Despite its small geographical size, Bhutan is a linguistically rich country with over nineteen different languages. Among these, Dzongkha was used as the spoken language of the royal courts, military elites, educated nobility, government and administration as far back as the 12th century. However, all correspondences and legal documents were made in Choke or the Classical Tibetan.In 1971, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the Third King of Bhutan decreed Dzongkha as the national language of Bhutan. A Dzongkha Development Division was set-up in the Department of Education to start writing and printing Dzongkha learning materials. Dzongkha was then introduced in the schools as a subject with language and literature components.
In 1986, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan commanded the formation of Dzongkha Advisory Committee to formulate plans and policy guidelines for advancement of Dzongkha. With the amalgamation of the Dzongkha Development Division and the Dzongkha Advisory Committee, Dzongkha Development Commission was established as an autonomous body in 1989. It is now the premier institution responsible for developing and promoting Dzongkha in the country.