Instructions for creating Wordpress website in Dzongkha

Adding Dzongkha | Wordpress Themes | Stylesheet and font | Multi-language plugin

To download the PDF version of the instruction, Click herePDF file


WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL.Features includes plugin architecture and a template system.
WordPress is free software to download, install, use and modify. WordPress is easy to setup, manage, and update. WordPress is extendable by using themes and plugins. Thousands of professionally designed themes are available.  WordPress plugins add complex business features to your website without having to hire a coder. WordPress is search engine friendly.
As there are many advantages in using WordPress for blog and websites, WordPress has gained popularity in the world and it is becoming very popular in Bhutan too. It is found that many websites in Bhutan including government websites are developed using WordPress.

Most of the websites in Bhutan are developed using Wordpress. As it is important to make the content of the government websites available in Dzongkha to reach wider audiences and to benefit the target audiences, having Wordpress in Dzongkha is important

1. Adding Dzongkha Language Package

The DDC has translated the strings for the site and the Dzongkha language package can be downloaded from here.

After downloading the Dzongkha language pack, upload the file to upload to wp-content->languages folder. Create the folder languages if it is not there.

For Dzongkha monolingual website, set the Dzongkha as the default language by going to Setting->General-> Site Language and choose dz_BT from the list. However, if you are creating Dzongkha and English bilingual website, you will have to set it using multilingual plugin which will be discussed later.

2. Wordpress Themes

Download desired WordPress themes. To be able to translate the theme and have it in Dzongkha, the theme should be translation ready.  Themes which are translation ready should contain a Portable Objects Template (.pot) file.

a Translation ready Wordpress Themes.

Developers don’t always create translation ready themes, so if you’re buying a premium theme make sure to check if the theme translation ready.

If you just want a free theme, go to and go to Themes > check out our new filter and tag interface. On the next page tick “translation-ready” and click find themes.

Once you’ve got your theme, open up the zip file and find the language folder. It should contain a POT file.

WordPress uses the GNU gettext localization framework for translation. There are three types of files used in the framework:

POT (Portable Object Template) files: This file will contain all the text available for translation.

PO (Portable Object) files: This file will contain the text translated into the target language.
MO (Machine Object) files: The PO file is converted into a machine readable format.

b. Translating Wordpress themes using Poedit

Poedit is an easy to use open source program available for Mac OS X, Windows and UNIX/Linux.

  1. Install Poedit.
  2. Open Poedit and go to File > New from POT/PO file and select the POT in your theme’s languages folder.
  3. You will then be asked to choose the Translation Language. Enter the language you want to and hit “OK.”
  4. Now you can start translating your theme. Poedit has a simple and straight forward interface. The space at the top will display all the text ready to translate, and any completed translations will display to the right. The boxes underneath show the source text you've selected to translate, your translation and any notes for translators.
    Translating strings using poedit
  5. When you’ve finished translating, simply save your file. The file must be saved with the name dz_BT. The name is important and there’s a particular format you will need to follow. Poedit will automatically create both .po and .mo files in your theme’s languages folder.
  6. Now that your theme has been translated, you can upload it to your WordPress install either using FTP or by logging into your WordPress site and uploading your theme by going to Appearance > Themes > Install Themes (after you’ve zipped your theme, of course).

3 Style sheets and fonts for Dzongkha

The default styles used by the template may not be appropriate for Dzongkha. Anyhow, you can create a custom css file for Dzongkha with the desired styling. Dzongkha characters may not display properly with other fonts. Using the Dzongkha fonts will solve the problem.

a. Creating CSS file for Dzongkha

Create a css file in the theme's folder and name it dz_BT.css.
Copy the contents of the theme's stylesheet as it is and paste it in the dz_BT.css file.
An important property to keep in mind is the font-family. It is important that we use the Dzongkha fonts for the proper display of Dzongkha.

b. Adding Dzongkha css file

You can use the appropriate css file by editing wordpress’s header.php file. 
Use wordpress get_locale() function to know the current locale and switch the css file accordingly as shown in the following code.
The idea is to use the dz_BT.css  file when locale dz_BT is selected . 
In the header.php file of the theme in use, paste the following code exactly before  </head> closing head tag.
<link rel='stylesheet'  href='<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>/dz_BT.css' type='text/css' media='all' />

c. Using Dzongkha Fonts

For the proper display for Dzongkha, it is important that we use Dzongkha fonts. Not all the devices used to access internet may have the Dzongkha fonts installed. However, CSS3 Web Fonts allows Web designers to use fonts that are not installed on the user's computer.
You can just include the desired font file on your web server, and it will be automatically downloaded to the user’s computers when needed.
Your "own" fonts are defined within the CSS3 @font-face rule. For detailed information on CSS3 @font-face rule, visit .

We have used CSS3@font-face rule on our website allowing our website to be viewed properly even from the devices having no Dzongkha fonts installed.
For the Wordpress site in Dzongkha, upload the Dzongkha web fonts in your theme’s folder.Currently, we have DDC_Uchen font and Dzongkha_calligraphic font in True Type file format and Embedded OpenType file format with which it will be enough to display Dzongkha properly in any browsers.
Click here to download the Dzongkha Web Fonts. Dzongkha calligraphic font is a lighter font.

You may use the following CSS codes embedding Dzongkha font.
font-family: 'dzongkha';
src:            url('fonts/DDC_Uchen.eot?#iefix') format('embedded-opentype'),
                  url('fonts/DDC_Uchen.ttf') format('truetype');

Note: in above code, fonts are supposed to be in the folder named fonts in the same directory as the css file.  Though, the TrueType Font file is supported by all the web browsers, Embedded Opentype Font file is still used for the older versions of IE which some users with Windows XP still uses it.
In your CSS file, you can assign the value “dzongkha” to the font-family property of the desired selectors as follows:

.classname{color: #2b2b2b;
      font-family: dzongkha;
      font-size: 16px;

4. Using Polylang multi-language plugin.

The better and easier way of having Wordpress website in multiple languages could be using multi-language plugins. A multi-language plugin will provide you with a means to reproduce your content in another language or languages. This could be done post by post – meaning you would manage it manually – or you could go so far as to reproduce your entire site in the target language. Some plugins even offer automatic translation, although the quality of the translation is questionable at this point of time. However, automatic translation to Dzongkha is not provided by any of the plugins.

Amongst others, Polylang is free, easy to use and useful multi-language plugins. With this plugin, we can translate posts and pages, the site title and the description, the widget titles and also the menus.

a. Installation and Activation

  • If you tried other multilingual plug-in, deactivate them before activating Polylang.
  • Download the plugin from here
  • Extract all the files and upload everything (keeping the directory structure) to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  • Activate the plugin through the 'Plugins' menu in WordPress.

Adding Dzongkha as a content Language

Go to the languages settings page and add Dzongkha as a new language.  Dzongkha is not included in the predefined list as Wordpress is not fully translated in Dzongkha.

Full name           : རྫོང་ཁ། /Dzongkha    
Locale                     :dz_BT              
Language code          :dz                               (should be as same as file name of Dzongkha language pack)
Flag :Bhutan Flag

b. Translating the Website Title, the Description and the Widget Titles

  • Add the desired widgets by going to Appearance->Widgets and then by dragging from Available Widgets section and dropping them in desired sidebars such as Primary Sidebar, Content Sidebar etc.
  • Give titles to the added widgets and save it
  • Now you can translate the website title, the description and the widget titles by going to settings->language and clicking on String Translation tab.
  • Now, the site title, the description and the widget titles will be available both in Dzongkha and English.

c. Adding the language switcher widget

  • Add the 'language switcher' widget to let your visitors switch the language.

d. Adding menus

  • You can add menus both in Dzongkha and English by going to Appearance->Menus.
  • Give a name to the menu and click on create menu.
  • Create another similar menu for English.
  • Add pages, links and categories to the menu by choosing the menu to edit and checking the check boxes for pages, categories etc. you want to add. Then click on Add to Menu.
  • Reorder the menu items by dragging and dropping under the Menu Structure Section and click on Save Menu.
  • Manage the locations of the menu by clicking on Manage Locations tab and assigning a menu against the Theme Location. Click on Save Changes.
  • Menus, now will be available both in English and Dzongkha

  • e. Creating Pages

  • You can create pages in English and its translation in Dzongkha or vice versa.
  • Create a new page by clicking on Pages-> Add new. Choose the language in which you want your page to be.  Enter the page title and the content.
  • To add an English version of the page and have it automatically linked, click on blue ‘+’ button under the Translations of the Languages section in the right side of the page.
  • Enter the Title and Content for the page and Click on Publish button. (You will notice that the Dzongkha version of the page is already linked to the English version as indicated in the picture).

  • The page now will be available both in English and Dzongkha and you can switch between the two by clicking on the links of the language switcher widgets.

  • f. Creating posts, categories and Tags

    • Creating post is as same as creating pages. You can create post both in English and Dzongkha as we can do for pages. Unlike for pages, we can add categories and tags for posts.
    • You can also create categories and tags in English or Dzongkha and its translation.