What are the top 3 languages spoken in Maldives?

What are the top 3 languages spoken in Maldives?

Are you planning a trip to the Maldives and want to know more about the languages spoken there? In this article, we will explore the top three languages spoken in the Maldives, providing you with valuable insights into the linguistic diversity of this beautiful island nation. Whether you are a language enthusiast or simply curious about the cultural aspects of your travel destination, this article will help you gain a better understanding of the communication landscape in the Maldives. Read on to discover the primary languages spoken by the people of this tropical paradise.

Overview of language diversity in Maldives

The Maldives, an archipelago located in the Indian Ocean, is known for its stunning tropical landscapes and vibrant culture. As a tourist destination, it attracts visitors from all around the world. With such a diverse range of people, it comes as no surprise that the Maldives is home to a variety of languages.

Official language of Maldives

The official language of Maldives is Dhivehi. Also known as Maldivian, Dhivehi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the majority of the population. It is the primary language used in government, education, and media throughout the country. Dhivehi is written in a script derived from the Arabic alphabet, known as Thaana.

Commonly spoken languages in Maldives

While Dhivehi is the predominant language in the Maldives, due to its popularity as a tourist destination, there are other languages commonly spoken by the local population. English is widely understood and spoken, especially in the urban areas and among those working in the tourism industry. Many resort staff members are fluent in English to cater to the international visitors.

Additionally, due to the large number of expatriate workers in the Maldives, languages such as Hindi, Bengali, and Tamil are also spoken by a significant portion of the population. These languages are often used for communication among foreign workers and their communities.

In recent years, with the increase in Chinese tourists, there has been a growing demand for Mandarin language skills. As a result, Mandarin is becoming more prevalent in the Maldives, particularly in areas frequented by Chinese visitors.

Overall, while Dhivehi remains the official language of the Maldives, the country embraces linguistic diversity with English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, and Mandarin being commonly spoken languages among its multicultural population. This linguistic richness adds to the charm and appeal of the Maldives as a truly international destination.

Dhivehi – The official language

Dhivehi, also known as Maldivian, is the official language of Maldives. It holds significant importance in the country and plays a crucial role in the daily lives of the Maldivian people. This article will explore the history and importance of Dhivehi, its various dialects, and the efforts made to preserve this unique language.

History and importance of Dhivehi

The history of Dhivehi can be traced back to the Indo-Aryan languages spoken in the Indian subcontinent. Over centuries, it has evolved into a distinct language with its own script and grammar. The influence of Arabic and Persian languages can also be observed in Dhivehi, resulting from historical interactions with traders and scholars from these regions.

Dhivehi holds immense cultural and national importance for the people of Maldives. It serves as a symbol of their identity and heritage, reflecting their unique traditions and customs. The language has been used for centuries in literature, poetry, and religious texts, contributing to the preservation of Maldivian history and cultural values.

Dialects of Dhivehi

Like many languages, Dhivehi has regional dialects that vary across different islands in Maldives. These dialects have developed due to geographical isolation and historical influences from neighboring countries. Despite these variations, the core structure and vocabulary remain largely consistent, allowing speakers of different dialects to understand each other.

The two main dialects of Dhivehi are Malé and Addu. The Malé dialect is primarily spoken in the capital city, Malé, and the central region of Maldives. It is considered the standard form of Dhivehi and is taught in schools and used in official communications. The Addu dialect, on the other hand, is spoken in the southernmost atoll of Maldives, Addu Atoll, and has its own unique characteristics.

Language preservation efforts

Recognizing the importance of preserving Dhivehi as a cultural and national treasure, various initiatives have been undertaken to promote and protect the language. The government of Maldives has implemented policies to ensure the use of Dhivehi in education, administration, and media. Schools have dedicated curriculum to teach Dhivehi language and literature, ensuring its transmission to future generations.

Additionally, efforts have been made to document and digitize Dhivehi literature and historical texts, making them accessible to a wider audience. Organizations and institutions are actively involved in research and preservation projects to safeguard Dhivehi from potential language erosion.

In conclusion, Dhivehi is the official language of Maldives and holds great historical, cultural, and national significance. With its rich history, diverse dialects, and ongoing preservation efforts, Dhivehi remains a vital component of Maldivian identity and serves as a testament to the country’s linguistic heritage.

English – Widely spoken in Maldives

Introduction of English in Maldives

English was first introduced to the Maldives during the British colonial era. In the late 19th century, the British established a protectorate over the Maldives, which lasted until 1965. During this period, English became the language of administration, education, and trade.

English usage in different sectors

Today, English continues to play a significant role in various sectors of Maldivian society. In the tourism industry, English is widely spoken and understood by hotel staff, tour guides, and other service providers. This allows tourists from English-speaking countries to communicate effectively and enhances their overall experience in the Maldives.

Moreover, English is used extensively in the education sector. Many schools in Maldives teach subjects such as science, mathematics, and social studies in English. This not only helps students develop their language skills but also prepares them for higher education opportunities abroad.

English is also commonly used in the business and professional sectors of Maldives. It is the language of communication in international conferences, meetings, and negotiations. Proficiency in English is highly valued by employers, as it improves job prospects and facilitates interaction with international clients and partners.

Importance of English proficiency

Having a good command of English is crucial for Maldivians due to the country’s heavy reliance on tourism. English proficiency allows locals to effectively communicate with tourists, understand their needs and provide quality service, ultimately contributing to the growth of the tourism industry.

Furthermore, English proficiency opens up opportunities for Maldivians to study and work abroad. Many universities and job markets require a certain level of English language skills, and being proficient in English increases the chances of success in these endeavors.

In conclusion, English is widely spoken in Maldives, thanks to its historical background and its significance in various sectors. The ability to communicate in English not only enhances the tourism industry but also provides educational and professional opportunities for Maldivians.

Other languages spoken in Maldives


Arabic is one of the other languages spoken in the Maldives. While Dhivehi is the official language of the Maldives, Arabic holds significant importance due to its religious and cultural significance. The Maldives, being an Islamic nation, has a considerable influence from the Arabic language, primarily because the Quran, the holy book of Islam, is written in Arabic. Many Maldivians learn Arabic to understand and read the Quran, and it is commonly taught in schools and mosques across the country.


Urdu is another language spoken in the Maldives. Urdu is primarily spoken in South Asia and is the national language of Pakistan. Due to historical connections and cultural exchange between the Maldives and Pakistan, Urdu has found its place in the linguistic landscape of the Maldives. While not as widely spoken as Dhivehi or Arabic, Urdu can be heard in small pockets of the population, especially among the Pakistani community residing in the Maldives.


Hindi is also spoken in the Maldives as one of the other languages. Hindi is the official language of India and is widely spoken across the Indian subcontinent. The Maldives shares close ties with India, both culturally and economically, which has led to the presence of Hindi in the country. Hindi can be heard among the Indian expatriate community living in the Maldives and is often used for communication and business purposes.

While Dhivehi remains the dominant language in the Maldives, the presence of Arabic, Urdu, and Hindi reflects the multicultural and diverse nature of the country. These languages contribute to the linguistic tapestry of the Maldives and showcase the cultural connections the nation has with various regions of the world.

The Maldives, a tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean, is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. While the official language of the Maldives is Dhivehi, a close relative of Sinhala, there are several other languages spoken in the country. Based on the latest data, the top three languages spoken in the Maldives, apart from Dhivehi, are English, Arabic, and Hindi. English is widely used in the tourism industry and is spoken by many locals. Arabic is spoken due to the influence of Islamic culture, while Hindi is common among the large number of Indian expatriates residing in the Maldives. These languages play a significant role in the cultural diversity and communication within the Maldives, adding to its allure as a popular tourist destination.

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