I recently found out that dhivehi.mv has a map feature similar to Google Maps. Right now the most detailed parts are in the Maldives (naturally) while the rest of the world remains quite basic. Nonetheless, I was quite happy to see something like this being developed. Not only does it help to expand the presence of Maldives/Maldivians/Dhivehi online, but it has the potential to be of great service to the Dhivehi language itself. And for that, I applaud everyone whose hard work went into developing this map.
The map is not without its flaws. There are flaws in the design/layout but I’ll leave these to people who are more qualified to deal with them. What I am interested in is the use of the Dhivehi language on the map; specifically, the names given to the countries. (I have been planning to write something about Dhivehi country names for a while, but finding the map spurred me to action. Also this is not meant to be some kind of attack on Dhivehi.mv – I already said that I appreciate their work.)
Dhivehi is by no means an international language. It makes sense that there would be very few native names for foreign countries. However, the solution to that problem is not to simply transliterate the English names of those countries with a complete disregard to both the phonetic structure of Dhivehi and the endonyms* of those countries. Instead, it would better to create names based on endonyms which align with Dhivehi phonetics and also resemble the English name (if possible). You will see that in many (if not most) cases, Dhivehi phonetics align more closely with endonyms rather than the English names.
I have some alternatives to the country names used in the map which more or less fit these rules. Many of them are used in Dhivehi Wikipedia (I didn’t copy them all, some are happy coincidences), but others, I came up with myself. The reason for using Dhivehi Wikipedia is to ensure that there is some level of consistency in the names used. You will see that in many cases, the name used on the map matches the name used on Wikipedia even though I feel a different name should be used.
The names are listed below, region by region. If a certain country is not included, it means that I am happy with the name used on the map.
From the first set I will include a suggested common name as well as an official one, and for every other one I will include only a common name. Official names can be derived from the patterns used in the first set. Including a suggested official name is just to highlight one of the inconsistencies in the map, namely that of using the official name for some countries while using the common name for others. It should be noted that in many cases, Dhivehi Wikipedia just transliterates the official English name which I find to be quite irritating.
*Endonym can be literally translated to “އެތެރެނަން”. As an example, the “އެތެރެނަން” is “ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ” and the “ބޭރުނަން” (exonym) is “Maldives”.
Middle East/North Africa/Arab Countries
I will start with this region because it seems to me that this should be the region where the are the fewest naming flaws. Some form of Arabic is spoken in practically all of these countries, and because the Maldives’ with the Arab world (and the Arabic language) goes back almost a thousand years, it would make sense to simply use the Arabic names. However, it seems that this was not so obvious in some cases. So here are my suggestions, going from east to west:
- Currently used: އޯމާން
- Suggested: ޢުމާން (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested official name: ޢުމާނުގެ ސަލްޠަނަތު، ޢުމާނީ ސަލްޠަނަތު
- Currently used: ސައުދީ އެރޭބިއާ
- Suggested: ސައޫދީ އަރަބިއްޔާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested official name: ސައުދީ އަރަބިއްޔާގެ ރާއްޖެ (Yeah, it sounds funny. But ރާއްޖެ means kingdom)
- Currently used: ޑްޖިބޯޓި
- Suggested: ޖީބޫތީ
- Suggested official name: ޖީބޫތީގެ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ
The “Dj” is how English “J” is represented in French. French “J” is pronounced like the S in “measure”. If the country were a British colony, its English name would likely be “Jibooty”.
- Currently used: ސީރިއަން އަރަބް ރިޕަބްލިކް
- Suggested: ސޫރިޔާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested official name: ސޫރީ އަރަބި ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ
- Currently used: ޖޯޑަން
- Suggested: އުރުދުން (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested official name: އުރުދުންގެ ހާޝިމީ ރާއްޖެ، ހާޝިމީ އުރުދުންގެ ރާއްޖެ (One of these will make more sense than the other)
- Currently used: އެރިޓްރިއާ
- Suggested: އެރިތުރިއާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested official name: އެރިތުރިއާގެ ދައުލަތު
This is a case where the English name does not match Dhivehi phonetics. ތ is more common than ޓ and therefore, sounds more natural.
- Currently used: ލީބިޔަން އަރަބް ޖަމާހިރިއްޔާ
- Suggested: ލީބިޔާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested official name: ލީބިޔާގެ ދައުލަތު
The current official name (adopted in 2013) is the “State of Libya”, that is, ދައުލަތު not ޖަމާހިރިއްޔާ.
- Currently used: ޗާޑް
- Suggested: ޗާދް، ޗާދު
- Suggested official name: ޗާދުގެ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ
In French it’s Tchad and in Arabic it’s تشاد. The sound is that of ޗ but Dhivehi Wikipedia uses “ޝާދު “.
- Currently used: ޓިއުނީޝިއާ
- Suggested: ތޫނިސް (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested official name: ތޫނިހުގެ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ
A case of trying to copy English pronunciation…even though it’s not pronounced that way.
- Currently used: އަލްޖީރިއާ
- Suggested: ޖަޒާއިރު (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested official name: I don’t know how to properly translate “People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria”
- Currently used: މޮރޮކޯ
- Suggested: މަޣްރިބު (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested official name: މަޣްރިބުގެ ރާއްޖެ
- Currently used: މައުރިޓޭނިއާ
- Suggested: މޫރީތާނިޔާ
- Suggested official name: މޫރީތާނިޔާގެ އިސްލާމީ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ
There are many inconsistencies in the names given to African countries along with some rookie mistakes. Also, I will say now that I think that Dhivehi word for Africa should be along the lines of އަފްރިކާ or އަފްރީކާ instead of the English-based އެފްރިކާ. The first two are closer to the original Latin pronunciation and closer to the way most Africans would say it (even in former English colonies). This is also one of those examples where endonyms align closer to Dhivehi phonetics.
Anyway, here is Africa from south to north:
- Currently used: ސައުތު އެފްރިކާ
- Suggested: ދެކުނު އަފްރިކާ
- Currently used: ލެސޯތޯ
- Suggested: ލިސޫތޫ، ލިސޫޓޫ
This is one of those rookie mistakes. The letter o in Sotho orthography is halfway between English o and u, and the “th” represents aspiration, not a dental sound. So ޓޫ would be more correct.
- Currently used: ބޮސްވާނާ
- Suggested: ބުޓުސްވާނާ
In Tswana orthography, the letter o is also closer to English u.
- Currently used: މޮޒަންބީކް
- Suggested: މޮސަންބީކި، މުސިންބީކި، މުސިންބީ
Closer to the Portuguese pronunciation. Dhivehi Wikipedia uses މުސިންބީ and even explains why it is that way in Dhivehi.
- Currently used: މަޑަގަސްކަރ
- Suggested: މަޑަގަސްކަރަ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
This is one of those inconsistencies. Here, the name used is closer to native pronunciation and not based on English (if it were, it would be މެޑަގެސްކާ). The suggested name also has ކަރަ in it, so it’s like a double meaning.
- Currently used: މައުރިޓިއަސް
- Suggested: މޮރިޝަސް، މޯރީސް (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
މޯރީސް is based on the French name, but English is widely used.
- Currently used: ޒެމްބިއާ
- Suggested: ޒަންބިއާ
- Currently used: އެންގޯލާ
- Suggested: އަންގޯލާ
From the Portuguese pronunciation.
- Currently used: ކޮމޮރޯސް
- Suggested: ކޮމޮރި، ކޮމޯރި، ޤުމުރި
Arabic is an official language, hence ޤުމުރި, but the others are closer to Comorian/Shikomori pronunciation.
- Currently used: ޓާންޒޭނިއާ
- Suggested: ޓަންޒަނީއާ
Another rookie mistake. It is easy to see why people would think Tanzania rhymes with Albania, but in Swahili, the letter a is always pronounced like the a in “up”, and stress is almost always on the second last syllable.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Currently used: ޑިމޮކްރެޓިކް ރިޕަބްލިކް އޮފް ކޮންގޯ
- Suggested: ކޮންގޯގެ ޑިމޮކްރެޓިކް ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ، ކޮންގޯގެ ދިމުކްރާތީ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ، ކޮންގޯކިންޝާސާ
I’m not sure how well the literal translation works. Dhivehi Wikipedia uses the word ދިމިޤްރާޠީ for some reason. It could be shortened to ކދޖ or ކޮދިޖު the same way DRC is used in English.
- Currently used: ސީޝެލްސް
- Suggested: ތޭންގަދީބު، ސެޝެލް، ސެސެލް (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
I didn’t know about ތޭންގަދީބު. The other two are based on French and Seychellois Creole.
- Currently used: ގެބޮން
- Suggested: ގަބޯން
São Tomé and Príncipe
- Currently used: ސައޯ ޓޯމީ އެންޑް ޕްރިންސިޕީ
- Suggested: ސައު ތުމޭ އަދި ޕްރިންސިޕި
- Currently used: އީކުއޭޓޯރިއަލް ގުއީނިއާ
- Suggested: އިސްތިވާއީ ގިނީ
Is there a Dhivehi word for equator? އިސްތިވާއު is used in Arabic, Persian and Urdu.
- Currently used: ޔުގެންޑާ
- Suggested: އުގަންޑާ
It seems that some Ugandans pronounce it with a “yu” and others just “u”.
Central African Republic
- Currently used: ސެންޓްރަލް އެފްރިކަން ރިޕަބްލިކް
- Suggested: މެދުތެރޭ އަފްރިކާގެ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ، މެދުއަފްރީކީ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ
It could be shortened to މއޖ or މެއަޖު in the same way CAR is used in English.
- Currently used: ކެމަރޫން (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: ކަމަރޫން
- Currently used: ކޯޓް ޑްލްވޮއަރ
- Suggested: އެތްދަތް އައްސޭރި، އެތްދަތް ގޮނޑުދޮށް
It’s an I, not an L. Also I don’t know if a literally translated name makes much sense.
- Currently used: އެތިއޯޕިއާ
- Suggested: އިތިޔޯޕިއާ
Dhivehi Wikipedia uses ޙަބުޝްކަރަ which is kind of misleading as the Habesha people inhabit many countries.
- Currently used: ގުއީނިއާ
- Suggested: ގިނީ
- Currently used: ގުއީނިއާ ބިއްސައު
- Suggested: ގިނީ ބިސައު، ގިނޭ ބިސައު
- Currently used: ގެމްބިއާ
- Suggested: ގަންބިއާ
- Currently used: ނައިގާ
- Suggested: ނީޖަރު، ނީޖޭރު (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
This is where things get a bit more interesting. Historically, Maldivians had no contact with most European countries, and indirect contact (through trading with Arabs etc.) would also have been minimal. This gives us the opportunity to use endonyms, Maldivian/South Asian naming conventions, as well as exonyms of other languages to create some unique names. You will notice that I suggest the suffix -stan (ސްތާން) in many cases. This is because European countries are largely divided along ethnolinguistic lines. And -stan just means place or land (related to the Dhivehi word ތަން) so there doesn’t have to be any connotations (religious or otherwise) when it comes to using the suffix.
So here is Europe, from east to west:
- Currently used: ރަޝިއަން ފެޑޭރޭޝަން
- Suggested: ރޫސީވިލާތް، ރޫސިއާ، ރޫސިސްތާން (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: ފިންލޭންޑް
- Suggested: ސުއޯމި، ސުއޯމަސްތާން، ފިނިސްތާން، ސުއޯމީވިލާތް
- Currently used: އެސްޓޯނިއާ
- Suggested: އޭސްތި، އޭސްތީވިލާތް، އޭސްތިސްތާން
- Currently used: ލަޓްވިއާ
- Suggested: ލަތުވިއާ، ލަތުވިއޭސިސްތާން
This one is interesting because it combines the word Latvieši (the Latvian word for Latvians) and the Dhivehi suffix އޭސި (as in އިނގިރޭސި and ފަރަންސޭސި).
- Currently used: ލިތުއޭނިއާ
- Suggested: ލިއެތުވިސްތާން
- Currently used: ބެލަރޫސް
- Suggested: ހުދުރޫސިއާ
It literally means “White Russia”. The names for Belarus in Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and even Arabic all translate to “White Russia”, so why can’t it be the same for Dhivehi?
- Currently used: ޔޫކްރޭން
- Suggested: އުކްރަޔީނާ، އުކްރާނިއާ
- Currently used: ސައިޕްރަސް
- Suggested: ކީޕްރުސް
- Currently used: ރޮމޭނިއާ
- Suggested: ރުމާނިއާ
- Currently used: ބަލްގޭރިއާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: ބަލްގާރިއާ، ބަލްގާރިސްތާން، ބަލްގާރީވިލާތް
- Currently used: ސްވީޑަން
- Suggested: ސުވަރިޔާ، ސުވެންސިކަސްތާން، ސުވޭދޭސް
The Swedish word is Sverige which looks a lot like ސުވަރުގެ but is pronounced “SVA-ri-ya”. ސުވޭދޭސް is a combination of “Swede” (or “Sve” from “Svensk”) and “ދޭސް”. Hence, it means “Land of the Swedes” and resembles the word “Swedish”
- Currently used: ޕޮލޭންޑް
- Suggested: ޕުލޫނިއާ، ޕޮލަކިސްތާން، ލަހިސްތާން
ލަހިސްތާން is from the Persian name derived from the name of a Slavic tribe. ޕޮލަކިސްތާން is from the word Polak, the Polish word for a Polish person. ޕުލޫނިއާ is from Polonia which is the name used in many other European languages.
- Currently used: ސްލޮވާކިއާ
- Suggested: އިސްލޮވާކިސްތާން
- Currently used: ހަންގޭރީ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: މަޖާރިސްތާން، މަޖަރު
From the Arabic and Persian words. “Magyar” can refer to Hungarian people or the Hungarian language.
- Currently used: (not on map)
- Suggested: ސިރިބިއާ، ސިރިބިސްތާން، ސިރިބިވިލާތް
- Currently used: (not on map)
- Suggested: ކޮސޮވާ
The Maldives recognises it as a country, so it’s ironic that the name is not on the map. The border is there though.
- Currently used: ޔޫގޮސްލާވިއާ
- Suggested: މަކަދޫނިއާ
Yugoslavia has not existed since 1992…
- Currently used: އަލްބޭނިއާ
- Suggested: އިޝްޗިޕަރިއާ، އަލްބާނިއާ
The Albanian word is “Shqipëri” or “Shqipëria”.
- Currently used: ގްރީސް
- Suggested: ޔޫނާން، އެލާދަ، އެލާސް (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: ޗެޗް ރިޕަބްލިކް
- Suggested: ޗެޝީ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ
- Currently used: އޮސްޓްރިއާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: އޫސްތުރީސް/އޫސްތުރީހު
Sounds closer to German “Österreich” and Persian “اتریش”
- Currently used: ސްލޮވީނިއާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: އިސްލޮވޭނިއާ
- Currently used: ކްރޮއޭޝިއާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: ހުރުވާތިއާ
From the Croatian word “Hrvatska”.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Currently used: ބޮސްނިއާ އެންޑް ހާޒެގޮވީނާ
- Suggested: ބުސްނަ އަދި ހެރްސެގޮވިނާ
- Currently used: (not on map)
- Suggested: ކަޅުފަރުބަދަ
- Currently used: (not on map)
- Suggested: ނޫރުވޭޖިއާ
- Currently used: ޖަރުމަނުވިލާތް (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: އަލްމާނިއާ
I think both are ok, actually. Germany is an odd case because it has so many exonyms.
- Currently used: ލިއެޗެންސްޓެއިން
- Suggested: ލީހިތިނުސްތާން، ލީޝްތިނުސްތާން
Other one of those convenient names…
- Currently used: ސްވިޒަރލޭންޑް
- Suggested: ސުވިސްތާން، ސުވީސް/ސުވީހު
- Currently used: އިޓަލީ
- Suggested: އިތާލިއާ
- Currently used: ސަން މެރީނޯ
- Suggested: ސަން މަރީނޯ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: ހޮލީ ސީ
- Suggested: ???
I’m not sure whether it would be more appropriate to have “Holy See” or “Vatican City” on the map.
- Currently used: މަލްޓާ
- Suggested: މަލްތާ
- Currently used: ނެދަލޭންޑްސް
- Suggested: ހޮލަންޑު
Dhivehi Wikipedia has pages for both “Netherlands” and “Holland”. While they are technically two different things, the terms are interchangeable in many languages.
- Currently used: ބެލްޖިއަމް (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: ބަލްޖީކު
- Currently used: ލަގްޒެމްބާގް
- Suggested: ލުކްސަންބޫރުގު
- Currently used: (not on map)
- Suggested: ފަރަނސޭސިވިލާތް، ފަރަންސާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: ޔުނައިޓަޑް ކިންގްޑޮމް
- Suggested: އެކުވެރި ރާއްޖެ
It’s a bit weird but that’s what it means. You could add something like “ބްރިތާނީ” to make sure people know you’re not talking about uniting the Maldives.
- Currently used: އެންޑޯރާ
- Suggested: އަންދޯރާ
- Currently used: ސްޕެއިން
- Suggested: އިސްޕާނިއާ
- Currently used: ޕޯޗުގަލް (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: ފުށެތިކާލު
It is archaic, but it is one of the few genuine Dhivehi names that exist for a European country. Dhivehi Wikipedia includes the name but uses the first one for the title.
- Currently used: ގިބްރަލްޓަރ
- Suggested: ޖަބަލްޠާރިޤް/ޖަބަލްތާރިގު (used in Dhivehi Wikipeida)
- Currently used: ފަރޯ އައިލެންޑްސް
- Suggested: ފަރޯ ޖަޒީރާ، ފަރޯދީބު (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: އައިސްލޭންޑް
- Suggested: އީސްލާންޑް
Apart from a few small British territories and former French and Dutch colonies, South America is pretty much entirely consists of countries that were part of the Spanish and Portuguese empires. Because the phonetics of those languages very closely resemble that of Dhivehi, the names of most South American countries are relatively easy to “correct”.
From South to North:
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Currently used: ސައުތު ޖޯޖިއާ އަންޑް ދަ ސައުތު ސޭންޑްވިޗް އައިލެންޑްސް
- Suggested: ދެކުނު ޖޯޖިއާ އަދި ދެކުނު ސޭންޑްވިޗް ޖަޒީރާ
- Currently used: ފޯކްލޭންޑް އައިލޭންޑްސް
- Suggested: ފޯކްލޭންޑް ޖަޒީރާ، މަލްވީނާ ޖަޒީރާ
From the Spanish name “Islas Malvinas”
- Currently used: އާޖެންޓީނާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: އަރުޖެންތީނާ
- Currently used: އުރުގުއޭއީ
- Suggested: އުރުގުއާއީ
- Currently used: ޕަރަގުއޭއީ
- Suggested: ޕަރަގުއާއީ
- Currently used: ބްރެޒިލް
- Suggested: ބުރަޒީލު، ބުރަސީލު
- Currently used: އީކުއެޑޯ
- Suggested: އެކުއަދޮރު، އެކުއަދޯރު
- Currently used: ކޮލަންބިއާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: ކޮލޮންބިއާ
- Currently used: (not included)
- Suggested: ފަރަންސޭސީ ގިޔާނާ
- Currently used: ޕެނަމާ
- Suggested: ޕަނަމާ
North America and Caribbean
Again, there are many Spanish-speaking countries in this region, meaning only slight alterations are required in most cases. However, many countries have had multiple colonisers meaning that the pronunciation of the names changed according to the dominant language at the time.
Trinidad and Tobago
- Currently used: ޓްރިނިޑެޑް އެންޑް ޓޮބޭގޯ
- Suggested: ތުރިނިދާދު އަދި ތޮބޭގޯ/ތޮބާގޯ
Although the official language is English, it was first a Spanish colony and has a Spanish name. The capital is even called “Port of Spain”
- Currently used: ގްރެނަޑާ
- Suggested: ގްރެނާދާ، ގްރެނޭދާ
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Currently used: ސައިންޓް ވިންސެންޓް އެންޑް ދަ ގޮރެނޭޑިންސް
- Suggested: ސަންތި ވިންސެންތި އަދި ގޮރެނަދީން ޖަޒީރާ (Dhivehi Wikipedia uses a simlar name)
- Currently used: ބާބަޑޮސް (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: ބަރުބޭޑޮސް
- Currently used: ސައިންޓް ލޫސިއާ
- Suggested: ސަންތި ލޫސިއާ
In English it’s pronounced more like “LOO-sha”
- Currently used: (not on map)
- Suggested: މަރުތިނީކު
Technically, it’s part of France so I can understand why the name is not on the map.
- Currently used: ޑޮމިނިކާ
- Suggested: ޑޮމިީނީކާ، ދޮމިނީކާ
The emphasis is on the second i, not the first as many would think.
- Currently used: (not on map)
- Suggested: ގުވަދެލޫޕު
Again, it’s technically France.
Antigua and Barbuda
- Currently used: އެންޓިގުއާ އެންޑް ބަރބުޑާ
- Suggested: އަންތީގާ އަދި ބަރުބޫދާ
Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Currently used: ސައިންޓް ކިޓްސް އެންޑް ނެވީސް
- Suggested: ސަންތި ކިޓްސް އަދި ނީވިސް
- Currently used: އެންގުއިލާ
- Suggested: އަންގީލާ، އަންގުއިލާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
British Virgin Islands
- Currently used: ވާރޖިން އައިލޭންޑްސް ބްރިޓިޝް
- Suggested: ބްރިތާނީ ވާޖިން ޖަޒީރާ
US Virgin Islands
- Currently used: ވާރޖިން އައިލޭންޑްސް ޔޫއެސް
- Suggested: އަމްރީކީ ވާޖިން ޖަޒީރާ
- Currently used: ޕުއަރޓޯ ރީކޯ
- Suggested: ޕުއެރްތޮ ރީކޯ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: ޑޮމިނިކަން ރިޕަބްލިކް
- Suggested: ދޮމިނިކީ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ
- Currently used: ހެއިޓީ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: ހައީތީ
- Currently used: ޖެމޭއިކާ
- Suggested: ޖަމޭކާ
- Currently used: ކޭމަން އައިލެންޑްސް
- Suggested: ކޭމަން ޖަޒީރާ
- Currently used: ކިޔުބާ
- Suggested: ކޫބާ
Turks and Caicos Islands
- Currently used: ޓާކްސް އެންޑް ކެއިކޯސް އައިލެންޑްސް
- Suggested: ތުރުކު އަދި ކައިކޯސް ޖަޒީރާ
- Currently used: ކޮސްޓަ ރީކާ
- Suggested: ކޮސްތަ ރީކާ
- Currently used: ހޮންޑިއުރާސް
- Suggested: ހޮންދޫރަސް
- Currently used: އެލް ސަލްވަޑޯރ
- Suggested: އެލް ސަލްވަދޮރު
- Currently used: ގުއަޓެމާލާ
- Suggested: ގުއަތެމާލާ
- Currently used: މެކްސިކޯ
- Suggested: މެހިކޯ
“the fly’s cheek”…
United Stated of America
- Currently used: ޔުނައިޓަޑް ސްޓޭޓްސް
- Suggested: އެމެރިކާ، އަމެރިކާ، އަމެރިކާގެ އެކުވެރި ދައުލަތްތައް (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: ކެނެޑާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: ކަނަޑާ
Based on the French pronunciation, since it’s closer to Dhivehi.
East and Southeast Asia
- Currently used: މޮންގޯލިއާ
- Suggested: މޮންގޮލިސްތާން
I am fine with the first one as well. The second is an (equally valid) alternative and is similar to the Persian name.
- Currently used: ޗައިނާ
- Suggested: ސީނުކަރަ، ސީނާ، ޗީނާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
I personally prefer ސީނާ or ޗީނާ. The latter is used in many Indian languages and is thought to be the origin of the English name.
- Currently used: ޑިމޮކްރޭޓތިކް ޕީޕަލްސް ރިޕަބްލިކް އޮފް ކޮރެއާ
- Suggested: އުތުރު ކޮރެއާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
Politics comes into play here as North Korea does not recognise the split of the Korean peninsula into north and south. Still, it is easier to say އުތުރު ކޮރެއާ than some unnecessarily long official name.
- Currently used: ރިޕަބްލިކް އޮފް ކޮރެއާ
- Suggested: ދެކުނު ކޮރެއާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: ޓައިވާން
- Suggested: ތައިވާން
Again, politics make thing confusing. The official name is the Republic of China. As such, Dhivehi Wikipedia uses ޖުމްހޫރީ ޗައިނާ but also mentions ޓައިވާން.
- Currently used: މަކާއޯ
- Suggested: މަކާއޫ، މަކާއު (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
I’m refraining from using the actual endonyms of these Chinese countries as there is no standard way of transliterating Chinese into Thaana. However, the local name for Macau is relatively simple. It could be އައޮމެން or އައޮމަން.
- Currently used: މިޔަންމާ
- Suggested: މިޔަމާ
I am ok with the first name too. If the old name were still used, I would suggest ބުރުމާ. Dhivehi Wikipedia uses ބަރުމާ.
- Currently used: ޕީޕަލްސް ޑިމޮކްރޭޓިކް ރިޕަބްލިކް އޮފް ލާއޯ
- Suggested: ލާއޯސް، ލާއޮސްތާން (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
The silent S is a result of un-intuitive French spelling conventions.
- Currently used: ތައިލެންޑް
- Suggested: ސިޔާމު (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
I’m ok with the way it is, but people should realise that the H means aspiration, not a dental sound. That is why in English it’s not pronounced like “thing”. The only reason I’m not suggesting ޓައިލަންޑް is because the sound is somewhere between ތ and ޓ.
- Currently used: ކެމްބޯޑިއާ
- Suggested: ކަންބުޖުދޭސް
From the Sanskrit name
- Currently used: ފިލިޕީންސް
- Suggested: ފިލިޕީން ޖަޒީރާ
- Currently used: މެލޭޝިޔާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: މެލޭސިއާ
- Currently used: ސިންގަޕޯރ
- Suggested: ސިންގަޕޫރު (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: އިންޑޮނީޝިޔާ
- Suggested: އިންޑޮނޭޝިޔާ، އިންޑޮނޭސިއާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
West, Central and South Asia
This is where the “Stan” countries are found, so I have no problems with most of the names used. (But apparently, Kazakhstan’s president doesn’t like it)
The few suggestions I have are as follows:
- Currently used: ޖޯޖިއާ
- Suggested: ގުރުޖިސްތާން
From the Persian name. However, it appears that the nation does not want other countries using anything that sounds like the Russian “Gruziya”. So perhaps ޖޫރުޖިއާ would be better.
- Currently used: އަރްމީނިއާ
- Suggested: ހަޔަސްތާން
From the endonym. The Persian based އަރުމީނިސްތާން would also be ok.
- Currently used: ޓަޖިކިސްތާން
- Suggested: ތަަޖިކިސްތާން، ތާޖީކިސްތާން
Oceania and Pacific Islands
I’m fine with many of the names used for the Pacific islands. In most cases the only problem is that އައިލޭންޑް needs to be changed to ޖަޒީރާ.
- Currently used: ޓީމޯ ލެސްޓޭ
- Suggested: އިރުމަތީ ތިމުރު
Timor means east. So East Timor means east east. Leste means east in Portuguese.
- Currently used: އޮސްޓްރޭލިއާ
- Suggested: އުސްތުރާލިއާ
Papua New Guinea
- Currently used: ޕައުޕާ ނިއުގީނިއާ
- Suggested: ޕަޕުއާ ނިއު ގިނީ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
Northern Mariana Islands
- Currently used: ނޮދާން މަރިއާނާ އައިލަންޑްސް
- Suggested: އުތުރު މަރިއާނާ ޖަޒީރާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: މާޝަލް އައިލެންޑްސް
- Suggested: މާޝަލް ޖަޒީރާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: ސޮލޮމޮން އައިލަންޑްސް
- Suggested: ސޮލޮމޮން ޖަޒީރާ، ސުލޭމާން ޖަޒީރާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: ފިޖީ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Suggested: ފީޖީ
- Currently used: ނިއު ކެލިޑޯނިއާ
- Suggested: ނިއު ކަލެދޯނިއާ
- Currently used: ނޯފޯކް އައިލެންޑް
- Suggested: ނޯފޯކް ޖަޒީރާ
Wallis and Futuna
- Currently used: ވޯލިސް އެންޑް ފުޓުނަ
- Suggested: ވާލީ އަދި ފުތޫނާ، ވާލީސް އަދި ފުތޫނާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: (not on map)
- Suggested: ތޮކެލާއު (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: އެމެރިކަން ސަމޯއާ
- Suggested: އަމްރީކީ ސަމޯއާ
- Currently used: ނިއޫ
- Suggested: ނިއުއޭ
- Currently used: ކޫކް އައިލަންޑްސް
- Suggested: ކުކް ޖަޒީރާ (used in Dhivehi Wikipedia)
- Currently used: ފްރެންޗް ޕޮލިނީސިއާ
- Suggested: ފަރަންސޭސި ޕޮލިނޭޝިއާ، ފަރަންސޭސި ޕޮލިނީސިއާ (used in Dhivehi WIkipedia)
- Currently used: ކިރިބަޓި
- Suggested: ކިރިބަސް
- Currently used: ޕިޓްކެއާން
- Suggested: ޕިޓްކޭން ޖަޒީރާ
The main purpose of this post was to suggest “corrections” for Dhivehi.mv’s map, but it was with the intention that these names would be used in everyday speech. The only way that will happen is if Maldivians drop the habit of copying everything from English. That would require the active participation of all Maldivians. But having these names in writing is a good start.