The Dhivehi language is an Indo-Aryan language that uses the Thaana writing system. Thaana consists of abugida and alphabetical characters (consonants and vowels). The Maldivian language bears a striking resemblance and is related to the Sinhalese language spoken in Sri Lanka. The language has various dialects, including Addu, Male, Mulaku, Huvadhu, Haddhunmathee, and Maliku. Male is the standard and widely used form of Maldivian language. Dhivehi is the official language in the Maldives.

Dhivehi is the official language of Maldives - approximately 95% of Maldivians are able to speak it. English is also widely spoken and has had a lot of influence in the Dhivehi language. For example, the Dhivehi word for “doctor” is “doctor” just like in the English language.

The Thaana writing system has a 24 letter alphabet and 22 vowels. English is also used in schools as a medium of instructions. A common way to greet someone in the Dhivehi language is “Haalu kihineh?” which translates to “Hello” or “How are you?”. The response to “Haalu Kihineh” is “Ran’galhu, shukuriyaa” which means “good, thanks”. A common Islamic greeting “Assalaamu Alaikum”, is also used in the Dhivehi language as a general greeting.

Besides Dhivehi and English, other minor languages spoken in Maldives include German, Arabic, and French. The Maldives is an island visited by tourists from all over the world therefore, many languages have slowly been integrated into the country. Hindi is a distinct minority language spoken in Maldives, as are Sinhalese and Tamil.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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