Maldivian Dhivehi, a close relative of Sinhala (spoken in Sri Lanka) but with borrowings from Urdu, Hindi, Arabic and many other languages, is the official language. It is written in a remarkable hybrid script called Thaana, which uses Arabic and Indian numerals as the basis of the alphabet and is written from right to left with Arabic vowel signs. It is believed that the script was originally a secret code to write magical formulae so that outsiders could not read them, which would also explain why the arrangement of the alphabet is, as far as linguists can tell, completely random.
English is widely spoken, especially by government officials and those working in the tourism industry. English is also the language of instruction in schools
As the Maldives is a popular destination for German and Italian holidaymakers, a considerable number of the staff at the resorts speak German and Italian. This may vary from resort to resort.