The Mongolian language (Монгол хэл, Mongol khel), a member of the Altaic family, is the official language of Mongolia. It is also spoken by Mongols in Russia, China, and by Mongol populations worldwide.
The main dialect of Mongolian is the Khalkha (Халх, Khalkh) dialect, which is used as the standard dialect in Mongolia. There are other dialects, such as Kalmyk (Хальмг келн, Khal'mg keln), spoken in the European Russian republic of Kalmykia, and Buryat (буряад хэлэн, Buryat kheleng), spoken in the Russian Siberian republic of Buryatia.
Since the 1940s, Mongolian has been written in the Cyrillic alphabet. Before that, it was written in the traditional Mongolian alphabet, which is now making a resurgence. The traditional script is still used in Inner Mongolia, a part of China. The traditional script is written vertically, from left to right. It was descended from the old Uighur script.