PA proposes bill to protect Dhivehi language

A bill to protect Dhivehi, the Maldivian language, has been presented to  parliament by People’s Alliance (PA) MP Abdul Azeez Jamaal Abubakuru.

Jamaal said that the Dhivehi language was “why Maldivians remain as Maldivians” and the source of the country’s success.

”Dhivehi is one of the most valuable national relics that our forefathers have delivered to us,” Jamaal said. ”Without doubt it is our responsibility to deliver it to the next generation safely, like our forefathers did.”

Jamaal said if people were careless with their mother-tongue, there was a potential for words to be lost.

”I believe that allowing the Maldivian language to dissolve is like dissolving our nationality,” he said.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed thanked MP Jamaal for presenting the bill, but said he did not believe a bill was the only solution.

Nasheed said that linguistic experts of had noted that languages  form, change and decease naturally.

”A perfect research paper on this was produced by Dr Noam Chomsky,” he said. “All these things are mentioned very clearly in his book, ‘Language Death’. It mentions three stages a language goes through before it dissolves.”

Nasheed said that research conducted by UNESCO showed that there were 6800 languages used in the world.

”Our language is included in a list of languages in the report that are at risk of disappearing in 20 years.”

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Deputy Leader and MP Ali Waheed said that he supported the bill.

”It was not  for political gain that we criticised the disbanding of the National Centre for Arts and Culture,” Waheed said. ”We were just expressing concern.”

Waheed said that although the Maldives was just a small dot compared to many much larger countries, “we should be proud to have our own language.”


11 thoughts on “PA proposes bill to protect Dhivehi language”

  1. As someone who's only learning the written form of Dhivehi at a time everyone else seems to be stopping - I must say I support anything that reminds our people of our own Dhivehi identity.

    The Maldives seems to be undergoing cultural genocide, sparked by former president Maumoon's arabization of the Dhivehi nation.

    This is indeed a very good time to start a cultural revival - not just language, but also our traditional values, customs and the folktales and the more charming customs of our culture.

  2. A language is only as useful as the doors it help open to access information. People do not adhere to a language just for its historical value. More has to be attached to it before it could be considered of value. Just because the forefathers passed down a language does not mean that people would automatically default to that language. Of course, preserving it for historical reasons is important. However majority of the dhivehi language users are not using it for historical value. They are using it as just a means of communication. It could as well have been just another language, based on your upbringing.

    The language has to have other merits of its own before people would take it as something more than a means of communication. All over the world various translation projects are carried out so that information and knowledge could be accessed in the native tongue. The dhivehi language however lacks the means to elegantly express and convey technicalities, sciences and even mathematic. The language is inherently deficient and this is an issue that has to be addressed before any tangible progress could be made in a positive direction.

    Any country would be proud to have their own language, but the language can only be preserved by facing reality. If dhivehi language has to be preserved its time to face facts and resort to realistic means.

  3. Its becoming increasingly annoying to read Minivan articles due to the poor editing and English language standards.

    And this article provides no information about what is included in the bill with regards to preserving a language. What exactly does the bill do to preserve a language? What are the measures proposed? This is the second such surface reporting I've seen on Minivan.

  4. I agree with Alim. What he has written is the truth. Also I feel that the alphabetic letters we use in Dhivehi language is not practical in the least. These letters are not based on any scientific way. We even cannot use it in our mobile phone text massages etc. The use of vowels on top and below the letters is not only very inconvenient but impractical too. Unlike Arab language we cannot make out the words if there are no vowels.

  5. Well done PA, You are living up to your Pain in the Ass status.

    Protect Dhivehi Language and leave the Dhivehi People to the mercy of the thugs you created.

    Doesn't this parliament have better things to do?

  6. I have to agree with Alim as well on this.

    Also MPs are just wasting their time when there are so many other important things which needs to be addressed. Dont waste the time given to you in Parliament.

  7. heheh they get easy money just sitting in aircon..who cares about 'nikamethi' rayyithun..still wanting more imthiyaz'z..shame on these selfish lot of MP's

  8. PA must propose a bill to bring more control of judges. Like introduce a law that will allow judges to be elected by opposition parties. This will allow you to create a safe haven for your thugs and you senior members who looted this nation.

  9. Without getting emotional let us examine Dhivehi.

    It is rich in few areas. For example for "coconut" there are many words in Dhivehi, each word denoting the age of the fruit starting from "gobolhi" to "kurolhi". Similarly for "sea" there are many words in Dhivehi denoting the depth and in some intances the size of the shallow area.

    For legal jargon and even for various emotions we have to borrow words either from Arabic or English.

    Although we don't acknowledge it, Dhivehi is 3 languages in one. They are HOO ANNA, LABBA DHURUVAN and AADHE VADAIGANNAVAN. From the way these 3 are used you can know the class relationship between the people communicating.

    1- Do you want to protect, preserve and communicate in this class distinguishing language?

    2- Does knowledge of Dhivehi help you to survise, improve your career prospects or make you a better person?

    3- Would it not be better introduce a bill to ensure Maldivians are truly bilingual - that is in English and Dhivehi - instead of this present Bill?

    4- Is this the right time to introduce even such a bill considering that the deadline to make all laws in line with the Constitution is nearing?


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