The Chair of Historical Linguistics at the University of Bern in Switzerland, and the Director of the Linguistics Institute, Prof. George van Driem will deliver three lectures on the Dzongkha language and orthography in Thimphu next week, press release from the Swiss embassy in New Delhi, India states.

Prof. van Driem has conducted field research on languages in Bhutan, Nepal, northeastern India and the western Indian Himalayas since 1983 and has authored several in-depth grammatical studies.

“Prof. Van Driem and his team played a crucial role in the codification of the Dzongkha language. Today, his research findings on the language, its phonetics and grammar are used as a basis of language studies in Bhutan. The royal government of Bhutan also appointed him to introduce a Roman version of the Dzongkha,” the press release states.

Prof. van Driem is the author of several books like Himalayan Bridge, Language of the Himalayas and Dzongkha: Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region. The Tales of Tea is his latest book to be published in 2019. He also has to his credit several prestigious awards like the Rolex, Associate Laureate Award (1996), Kirat Yakthung Chumlung, Honorary Life Membership (1998), Dumi Kirant Phunskim, Honorary Life Membership (2006) and Sukkhim Kiranti Phoksumdo, Achievements Felicitation (2008).

Organised by the Swiss embassy, the lectures will be held on: 

August 21: 

15:00 to 17:00 hrs: 

“The Ancestry of Bhutanese People” talk/engagement with the students at the Royal College of Bhutan.

August 24: 

14:00 to 14:30 hrs: 

“One Amongst Twenty Two: The Dzongkha Script” Talk in the framework of the Mountain Echoes Festival at the Tarayana Centre.

August 24: 

17:30 to 19:00 hrs: 

“The ancestry of the Bhutanese People – A reconstruction based on language and genes” A Bhutan-Swiss Society talk at the NRDCL Hall.

Staff reporter