Dzongkha is Bhutan’s official language. It literally means ‘the language spoken in the dzongs and administrative centers in all the districts of Bhutan’. It has its roots in the old-Tibetan language, spoken by the people of Western Bhutan. In 1992 the first edition of a book was published, describing the grammar of Dzongkha. Besides Dzongkha there are two major languages spoken by the people of Bhutan: Sharchokpa (spoken in Eastern Bhutan) and Nepali (spoken in Southern Bhutan). 

Because of the ethnic diversity of the Bhutanese people, there are also 19 dialects and languages spoken throughout the country. You will be able to communicate with many in English though; it’s the instruction language in schools and therefore widely spoken.

Writing on the base of a Stupa in colorful sanskrit

Writing on the base of a Stupa in colorful sanskrit

COMMON WORDS & PHRASES

Greetings

Kuzoo zangpo La

Sir/madam (respect)

La

How are you?

Gadaybay zhu ga?

I’m fine

Legshom (pronounced Layshom)

Thank you

Kaadinchey la

Welcome

Tashi Delek

What is your name?(informal)

Choey gi Ming ga chi mo?

What is your name? (formal)

Na gi Chen ga chi mo?

You (informal)

Choey

You (formal)

Na