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1 Corinthians 13 in Thaana
Development of the Thaana Script
Dhives Akuru and Thaana Sample
Use of the Thaana Script Among Maldivians


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Writing systems that use this script (1)
Name Code Is used to write language
Maldivian written with Thaana script dv Maldivian [div]

  • An excerpt from a leaflet about marriage, written in the Maldivian language (also called Dhivehi) using the Thaana script. The page shown is a translation of the Bible passage, 1 Corinthians 13.

    CopyrightNot indicated
    LicenseCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Allows modification and redistribution
    ContributorMartin Raymond
  • Maldivian writing has gone through three distinct stages, culminating in the development of the current script in the 16th century. The earliest examples of written Maldivian are written in Evēlā Akuru, 'ancient letters', which later developed into the script known as Dhives Akuru, 'island letters'. Both of these early scripts were written from left to right, having derived from the Brahmi script. The current script, Thaana, was originally used as a secret script alongside Dhives Akuru by Muslim sorcerers for writing spells and incantations. It was written from right to left, presumably under the influence of Arabic speakers with whom the Maldivian people traded.

    Thaana grew in popularity under the rule of Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu who is credited with emancipating the country from Portuguese rule in 1573. Its rise in popularity is linked with a nationalistic reform movement aimed at ensuring that the country was not subject to foreign occupation again. Since that time it has been the predominant script in use in the Maldives, aside from a brief period in the 1970s when President Ibrahim Nasir implemented an official Latin transcription system to facilitate printing, and all official documents were printed using that system. Nasir's successor, President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom reinstated the Thaana script in 1978 and literacy in the script is now above 95%.

    ContributorScriptSource Staff
  • This is the front cover of a book on Maldivian writing systems by the Maldivian scholar As-Sayyid Bodufenvalhuge Sidi. The top line of text is written in the Dhives Akuru script, and the subsequent text is written in the Thaana script.

    Source Wikipedia
    ContributorSteph Holloway
  • The literacy rate in the Maldives is very high. In 1997 the Ministry of Education declared that 98% literacy had been achieved. Children are taught the Latin, Arabic and Thaana scripts at school, and all three scripts are used. Documents written in Thaana used to be heavily interspersed with words and quotations written in the Arabic script, but in the late 1950s the government introduced a set of Thaana letters modified with diacritics specifically for representing sounds found in Arabic loan words. Nowadays these letters are commonly used, but some Arabic names and Islamic religious terms, particularly the word 'Allah', are still written in the Arabic script. The two scripts can even be combined in a single word, as in the name 'Abdullah', which is often written with Abdu in Thaana script, followed by the word Allah in Arabic. It is prestigious to know how to write one's name in both Arabic and Thaana scripts, either or both of which can be used depending on the circumstance or the whim of the person.

    ContributorScriptSource Staff



Copyright © 2017 SIL International and released under the  Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license (CC-BY-SA) unless noted otherwise. Language data includes information from the  Ethnologue. Script information partially from the  ISO 15924 Registration Authority. Some character data from  The Unicode Standard Character Database and locale data from the  Common Locale Data Repository. Used by permission.