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Dzongkha phrasebook

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Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan. It has about 160.000 native speakers and about 470.000 second language speakers. It's mainly spoken in the districts Thimphu, Paro, Haa, Chukha, Wangdue Phodrang, Punakha and Gasa. Dzongkha is the most common language in the west of Bhutan, Tshangla in the east.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Dzongkha uses the Tibetan writing system. There are 5 vowels (a, e, i, o and u) and 30 consonants.

Vowels[edit]

Vowels are shown with vowel symbols.
There are 4 vowel symbols:
a - ཨ (without a symbol it is "a")
e - ཨེ
i - ཨི
o - ཨོ
u - ཨུ

There is only 1 vowel per syllable. Syllables are seperated with a "Tsheg", which looks like this: ་
The syllables follow an easy pattern:
ཀ་ = Ka
ཀི་ = Ki
ཀིད་ = Kid
ཀི་ད་ = Kida
ཀི་དེ་ = Kide
ཀི་དེབ་ = Kideb

(By the way: "Kideb" means "notebook".)

Consonants[edit]

There are 30 consonants.
ཀ (ka) ཁ (kha*) ག (ga) ང (nga)
ཅ (cha) ཆ (chha*) ཇ (ja) ཉ (nya)
ཏ (ta) ཐ (tha*) ད (da) ན (na)
པ (pa) ཕ (pha*) བ (ba) མ (ma)
ཙ (tsa) ཚ (tsha*) ཛ (dza)
ཝ (wa) ཞ (zha*) ཟ (za)
འ ('a) ཡ (ya) ར (ra) ལ (la)
ཤ (sha) ས (sa)
ཧ (ha) ཨ (a)

* = These letters are pronounced like the one before, but with a harder breath.
'a = A short break.
a = Silent consonant. Used, when there is no consonant needed, like in the word ཨ་པ (apa), which is "father".

Phrase list[edit]

Add la after a phrase to be more polite or formal.

Basics[edit]

Hello (formal) 
Kuzu zangpo la
Hello (informal) 
Kuzu zangpo
Nice to meet you 
Nga choe da choebay sem gai
How are you? 
Gaday bay Zhu Ga?
I'm fine. 
Legshom (Layshom) or Legshom bay rang yoey (full)
What is your name? 
Chhoe gi ming ga chi mo?
My name is _____ 
Nge gi ming _____ in
I am from _____ 
Nga _____ lay in
Nga
My (possession) 
Nga gee
I am from America 
Nga America le ein
You 
Cheu
Where are you from? 
Chee ga tay le mo?
Thank you 
Kadrin chhe la
You are welcome 
Jembalakso
Good luck or best wishes 
Tashi delek
See you later! (informal) 
Shu lay log jay ge! Or Tama chi gey
See you tomorrow 
Naba chi gey
Where? 
Gathey?
How much? 
Gadem chi mo?
Tourist or guest 
Chillip
Cool! 
Leg shom du or pak a du
I like Bhutan 
Nga Druk lu gai

Problems[edit]

What is the Problem? 
Choe gi Ka Ngyel ga chi mo?
Where is the Bank? 
Ngyul Khang Ga teey mo?
No problem 
Kime (kimmy)
The chilies I ate make my ass burn 
Ema sawachen abou tsaome

Numbers[edit]

Dzongkha has its own digits. The system works like the English digit system, so 2012 = ༢༠༡༢

0 ( ) 
legkor
1 (༡) 
chi
2 (༢) 
nyi
3 (༣) 
sum
4 (༤) 
zhi
5 (༥) 
nga
6 (༦) 
dru
7 (༧) 
duen
8 (༨) 
gay
9 (༩) 
gu
10 (༡༠) 
chu tham
11 (༡༡) 
chu chi
12 (༡༢) 
chu nyi
20 
Nyishu/Khelchi
21 
Nyerchi
22 
Nyer^Nyi
23 
Nyer sum

Time[edit]

Clock time[edit]

time 
(...)
o'clock 
bazaar
8 o'clock 
bazaar gyed

Duration[edit]

_____ minute(s) 
karma _____
_____ hour(s) 
ganta _____
_____ day(s) 
zha _____
_____ week(s) 
duenthrak _____
_____ month(s) 
daw _____
_____ year(s) 
lho _____

Days[edit]

Monday 
Migmar
Tuesday 
Lhakpa
Wednesday 
Phurbu
Thursday 
Pasang
Friday 
Pemba
Saturday 
Nima
Sunday 
Dawa

Months[edit]

January 
indha dangpa
February 
indha nyipa
March 
indha sumpa
April 
indha zhipa
May 
indha ngapa
June 
indha drupa
July 
indha duenpa
August 
indha gaypa
September 
indha gupa
October 
indha chuthampa
November 
indha chuchimpa
December 
indha chunyepa

(Note: For the months of lunar calender the prefix is '''rangda''', '''indha''' is used for the months of the international calender.)

Writing time and date[edit]

Thursday, 2nd february, 2012 
Pasang, indha nyipa 2, 2012

Colors[edit]

Green 
Changkha
Red 
Marp
White 
Karp
Blue 
Hoem
Black 
Naap
Yellow 
Serp
Orange 
Leewang

Animals[edit]

bird 
Ji chu
cat 
Ji ley
chicken 
Jum
cow 
No
dog 
Ro che
fish 
Na
frog 
Bab
horse 
Ta
pig 
Phab
turtle 
Ru bel


Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

Directions[edit]

Where is the toilet? 
Chopsa gateh mo?

Taxi[edit]

Identified by the yellow top(hood) and BT registration affixed before the number.

Taxi 
La khor
Fare 
La
How much? 
Ga day chi mo?

Lodging[edit]

Money[edit]

How much is this/it? 
Ngultrum ga they chi mo?

Eating[edit]

_____ Shu gay may 
May I please have _____
Me ju (mizu) 
No, thank you
Meal 
Toh /zhay go
Eating 
shay go za ni
Already eat? 
Toh zhey ga la?
Delicious 
zhim bay
Bitter 
khag ta
Sweet 
ngam
Sour 
chup
Water 
chu
Tea 
ja
Butter tea 
su ja
Curry 
tsoem
Soup 
thup
Chilly 
ema
Cheese 
datsi
Cook 
toh bey ni
Eat 
zhey
Dry Chilli 
ema kam
Potato 
kewa
Maize 
gayza

Bars[edit]

Alcoholic Beverage 
Changg
Bar 
Changkhang
Tip 
Soera
What's the bill? 
Ga de chi mo?
I am drunk. 
Changg dang so ye.
Water 
Chu
Local Drink 
Ara
It is strong. (spirit) 
Ah ni gag tra du.
It is mild. 
Lha si si du.

Shopping[edit]

Shop 
Tsongkhang
How much? 
Ga de chi mo?
Discount please! 
Gong phab nang!

Driving[edit]

Car 
Numkhor
Drive 
Numkhor tang ni
Licence 
Lak Kher
Police 
Thrim sung
Road 
Lam
High speed 
Joba joba shuk bay tang
Low speed 
Drogay bay tang
Please take caution! (driving) 
Reb drim di tang!
Let's go! 
Jogay!
Stop 
Numkor kag nang
Risky 
Ngyen khag
Here 
Nalu
There 
Phalu (h is silent)
Right 
Yaechhog
Left 
Yoenchhog
Straight 
 ???
Go back or u-turn 
 ???
Front 
Dongkha
Far away 
Tha ringsa
Is it far? 
Tha ring sa in-na?
Where does this road lead? 
Lam dig a thay jow mo?

Love[edit]

Boy 
Butsh (t is silent)
Girl 
Bum (boom)
I love you 
Nga gi che lu ga
I can't stay without you 
Nga che me pa me cha bay
I will make you a phone call. 
Nga gi che lu juthen tang gay
Do you remember me? 
Che nga chey re tam mey ga?
You're so beautiful! 
Che namay samay jarim dhu!
Pretty girl 
bum Jarim Du
Do you have a girl/boyfriend? 
Cheu luh aru garu yeh gah?
Let us be friends 
Nga da choe charo bay gay

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