive with what you say.
To remember a compliment is one, but to have one malicious word last is another. This proverb is a good reminder that when you say things or talk to people, you shouldn’t do it carelessly and tactlessly because it leaves a lasting impact on the person you are talking to. Apart from that, when you say one malicious word or remark, it might impact them and affect them greatly.
10. Зугтсан морио барих нь оргосон үгийг эргүүлж авахаас амархан
Literal translation: It is easier to catch an escaped horse than to take back an escaped word.
Meaning: Do not say things carelessly,
Similar to the proverb before this, it is important to remember how crucial it is to be careful in the word that we choose to say and how we speak them. This creates a good impression on the people you are talking to, but it also helps avoid miscommunication and disagreements.
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