Mongolian, Peripheral


A language of China

Alternate Names
Inner Mongolian, Menggu, Monggol, Mongol, Southern-Eastern Mongolian

3,380,000 in China (1982). 2,500,000 are monolingual. Population includes 299,000 Chakhar, 317,000 Bairin, 1,347,000 Khorain, 593,00 Karachin, 123,000 Ordos, 34,000 Ejine.


Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang provinces, Urumchi to Hailar. Also in Mongolia.

Language Maps
Language Status

2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial working language in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and other places (1984, Ethnic Regional Autonomy Act, Articles 10 and 21).


Chahar (Chaha’er, Chakhar, Qahar), Ejine, Jirim (Gorlos, Jalait, Kalaqin, Khorchin), Jostu (Eastern Tumut, Ke’erqin, Kharachin, Kharchin, Kharchin-Tumut), Jo-Uda (Bairin, Balin, Keshikten, Naiman), Ordos (E’erduosite), Shilingol (Ujumchin), Tumut (Tumet), Ulanchab (Mingan, Urat). Largely intelligible of Halh Mongolian [khk], but there are phonological and important loanword differences.



Language Use

Vigorous. Chinese living in the area can also speak it. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. About 70,000 can also speak Uyghur [uig] or Kazakh [kaz].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 71%. Taught in primary and secondary schools. Magazines. Newspapers. Radio programs. TV. Grammar. Bible: 2003.
Mongolian script. Phags-pa script, no longer in use.
Other Comments

Officially classified within Mongolian nationality, which includes China Buriat [bxu], Tuva [tyv], Kalmyk-Oirat [xal], and speakers of other varieties. In Xinjiang, Torgut, Oold, Korbet, and Hoshut peoples are known as the Four tribes of Oirat. Buddhist (Lamaist), traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All