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Written by Preetha Manivelan on November 16, 2020 Share on

Languages of the Maldives: A Guide to Communication in Maldives

When you travel to a foreign land, there are many things that you are concerned about. One such thing is how to converse with the locals of the country you are visiting. Though most countries have English as their common language, it is good for you to know a bit of their national language while interacting with locals to become one yourself. So, this article is about the languages of the Maldives and a few frequently used phrases that might be of immense help.

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The national language of Maldives is Dhivehi which is the official language too. Since the Maldives is one country that’s most visited by people from every corner of the world, English is the common language and enough to converse with most people. But if you are someone really into learning new languages, understanding the country’s culture and getting along with locals, then you can give this article a read to know more about the languages of the Maldives.

Maldivian culture
Photo by Rayyu Maldives photographer on Unsplash

Most spoken languages in the Maldives are Dhivehi, English and Arabic and other languages are Mulaku, Huvadhu, Maliku, Haddhunmathee and Addu. To know more about these commonly spoken languages in detail, keep reading.

  1. Dhivehi
  2. English
  3. Arabic

1. Dhivehi

Dhivehi is the official language of Maldives. This is an Indo-Aryan language that’s quite similar to the Sinhalese language of Sri Lanka. Even the English word ‘Atoll’ was derived from the Dhivehi word ‘Atolu’. So, here are some of the terms that you might need to know before visiting the Maldives.

  • Hello. – Assalaamu alaikum
  • Yes. – Aan
  • No. – Noon
  • Thank you. – Shukuriyaa 
  • Excuse me. – Ma-aaf kurey
  • I am sorry. – Ma-aafu kurey 
  • Help. – Salaamai kurey!
  • Do you speak English? – Ingireysin vaahaka dhakkan ingeytha?
  • Is there someone here who speaks English? – Mitaa ingireysin vahaka dakan ingey mehaku eba huri tha?
  • How much does it cost? – Meege agakee kobaa?

2. English

English is the commonly spoken language in the Maldives in all the fields like education, commerce and, especially tourism. It is even said to be the unofficial second language of Maldives. Since most people in the Maldives speak English, you wouldn’t be having any language barriers though.

3. Arabic

Islam is the most widespread religion of the Maldives which self explains that Muslims are of the highest population. This is the obvious reason that Arabic is quite widespread in the Maldives which is even taught to the students in schools.

  • Hello – marhabaan
  • Please. – Min fadlik
  • Thank you. – shukraan lakum
  • Yes. – nem
  • No. – la
  • Excuse me. – law samaht
  • I’m sorry. – anasif
  • Help! – an-najda!
  • Do you speak English? – hal tatakallam el-ingliziyya?
  • Is there someone here who speaks English? – had beyetkallem ingelizi?
  • How much does this cost? – bikam hatha?

And that’s how you communicate with the locals of the Maldives. You are obviously not going to keep revisiting the Maldives if you are a fan of exploring new places. So, why not live the life of a Maldivian completely and get along with the locals by knowing and learning some of the languages of the Maldives? Trust me, that would be the best part about the trip. To plan your Maldives trip, visit the Pickyourtrail website and check out some amazing Maldives honeymoon packages or leave a Whatsapp inquiry for more options.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the official language of the Maldives?

The national language of the Maldives is Dhivehi.

What other languages are spoken in the Maldives?

Languages like Arabic, Hindi, and English are also spoken.

Will people in the Maldives communicate in English?

Yes, there will be people who can communicate fluently in English in hotels and resorts.

Are signs and information available in English in the Maldives?

Yes, signs, menus, and informational materials in tourist areas and resorts are frequently available in English, making it easier for visitors to navigate and comprehend important information.

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