Mongolian is spoken mainly in Mongolia. It belongs to the Altaic language family and is most closely related to Turkish. In fact, many people in the western part of Mongolia speak a dialect of Turkish. The total number of speakers in the world is estimated at 5 million.
The most recognised dialect is Khalkha, which is spoken in the capital city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar and other parts of Mongolia. There are estimated to be over 2 million words in Mongolian, and eight different writing systems have been used throughout its history.
In the early 20th century, both Latin and Cyrillic alphabets were adopted. The classic writing style which is written vertically was used until the Mongolian government decided to abolish it in 1940. However, since 1994 efforts have been made to bring it back. In fact, it is taught in some schools and used for decorative purposes by artists and designers.