Is "ゲル" or "ユルト" more commonly used and understood when referring to large tents used by Mongolians (gers) and other Central Asian nomads (yurts)?

The Japanese edition of Wikipedia uses ゲル rather than ユルト, suggesting the former is the norm. However, I'd like additional confirmation, and I suspect that just looking at word frequency may be misleading because ゲル may have unrelated meanings. In addition, "ゲル" being the norm rather than "ユルト" is surprising as yurt is more commonly used and understood than ger in English.

  • My guess would be that ゲル was borrowed directly from Mongolian some time in the 1930s or 1940s, where (according to the OED) “yurt” came to English from Russian via German and/or French. The answers to this question might help track that down, although if you search for ゲル you'll get a lot of noise about e.g. ヘーゲル. Aug 20 '18 at 19:44

Neither of the two terms is widely recognized by the general public, so you have to explain the word anyway. I think you can choose one of them and add ~ともいう ("also called ~") in parentheses.

From what I could google, ゲル is more commonly used in Japanese websites. Some pages use パオ (which is Chinese), and ユルト seems to be even less common. I vaguely remember learning ゲル at middle or high school, too, but that was more than 20 years ago.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.