Welcome to Bhutan! William and Kate’s guide to the local language

Bhutan, known as the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’, only opened up to visitors in the 1970s, which means the tour of India and Bhutan the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are going on, is a very special trip! The country is still relatively unexplored by outsiders and holds some lovely traditions, like their measure of national happiness instead of GDP.

The national language of Bhutan is Dzongkha, which we have released on uTalk just in time for the royal visit. The language stems from the old-Tibetan language and uses a Tibetan alphabet. As it’s the Royals’ first time in Bhutan, here are some phrases they may find useful whilst they’re there!

Kate and Will arrive in Bhutan on 14th April and will be welcomed by a traditional ceremony at the Buddhist monastery Thimpu Dzong. So here are some phrases in Dzongkha that they could use:

It’s a pleasure to meet you – Chhoe Dang Chhe Dey Ga Tro Jung Yi
Welcome – Joen Pa Lekso
Monastery – Goen Pa
Dress – Mo Gho

They will also be meeting the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, and his wife Queen Jetsun Pema. Queen Jetsun gave birth to a baby boy in February so a good word for the Royal Couple to know may be alu (baby) or chhom (gift).

On their second day in Bhutan William and Kate will be hiking for up to 6 hours to Paro Taktsang, which is the Tiger’s Nest monastery, and will also attend a reception for British Nationals. They may want to use the phrases:

Hiking pole – Lam Doel Gi Kharw
Insect repellant – Bub Kag Ni Men
Is there any phone reception nearby? – Na Phar Tshor Druel Thrin Gi Gyue Lam Ga Tay Yoe Ga?

During their stay in Bhutan they may try some of the local cuisine, which is known to be quite spicy! These may be the most essential phrases to know:

Delicious – Zhim Tong Tong
Not too spicy please – Naa May Sa May Kha Ma Tsha Mi Chi La

What phrases do you think the Royal Couple need to know for their trip to Bhutan? You can find more Dzongkha phrases in our uTalk app.


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