Dzongkha transliteration

The Extended Wylie transliteration system used for Dzongkha and Chöké titles in our catalogue.

Records of Dzongkha and Chöké books in our collection will be held in both Unicode (Bhutanese script) and transliterated (Roman script) format. The transliteration system used is the Extended Wylie Transliteration System (EWTS) outlined here.

EWTS is a tranliteration system which accurately represents the spelling used in Dzongkha and and Chöké using only simple unaccented Roman letters. EWTS is not a transcription system representing the pronunciation of the words.

In order to search the National Library's OPAC database using this transliteration system, type the following Roman EWTS characters for the corresponding Dzongkha letter as shown below:

Basic Letters

Dzongkha EWTS Dzongkha EWTS Dzongkha EWTS Dzongkha EWTS
ka kha ga nga
ca cha ja nya
ta tha da na
pa pha ba ma
tsa tsha dza wa
zha za 'a ya
ra la sha sa
ha a        


For all letters without vowel sign, type ‘a’ as shown above. For letters with vowel signs type as follows:

EWTS Dzongkha
EWTS Dzongkha
EWTS Dzongkha
 ི i  ུ u  ེ e  ོ o

For example for Dzongkha ཀི type the Roman letters ‘ki’; for Dzongkha ཁུ type the Roman letters ‘khu’etc.

Combination Letters

For combination letters type as follows:

Dzongkha EWTS Dzongkha EWTS Dzongkha EWTS Dzongkha EWTS
ཀྱ kya ཁྱ khya གྱ gya པྱ pya
ཕྱ phya བྱ bya མྱ mya    
ཀྲ kra ཁྲ khra གྲ gra ཏྲ tra
ཐྲ thra དྲ dra པྲ pra བྲ phra
བྲ bra མྲ mra ཤྲ shra སྲ sra
ཧྲ hra            
ཀླ kla གླ gla བླ bla ཟླ zla
རླ rla སླ sla        
རྐ rka རྒ rga རྔ rnga རྗ rja
རྙ rnya རྟ rta རྡ rda རྣ rna
རྦ rba རྨ rma རྩ rtsa རྫ rdza
ལྐ lka ལྒ lga ལྔ lnga ལྕ lca
ལྗ lja ལྟ lta ལྡ lda ལྤ lpa
ལྦ lba ལྷ lha        
སྐ ska སྒ sga སྔ snga སྙ snya
སྟ sta སྡ sda སྣ sna སྤ spa
སྦ sba སྨ sma སྩ stsa    
ཀྭ kwa ཁྭ khwa གྭ gwa ཅྭ cwa
ཉྭ nywa ཏྭ twa དྭ dwa ཙྭ tswa
ཚྭ tshwa ཞྭ zhwa ཟྭ zwa རྭ rwa
ཤྭ shwa སྭ swa ཧྭ hwa    

Prefixes & Suffixes

Prefixes and suffixes are typed as consonants without the ‘a’ vowel, e.g.: བདེ bde; སོགས sogs; བསྐྱོད bskyod

Use of g.ya and gya

In Wylie / EWTS transliteration there is special use of the full stop (.) character to indicate a ga prefixed to a ya root letter as opposed to a ga root letter with a ya subscript:

Examples: གཡུ g.yu, གྱུ gyu, གཡོན g.yon, གྱོན gyon, གཡུལ g.yul, གྱ་གྱུ gya gyu, གཡང g.yang, གྱང gyang, གཡེང g.yeng, གཡག g.yag, གཡའ g.ya', གཡུང g.yung.

Additional Letters for Sanskrit:


Dzongkha EWTS Dzongkha EWTS Dzongkha EWTS Dzongkha EWTS
gha / g+ha Dha / D+ha dha / d+ha bha / b+ha
dzha / dz+ha
Ta THa / Tha Da Na
SHa / S+ha kSHa /k+Sha

Vowel Marks:

Dzongkha EWTS Dzongkha EWTS Dzongkha EWTS Dzongkha EWTS
'a I 'I 'u
E O M ཿ H

Vowel Examples: ka, ཀཱ k'a, ཀི ki, ཀཱི k'i, ཀུ ku, ཀཱུ k'u, ཀྲྀ krI, ཀཷ kr'I, ཀླྀ klI, ཀཹ kl'I, ཀེ ke, ཀཻ kE, ཀོ ko, ཀཽ KO, ཀཾ kaM, ཀཿ kaH.

Also see:


  Chöké (chos skad / ཆོས་སྐད) - “Dharma language” is the name generally used in Bhutan for the classical literary language in which the traditional texts of Bhutan and Tibet are written. Another name for the classical written Tibetan language used in religious and philosophical texts.