ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How to cast a vote in Dzongkha?

Dzongkha is lacking a modern vocabulary, so new words must constantly be invented. Mr. Tshering Dhendup of Bhutan's National Council has spearheaded a bi-lingual Glossary of Parliamentary Terms which will be distributed to all National Council members in the upcoming session. More information is available in Tshering's blog post.

This reminds me of the revival of the Hebrew language. Hebrew ceased its existence as a day-to-day language in the 2nd century CE. In the 19th century - almost 2,000 years later - a unique revival process started taking place, and today millions of Israelis speak (and dream!) in Hebrew. As part of this highly successful experiment, thousands of new Hebrew words were invented, and modern dictionaries were written. However, words and dictionaries were not enough: there were no reading materials in modern Hebrew. Thus books, short stories, newspapers, poems, plays etc. were written in and translated to Hebrew.

Back to Dzongkha: Dictionaries are essentials, but there seems to be a lack of reading materials, especially for children. Translating children's classics (most of which are royalty-free) to Dzongkha can be a good first step.