Language

About two dozen dialects are spoken by the people all over the country, with Dzongkha (one among the many Tibetan languages) being spoken and taught as the national language. Officially meaning- “the Language spoken in the Dzongs” (kha means language or literally, mouth), Dzongkha bears close linguistic similarities to the language spoken in the southern part of Tibet and was instated as the national language by the Zhabdrung during his reign over Bhutan. The style of writing is also similar, although not wholly, to Tibetan scriptures.

 

Besides Dzongkha, English is also taught as a medium for education in schools all over the country. So it comes as no surprise that the people in Bhutan speak this foreign language fluently. The most widely spoken dialects besides Dzongkha are the Sharchop-kha (language of the east also known as Tshangla) and the Lhotsam-kha (the Nepali language spoken in most of the southern parts). Except for the Lhotsam-kha all the other dialects in Bhutan can be classified under the Tibeto-Burman languages. There is also a considerable population of people who speak the Kheng-kha in central parts of Bhutan with a small language diversity existing among certain villages which are both lexical and different in the way certain tenses are formed.

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