There are times when you are chatting with someone, they send you a message, something in dhivehi, you open and read it, read it again, and then pause for a while, then read it again, and wondering what the hell is that mean. you couldn’t figured out a single word that make up with that spelling. This happened many of us, when we send a message, we type it in latin character, rather than in thaana, because it is faster and easier. The problem is each person use their own spelling. This creates a headache for those who read these messages. this problem is not only in the messaging world. there are huge number of articles, books, and blogs written by each writers own spelling. readers have same problem in reading these too. There should be some sort of standards for writing dhivehi, when everyone follow this, everyone’s life will become easer and everyone can understand each other.
ISO basic latin alphabet contains 26 letters all those used in English language today. If we look into our neighbour counties, malay, Singapore, and Brunei use the same 26 letters. while Indonesia follow the Dutch names. By looking at their model we can help to improve ours.
In our writing system we dont have any problem with consonents, and a few words need spelling. However there are few difficulties in two letter consonents, which are called diagraphs.
ai – as in buy, fonuvaifi
ch – as in channel (in malay this is spelled as gh)
gn – we use it as gnaviyani, this sound is used in fewer languages eg. French, Portuguese, Malayalam, Indo-Malay and Dhivehi( for gnaviyani, French use gn, but malay, singapore, and indonesian use ny. eg. sanya)
sh – sharp
The following are a commonly misspelled Dhivehi words I found so far:
kuilhavai – the problem with this word is people think lh should be twice, like in ‘better’ this misconception makes people spell it like kulhlhavai. it is much difficult to read and understand.
dhiggaa gas – Dhiggaagas is more difficult to read than dhiggaa gas/dhiggaa-gas.
Since almost half of Dhivehi words come from arabic, we can use arabic way of spelling. Rest of the dhivehi words are from india and srilanka so we can use their spelling.