The official language of the Maldives is Dhivehi. Believed to have developed from Sinhala, an ancient Sri Lankan dialect, Dhivehi also contains Arabic, Hindu and even some English words. English is widely spoken in Male, in the tourist resorts and by educated people throughout the
country. Many young children also speak and write English as it is now taught in schools. In the resorts and safari dive-boats, you will often find instructors and other staff who speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.
The written language, Thaana, runs from right to left, similar to Arabic. As with Arabic, there is no official written translation of Thaana, just various forms of transliteration. Words are spelled a variety of ways. For example Dhivehi itself is often spelled Divehi.