Common Languages

  • Dzongkha. The mother tongue of most people residing in western Bhutan and the official language of the kingdom.
  • Sharchopkha. The main regional language spoken in eastern Bhutan.
  • Bumthangkha. Similar to Sharchopkha - spoken in the Bumthang area.
  • Nepali. Most people at the borders used the Nepali language.
  • English and Hindi. Both languages ​​are understood by most people in urban areas.


  • La. The suffix "la" is an honorific title, and many Bhutanese feel that their words seem too harsh if they are not used, and it even affects English. So, do not be surprised if you hear phrases like "Yes-la" or "I'm not sure-the". It simply implies respect.
  • Reach. In Bhutan, the verb "to reach" means "to take" or "to accompany" (a person). For example: "I'll reach you at the bus station" means "I'll take you / accompany you to the bus station."
  • Cousin-brother, Cousin-sister. Extended families living under one roof are common in Bhutan. As a result, the dividing line between brothers and sisters and cousins ​​is blurred, so it is not uncommon to be introduced to a "cousin-in-law" or "cousin-sister". Although these people are only cousins, the English word implies a more distant relationship than is the case in Bhutan.
  • BST. The exact meaning of this sentence is "Bhutan Standard Time", but as the people of Bhutan are known to be late or just not at all, it has taken on the meaning of "Bhutan Stretchable Time". Therefore, when someone arrives late, they often apologize for saying they run on the BST.

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Bhutan - Travel guide