Dzongkha, losing out to English language
Despite the government has directed that the national language, Dzongkha should be used in official meetings within the country, Dzongkha is losing out to English language in official meetings.
Dzongkha’s increasing unpopularity is attributed to the fact that it is not practically applied. Dzongkha is forced to retreat and it is under severe risk of being discarded, especially in the offices and urban areas.
The government some years back had made it mandatory that all government documents are prepared in Dzongkha and official letters are exchanged in Dzongkha.
The government also made mandatory all correspondences including orders of appointment, transfer, promotion and circulars, even store registers and personal files are to be maintained in Dzongkha.
Dzongkha may be the national language but it is still not the official language. During the recently Dzongkha Development Commission’s ( DDC) concluded ‘ refresher course for media professionals’, participants shared their concern about the declining popularity of Dzongkha language.
The debates must be on the official language. The participants said, not only the general people, most specifically youngster, are more inclined to English but even the ministries use English for communication and official purposes including the monthly meet- the- press with the cabinet ministers. This is a show of state hatred towards English language.
Tshewang Norbu, Secretary for DDC said that the commission will submit to the ministries and all agencies including meet the press session to use national language in the official meetings and conferences.
DDC made so much of efforts just to produce little outcomes. The Secretary said that commission has adopted many innovative initiatives and activities to develop and promote dzongkhag. However, in terms of popularity, it has not gained much.
Tshewang Norbu said that the commission directed several announcements to use Dzongkha language in official meetings and speeches within the country, but he said was found irreverence and disrespect to the announcements.
The Secretary said that the commission’s policy guarantees to prepare an act to serve the purpose but unable to prepare an act until now. He said, “There is no authority to penalize and impose punishment without proper act.”
The participants said as long as it remains difficult and complicated, Dzongkha will never become popular, but the commission’s new edition which is under revision is expected to serve the purpose.
Another major reason for Dzongkha’s unpopularity is said to be its difficulty. The participants pointed out that the foremost undermining factor against Dzongkha is its lack of utility.
Dzongkha has been observed to lack uniform spellings which lead to confusion among the readers. The spelling inconsistency was the cause of children finding Dzongkha difficult to learn.
The Secretary for DDC said that the spellings were standardized by various related agencies in 2010 by information and communication ministry.
DDC expects to standardize and make Dzongkha less confusing to the readers, especially the youth in Schools. It was also to enhance the capacity to make it less confusing.
The Secretary also highlighted the importance role played by the media houses to propagate the nation.
DDC is the only institution receiving government assistance for linguistic development. Dzongkhag was declared as the national language of Bhutan in 1971.
The recently Dzongkha Development Commission’s ( DDC) concluded ‘ refresher course for media professionals’, participants shared their concern about the declining popularity of Dzongkha language.