Dhivehi or Maldivian language is the national language of the Republic of Maldives. This is enshrined in Article 11 of the Maldives Constitution. As such, Dhivehi language is used for all official purposes by the government, judiciary and the parliament.
In addition to the Maldives, Dhivehi language is the native language of the Minicoy island of India. The Maldives and Minicoy islands still shares common cultural values arising due to historical connections.
Origins of Dhivehi Language
Dhivehi Writing System
Written Dhivehi can be traced back to 12th century. Some of the earliest known Dhivehi writings were inscribed on copper plates, locally known as “lomaafaanu”. Previously Dhivehi was written using a script called “Dhivehi Akuru”.
Currently Thaana script is used as the Dhivehi writing script. Origin of Thaana script can be traced back to early 18th century.
Dhivehi language is sometimes referred to as Divehi or Maldivian language. Name of the language derives from the local word for Maldivians, which is “dhivehin”. Hence, Dhivehi is the language of the Maldivians.
Dhivehi language belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family. South Asian languages like Sanskrit and Sinhalese played a key role in the evolution of Dhivehi language. Additionally, Arabic language has influenced Dhivehi since the adoption of Islam in 12th century.