Saturday, 5 October 2013

Rare Gongduepa language

Gewog: Gongdue, Mongar
Name: Ngawang Norbu

Rare Gongduepa language

Although we have so many different types of languages and dialects in Bhutan, the language of Gongdue, which is called ‘Gongduepa’ is an unique language. Within Gongdue Gewog itself, there are only few people today who can speak the language. These people are settled in only some of the villages under the Gewog.

Due to its uniqueness researchers from outside the country in collaboration with Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) showed their interest and even came to the Gewog to do research on the language. I am not sure but I heard that the researchers found out that this particular language has originated based on the sounds of birds. I find that quite fascinating.

Just like any other case, as modernization sweeps in, there are always threats to our tradition, culture and also language. So is the case with this particular language. Most people in that villages today are engaged in business activities which forces them to travel and even settle outside the Gewog, some are government officials and they leave the Gewog as well and some of them marry people from other parts of the country who brings in a different language. All of these factors and many others, today, are a big threat to the continuity of the language.

The only people who can speak this language and make sure of its continuity are either elder people or the ones who would probably stay in the Gewog for the rest of their lives. It would be so unfortunate to see such a unique language disappear.

In Gongduepa:

‘Dangli para’ means give me water

‘King goh ni’ means I’m home

'Tsa po' means what

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