Dzongkha

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Dzongkha
Dzongkha-02.svg
Region Bhutan, Sikkim (India)
Ethnicity Ngalop
Native speakers
170,000  (2006)[1]
Second language: 470,000[citation needed]
Dialects
Adap
Tibetan script
Dzongkha Braille
Official status
Official language in
 Bhutan
Regulated by Dzongkha Development Commission
Language codes
ISO 639-1 dz
ISO 639-2 dzo
ISO 639-3 Either:
dzo – Dzongkha
adp – Adap
{{{mapalt}}}
Districts of Bhutan in which the Dzongkha language is spoken natively are highlighted in light beige.

Dzongkha (རྫོང་ཁ་; Wylie: rdzong-kha, Jong-kă), occasionally Ngalopkha, is the national language of Bhutan.[2] The word "dzongkha" means the language (kha) spoken in the dzongdzong being the fortress-like monasteries established throughout Bhutan by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in the 17th century.

"Bhutani", a dialect of the Balochi language spoken by the people of the Bhutani (Urdu: بھوتانی‎) tribe, is completely unrelated to Dzongkha.

Classification and related languages[edit]

Linguistically, Dzongkha is a South Tibetan language. It is closely related to and partially intelligible with Sikkimese (Wylie: 'Bras-ljongs-skad), the national language of the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim; and to some other Bhutanese languages such as Cho-cha-na-ca (khyod ca nga ca kha), Brokpa (me rag sag steng 'brog skad), Brokkat (dur gyi 'brog skad), and Lakha (la ka).

Dzongkha bears a close linguistic relationship to J'umowa spoken in the Chumbi valley of Southern Tibet and to the Dranjongke language of Sikkim.[3] It has a much more distant relationship to standard modern Central Tibetan. Although spoken Dzongkha and Tibetan are largely mutually unintelligible, the literary forms of both are both highly influenced by the liturgical (clerical) Classical Tibetan language, known in Bhutan as Chöke, which has been used for centuries by Buddhist monks. Chöke was used as the language of education in Bhutan until the early 1960s when it was replaced by Dzongkha in public schools.[4]

Usage[edit]

Dzongkha and its dialects are the native tongue of eight western districts of Bhutan (viz. Phodrang, Punakha, Thimphu, Gasa, Paro, Ha, Dagana and Chukha).[5] There are also some speakers found near the Indian town of Kalimpong, once part of Bhutan but now in West Bengal. Dzongkha study is mandatory in all schools in Bhutan, and the language is the lingua franca in the districts to the south and east where it is not the mother tongue. The 2003 Bhutanese film Travellers and Magicians is entirely in Dzongkha.

Writing[edit]

Dzongkha is usually written in Bhutanese forms of the Tibetan script known as Joyi (mgyogs yig) and Joshum (mgyogs tshugs ma). Dzongkha books are typically printed using Ucan fonts like those to print the Tibetan abugida.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dzongkha at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Adap at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ "Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Art. 1, § 8" (PDF). Government of Bhutan. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  3. ^ van Driem, George (2007). "Endangered Languages of Bhutan and Sikkim: South Bodish Languages". In Moseley, Christopher. Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered Languages. Routledge. p. 294. ISBN 0-7007-1197-X. 
  4. ^ George, Van Driem; Tshering of Gaselô, Karma (1998). Dzongkha. Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region I. Leiden, The Netherlands: Research CNWS, School of Asian, African, and Amerindian Studies, Leiden University. pp. 7–8. ISBN 90-5789-002-X. 
  5. ^ George, Van Driem; Tshering of Gaselô, Karma (1998). Dzongkha. Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region I. Leiden, The Netherlands: Research CNWS, School of Asian, African, and Amerindian Studies, Leiden University. p. 3. ISBN 90-5789-002-X. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • van Driem, George (2007). "Endangered Languages of Bhutan and Sikkim: South Bodish Languages". In Moseley, Christopher. Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered Languages. Routledge. pp. 294–295. ISBN 0-7007-1197-X. 
  • van Driem, George L; Karma Tshering of Gaselô (collab) (1998). Dzongkha. Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region. Leiden: Research School CNWS, School of Asian, African, and Amerindian Studies. ISBN 90-5789-002-X.  - A language textbook with three audio compact disks.
  • van Driem, George (1992). The Grammar of Dzongkha. Thimphu, Bhutan: RGoB, Dzongkha Development Commission (DDC). 
  • van Driem, George (1991). Guide to Official Dzongkha Romanization. Thimphu, Bhutan: Dzongkha Development Commission (DDC). 
  • van Driem, George (n.d.). The First Linguistic Survey of Bhutan. Thimphu, Bhutan: Dzongkha Development Commission (DDC). 
  • Dzongkha Development Authority (2005). English-Dzongkha Dictionary (ཨིང་ལིཤ་རྫོང་ཁ་ཤན་སྦྱར་ཚིག་མཛོད།). Thimphu: Dzongkha Development Authority, Ministry of Education. 
  • Imaeda, Yoshiro (1990). Manual of Spoken Dzongkha in Roman Transcription. Thimphu: Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), Bhutan Coordinator Office. 
  • Mazaudon, Martine. 1985. “Dzongkha Number Systems.” S. Ratanakul, D. Thomas & S. Premsirat (eds.). Southeast Asian Linguistic Studies presented to André-G. Haudricourt. Bangkok: Mahidol University. 124-57
  • Mazaudon, Martine & Boyd Michailovsky. 1988. “Lost syllables and tone contour in Dzongkha (Bhutan).” David Bradley, Eugénie J.A. Henderson & Martine Mazaudon (eds.). Prosodic analysis and Asian linguistics: to honour R.K. Sprigg. (Pacific Linguistics, Series C-104). 115-36
  • Mazaudon, Martine & Boyd Michailovsky. 1989. “Syllabicity and suprasegmentals: the Dzongkha monosyllabic noun.” D. Bradley et al. (eds.). Prosodic analysis and Asian linguistics: to honour R.K. Sprigg. Canberra. (Pacific Linguistics). 115-36
  • Michailovsky, Boyd. 1989. “Notes on Dzongkha orthography.” D. Bradley et al. (eds.). Prosodic analysis and Asian linguistics: to honour R.K. Sprigg. Canberra. (Pacific Linguistics). 297-301
  • Tournadre, Nicolas. 1996. “Comparaison des systèmes médiatifs de quatre dialectes tibétains (tibétain central, ladakhi, dzongkha et amdo).” Z. Guentchéva (ed.). L’énonciation médiatisée. Louvain_Paris: Peeters (Bibliothèque de l’Information Grammaticale, 34). 195-214
  • Watters, Stephen A. 1996. A preliminary study of prosody in Dzongkha. Arlington: UT at Arlington, Masters Thesis

Resources for Dzongkha[edit]

Vocabulary[edit]

Grammar[edit]

External links[edit]