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Friday, October 8, 2010

Dzongkha and Me, Part III


I was relived to find that he did not blame people like me who took very little interest in our national language. According to him, the national language suffered and could not develop because of the situations and conditions which were unavoidable. One key reason being the late modernization of our country. It was only in the early 1970s that modern developments started taking place in our country. Now in the tenth five-year developmental plan, our country is still not developed enough to produce goods in our country. Now, you may wonder like I did, what has this got do with the national language. According to Dasho Sherub for the development of any language, nouns/names are important but in our country since everything is imported from outside and have their own names, we need to invent new names in Dzongkhag. But, even after inventing names it is important to keep pace with the advancement that the technologies and developmental aspects are making. For instance, even before finishing a name for the CD now we have to invent a name for the thumb drive because the thumb drive is now slowly erasing the CD’s functions and its existence. Even in inventing these names we just can’t name them with what ever that comes to our mind and the reference or the basis that we keep in inventing a Dzongkha name is English. The new names have to make sense and also be comfortable to use. He also said that in the recent years with democracy setting roots in our country it has promoted our national language as it presented the opportunity for invention of new Dzongkha names or terms which were in line with democracy. The discussions happening in the parliament using the new terms promote them and the national language. I also came to know that the judiciary was and is one strong contributor in promoting Dzongkha. One eye opener to me was the realization of language used in the society dictating the societal values and thoughts. So, if we speak, write and read only English then we will become like westerners, this is what Dasho Sherub said. And when we become like westerners we are no longer Bhutanese and our identity will be lost.
But he doesn’t blame the people for taking interest in English and ignoring or neglecting Dzongkha. He said that Dzongkha did not and could not develop because there were very less factors favorable for its development. Excelling in Dzongkha did not secure a job. There are very less or no reading materials in Dzongkha. There are very less authors writing in Dzongkha.  Dzongkha teachers do not get training opportunities. And the general outlook was that speaking or writing English was superior to using Dzongkha.

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