Maldivian, or Dhivehi (ދިވެހި Divehi), is an Indo-Aryan language predominantly spoken by about 350,000 people in the Maldives where it is the national language. It is also the first language of nearly 10,000 people in the island of Minicoy in the Union territory of Lakshadweep, India where the Mahl dialect of the Maldivian language is spoken.
The major dialects of Maldivian are Malé, Huvadhu, Mulaku, Addu, Haddhunmathee and Maliku. The standard form of Maldivian is Malé, which is spoken in the Maldivian capital of the same name. The Maliku dialect spoken in Minicoy is officially referred as Mahl by the Lakshadweep administration. This has been adopted by many authors when referring to Maldivian spoken in Minicoy.
Maldivian is closely related to the Sinhala language. Many languages have influenced the development of the Maldivian language through the ages, most importantly Arabic. Others include French, Persian, Portuguese, Urdu and English. The English words atoll (a ring of coral islands or reefs) and doni (a vessel for inter-atoll navigation) are anglicized forms of the Maldivian words Atoḷu and Dōni.
Read more about Mahl Language: Etymology, Origin, History, Geographic Distribution, Spoken and Literary Varieties, Writing System, Latin Transliteration, Dictionary, Phonology, Levels of Speech, Sample Text
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“The world does not speak. Only we do. The world can, once we have programmed ourselves with a language, cause us to hold beliefs. But it cannot propose a language for us to speak. Only other human beings can do that.”
—Richard Rorty (b. 1931)