English | Dzongkha Thursday, March 4, 2021

Sharpa and Baangdey- spelling variations causing confusions


Jan 4, 2021

Following the extensive use of names of the places such as Sharpa and Baangdey in Paro amid COVID-19 stories by BBS, a public outcry poured in, regarding the uniformity and correctness of spelling and pronunciation. However, speaking to the relevant agencies, BBS learned that the issue is everywhere and that there is no standard to it.  

Comments followed the posts by BBS on Facebook. Most stated about the correctness of spellings and pronunciation. But BBS, in its house rule, strictly follows the delimitation of the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB), issued in 2007 as per sections 97 and 98 of the Election Act 2008.

It is to mainly standardise the spellings of names of places. However, as for ‘Sharpa’ and ‘Baangdey’, the confusion is huge. According to Sharpa Gup Chencho Gyeltshen, the spelling is ‘Shaba’ and not ‘Sharpa’. ”We requested the ECB for the change but we were told it has to be endorsed by the National Assembly,’’ said the gup.

On the other hand, Finance Minister Namgay Tshering who is currently stationed in Paro amid the COVID outbreak said the name is Shaba according to the census. While it is ‘Sharpa’ in the delimitation, it is ‘Shapa’ in the land ownership certificate.

The gewog administration is following-up with the ECB.

Loong-nyi Gup Jamtsho also shared that it will be nice to keep the names as it sounds in Dzongkha. While the issue remains the same on roadside signboards, he said they should formally discuss and make the corrections.

The issue is not just in Paro. Spelling and pronunciation variation and differences are also common in the rest of the dzongkhags. Therefore, the minister said, ”it should be uniform, be it in the census, land ownership certificate, and delimitation. For now, the minister had agreed to meet with relevant agencies, offices, and organisations and sort it out, soon through proper channel.

Meanwhile, according to the Election Commission’s website, the delimitation was finalised based on feedback and endorsement of all relevant Stakeholders. It also urges all concerned individuals, authorities, agencies, and media to own the responsibility to apply and popularise the names of places as spelled in its Delimitation Order in their records, correspondences, orders, and public information notices and signboards

Namgay Wangchuk

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