Maldivian is an Indo-Aryan language spoken main in the Maldives, and also in India by about 340,500 people. In 2012 there were 331,000 speakers of Maldivian in the Maldives, where it is a statutory national language. In India Maldivian has about 9,500 speakers, mainly in Minicoy Island (Maliku), part of the Union territory of Lakshadweep, and also in the state of Kerala.
Maldivian is also known as Dhivehi, Divehli, Mali, Malikh or Malki. Native names are ދިވެހި (Divehi), and ދިވެހިބަސް (Divehi-bas).
Major dialects of Maldivian are Malé, Huvadhu, Mulaku, Addu, Haddhunmathee and Maliku. The Malé dialect of the Maldivian capital is considered the standard. In Minicoy the Maliku dialect is spoken and is known as Mahl or Maliku bas.
Maldivian is closely related to, though not mutually intelligible with, Sinhalese. It has been influenced by and aborbed words from languages such as Arabic, French, Persian, Portuguese, Urdu and English.
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 akuru.
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.
In Minicoy the Mahl dialect of Maldivian has been written with the Devanagari script since the 1950s.
How to write and pronounce the Thaana alphabet
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/.
Download script charts for Maldivian (Excel format)
Hurihaa insaanun ves ufanvanee, dharaja'aa'i ḥa'quthakuga'i minivankamaa'i hamahamakan libigenvaa ba'e'ge gothuga'eve. Emeehunnash heyo visnumaa'i, heyo bu'dheege baaru libigenva'ava. Adhi emeehan ekaku anekakaa medhu mu˂aamalaath kuranvaanee, ukhu'vaththeri kamuge rooḥe'ga'ava.
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)
al'la'ufedhey qaanoonu asaaseege himaayaïlibigen siyaaseepaateetha' hingeynegoïtha' hamajehifaïneïnama e'qaanoonuge misaalakee alifaanroavej'jenama salaamaïvaane sidie'neï ethake'bureege imaaraathe'ge misaaleve.
A newly formed constitution which does not give protection to political parties under it terms, is equivalent to a multi-storey building with no fire exits.
The sample text comes from the Maldivian news paper Sandhaanu, 15th August 2002
Details supplied by Biswajit Mandal (biswajitmandal[dot]bm90[at]gmail[dot]com)
Information about Maldivian and Thaana
Free Thaana fonts
Dhivehi thaana - reading and writing the Maldivian language
Haveeru Online - online version of a daliy newspaper in Divehi and English (uses dynamic fonts): http://www.haveeru.com.mv
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Aka-Jeru, Angika, Avestan, Awadhi, Balti, Bantawa, Bhili, Bhumij, Bodo, Bhojpuri, Braj, Car, Chamling, Chhattisgarhi, Dhimal, Dhundari, Dogri, Garhwali, Gondi, Gurung, Halbi, Haryanvi, Hindi, Ho, Jarawa, Jaunsari, Kannauji, Kham, Kangri, Kashmiri, Khaling, Khandeshi, Kharia, Korku, Konkani, Kullui, Kumaoni, Kurmali, Kurukh, Lambadi, Limbu, Lhomi, Magahi, Magar, Mahasu Pahari, Maithili, Maldivian, Malto, Marathi, Marwari, Mundari, Nancowry. Newar, Nepali, Onge, Pali, Rajasthani, Rangpuri, Sadri, Sanskrit, Santali, Saraiki, Sirmauri, Sherpa, Shina, Sindhi, Sunwar, Sylheti, Tamang, Thangmi, Wancho, Yakkha, Yolmo
Page last modified: 23.04.21
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