The Thaana script was developed during the 18th century by
an unknown inventor. It first appeared in government documents in 1703
and replaced an older alphabet known as Dives
Some of the Taana letters were derived from Dives akuru, while others
were modelled on Arabic numerals.
Vowel indication is modelled on the Arabic system of diacritics.
Type of writing system: vocalised abjad
Direction of writing: Words are written from right to left, but numerals are written from
left to right.
Originally Arabic numerals were used, however nowadays Western numerals
(1, 2, 3, etc) are used.
Vowels are indicated with diacritics which appear above or below
the consonants. When vowels are come at the beginning of a word or
are pronounced separately, they are attached to the letter alifu.
When the sukun symbol is combined with the letter alifu it
either doubles the following consonant, or if it appears at the end of a
word after an "e", it adds and "h" sound.
A number of letters are used solely for writing Arabic loan words.
Used to write:
Maldivian (Dhivehi), an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about
350,000 people in the Maldives and and by about 10,000 in the island of Minicoy
in the Union territory of Lakshadweep in India.
Major dialects of Maldivian are Mal�, Huvadhu, Mulaku, Addu, Haddhunmathee
and Maliku, with the Mal� dialect of the Maldivian capital being considered
the standard. In Mincoy the Maliku dialect is spoken and is known as Mahl.
Maldivian is closely related to, though not mutually intelligible with,
Sinhalese. It has been influenced by and aborbed words from a number of
languages, including Arabic, French, Persian, Portuguese, Urdu and English.
Thaana vowel diacritics
Letters used for transliterating Arabic words (thiki jehi thaana)
Top row: Thaana letters, bottom row: the Arabic letters on which they are modelled
the letter zaa is also used to write the English sound /ʒ/.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)