The Language Spoken in Maldives English or Not


The Language Spoken in Maldives: English or Not

Maldives is a beautiful island nation situated in the Indian Ocean. The country is known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters and exotic marine life. However, the language spoken in Maldives is a topic of debate among tourists and language enthusiasts. Some argue that the language spoken in Maldives is English, while others claim it to be a completely different language. Let's take a closer look at this issue to gain a better understanding.

Maldivian Dhivehi Language

The official language of Maldives is Maldivian Dhivehi, which is a language of the Indo-Aryan family spoken by over half a million people in the Maldives and the Minicoy Island of the Union territory of Lakshadweep, India. It uses its own script, derived from the Arabic script, and has many loanwords from Arabic, Sanskrit and Tamil. The Maldivian Dhivehi language is rich in literature and has a long history. Its script was established in the 12th century during the reign of the Buddhist king Dhovemi. Later on, Islamic conversion brought the Arabic script to the Maldives, leading to the present-day Dhivehi script.

English Language in Maldives

While Maldivian Dhivehi is the official language of the country and the primary language spoken by the locals, English is also widely spoken and understood. English was introduced to the Maldivian education system in the 1940s during the British colonial era. Since then, it has become an important language in the country. English is viewed as a language of opportunity and is widely used in tourism, business, education, and government.

Language Use in Maldives

In the Maldives, the use of language is dependent on the context. Maldivian Dhivehi is used primarily for daily conversations and in official settings. However, English is also used frequently in tourist hotspots, high-end restaurants, and in business settings. Signs and instructions are often written in both Dhivehi and English. English is also taught in schools, with many Maldivian students achieving a high level of proficiency.

The Future of Language in Maldives

The future of language in Maldives seems to be optimistic. The Maldivian government has been promoting the use of the Dhivehi language in recent years, encouraging the preservation of Maldivian culture and heritage. At the same time, English is being promoted as a language of opportunity and global communication. Thus, it is likely that both languages will continue to be widely used in the country.

The Benefits of Learning Both Languages

Learning both Maldivian Dhivehi and English can be extremely beneficial, especially for tourists and business professionals. Knowing Maldivian Dhivehi can help tourists communicate with locals, be more culturally sensitive and gain a better appreciation of Maldivian culture and heritage. On the other hand, knowing English is essential for international travel, communication, and business. It provides access to a global community and opportunities for personal and professional growth.


In conclusion, the language spoken in Maldives is primarily Maldivian Dhivehi. However, English is also widely spoken and understood in the country. Understanding both languages can be beneficial for anyone visiting or doing business in the Maldives. While the future of language in Maldives is promising, it is important to preserve and celebrate the rich culture and heritage of the Maldivian people.