Bhutan is linguistically rich with over nineteen dialects spoken in the kingdom. Richness of linguistic diversity can be attributed to the geographical location of the kingdom with its high mountain passes and deep valleys. These geographical features forced inhabitants of the kingdom to live in isolation but also contributed to their survival.
The national language is Dzongkha, native language of the Ngalops of western Bhutan. Dzongkha literally means language spoken in the Dzongs, massive fortresses that serve as administrative centers and monasteries. Two other major languages are Tshanglakha and Lhotshamkha. Tshanglakha is native language of the Tshanglas of eastern Bhutan while Lhotshamkha is spoken by southern Bhutanese of Nepali origin.
Other dialects spoken are Khengkha and Bumthapkha by the Khengpas and Bumthap people of Central Bhutan. Mangdepkah, which is spoken by inhabitants of Trongsa and Cho Cha Nga Chang Kha which is spoken by the Kurtoeps. Sherpas, Lepchas and Tamangs in southern Bhutan also have their own dialects. Unfortunately two dialects that are on the verge of becoming extinct are Monkha and Gongduepkha.