The script used to write Dhivehi is called Thaana and is written from right to left. It is a relatively simple script with features of an alphabet as well. Throughout history, the Dhivehi or Mahl language was written using a number of Whereas Dives Akuru is a syllabic alphabet, Thaana is an alphabet with. Dhivehi Language (ދިވެހި) Alphabet Study and Learn | Dhivehi Language (ދިވެހި) | (English).

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The script used to write Dhivehi is called Thaana and is written from right to left. It is a relatively simple script with features of an alphabet as well as an abugida. Consonants are written with diacritics either above or below them to indicate vowel sounds. Vowel diacritics are not considered to be part of the alphabet. By the end of this lesson, you should be able to recognise and pronounce the letters and diacritics of Thaana.

The majority of consonants are pronounced the same way they are in English. The ones written in red are pronounced dhiveih different to the examples given, or they may be difficult for English speakers to pronounce. Explanations are given below.

If you still need clarification as to how the letters are pronounced, watch this video. The following table shows these diacritics, their names, and the way they are pronounced.

Thaana (Maldivian) script

Eleven indicate vowel sounds and one indicates that there is no vowel sound after the consonant. Diacritics never occur by themselves; they must always be carried by a consonant. Similarly, consonants must always carry one of the diacritics, except in two special cases which you will see in the next lesson. In the table, the dotted circles are where the consonants would be written. The use of these letters is not entirely consistent, and Maldivians do not always pronounce them the way they would be pronounced in the original languages.


At this stage, you only need to know how Maldivians pronounce them. You will notice that in many cases, Maldivians pronounce the dotted letters the same as the corresponding undotted letter, but in some cases the pronunciation is totally different. This is because the people who developed these letters decided to base them on the Arabic script and not the way Maldivians pronounced them which was not the best idea, in my opinion.

Writing Thaana letters is pretty straightforward.

Ancient Scripts: Dhivehi

Diacritics are written after the letter carrying them. Keep in mind that Thaana is written from right to left.

For more details on how to write the letters, watch this video. It is relatively easy to set up Thaana keyboards on most computers.

Dhivehi Lesson 1: Script and Pronunciation

Typing is also fairly easy, as most of the letters correspond to their Latin equivalents this can also help you learn to read. Thanks so much for your explanations about Divehi language! I have just come back from a trip in Maldives and I could find NO material at all to start learning this uncommun language… The prononciation and everything seemed so obscure to me… I find a ray of light and of hope in your blog, thank you!!!


Thank you so much for your valuable effort! I am a half Maldivian who is very eager to learn Dhivehi, but was unable to find any learning sources, until now.

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Maldivian writing systems

Notify me of new comments via email. September 4, Author: However, this also depends on the age of the speaker it is more noticeable in older people and where they are from. A retroflex sound in made when you alphsbet your tongue backwards and touch the roof of your mouth.

This is common in South Asian languages. It should be placed behind the front teeth, stopping the flow of air. This should help you with the pronunciations of those sounds. Keep your lips rounded and your tongue back. Another way I like to think about it is the noise people make when someone is insulted or makes a good comeback.

You will sound very foreign if you do. Writing and Keyboards Writing Thaana letters is pretty straightforward. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public.

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