The word '蒙古' seems to be read as 'měng gu'. But when I listen to others, it seems to be pronounced 'méng gu'. Which is the correct one? And I found it hard to tell the difference between 'měng gu' and 'méng gu'. Is it because the word itself or some pronunciation mistake?

2 Answers 2


The Pinyin for 蒙古 is written like this in ABC:


Notice the dot under the letter E, this is an indicator that this word is read with tone sandhi. The tone sandhi rules dictate that meng3 gu3 be read:

meng2 gu3 (méng gǔ)

Another factor that may add to your confusion is the fact that the standard pronunciation in Taiwanese Mandarin is different. For instance, if you check MoE's entry for 蒙古族 the pinyin for 蒙 is clearly written as:


蒙 is never read měng in TW.

  • The rule is not so simple as 姐姐,狗狗 doesn't follow the 33->23 rule.
    – joehua
    Sep 24, 2020 at 12:36
  • Technically speaking, 半上声 is different from 阳平, even though most native speaker won't tell the difference. I guess the rule is applicable to any non-叠词.
    – River
    Sep 24, 2020 at 15:25
  • I don't see what 姐姐 and 狗狗 have to do with the question, those behave more like neutral tones. Indeed, 姐姐 is listed as such in 现代汉语词典. They certainly don't behave like regular 3+3 and can be treated as exceptions. 蒙古 is not among the exceptions and behaves normally.
    – Olle Linge
    Sep 24, 2020 at 15:32
  • Come to think about it, I don't know one single example in which 蒙 is pronounced as meng3. I have always pronounced it as meng2. I can't think of an exception.
    – joehua
    Sep 25, 2020 at 3:42
  • @joehua How about: 蒙族?
    – Mou某
    Sep 25, 2020 at 8:53

如果“蒙”代表蒙古的时候就读 meng3.例如蒙牛,蒙古,蒙。作家王蒙的蒙也是 meng3.

If "蒙" represents Mongolia (n), then it is read as meng3

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