Maldivian (also kwn as Divehi) is spoken on the Maldive Islands located off the southwest tip of India in the Indian Ocean. It is an Indo-Aryan language, formerly written in a script resembling Sinhalese script. After the islands became exclusively Islamic, it was found convenient to design a script reading from right to left, so that Arabic words could be accommodated in Maldivian sentences. An official scheme of roman transliteration for Maldivian was adopted by the Maldive government in the 1970s. This Maldivian-English Dictionary consists of 5000 individual entries.
Christopher Reynolds received his BA degree in 1948 from Oxford University. He was Lecturer in Sinhalese at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, between 1953-87. After spending four months in the capital city of Male, he made a special study of the Maldivian language (Dihevi) in 1967, before the country was generally open to foreigners.