Basic Phrases of the Sinhalese Language

Sri Lanka, a tiny pear shaped island in the Indian Ocean, is considered the emerald pendant of the Indian subcontinent. At only 65,000 square kilometers in terms of area, Sri Lanka has a population of around 18.5 million.

With warm agreeable weather, Sri Lanka is an alluring tourist destination with hills that allow for rock climbing; waters that welcome snorkeling and some breathtaking beaches.

Sri Lanka has a well-documented history and is a potpourri of influences including the most recent Portuguese, Dutch and English. A majority of Sri Lankans are Buddhists. The Sinhalese community forms the majority of the population; the Tamils are the largest ethnic group.

Sinhalese is the dominant language in the country. So, quickly memorize some of the basic words that you are likely to hear before you board the flight to the picturesque Sri Lanka.


Hello --- Hello
Good morning, Good afternoon, Good evening, Good Night --- Ayubowan 

Basics Phrases

Yes --- Owu
No --- Naeh
Please --- Karuna kara
Thank you --- Stuh-tee
Excuse me --- Sama venna
Sorry --- kana Gaatui


Bread --- Paan
Butter --- Batah
Coffee --- Koh-pi
Tea --- Te-eh
Sugar --- Seeni
Water --- Watura
Fruit --- Palaturu

Small Talk

What’s your name? --- Oyaaghe nama mokka’da?
My name is... --- Maaghe nama…


Turn left --- Wamata
Right --- Dakunata herenna
Far --- Durai
Near --- lan-gha


Boat --- Bohtuwa
Bus --- Bas eka
Train --- Koh-chiya
Plane --- Plane eka

While Travelling

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 the office? --- Office koheda?


One --- Eka
Two --- Deka
Three --- Tuna
Four --- Hatara
Five --- Paha
Six --- Haya
Seven --- Hata
Eight --- A-teh
Nine --- Navaya
Ten --- Dahaya

Days of the Week

Monday --- Saduda
Tuesday --- Agaharuvaada
Wednesday --- Badada
Thursday --- Brahaspatindaa
Friday --- Sikuraadaa
Saturday --- Senasuraadaa
Subday --- Iridaa

A Few Other Handy Words / Phrases

How much is it? --- Ehekka keeyada?
Bank --- Benkuwa
Pharmacy / Chemist --- Faamisiya
My hotel --- Mang inna hotalaya
Market --- Maakat eka
Post office --- Tepal kantohruwa
Help --- Aaneh
I’m lost --- Mang ivarai

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