Ethnologue: Areas: Asia

Bhutan

671,000 (1995). Kingdom of Bhutan, Druk-Yul. Literacy rate: 15% to 18%. Also includes Assamese 30,000, Gurung, Limbu, Santali, Sherpa. Information mainly from J. Matisoff 1991, Singh 1972. Data accuracy estimate: C. Lamaistic Buddhist, Hindu. The number of languages listed for Bhutan is 15.

ADAP [ADP] South central, between Damphu and Shemgang. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Southern. 77% lexical similarity with Dzongkha, 62% to 65% with Kebumtamp, 41% with Sharchagpakha. May be the same as Tapadamteng (see Dzongkha). Survey needed.

DZALAKHA [DZL] 50,000 (1991 J. Matisoff). Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Unclassified. Survey needed.

DZONGKHA (DRUKKE, DRUKHA, DUKPA, BHUTANESE, JONKHA, LHOKE, LHOSKAD, HLOKA, LHOKA, BHOTIA OF BHUTAN, BHOTIA OF DUKPA, ZONGKHAR, ZONKAR) [DZO] 400,000 in all countries (1991 J. Matisoff). Ha, Paru, Punakha. Tapadamteng dialect is in the southwest near Buxa. Laya Lingzhi shepherd language of northwest is in Laya and Lingzhi. Dagpakha is a dialect of the northeastern border. Also in Nepal. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Southern. Dialects: TAPADAMTENG, LAYA LINGZHI, DAGPAKHA. Written with Ucan script. Common school language. As different from Lhasa Tibetan as Nepali is from Hindi. Partially intelligible with Sikkimese (Denjonke). Names listed as dialects may be separate languages. 'Lhoke' means 'southern language'. 48% lexical similarity with Sharchagpakha, 47% to 52% with Kebumtamp, 77% with Adap. National language. Bible portions 1970. Work in progress.

KEBUMTAMP (BUMTANP, BUMTHAPKHA) [KJZ] 250,000 (1991 J. Matisoff). Central. Kebumtamp especially is in Bumthang and in the whole of central Bhutan. Mangdikha is in Mangdi District around Tongsa. Tsamangkha is on the east northeast border of Kurto. Salabekha is in the Yangtse District and Tawang and southeast Tibet. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tsangla. Dialects: MANGDIKHA (MANDOP), GUNGDEKHA, BUMTHANGKHA (BUMTHANG, BHUMTANG, BHUMTAM, BUMTANGKHA), TSAMANGKHA (TSAMANG), SALABEKHA (YANGTSEPAKHA). Written with Ucan script. Names listed as dialects may be separate languages. Gungdekha is an archaic language today reluctantly joined politically to the Khen or Bhumtam group. Khengkha and Kebumtamp are reported by one source to be intelligible with each other; 92% lexical similarity. 47% to 52% lexical similarity with Dzongkha, 62% to 65% with Adap, 40% to 50% with Sharchagpakha. Survey needed.

KHENGKHA (KHENKHA, KHEN, KENG, KEN) [XKF] 100,000 (1991 J. Matisoff). Central, near Kebumtamp. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tsangla. Khen and Kebumtamp are reported by one source to be intelligible with each other; 92% lexical similarity; 65% with Adap, 47% with Dzongkha, 40% with Sharchagpakha. Survey needed.

KÜRTHÖPKHA (GURTÜ, KURTOPAKHA, KÜRTHÖPKA) [XKZ] 100,000 (1991 J. Matisoff). Central, especially in Kurto. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tsangla. Related to Kebumtamp and Khengkha. Survey needed.

LEPCHA (LAPCHE, RONG, RONGKE, RONGPA, NUNPA, LEPOHA) [LEP] 24,200 in Bhutan, 1.5% of the population (1987); 36,436 in India (1994); 1,272 in Nepal (1961); 65,000 in all countries (1990 UBS). Lower valleys in the west. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Kuki-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Lepcha. Dialects: ILAMMU, TAMSANGMU, RENGJONGMU. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Buddhist. NT 1989. Bible portions 1845-1989.

MAGAR, EASTERN (MAGARI, MANGGAR) [MGP] 290,000 in all countries. Also in Nepal and India. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Magar. NT 1991. Bible portions 1977-1984.

NEPALI (NEPALESE, GORKHALI, GURKHALI, KHASKURA, PARBATIYA, EASTERN PAHARI) [NEP] 300,000 in Bhutan (1973 Dorji); 9,900,000 in Nepal (1993); 6,000,000 in India (1984 Far Eastern Economic Review); 16,200,000 in all countries. In the foothills the entire length of Bhutan, especially south central. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northern zone, Eastern Pahari. People are called 'Paharia'. Hindu. Braille Bible portions. Bible 1914-1978. NT 1821-1984. Bible portions 1850-1961.

SAGTENGPA (MIRA SAGTENGPA, DAKPA, BROKPA, DAP) [SGT] Sakteng Valley east of Tashigang Dzong. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Monpa. Related to Monpa of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, India. May be a dialect of Sharchagpakha (see Monpakha). Singh (1972) says Mira Sagtengpa is a dialect of Dzongkha. Speakers are called 'Dakpa'. Agriculturalists: corn, barley, beets; butter producers. Altitude: 3,000 meters. Survey needed.

SHARCHAGPAKHA (SARCHAPKKHA, SHARCHUP, SHARCHOP KHA) [SCH] 300,000 (1991 J. Matisoff). Eastern and southeastern Bhutan. Sharchagpakha is especially spoken in Tashigang and Dungsam. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tsangla. Dialects: MONPAKHA, SHARCHAGPAKHA. A speaker is called 'Schachop'. The names listed as dialects may be separate languages. Written with Ucan script. 40% to 50% lexical similarity with Kebumtamp, 48% with Dzongkha, 41% with Adap. May be the same language as Tsangla. Survey needed.

TIBETAN (LHASA, ZANG) [TIC] 3,000 in Bhutan; 60,000 in Nepal; 124,280 in India; 1,066,200 in China (1990); 352 in USA; 200 or more in Switzerland (1985); 1,254,000 or more in all countries. Also in Norway, Taiwan. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Central. Refugees from Tibet since 1959. People of Tibetan origin are referred to as 'Bhotia'. Lamaist. Bible 1948. NT 1885-1973. Bible portions 1862-1991.

TSANGLA (SANGLA) [TSJ] 80,000 in Bhutan (1967 Karan); 7,000 in China (1990); 87,000 or more in all countries. Southeast. Also in India. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tsangla. Close to, or the same as Sharchagpakha. Not the same as Tsanglo (Angami Naga) of Assam, India. Bible portions. Survey needed.

TSEKU [TSK] Also in Tibet and possibly Nepal. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Central. Survey needed.

TSHALINGPA (CHALI, TSHALI) [TGF] 6,000 (1991 J. Matisoff). Tshali area of Shongar District in east Bhutan. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Southern. Related to Dzongkha. Survey needed.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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