Lankarus English-Sinhala Phrasebook

A warm and sincere friendship between the peoples of different countries of the world and Sri Lanka has always been there. In recent years, after the civil war in Sri Lanka, again tourists have had the opportunity to rediscover an amazing, fabulous and friendly country. Everywhere on the globe there is a new wave of interest in the culture, traditions and customs of Sri Lanka. There is a great surge of interest in studying Sinhalese language. Unfortunately, the national school of Sinhalistics has a limited number of sources, through which it is possible to comprehend the most beautiful and unique language of Sinhalese, the main nationality inhabiting the island of Sri Lanka.

Singalese language is really unique. We can safely talk about the parallel existence of two languages on the island — a literary (scripts and book) form and a spoken language. In this regard, travelers from abroad, who have even a good knowledge of Sinhalese in its literary form there are significant problems in communication with the Sinhala-speaking population. So great are the differences of these two forms. I experienced such difficulties of understanding myself. Once I decided to make a series of thematic mini-phrasebooks for foreign speaking travelers on the basis of spoken Sinhalese language in order to facilitate mutual understanding.

Quite often one hears the opinion that the Sinhalese script is rather complicated. This is definitely not the case. But given the different level of training for users of this work, I decided to state the Sinhalese part of the mini-phrase book in Latin transliteration.

Before you, the first issue of a mini-phrase book, which, like the whole Lankarus team hopes, can be useful to you on your journey. Enjoy your acquaintance with Sri Lanka, a land like no other!

Yours sincerely, Sergius Pedde.
Lankarus Lanka Private Limited

Rules of reading the Latin transliteration of the Sinhala part in the phrase book:

é — impact sound close to «e» in «help»
ḗ — impact sound close to «e», is approximately twice as long as é
ȧ — short sound «a», in the pronunciation of which the language is in the position for pronouncing the English «e» sound in «bat». The average sound between «a» and «e» is reproduced
æ — sound similar to English in the words «cat», «flat». When pronouncing the tip of the tongue touches the lower teeth, and the back of the tongue is raised to the palate.
ǣ — the same sound as the previous one, but approximately twice as long as the sound.
ň — nasal sound «n». The back of the tongue is pressed against the upper palate, and the sound is pronounced in the nose. The sound is similar to English in words «long», «strong»
aa — long sound «a», similar to a similar percussion «a» in English the word «but»
ee — long sound «and», similar to a similar percussion «and» in English the word «fee
w — gum-dental sound «w». When it is pronounced, the lower lip slides slightly over the upper front row of teeth. Distantly this sound is similar to English in the words «switch», «twelve»

Country: where are you from

Where are you from (verbatim: What is your country)?
Oyaagé ratȧ mokakdȧ?

I am from [Sri Lanka / Italy]
Magé ratȧ [Shree Lankaavȧ / Italiyavȧ]

What country are you from?
Oyaa monȧ raténdȧ?

What country is he / she from?
éyaa énné monȧ raténdȧ?

Are you from [Sri Lanka / Russia?]
Oyaa [Shree Lankaavén / Rusiayavén]∙dȧ?

I am from [Sri Lanka / India]
Mamȧ [Shree Lankaavén / Indiyavén]

I came from [Sri Lanka / Italy]
Mamȧ énné [Shree Lankaavén / Italiyavén]

Where [ in Sri Lanka / in Italy do you live?
Oyaa Shree Lankaavé / Italiyavé padhinchi vélaa inné kohédȧ?

I live in the north/ south / east / west
Mamȧ padinchi vélaa inné uthuré / dakuné / nægénȧhiré / basnaahiré

This place is located north / south / east / west to [Colombo / Berlin]
ḗkȧ tiyénné [Kolȧmbȧ / Berlin]∙tȧ uturin / dakunin / nægénȧhirin / batȧhirin

Do you live far away from your country capital?
Oyaa padhinchi vélaa inné oyaagé ratḗ agȧnuwȧrȧ laňgȧdȧ?

Note: if the interlocutor is your close friend, then the official name of the country 'Shree Lankaavȧ' can be reduced to 'Lankaavȧ'

Nationality and Place of birth

What is your nationality?
Oyaa monȧ ratḗ jaatikȧyékdȧ?

In which country were you born?
Oyaa ipȧduné monȧ ratḗdȧ?

Are you [Sri Lankan / German]?
Oyaa [Shree Lankaavé / Jarmaniyavé] ékkénékdȧ?

Yes, I am [Sri Lankan / German]
Ow, mamȧ [Shree Lankaavé / Jarmaniyavé] ékkénék

No, I am not a [Sri Lankan / Russian]
Nǣ, mamȧ [Shree Lankaavé / Rusiyavé] ékkénék néméyi

He / she is a [Sri Lankan / British]
éyaa [Shree Lankaavé / Britaniyavé] ékkénék

My parents are from [Sri Lanka / the Ukraine]
Magé démawpiyo [Shree Lankaavén / Yukreniyavén]

Note: the literary phrase «Oyaa monȧ ratḗ jaatikȧyékdȧ?» denotes both nationality and citizenship. If necessary, it requires an explanation of nationality.

In the country

I am from [Sri Lanka / Italy], but I live [in Italy / in Sri Lanka]
Mamȧ [Shree Lankaavén / Italiyavén], ḗhet mamȧ padhinchi vélaa inné [Italiyavé / Shree Lankaavé]

I used to live [in Sri Lanka / in India]
Mamȧ [Shree Lankaavé / Indiyavé] jeevat vélaa thiyénȧva

I used to stay [in Sri Lanka / in America] for a long time
Mamȧ [Shree Lankaavé / Amerikavé] godak kal iňdhȧla innȧva

I have not been for a long time [in Sri Lanka / in China]
Mamȧ échchȧrȧ kal [Shree Lankaavé / Chiniyavé] iňdhȧla nǣ

After [Sri Lanka / India], the best place on Earth is my country
[Shree Lankaavȧtȧ / Indiyvȧtȧ] passé, lōkȧyé jeevat vélaa innȧ eelaňgȧ hoňdȧmȧ ratȧ magé ratȧ

Which country would you like to live in?
Oyaa monȧ ratḗ jeevat vénnȧ aasȧdȧ?

Note: instead of the question word 'aasȧdȧ' («like», «wish»), you can use the question form 'kæmȧthidȧ', which also means 'like', 'wish'. The difference between the two words is that 'aasȧdȧ' has some shade of unattainability of the goal, of the result.

People and country: lets get to know each other better.

How many people live in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ minissu keedénék innȧvadȧ?

What is the population of your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ janȧgahanȧyȧ keeyȧdȧ?

In my country people are very friendly
Magé ratḗ minissu hari yaaluyi

[In Australia / in Sri Lanka] there are very few people from [Sri Lanka / Russia]
[Ostreliyavé / Shree Lankaavé] [Shree Lankaavé / Ostreliyavé] minissu hari tikȧ dénék innȧva

[In Russia / in Sri Lanka] there live a lot of people from [Sri Lanka / Russia]
[Rusiyavé / Shree Lankaavé] [Shree Lankaavé / Rusiyavé] minissu hari godȧ dénék innȧva

Climate and weather

What is the climate like in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ dḗshȧgunȧyȧ koyi vagḗdȧ?

Is it very cold in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ godak seetȧlȧdȧ?

My country is very large and has a diverse climate
Magḗ ratȧ hari loku hinda ékȧ ékȧ jaatiyé dhḗshȧgunȧ tiyénȧva

What is the weather like in your country these days?
Oyaagé ratḗ mḗ davasvȧlȧ kaalȧgunȧyȧ kohomȧdȧ?

At this time in my country are rains
Mḗ davasvȧlȧ magḗ ratḗ vahinȧva

These days it's hot in my country
Mḗ davasvȧlȧ magḗ ratḗ rasnéyi

Let's talk about food
What do you eat in your country? What kind of food is there in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ monȧ jaatiyé kǣmȧ thiyénȧvadȧ?

What do people in Sri Lanka / Italy eat?
Shree Lankaavé / Italiyavé minissu kanné monȧvadȧ?

What is the typical dish in Sri Lanka / in Russia?
Shree Lankaavȧtȧ / Rusiyavȧtȧ aavḗnika kǣmȧ jaatiyȧ mokakdȧ?

What do people usually eat in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ minissu saamaanyȧyén hæmȧdaamȧ kanné mokakdȧ?

What would you advise me of the dishes of your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ kǣmȧ vȧlin mamȧ kaala balannȧ onȧ kæmȧ jaatiyȧ mokakdȧ?

What is the most famous / popular dish in your country?
Oyaagé ratȧ prȧsiddhȧ monȧ kǣmȧ vȧlȧtȧdȧ?

In your native village what is the most popular dish?
Oyaagé upan gamȧ prȧsiddhȧ monȧ kǣmȧ vȧlȧtȧdȧ?
What do you think about the cuisine of Sri Lanka / India?
Oyaa [Shree Lankaavé / Indiyavé] kǣmȧ gænȧ hitanné mokakdȧ?

Note: Sri Lanka is mainly an agrarian country, the majority of the population lives in villages and small towns. Therefore, the expression «upan gamȧ» («native village») will be quite appropriate.
An expression using «hæmȧdaamȧ» means everyday food.

Languages ​​

What language is spoken in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ kataa kȧrȧnȧ bhaashaavȧ mokakdȧ (monȧvadȧ)?

In my country we speak English / Sinhala
Magé ratḗ api [iňgrisi / sinhala] bhaashaavȧ kataa kȧrȧnȧva

What is the most important language in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ prȧdhaanȧmȧ bhaashaavȧ mokakdȧ?

How many languages ​​are spoken in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ bhaashaa keeyak kataa kȧrȧnȧvadȧ?

Sports and leisure

What is the most popular sport in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ janappriyȧmȧ kreedaavȧ mokakdȧ (monȧvadȧ)?

What is the national sport in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ jaatikȧ kreedaavȧ mokakdȧ?

How do people in your country have a rest?
Oyaagé ratḗ minissu vivḗkȧyȧtȧ kȧranné mokakdȧ?

[Sri Lanka] has the best cricket team
[Shree Lankaavȧ]∙tȧ lōkȧyé hoňdȧmȧ krikȧt kandaayȧmȧ tiyénȧva


Where is your country located?
Oyaagé ratȧ tiyénné kohédȧ?

Is it far from [Sri Lanka / the Ukraine]?
ḗkȧ [Shree Lankaavȧtȧ / Yukreniyavȧtȧ] laňgȧdȧ?

Do you know where Sri Lanka / India is?
Oyaa [Shree Lankaavȧ / Indiyavȧ] tiyénné kohédȧ kiyȧla dannȧvadȧ?

What countries does your country border on?
Oyaagé ratȧ laňgȧ tiyénȧ anit ratȧval monȧvadȧ?

My area is twice as big as Sri Lanka
Magé pradeshiya Shree Lankaavȧ taram dégunȧyak lokuyi

My city is half as big as Colombo / Berlin
ma ∙ gé upan nagaraya [Kolȧmbȧ / Berlin] nagarayé baagȧyak taram lokuyi

Which city is the capital of your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ agȧnuwȧrȧ mokakdȧ?


Is it expensive to live there?
éhé jeevat vénnȧ loku viyȧdhȧmak yanȧvadȧ?

Things in your country are more expensive?
Oyaagé ratḗ badu meetȧ vædiyȧ ganandȧ?

What is your average salary of people in the country?
Saamanyȧyén oyaagé ratḗ minissungé padi keeyȧdȧ?

What is the usual lease (rent) in your country?
Saamanyȧyén oyaagé ratḗ géval kuli keeyȧdȧ?

How much does a house usually cost in your country?
Saamanyȧyén oyaagé ratḗ géval vȧlȧ ganan keeyȧdȧ?

How much do products in your country usually cost?
Saamanyȧyén oyaagé ratḗ kǣmȧ gaanȧ keeyȧdȧ?

What is your country's currency?
Oyaagé ratḗ paavichchi kàrȧnȧ mudal jaatiyȧ mokakdȧ?

What is the best local product you will advise me?
Matȧ méhén géniyannȧ puluwan hoňdȧmȧ baduwȧ mokakdȧ?
What are the taxes in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ badhu kohomȧdȧ?

Holidays, Traditions

Which of the holidays is the most worth seeing?
Balannȧ tiyénȧ hoňdȧmȧ jaatikȧ utsȧvȧ monȧvadȧ?

Do you have such a tradition in the country?
Mēkȧ oyaagé ratḗ chaaritrȧyakdȧ?

Religion and Politics

What religions are represented in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ tiyénȧ aagam monȧvadȧ?

What is the political system of your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ tiyénȧ dḗshȧpaalȧnȧ krȧmȧyȧ mokakdȧ?

Who is the head of your state?
Oyaagé ratḗ naayȧkȧya kawudȧ?

Country Background

What is your favorite country?
Oyaagé aasȧmȧ ratȧ mokakdȧ?

Do you like Sri Lanka / Afrika?
Oyaa [Shree Lankaavȧtȧ / Aprikaavȧtȧ] kæmȧtidȧ?

What do you like most about your country?
Oyaagé ratȧ gænȧ oyaa aasamȧ déyȧ mokakdȧ?

I like my country because [...]
Mamȧ magé ratȧtȧ aasȧ [...] hinda

Where is your favorite place in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ oyaa aasamȧ thænȧ mokakdȧ (monȧvadhȧ)?

What is your country famous for?
Oyaagé ratȧ prȧsiddhȧ mokȧtȧdȧ?

My country is known [...]
Magḗ ratȧ prȧsiddhȧ [...] vȧlȧtȧ

This is a beautiful country
Mḗkȧ lassȧnȧ ratak

What are the differences between Sri Lanka and India?
Shree Lankaavayi Indiyaavayi atȧrȧ vénȧsȧ mokakdȧ?

Traveling and getting tips

Do you think I should visit your country?
Mamȧ oyaagé ratȧ balanna yannȧ ōné kiyȧla hithénȧvadȧ?

What can I do there?
Matȧ éhé kȧrannȧ puluwan mokakdȧ?

What can you see in your country?
Oyaagé ratḗ balanna tiyénné mokakdȧ?

What do I need to do when I arrive in your country?
Oyaagé ratȧtȧ giyaamȧ mamȧ kȧrannȧmȧ ōnȧ déyȧ mokakdȧ?

What should I absolutely not do when I come to your country?
Oyaagé ratȧtȧ giyaamȧ mamȧ nokȧlȧ yutumȧ déyȧ mokakdȧ?

In what towns / cities should I be to see?
Oyaagé ratḗ mamȧ balannamȧ ōnȧ nagȧrȧval monȧvadȧ?

What places should I visit in Sri Lanka / in India
[Shree Lankaavé / Indiyavé] mamȧ balannȧ yannȧ ōnȧ thaen monȧvadȧ?

What is the best time to visit your country?
Oyaagé ratȧtȧ yannȧ hoňdȧ kaalȧyȧ mokakdȧ?

The best time to travel is spring / summer / autumn / winter
Yannȧ hoňdȧmȧ kaalȧyȧ vasantȧ / gimhaanȧ / sarat / sisirȧ kaalȧyȧ

Plan your trip

In which country are you going to go?
Oyaa yanné monȧ ratȧtȧdȧ?

I'm going to Sri Lanka / to Britain
Mamȧ [Shree Lankaavȧtȧ / Britaniyavȧtȧ] yanȧva

I'm going to Sri Lanka and then to India
Mamȧ Shree Lankaavȧtȧ gihilla eetȧ passé Indiyaavȧtȧ yanȧva

What countries have you visited?
Oyaa monȧ ratȧval vȧlatȧ gihilla tiyénȧvadȧ?

When will you arrive in Sri Lanka / India?
Oyaa [Shree Lankaavȧtȧ / Indiyavȧtȧ] énné kavȧdadȧ?

Departure from the country

What do you remember about my country (what did my country give you)?
Magé ratȧtȧ aavé mokȧkȧtȧdȧ?

What do you think first of all about my country?
Magé ratȧ gænȧ kalin dhænȧgénȧ hitiyé mokakdȧ?

How did you come to Sri Lanka / India?
Oyaa [Shree Lankaavȧtȧ / Indiyavȧtȧ] aavé kohomȧdȧ?

How long will you be here?
Oyaa kochchȧrȧ kal innȧvadȧ?

I wish you a pleasant vacation!
Mamȧ oyaatȧ subȧ nivaaduwak praarthȧnaa kȧrȧnȧva!
I will soon leave Sri Lanka / Russia
Mamȧ laňgȧdimȧ [Shree Lankaavén / Rusiyavén] yanȧva

I'm leaving [Sri Lanka / Germany] in a few days
Mamȧ davas tikȧkin [Shree Lankaavén / Jarmaniyavén] yanȧva

I'm leaving [Sri Lanka / India] tomorrow
Mamȧ hétȧ [Shree Lankaavén / Indiyavén] yanȧva

I'm leaving [Sri Lanka / India] in a week
Mamȧ satiyȧkin [Shree Lankaavén / Indiyavén] yanȧva

I will return to Sri Lanka / India again
Mamȧ [Shree Lankaavȧtȧ / Indiyavȧtȧ] aapasu yanȧva

See you (again: come again)!
Aayith énnȧ!

How long have you been here?
Oyaa méhé kochchȧrȧ kal hitiyadȧ?

Note: Instead of 'aavé' you can say 'gaman kȧlé', which means 'arrived', 'traveled'

Return to Homeland

When do you return to your country?
Oyaa oyaagé ratȧtȧ aapahu yanné kavȧdadȧ?

When was the last time you were in your country?
Oyaa oyaagé ratȧtȧ antimȧtȧ giyé kavȧdadȧ?

How many times a year do you return to your homeland?
Oyaa awuruddȧkȧtȧ kee særȧyak oyaagé ratȧtȧ aapasu yanȧvadȧ?

Do you miss home (your home country)?
Oyaatȧ oyaagé ratȧ 'miss' vénȧvadȧ?

I miss my home (my country)
Matȧ magé ratȧ 'miss' vénȧva

Invite to visit

You must visit my country
Oyaa magé ratȧ balannȧ énnȧ ōné

You must come to visit me some day
Oyaa kavȧda hari maavȧ balannȧ énnȧ ōné

Have you been to our country?
Oyaa magé ratȧtȧ ævilla tiyénȧvadȧ?

My family would be very glad to meet you some day, if you come
Magé pawula godak kæmȧthi véyi oyaa kavȧda hari apit ékkȧ innȧ aavot

This mini-phrase book is the development and object of intellectual property of Lankarus. Reprint without notice is prohibited. In matter of the reprint, notify the administration of Lankarus.


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