English | Dzongkha Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Lost in translation; National Assembly members share concerns about newly coined Dzongkha words

Dec 9, 2020

Translating English to Dzongkha or the other way round without losing the actual meaning of the language and with zero error has always been a challenge for many Bhutanese. The issue was again raised in today’s National Assembly while re-deliberating the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2020.

Discussing the Section 6 of the Bill, under the title “Cheque”, the Prime Minister along with the Opposition Leader raised their concerns regarding the newly coined Dzongkha words used under the Section.

“There are many new words coming up. For example, Logthruel-Ngulzin, which means electronic check. And I don’t know, how and who approved this translation. More importantly, when it comes to electronic signature, digital signature, and biometric signature, they are not the same, if I am not wrong. But in Dzongkha, it is all known as Lagthi, which is not at all accurate,” said Dr Lotay Tshering, the Prime Minister.

Lyonchhen also added that Bhutan still doesn’t have an electronic or digital signature in the country as of now. However, with the Digital Drukyul Flagship Program, very soon a Digital ID system will be created, thereby availing and promoting the use of electronic and digital signature in the country. Till then it will not be accurate to consider or use the term Lagthi as the same as electronic or digital signature to avoid confusion or inconveniences in the future.

Some members also shared their concerns about new words originating in the Bill. And fearing that the new words might give a different meaning than intended, the Opposition Leader also asked for some time to discuss the matter with the committee from the House of Review before the Bill is adopted.

The Speaker after consulting with the members directed the Good Governance Committee to review the Bill and present it for deliberation on Saturday.

Yeshi Dorji/Tshering Dhendup

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