Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Meeting Face-to-Face and Dzongkha

It is always amazing to realize how useful real face-to-face communication is. During the last few weeks, I have been locked here in Samtse and stayed in contact with the folks at Helvetas using email. It was not always easy to communicate because there were tough issues at stake and I had sometimes a tough sale using email only. Els and Chris (both working for Helvetas) have been coming down here yesterday and we had good discussions. Problematic issues got clarified and we revised our strategy for the future. I will probably detail on that a little bit later; right now, we first have to finalize our decisions and communicate them.

Next week, we probably install the satellite dish here in Samtse and try to set up InfoTopes. InfoTopes are old computer that are reanimated to be used as surfing stations. We'll probably be confronted with a few non-technical problems but that will be a great learning experience. All in all, the non-technical problems tend to be more challenging and in the end help you to learn a lot about a new culture.

Today, I finally started learning Dzongkha. Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan and I just feel really stupid to stay in a country without speaking its official language. It'll probably be a hard job because there are not a lot of similarities with the languages that I already speak. At least the pronunciation seems not to be too hard - it's like German with some Italian influence ;-). So let me conclude with my first two sentence in Dzongkha: 'De ga ci mo?' translates to 'What is that?' and 'Nga ki ming Sam, in' translates to 'My name is Sam'.

Guys, enjoy life!


Sophia said...

Hey... I am planning to go to Bhutan and study its political changes and culture. In yoiur blog you mentioned that you learnt Dzongkha in Bhutan. Where did you learn Dzongkha? Is there a proper language school of dzongkha or did you learn it from a local Bhutanese friend?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sophia,
It is exciting to learn that you are going to Bhutan. You want to learn Dzongkha before you go there. It is agreat idea because you can communicate at least the basics to the folks in the remote countrysides. Well I'll be more than glad to guide with the basics of Dzongkha before you go there but let me know where you are at the moment. In certain countries there are people you can meet and learn Dzongkha. It does not take long to learn it. Let me know if I can be of some help.


Tshering Dorji

tina said...

how could we easily learn this language.Is there any web adress
which offers to learn this language