Maldivian and five other new dictionaries

Maldives is well known for its breathtaking atolls and stunning resorts, but it also has its very own language. Maldivian, or Dhivehi (which means ‘islanders’ in Sanskrit) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 300,000 people. It is closely related to the Sinhalese language spoken in Sri Lanka, and has been influenced by Arabic, French, Persian, Portuguese, Hindustani, and English. Maldivian is written from right to left in a script that shares some characteristics with Arabic.

We are also proud to present a Khowar dictionary. Khowar, or Chitrali, is spoken in the northern district of Chitral in Pakistan, by about 300,000 speakers including the people who migrated to Pakistan’s major cities. Khowar is an Indo-Aryan language written with its own writing system, based on the Urdu alphabet.

Kutchi is also an Indo-Aryan language, spoken in India and Pakistan, which is very close to Sindhi and related to Gujarati. It is written with a modified version of the Gujarati script, but this Freelang dictionary, like the two other aforementioned, uses a romanized transcription.

Moksha is another new dictionary on our site, it is a Finno-Ugric language spoken in Mordovia (Russia), where it is an official language along with Russian and Erzya. Erzya is sometimes called Mordvin, and previously Mordvin could also refer to both Erzya and Moksha. But these two languages are not mutually intelligible, to the extent that the Russian language is often used for communication.

Dalmatian is an extinct language that was spoken in what is now Croatia. It is classified as an Italic language, somewhere between Romanian and Italian, influenced by Venetian and Serbo-Croatian. Ragusan was the most prestigious dialect, spoken in the city of Dubrovnik at the time when it reached its commercial peak, in the 15th and the 16th centuries, before being conquered by Napoleon. Ragusan language was then replaced by Italian language (among the higher class) and Croatian language (spoken by lower classes). It is reported that the last speaker of Dalmatian language died in 1898.

Our last dictionary for this update is a Siouan language, Lakota. If you saw the movie “Dances with Wolves”, then you already know what Lakota sounds like! With a few thousand speakers remaining, Lakota is an endangered language and efforts are being made to teach it to the younger generations. This is our small contribution.

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