Indigenous languages

|Dzongkha|Lakha|Lhokpu|Lepcha|Lhotshamkha|Nyenkha|Olekha|Brokkat|Bumthangkha|Khengkha|Gongduk|Kurtoepkha|
|Cho-ca-nga-ca-kha|Chalikha|Dzala|Boekha|Tshangla|Dakpa|Brokpa|


There are many languages in Bhutan including Dzongkha. Excepting few languages all other languages are in spoken form only. A short information on each language is given below and they are arranged as per their locations in the country from west to east.

Dzongkha

Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan. It is also called as Ngalobikha and the native speakers are spread in the Dzongkhags of Ha, Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Dagana, Chukha, Gasa and Wangdue Phodrang.

Lakha

Lakha language is spoken in Sephu Geog under Wangdue Phodrang Dzongkhag. Lakha is closely related to Dzongkha. The speakers reside in several villages in the upper valley seen from Chazam Bridge over Nikka Chu on the way to Trongsa after crossing Rukubji village behind Pelela Pass.

Lhokpu

Lhokpu is called as Lhobikha in Dzongkha and the speakers live in the two villages of Taba and Dramding in Samtse Dzongkhag. The Lhokpu speakers are known as Doya in Lhotshamkha.

Lepcha

Lepcha speakers live in several villages in Denchukha area under Samtse Dzongkhag.

Lhotshamkha

Lhotshamkha is the Dzongkha name for the Nepali language spoken in the southern regions of the country. Lhotshamkha speakers live in the Dzongkhags of Samtsi, Tsirang, Sarpang, Chukha, Dagana and Samdrup Jongkhar.

Nyenkha

Nyenkha or Mangdebikha is a native language spoken in Trongsa Dzongkhag. This language speakers are also widely spread in different areas under Trongsa. It is also spoken in Phobjikha, Dangchu and Rukubji areas of Wangdue Phodrang. The wider spread has given rise to dialectal variations.

Olekha

Olekha is also called as Moenkha. The speakers are scattered in two Dzongkhags. In Wangdue, they live in the village of Rukha. In Trongsa, they live in the villages of Reti and Cungseng beyond Nabji and Korphu villages. They also live in the villages of Wangling, Jangji and Phumzur across the Mangdechu on the Trongsa-Zhemgang highway.

Brokkat

Brokkat language is spoken in the Dur area of Bumthang Dzongkhag.

Bumthangkha

Bumthangkha is spoken in the four Geogs of Bumthang Dzongkhag. Bumthangkha is also spoken in Senggor village on the other side of Thrumshingla mountain. A dialect of Bumthangkha is spoken as Nupbikha under Trongsa Dzongkhag. Bumthangkha has close relations with Khengkha and Kurtoep on grounds of mutual intelligibility.

Grammar of Bumthang:A Language of Central Bhutan by George van Driem.

Khengkha

Khengkha is the language natively spoken in Zhemgang Dzongkhag. Due to the vastness of the spread of Khengkha speakers, there are dialectal variations in different areas.

Gongduk

The language of Gongduk is known as Gongdubikha in Dzongkha while the speakers themselves call it Gongdukpa Ang or Gongdukse Ang. The speakers live in several small villages under Gongduk Geog in Mongar Dzongkhag. The villages are Bagla, Bagla Shimong, Bangbala, Begarbi, Chabur, Chaibi, Daibi, Daksa, Damkhar, Denkaling, Idi, Photsala, Gorthongla, Gongdey, Gongduk, Kormey, Kuma dzong, Laptsha, Midan, Phajong Pam, Pangthang, Patong, Pikari, Rukungla, Salabi, Tekor, Tshamlabi and Wiringla.

Kurtoepkha

Kurtoepkha is spoken in Lhuentsi Dzongkhag. The speakers are spread in the Dzongkhag and spread as far as the northern border of the country.

Kurtöp Tone: A tonogenetic case study by Gwendolyn Hyslop
Kurtöp Case: The Pragmatic Ergative and Beyond by Gwendolyn Hyslop
Kurtöp and the Classification of the Languages of Bhutan by Gwendolyn Hyslop
On Kurtöp Morphophonemics by Gwendolyn Hyslop

Cho-ca-nga-ca-kha

Cho-ca-nga-ca-kha language is closely related to Dzongkha and spoken in four Dzongkhags of Mongar, Lhuentsi, Trashiyangtse and Trashigang. It is known as Tsamangpaikha and Tsakalingpaikha named after the areas of Tsamang and Tsakaling in Mongar Dzongkhag where the language is spoken. In Lhuentsi, it is known as Kurmetpaikha and the speakers live in the villages of Jarey, Tshenkhar, Metsho and Minjey. In Trashiyangtse, the speakers live in the villages of Tongzhang, Khamdang, Toetsho and Yangtse. In Trashigang, speakers live in the villags of Bartsham and Galing.

Chalikha

Chalikha language is native to Mongar Dzongkhag. They live in places such as Chali, Wangmakhar, Gortshom, and near Tormazhong village.

Dzala

Dzalakha or Dzala mat is also known as Yangtsebikha. Dzalakha is spoken in the upper area of Kholongchu river under Trashiyangtse Dzongkhag. Dzalakha speakers are also found in Kurtoe region and call their language as Khomakha after their village name Khoma.

Boekha

Boekha or Tibetan is spoken by the Tibetans who have settled in Bhutan. They have settled in Thimphu and other towns and are prominently in business profession. There is also speakers of the Khampa dialect living in Trashiyangtse Dzongkhag.

Tshangla

Tshangla Lo is commonly known in Dzongkha as Sharchopikha. Tshangla speakers are widely spread and found in the five Dzongkhags of Mongar, Trashigang, Pema Gatshel, Samdrup Jongkhar and Tashi Yangtse. They are also found in Thimyul village of Lhuntse Dzongkhag and Bjoka gewog of Zhemgang Dzongkhag. Dialectal variations are perceived when speakers from different regions meet. Tshangla is also spoken in few places outside of Bhutan such as Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

Dakpa

Dakpakha speakers live in Trashigang and Trashiyangtse Dzongkhag. Dakpakha is also spoken in the adjoining Tawang area of Arunachal Pradesh.

Brokpa

Brokpake language is spoken in Merak and Sakteng villages in Trashigang Dzongkhag. In Tshangla, this language is known as Brami-lo.