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Sinhala Phrases

There are two major native languages used in Sri Lanka The Sinhala spoken by the Sinhalese majority and Tamil language used by the Tamils. Both Sinhala and Tamil completly different languages and come from different roots however due to intermingling of the people both share some common characteristics and have influence on each other's linguistic evolution as well.

Sri Lanka having 99% literacy rate has a great understanding of English. The following phrases can be a good way to be polite and be more interested in the culture of Sri Lanka.

Basics Words

Hello : hello
Bye: aayu-bowan
Yes: owu
No: naeh
Please: karuna kara
Thank you: stuh-tee
Thank you very much : Bom stuh-tee
Excuse me: sama venna
Sorry: kana gaatui
How much is it?: ehekka keeyada?
What is your name?: oyaaghe nama mokka da?
My name is..: maaghe namaŽ

Getting Around

When does the next bus leave/arrive?: meelanga bas eka pitat venne/peminenne?
Boat: bohtuwa
Bus: bas eka
Train: koh-chiya
Plane: plane eka
I'd like a one way ticket: mata tani gaman tikat ekek ganna ohna
I'd like a return ticket: mata yam-eem tikat ekek ganna ohna
Train station: dumriya pala
Ferry terminal: totu pala
Where is that?:  at koheda?
Turn left/right: wamata/dakunata herenna
Far: durai
Near: lan-ghai

Basic words in a city

Bank: benkuwa
Pharmacy/Chemist: faamisiya
My hotel: mang inna hotalaya
Market: maakat eka
Post office: tepal kantohruwa

Useful Words

Big: loku
Small: podi, punchi
Help!: aaneh!/aayoh!/amboh!
Go away!: metanin yanna!
I am lost: mang ivarai/mang vinaasai


Bread: paan
Butter: batah
Coffee: koh-pi
Tea: te-eh
Sugar: seeni
Water: watura
Fruit: palaturu


1: eka
2: deka
3: tuna
4: hatara
5: paha
6: haya
7: hata
8: a-teh
9: navaya
10: dahaya

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