Language - Dzongkha language

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Dzongkha language

Dzongkha, or Bhutanese (རྫོང་ཁ་ ), is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by over half a million people in Bhutan; it is the sole official and national language of the Kingdom of Bhutan. The Tibetan alphabet is used to write Dzongkha.

The word dzongkha means "the language of the district"; kha is language, and dzong is "district". District-like Dzong architecture characterises monasteries, established throughout Bhutan by its unifier, Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche, in the 17th century. As of 2013, Dzongkha had 171,080 native speakers and about 640,000 total speakers.

Dzongkha and its dialects are the native tongue of eight western districts of Bhutan (viz. Wangdue Phodrang, Punakha, Thimphu, Gasa, Paro, Ha, Dagana and Chukha). There are also some native speakers found near the Indian town of Kalimpong, once part of Bhutan but now in North Bengal.

Dzongkha was declared as the national language of Bhutan in 1971. 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.



Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan' ( Druk Gyal Khap''), is a landlocked country in South Asia. Located in the Eastern Himalayas, it is bordered by Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north, the Sikkim state of India and the Chumbi Valley of Tibet in the west, the Arunachal Pradesh state of India in the east, and the states of Assam and West Bengal in the south. Bhutan is geopolitically in South Asia and is the region's second least populous nation after the Maldives. Thimphu is its capital and largest city, while Phuntsholing is its financial center.

The independence of Bhutan has endured for centuries and it has never been colonized in its history. Situated on the ancient Silk Road between Tibet, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, the Bhutanese state developed a distinct national identity based on Buddhism. Headed by a spiritual leader known as the Zhabdrung Rinpoche, the territory was composed of many fiefdoms and governed as a Buddhist theocracy. Following a civil war in the 19th century, the House of Wangchuck reunited the country and established relations with the British Empire. Bhutan fostered a strategic partnership with India during the rise of Chinese communism and has a disputed border with China. In 2008, Bhutan transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy and held the first election to the National Assembly of Bhutan. The National Assembly of Bhutan is part of the bicameral parliament of the Bhutanese democracy.


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