Tucked away deep in the Himalayas lies a beautiful, lush land that many people have never even heard of: the Kingdom of Bhutan. This small, landlocked Asian country is nestled between giants China and India and represents a continuation of the Tibetic culture originating from its next-door neighbor, Tibet. Despite having a population of only around 700,000, Bhutan boasts a rich, vibrant, and unique culture of Buddhism and Tibetic traditions, and nearly every language spoken across the kingdom is a Tibetic language.
Despite Bhutan’s small population, a whopping 24 languages are spoken across the country, with all but one, Nepali, belonging to the Tibeto–Burman language subfamily. Dzongkha, the native language of about 25% of the country (or 170,000 people), has been designated as the national language and is taught widely across the country, resulting in a total of roughly 640,000 speakers. Nonetheless, the language of instruction in Bhutan is generally English, with non-native speakers of Dzongkha learning it as a national language. Given Bhutan’s obscurity, not a lot of translation services are available for Dzongkha—so we at TranslationServices.com decided to offer our own translation services for Dzongkha.
You can see a free quote for our Dzongkha translation services if you just reach out and request one.
Discovering Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan
Dzongkha, which literally translates to “the language of the fortress,” is the most important language in Bhutan, and Dzongkha study is mandatory in Bhutanese schools. A small community of native Dzongkha speakers can also be found in North Bengal. Dzongkha uses the Tibetan script for its written language, and due to the lack of spelling reforms over 1200 years, spelling and pronunciation largely do not match, making Dzongkha perhaps the hardest language in the world to spell.
Dzongkha is a Tibeto–Burman language in the Sino–Tibetan language family, meaning it’s distantly related to Mandarin. The language uses a word order of subject-object-verb and features 10 demonstratives based on the proximity and approximate location of the referent. For comparison, English has two (“this” and “that”). Dzongkha also features a unique copula that expresses that the speaker has only recently acquired the knowledge they are espousing (a feature shared by Standard Tibetan). Something Dzongkha lacks, conversely, is a verb for “to have”—instead, Dzongkha speakers express possession by stating that the possessed object is “at” the possessor.
Our Dzongkha translation services are wide-ranging.
You might be thinking that Dzongkha sounds tricky—and yes, it certainly is. But as native speakers, our Dzongkha translators have no problem seamlessly navigating between Dzongkha and English. Our translation services are available both to and from Dzongkha, for any type of material.
Looking for translation from Dzongkha to English? We’d be happy to help, whether you’re eying business translation, academic translation, or literary translation. Our team can even translate historical documents in Dzongkha (which, thanks to the lack of spelling reforms, is relatively easy) or tricky religious content.
If translation from English to Dzongkha better matches your needs, just let us know! We’d be delighted to help you translate promotional documents to cater to a Bhutanese population, educational materials to help educate Bhutanese children in their national language, or books, games, websites, apps, and poems to widen the entertainment possibilities in the beautiful and unique Dzongkha language.
Now’s the time to start your Dzongkha translation project. Shoot us a message to get started!