Archive for the ‘Mongolian Language & Translation’ Category

Translation in Mongolia: More Art than Science

Mongolian and English are hardly two of the most compatible languages.  Vastly different in their origins and structure, translation from one to the other can be a difficult prospect.  Mongolian is a Turkic-Altaic language that generally uses a subject-object-verb structure, which takes some time for Westerners learning Mongolian to get their heads around.  Translating from one language into the other takes a certain amount of care and finesse.  Read the rest of this entry »

Expats in Mongolia: You’re Not in Kansas Anymore

Following up on my previous two-part blog on difficulties and challenges of doing business in Mongolia, this blog will focus on why some expats may experience difficulties because of the way they think things should be done in Mongolia but aren’t.

That’s Not How We Do It

A major difficulty I see foreigners dealing with here, especially as managers of companies, is their wanting to run their companies according the legal system they are familiar with.  While we are all guilty of saying “Well, in the US we do this” or “In the UK we do that” unfortunately this just does not translate well to doing business in Mongolia.  The legal system in Mongolia is undeniably a product of the Soviet system, and while Mongolian lawmakers have pretty much rewritten most laws since the transition nearly 20 years ago, the major influence on many of the politicians remains the Soviet Union.  So while it is easy to fall into the mindset of “that’s not how we do it in…” you will only end up driving yourself mad thinking that way.

Laws in Mongolia can be extremely different from what we are used to.  For example, the Labor Law in Mongolia is extremely employee friendly.  The employer cannot really dictate anything to the employee as everything must be mutually agreed upon.  There is also no at-will termination, and based on Supreme Court interpretations of the law it actually leans towards lifetime employment.  That can be difficult for many foreign HR people to get their heads around.

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Translation in Mongolia 101 – Mongolian Translation Challenges Addressed

August 14, 2009

When it comes to Mongolian translation, people typically have five main questions.

The  questions are: how do I find a reliable translator; how much should I pay; how do I know my translation is accurate; how can I get an official translation; and do I have to execute my business documents in Mongolian language?

Mongolian translation overview

Translation is much more of an art that an exact science.  Put ten translators in a room and each one will have a different take on how something should be worded.  All translations are definitely not created equal; they drastically differ in quality depending on the translator’s skills, experience and knowledge of the particular topic of translation.   What should you or your business be on the lookout for when looking for a translator?  Listed below are the top five things people typically want to know about Mongolian translation.

1.  How do I find a reliable Mongolian translator?

This is perhaps the biggest issue many people face when needing to have something translated, especially if it is an important document like a contract or agreement.  There is, unfortunately, no sure-fire way of knowing if a translator is going to suit your needs.  It takes time to find a good, reliable translator who you can count on to do a good job every time.  Word-of-mouth referrals and suggestions from others are obviously good start in finding a translator.  Once several prospective translators have been found it would be a wise to ask for a list of past clients and samples of translations.  It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a couple of translators translate the same document and compare the translations.  This is a search into which it is worth putting some time and effort.

Of course translators can be found through your favorite search engine, but for local Mongolian translators this probably will not lead to very many solid results.  Translation companies can also be found scattered throughout the city, with several located on Peace Avenue, near the State Department Store. Read the rest of this entry »