• Maldives Secrets

How To Read & Write Thaana (Dhivehi Script)

Thaana is the Maldivian (Dhivehi) alphabet that is used in The Maldives as the official form of writing. The Thaana alphabet, has consonants and vowels derived from indigenous and Arabic numerals.

Yes we know, the Thaana alphabet looks completely different to anything you may have seen before... On top of that, there are very minimal resources to learn about Thaana online...

So, that is why we have decided to try our best and teach what we know about it. We have also made a video to explain in greater detail how Thaana works:

Things to know about Thaana

  1. Thaana is written and read from right to left

  2. The consonants and vowels are written together and form one syllable in a word - e.g.:

Bodu = ބޮޑު

BO = ބޮ
DU = ޑު

Please find below the consonants and vowels that are used in the Thaana alphabet:

  1. Consonants

There are 24 consonants in the Thaana alphabet. You will notice that the consonants are actually named like the Atolls of The Maldives. In reality, it's the opposite, these names are actually the names of the letters in the alphabet (the Atolls are, as a result, named after the alphabet).

2. Vowels

There are 11 vowels in the Thaana alphabet. The vowels are an accent that goes either on top or below the consonant, and together the vowel and consonant form one symbol - making a syllable.


BO = ބޮ

These are all the vowel sounds used in Dhivehi:

Here are some examples of words and how to write them in Thaana:

Bodu (big) = ބޮޑު

BO = ބޮ
DU = ޑު

Loabi (love): ލޯބި

LOA = ލޯ
BI = ބި

Iru (sun): އިރު

I = އި
RU = ރު

Magu (street): މަގު

MA = މަ
GU = ގު

Ruh (palm tree): ރުއް

RU = ރު
H = އް

Kate: ކޭޓް

KEY = ކޭ
TE = ޓް

What is the "sukun"?

It is basically a full stop on the sound, for "Kate" the sukun is the scent placed on top of the "T" because the word stops on the "T" sound.

Kate: ކޭޓް

KEY = ކޭ
TE = ޓް

What is the "alifu"?

Here we have 'Alifu' - this is used for the vowels 'A, E, I, O, U' in the beginning of a word.