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Dhivehi is the language of the Maldives. The language has undergone change as a result of contact with the outside world through out the centuries, blending with and absorbing new influences as it evolved. Given the wide dispersion of the islands, it is not surprising that the vocabulary and the pronunciation vary from atoll to atoll, which is most significant in the southern most atolls.

The language displays much resemblance to several other languages from Sri Lanka and the rest of Asia. It contains many Arabic, Hindi and English words. Dhivehi with its roots in Sanskrit and according to some researchers, Elu, an ancient form of Sinhalese, (spoken in Sri Lanka), is strongly influenced by the major languages of the region. The language has been influenced heavily from Arabic since the advent of the Islam in 1153 and English in more recent times, especially since the introduction of English as a medium of education in the early 1960s.

Dhivehi is used in the administration of the country. Even though Dhivehi is the mother tongue of Maldives, English is widely understood, spoken and written by the locals.

The Maldivian script known as thaana was invented during the 16th century soon after the country was liberated from Portuguese rule. Unlike former scripts Thaana is written from right to left. There are 24 letters in the thaana alphabet. Vowels are indicated by a dash above or below the letters.

ހ ށ ނ ރ ބ ޅ ކ އ ވ މ ފ ދ ތ ލ ގ ޏ ސ ޑ ޒ ޓ ޔ ޕ ޖ ޗ


Dhivehi Phrases

Hello (formal) Assalaamu Alaikum
Hello (informal) Kihineh?
How are you? Haalu kihineh?
Yes Aan
No Noon
Where? Kobaa?
Why? Keevve?
Who? Kaaku?
There Ethaa
Here Mithaa
What? Koacheh?
This Mi
That E
What is (your)name? Kon nameh kiyanee?
My name is Aharenge namakee
Good Ran'galhu
Goodbye (informal) Dhanee
Where are you from? Kon rasheh?
Thank you Shukuriyaa
I am sorry Ma-aafu kurey
How old are you? Umurun kihaa vareh?
My age is Aharenge umurakee
Where are (you) going? Or What place are we going? Kon thanakah dhanee?
What time are (we) going? Kon irakun dhanee?
What is the price? Agu kihaavareh?
How long will it take? Kihaa ireh nagaanee?
What time is it? Gadin kihaa ireh?
What island is that? E-ee kon rasheh?


Last Updated (Saturday, 11 September 2010 18:08)