Do you speak Dhivehi ? Concise and helpful Dhivevi’s dictionary to know before your Maldives holidays

The current Maldivians are descended from Indo-Aryan populations that came from the west and north-west of India from the middle of the 3rd millennium BC.

Thus the Maldivian language, Dhivehi, is part of the Indo-Aryan language family. Dhivehi is part of the same family as Sinhalese, the language of Sri Lanka, its neighboring country. Nevertheless, as close as these 2 languages are, the Sri Lankans do not necessarily understand Dhivehi and vice versa, just like the French who do not necessarily understand Italian or Spanish.

Dhivehi takes its roots in English, Arabic, Portuguese and Hindi. 

It is also written in Thaana characters (see the picture below) and it is read from left to right as Arabic. 

Here below the most helpful words / expressions that you will need to know :

 

Here below the most helpful words / expressions that you will need to know : 

English 

Dhivehi 

Good Morning / Good Night

asalam aleykum

How are you ?

kihiné ta ?

Good, thanks and you ?

vara gada

I understand / I don’t understand

kiké tha bouni 

Sorry

hithaamahuri

Goodbye

vakivani

Thank you

choukouriya

Yes / No

ahn/nouné

How much is it ?

mi kihavaraka ?

Boat

dhoani, boatu

Bicycle

baiskalu

Bank

benku

Left / Right

vaaiy/kanaaiy

Water

fen

Tea / Coffee 

sai/kofee

Drink 

Bouiné

Eat 

Kani

These simple words will help you to be understood in all the atolls. Nevertheless, no worries if you don’t become fluent in Dhivehi before your trip! A large part also speaks English of the population with the exception of a few very remote provinces where, in any case, there are very few tourists.

Last little tip : Don’t forget to roll the “R”s ! 

Ready for the trip of a lifetime with us?