The contribution of Manchu researchers in Mongolia to the development of Altai studies

Enkhbat Munkhtsetseg

The contribution of Manchu researchers in Mongolia to the development of Altai studies

(66th Annual Meeting of the PIAC Göttingen, 2024)

Manchu and Mongolian languages both belong to the group of Altaic languages. That is why the study of the Manchu language, history and culture is carefully developed in Mongolia.

Mongolian scholars believe that the Manchu studies in Mongolia date started in to the second half of the 14th century. The basis for this point of view is that Manchurian dictionaries, grammar books and translations into Manchu made by the Mongols are an important part of the Manchu studies. During the reign of the Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722) such work was carried out on a large scale. Numerous dictionaries and manuals were created for the use in daily work and study, and official literature and scriptures were translated from Manchu into Mongolian. In other words, purely practical goals were pursued and no attention was paid to the scientific aspect.

It was only in the first half of 20th century when the Manchu language and writing were analyzed on a real scientific basis. Since then, attention has been paid to expanding and deepening the study of the Manchu language, history and culture, and training scientific personnel. Currently, the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, the Mongolian State University, the Mongolian Pedagogical University, and the National Central Archives of Mongolia employ a large number of teachers and researchers involved in Manchu studies.

In this presentation, we will discuss in detail the origin and development of Manchu studies, Manchu linguists and their works in Mongolia.