Maldivian is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 300,000 people in the Republic of Maldives where it is the official language of the country and in the island of Minicoy (Maliku) in neighbouring India where it is known as Mahl. Dhivehi is thought to be a descendent of Maharashtri, one of the Prakrit languages which developed from Sanskrit. Dhivehi is closely related to Sinhala. Many languages have influenced the development of Dhivehi through the ages, Arabic being one of the main ones. Others include Sinhala, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, French, Persian, Portuguese, and English.