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Dzongkha phrasebook

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Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan.

Pronunciation guide

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

Vowels

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

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

Basics

Hello. (formal) 
Kuzu zangpo la.
Hello. (informal) 
Kuzu zangpo.
How are you? 
Gaday bay Zhu Ga?
I'm fine. 
Legshom. (Layshom)
What is your name? 
Chhoe gi ming ga chi mo?
My name is _____. 
Nge gi ming _____ in.
I am from ____. 
Nga ____ lay in.
Thank you or Thanks 
བཀའ་དྲིན་ཆེ (kadrin chhe)
See you later! (informal) 
Shu lay log jay ge!
Where? 
Gathey?
How much? 
Gademchi?

Problems

What is the Problem? 
Choe gi Ka Ngyel ga chi mo?
Where is the Bank? 
Ngyul Khang Ga teey mo?

Numbers

chi
nyi
sum
zhi
nga
dru
duen
gay
gu
10 
chu tham
11 
chu chi
12 
chu nyi

Time

Clock time

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

Duration

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

Days

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

Months

January 
indha dangpa
February 
indha nyipa
March 
indha sumpa, indha zhipa, indha ngapa, indha drukpa, indha duenpa, indha gyepa, indha gupa and indha chunyepa for December
Note 
For the months of lunar claender the prefix is rangda, indha is used for the months of the international calender.

Writing time and date

Colors

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

Transportation

Bus and train

Directions

Taxi

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

Money

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

Eating

Meal 
Toh /zhay go
eating 
shay go za ni
delicious 
zhim bay
bitter 
khag ta
sweet 
ngam
sour 
chup
Water 
chu
Tea 
ja
Curry 
tsoem
Soup 
thup
Chilly 
ema
Cheese 
datsi
cook 
toh bey ni
eat 
zhey
Dry Chilli 
ema kam
Potato 
ཀེ་བ kewa

Bars

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

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

Driving

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

Love

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 dem mey ga?
You're so beautiful! 
Che namay samay jarim dhu!

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages