Talk:Maldivian language

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Pyrard de Laval[edit]

The translation of what Pyrard said in the 17th Century: "This Kingdom is called in their language Male'-rague', 'Kingdom of Male', and other peoples of India call 'Male'-Divar', and people 'Diues' (Dhivehi).... The main island, as I have said, is called Male' which gives the name to the rest of the others: because the word means Diues (Dhivehi) when number of small islands gathered. Leone (talk) 15:37, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I stand corrected. Sorry for my error. Seanwal111111 (talk) 20:32, 28 September 2010 (UTC)


Does the language name really contain h? It doesn't in Ethnologue. -Hapsiainen 22:06, Dec 7, 2004 (UTC)

In my opinion the correct version should be also without this h, i.e. "Divehi". I checked ISO 639-1 and there is also dv = Divehi.
But in web, many places are using with h. Would be nice to hear opinion from somebody familiar with language names --TarmoK 11:06, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

moved from my user page --TarmoK 12:16, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Regarding your concern, about how D[h]ivehi is spelled, in talk page. In Maldives it's written with 'h'. However ISO 639-1 has it spelled like Divehi. The likely reason for this could be because, with the letters divehi produce the exact Thaana unicode equivalent. If you include a H the output is different. Below are two differnet outputs.

↓ Incorrect pronounciation
divehi ދިވެހި ← Correct local form
dhivehi ދހިވެހި ← Incorrect local form
↑ correct pronounciation

I think for this reason its written without h in ISO specification. However its really pronouced with the letter h. --Oblivious

Complementing to the comment by Oblivious I know that in some languages adding an "h" makes the sound more puffy! Example, writing Nepalese with English alphabet, the sound of the letter D would be as it whould normally be (eg, Dog). However, if the letter h is inserted after D, the sound would be D but with a puff, much similar to "D-hh". My point here is that the same letter is pronounced quite different in different languages. Especially languages with its own script. The "D[h]" in "D[h]ivehi" is pronounced more like the "th" in "The" --Rxs
"the same letter is pronounced quite different in different languages." Absolutely, Romanization =/= IPA, and that's what's going on here. The 'h' is used in the official Dhivehi Romanization scheme to indicate that 'dh' and 'th' are dental, not retroflex. (That same scheme happens to use 'lh' for a retroflex lateral.) There's some discussion in chapter 3 of Amalia Gnanadesikan's published grammar ( (And fwiw, this Romanization is much more consistent than the spelling systems of some languages. English, I'm looking at you!) Mcswell (talk) 16:11, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
So the question is, should this be moved to Divehi and make Dhivehi a redirection page? --Oblivious 17:09, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That would be logical, me thinks.--rxs 05:32, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I disagree that in the Maldivian language the word 'Divehi' is really pronouced with the letter h. In fact it is not. It has a plain dental unaspirated 'd'. When writing in the Urdu language, for example, the aspirated letters include a special 'h' following them, but the fact is that Divehi has lost the aspirated sounds.

For the correct use of letters with 'h's added in the languages of South Asia (like for example the word "Buddha", which has an aspirated 'd' sound), please check the Standard Indic table in Dhivehi Writing Systems. It is sad to say this, but the present official transcription of the Maldivian language doesn't make Maldivians look good. Especially since the "-dives" of "Maldives" has the same origin as the "Dive-" in "Divehi". What would you think if you would have to write "England" for the country and "Enghlish" for the language? The present transcription is definitely inconsistent and makes its users look somewhat crass. It is time that Maldivians stop getting obsessed with politics and religion and begin to get their act straight with their culture.Mohonu 17:41, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

If you ask a Maldivian to write "but" he will write "bat", that is Maldivian Latin way. But in English wiki we have to use the ISO standard. So it is not "Dhivehi" but correct way is "Divehi". Deviathan (talk) 10:42, 6 January 2010 (UTC)


Now everything has updated including ISO and ethnologue. See: and The first spelling used in both places is Dhivehi with an "H". This means their first priority too is that. And according to Wikipedia guidelines the common and official usage of the subject has to be preferred in case such a clash occurs. For sure most people use "Dhivehi" and for sure the official spelling too is Dhivehi in the Republic of Maldives as well as most of the official organizations. Leone (talk) 19:59, 23 December 2010 (UTC)


I have redirected the article to Divehi. - (Aidan Work 05:35, 22 November 2005 (UTC))


Just for future reference, see the following discussion on Talk:Maldives.--Adamrush 19:48, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


The included link (A Guide to Mahl Language - seems to be broken (2006-10-04 5:33pm). panglossa 20:33, 4 October 2006 (UTC)



  • Merging of Moloki bas: Definitely yes. The language of Fua Mulaku is a dialect of Dhivehi. It is one of the dialects most divergent from Standard Dhivehi (in that it is more archaic), but still one of its dialects.
  • Merging of Dhivehi Writing Systems: No. In my opinion, there should be a separate article for that, with a link as early in the Dhivehi article as possible, as for example with Sinhala and Sinhala alphabet.

Cheers, Krankman 21:16, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Latin transliteration of the Maldivian language[edit]

To user Deviathan. Please explain rationale for removing referenced paragraphs referring to Latin transliteration in Dhivehi language. The temporary adoption of Latin script during the 1970's ignoring previous lingustic research made by HCP Bell and Wilhelm Geiger was an important event in the history of the Maldivian language. Erasing referenced text without justification looks like vandalism to me. 12:21, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Maldives Scouting[edit]

Can someone render "Be Prepared", the Scout Motto, into Divehi? Thanks! Chris 03:47, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Southernmost IE language?[edit]

I don't know on what basis the assertion is made that Dhivehi is the southernmost IE language...I think Afrikaans at least is a strong contender for southernmost... Tomertalk 19:32, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

I probably agree with you, but this is the southernmost one that developed naturally: Afrikaans is a derivative of Dutch. This makes it a West Germanic language like English and German, so it's really more of a European language spoken in Africa. The Person Who Is Strange 05:30, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Afrikaans is as natural as Maldivian. It's not a constructed language, nor is it a pidgin or creole, which are both kinds of natural language anyway. The only way I can see justifying the exclusion of Afrikaans would be to distinguish between ancient and modern development of the language, or indigenous versus colonial. --Thnidu (talk) 03:51, 18 July 2016 (UTC)


Why is the article on Mahal longer when it is a derivative of Dhivehi and has far fewer speakers? (talk) 05:29, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Divehi is the correct spelling[edit]

In ISO Standard 'd' is used for unaspirated 'd' or 'daalu' in Divehi language. In Divehi there are no aspirated sounds. This confusion started when in 1970s Maldivian goverment adopted a system of transliteration called latin, in which 'dh' is used for unaspirated 'd' and 'd' is used for retroflex 'D' or 'Daviyani' in Divehi. In ISO standard 'Daviyani' will be written with 'd' a dot below. So the correct spelling is Divehi according to international standards. Manikfan (talk) 11:39, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

According to Wikipedia guidelines we have to respect the common and official usage of the subject in case such spelling clashes occur. Brother Manikfan, you may already know this if you see the Wikipedia naming conventions. Coming to the commonly used term, it is undeniably Dhivehi with an 'h'. Moreover, from the official documents also we see with an 'h'. So that is why we have to use the spelling with an 'h' in Wikipedia.

Coming to the ISO part, on the documentation for ISO identifier for Dhivehi language they have three names for the language. (i.e. Dhivehi, Divehi and Maldivian) The first spelling used is "Dhivehi" with an "H". See from this link: So this means their first priority too is the spelling with an "H" as it is the official as well as the common usage of the subject. Leone (talk) 19:29, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Move Divehi language and Mahl language to this pagge[edit]

Mahl spoken in Maliku (Minicoy), India is not different from the standard Divehi. The Addu, Moloki and Huvadu dialects of Divehi are more different from standard Divehi than Mahl. so why not we change the name like this Divehi (Mahl) language. Manikfan (talk) 11:49, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

I moved it back and merged the page history, which had been stranded. kwami (talk) 09:20, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

It is a serious mistake that for a particular period the article has been named as so. It's truly a serious and completely unacceptable matter to have used the word Mahl in brackets, synonymous with Dhivehi. For instance imagine, how about the cases of Dhivehi (Huvadhu), Dhivehi (Mulaku), Dhivehi (Addu), etc... For sure there are more speakers of these dialects individually compared to Mahl. There is no language with the name being considered synonymous with a dialect. So please don't use Mahl synonymous with Dhivehi. It is a dialect only and that state can't be changed no matter that the above mentioned change of name by Brother Manikfan has led to this mistake being spread to some mirror sites. Leone (talk) 19:17, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Move the page to the title Maldivian language[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved per well-argued request. - GTBacchus(talk) 01:28, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Dhivehi languageMaldivian language

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Move the page to the title Divehi language or Dhivehi Language[edit]

Regarding the above argument, Maldivian doesn't only refer to the language, it is the word for the people of the Maldives any thing which is connected to the Maldives, like Maldivian food, because of these reasons the word Maldivian will show more search results than Divehi or Dhivehi. The name of the language is officially accepted as Dhivehi not Maldivian, which is merely just a geographic term. Official name of the language academy is also "Academy of the Dhivehi Language".

In case of Malaysian language also the official name is Bahasa Malaysia and it is the common usage among Malaysians when they write English. The same way Bahasa Melayu is used more commonly than "Malay" in Malaysia and Malay speaking countries. However, according to Wikipedia naming conventions the common name of the subject in the English speaking world or in reliable sources of English language usage has to be preferred. That's why Malaysian or Malay is used in cases of the former and Maldivian has to be used for Dhivehi. So no matter the internal sources use the native name "Dhivehi" commonly, in the English speaking world and reliable sources such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, journals, etc... it is very different. Please refer to oxford dictionary and many other sources given on top. When searched through the reliable sources of English language usage "Maldivian" turns out to be the common name of the subject. While a commonly used English name of the subject exists that is the one which has to be preferred according to the guidelines. It is very clear from the reliable sources given on top that Maldivian is not only just a geographic term. It has the same use as that of the words Spanish, Dutch, Russian, etc... Leone (talk) 10:00, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Clearly should be "Maldivian". Just ask any monolingual English speaker to read "Divehi" out loud, and see what nonsense you get! "Maldivian" is the normal English name, and the only one most people will know, or at least be able to recognize. — kwami (talk) 10:29, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Concerning the argument that "Maldivian doesn't only refer to the language, it is the word for the people of the Maldives any thing which is connected to the Maldives, like Maldivian food", you could say the same for English, French, Japanese, Russian, or almost any other glottonym. That's why the name of the article is Maldivian language, like probably every other language article. --Thnidu (talk) 04:03, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Minor error in Phonology --> Intonation[edit]

It says,

"Take the word ‘possible’ in English. The two ‘ss’ sounds in it are pronounced in much the same way as the single ‘s’ in a word like ‘positive’."

"Positive" is pronounced (by a native speaker) with a voiced "s", as if spelled "pozitive", whereas the letters "ss" in "possible" are unvoiced. Another example needs to be created.

Best regards, Nikevich 09:08, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

A worse mistake than that: there aren't two "S" sounds in "possible", only one. Letters are not the same as sounds. --Thnidu (talk) 04:05, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Letter size and spacing in typography[edit]

The few examples of D[h]ivehi that I have seen (such as in the printed Unicode 3.0 manual, and this article) use very small glyphs. As well, inter-letter spacing looks quite excessive. Can Wikipedia compensate for this? (I'm using Mint Linux 11, a derivative of Ubuntu, which, very likely, provides default fonts for Mint. I'm also using the Chrome browser.) Perhaps Arabic shaping and joining is needed; the examples look strange, but that might simply be my unfamiliarity with the language.

Best regards, Nikevich 09:18, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Possibly an effect of leaving room for super- & sub-scripts. You get a similar effect w Tibetan. — kwami (talk) 09:35, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: keep without moving. Leone (talk) 12:45, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Maldivian languageDhivehi language – Dhivehi is the word referred to the language Maldivians speak and the official language of government of Maldives, Dhivehi is the language of Maldives spoken by Maldivians, Dhivehi is the common and official name referred to the language used by Maldivians, Maldivian is not referred or recognised as a language. Article 11 of the constitution states: The national Language of Maldives is Dhivehi language. See Dhivehi language used in local news eg: (Look for definition of Maldivian AtefAadd (talk) 08:03, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Oppose per the argument and sources at the successful move request above. The wording of the Maldivian constitution is irrelevant, as we do not follow official pronouncements for the names of our articles. (Anyway, I suspect that the quotation above was created to support the RM, as I doubt the Maldivian constitution, assuming it exists in English, is that ungrammatical.) Conduct a reading poll of English speakers, and see how many can pronounce "Maldivian" as opposed to how many can pronounce "Divehi".
A few other sources:
  • Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics: "The language spoken in the Maldives is Divehi, usually referred to as Maldivian."
  • Christopher R (2003) A Maldivian Dictionary. London: Routledge Curzon.
  • Mallory & Adams (1997) Encyclopedia of Indo-European culture: "The southwest division consists of Gujarati, Marathi, Konkani, Sinhalese and Maldivian."
  • George Cardona (2003) The Indo-Aryan Languages uses "Divehi", but then immediately clarifies that unfamiliar name with "(= Maldivian)".
Specialized sources tend to use Divehi (rather than Dhivehi, at least above!), just as they tend to use Kiswahili, etc. But we don't: We use the name in more common circulation instead. Per our language naming conventions,
Where a common name exists in English for both a people and their language, a title based on that term, with explicit disambiguation, is preferred for both articles, as with Chinese people and Chinese language. This is especially so when borrowed native forms involve different prefixes or are otherwise not transparently related, as with Tswana people and Tswana language, with redirects placed at Batswana and Setswana, respectively.
kwami (talk) 16:27, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Maldivian is not official or common and never referred as a language, Are you the regulaters of all languages in the world? I have seen your vandalisations on other languages you shouldn't be here and mess with what you're not good at you should mind your own business and go get educated yourself, and then come back to places like these to contribute. --AtefAadd (talk) 19:04, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Oppose - for the move to 'Dhivehi language', because of the unnecessary in-place disambiguation. I would support a move to Dhivehi. Imc (talk) 17:18, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
What about Dhivehi people? I think that disambiguation is needed. --RJFF (talk) 09:54, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: the move request of last year has shown that "Maldivian" is the more common term for this language. The constitution of the Maldives is not decisive in this question. (WP:Common names vs. WP:Official names) --RJFF (talk) 23:01, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Support OED lists both names equally. Britannica says Dhivehi with Maldivian in parentheses (["speaking an Indo-European language called Dhivehi (or Maldivian; the official language")[1]. I wouldn't use the previous move request as a guide here because there was absolutely no discussion there. Anyone who looked at the list of sources would have noted that (a) OED gives equal weight to both (b) Britannica puts Dhivehi above Maldivian (c) script source and unicode essentially mirror ethnologue (d) wikitionary is not a reliable source (e) sil, which doesn't choose one or the other is another mirror of ethnologue. So, what we have is a situation where everything else is equal and britannica say "Dhivehi but also Maldivian" while ethnologue says "Maldivian but also Dhivehi". Given that google has more hits for Dhivehi than for Maldivian, given that Wikipedia probably shows up in lots of those Maldivians, given that Maldivian is the English name for a native of that island not to mention its airline, a hefty chunk of Maldivian results must be for the airline and the people. I'd say the English language name for this language is Dhivehi. I agree with Imc that Dhivehi is better than Dhivehi language. --regentspark (comment) 02:31, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Eventhough the name "Dhivehi" which is the native name of the language is used among many of the Maldivians, "Maldivian" is the English name commonly used from the past. For instance take the example of HCP Bell too. Anyway changing "Maldivian" to Dhivehi is like changing "Spanish" to "Espanol", "German" to "Deutch", "Dutch" to "Nederlands" and many more... For people like AtefAadd from the Maldives this might be something new and hard to accept as they have been using the native name while writing English too. But these are internationally accepted norms. Clearly should be Maldivian. Take the example of the famous book written by the famous Maldivian linguist and historian Hassan Ahmed Manik; “Say it in Maldivian". Does it say Dhivehi? Come to commonsense. OED also says it is Maldivian. @RegentsPark: Where in OED does it say it is Divehi? ( Germans speak the German language. French speak French. So do Maldivians? In Ethnologue also it is Maldivian which is used as the name, though Dhivehi is used among the alternative names which include many other names. (
OED. --regentspark (comment) 13:48, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Should be Maldivian according to Wikipedia:Naming conventions. Even though many Maldivians use the native name “Dhivehi”, similar to the case of “Bahasa Melayu” being used in South East Asia, in the English language it is “Maldivian” and “Maldivian” should be used as the article title the same way “Malay language” is used for “Bahasa Melayu”. Also as one of the users have commented before, changing “Maldivian” to “Dhivehi” is like changing “Spanish” to “Espanol”, “German” to “Deutch” and so on. This is a matter which is out of debate. In Maldives, starting from the earliest available records in English language to this day we see that “Maldivian” is used to refer to this language in the English language. It is used officially as well as unofficially. See the writings of HCP Bell and other linguistics plus the links above (which I gave in my page move request) for reference. As a user has outlined before, even Maldivian linguists like Hassan Ahmed Manik used “Maldivian”. The Government of Maldives also uses “Maldivian” to refer to this language in many occasions. Even though we see that today “Dhivehi” is used very often, in the 1970s it was “Maldivian language” which we see in the report cards of school children as well. Also, the Maldivian translation of the universal declaration of human rights also uses “Maldivian” as the English name to refer to this language. See: Leone (talk) 12:37, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Dhivehi-bas means "Islanders' language"? -- (talk) 20:13, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes. Divehi means an islander. Maldivian also means etymologically the same since "-dives" of "Maldives" and the word Divehi have the same root, Sanskrit "dvīpa" which means "island". Thus calling "Dhivehi language" and "Maldivian language" is the same on etymological grounds. But "Maldivian" should be used in English Wikipedia since it is the name in English. Leone (talk) 12:37, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

To be honest, if you want to translate 'Islanders language' to Dhivehi, then a native speaker would translate that phrase to 'Rashumeehunge' bas'. For a native speaker the term Dhivehi = Maldivian. and the term 'Island' = rah. --Jinaakko (talk) 17:52, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

Vocabulary of the Maldivian Language, Compiled by Lieut. W. Christopher, I. N. Communicated to the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (January 1, 1841)[edit]

Vocabulary of the Maldivian Language, Compiled by Lieut. W. Christopher, I. N. Communicated to the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (January 1, 1841)

Rajmaan (talk) 22:51, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

misconstructed example[edit]

The subsection on loan words referring to actions has the following set of examples:

Book (buk) kuranee = booking
Develop (divelop) kuranee = developing
tharaqqee (develop) kuranee = developing

All the other loanword examples, for all parts of speech, use loans from English, presumably to be clear to the readers of English Wikipedia. The third line is obviously not a case of an English word tharaqqee being borrowed into Maldivian as "develop". I don't know what the person who added it meant by it, but maybe some other Wikipedian will, so I'm going to comment it out instead of deleting it. Thnidu (talk) 04:21, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Common Phrases - Goodbye[edit]

Why is goodbye included in the common phrases section despite the very section before it specifically states that islanders don't use hello and goodbye. As I do not speak the language I cnnot contribute to this, but something should be changed!? Alexandre8 (talk) 15:17, 22 June 2017 (UTC)