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Maldivian language

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ދިވެހި, dhivehi ދިވެހިބަސް, dhivehi-bas
Native toThe Maldives Minicoy Island (Maliku)
Native speakers
340,000 (2012)[1]
Early form
(Dhives Akuru until the 18th century)
Official status
Official language in
Regulated byDhivehi Academy
Language codes
ISO 639-1dv
ISO 639-2div
ISO 639-3div
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Dhivehi, Divehi or Mahl is an Indo-Aryan language.

It is spoken by about 350,000 people in the Republic of Maldives and Suvadives and also in the disputed island of Minicoy (Maliku), claimed by Maldivians that is annexed by neighbouring India, where it is known by another name, the Mahal language or Mahl (މަހަލް). In the Maldives, it is the official national language. In different atolls the words may change but have the same meaning.

Dhivehi is the main language spoken in Maldives. Since it involves the use of many English, Hindi and Arabic words, it seems to resemble many languages spoken in Sri Lanka, South East Asia and North India.

In the earlier times, people spoke "Elu", a language that was basically a form of ancient Singhalese language. This language underwent a lot of transformations and gave rise to the Dhivehi language of today. Dhivehi is written from left to right. In the olden days, the language was inscribed on the copper plates, popularly known as the "Loamaafaanu".

References[change | change source]

  1. Maldivian at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)