Who are the Sinhalese

The most important words for a trip to Sri Lanka

Contact local travel agency

If you arrive in Sri Lanka on your trip without knowing a word of English, you should have incredible Sinhala or Tamil learning skills. Good luck. So it can be worthwhile to brush up on your English skills.

The official languages

With an alphabet of 52 letters that have nothing to do with our Latin alphabet, Sinhala is one of the country's official languages, along with Tamil. When in doubt, and if you can only learn one language before traveling to Sri Lanka, it should be Sinhala. It is spoken by 75% of the population. The chance of being able to communicate with it is therefore greater than with Tamil, which is spoken by only 25% of Sri Lankans.

But it has to be honestly admitted that both languages ​​are quite complex to learn, and as far as they go beyond greetings and a few words of everyday life, you will find it very difficult to learn either of them.

But at least try to say "Hello": "Ayubowan" in Sinhala and "Vanakkan" in Tamil, and your hosts will appreciate your efforts. Learning to count can also be very useful, especially since it is not that difficult.

Move to English

You have to face the fact that despite your best efforts, you will not be able to have a conversation in Tamil or Sinhala. Fortunately, 15% of the population speak English. This is especially true for those who are in direct or indirect contact with tourists. So brush up on your English before you go, the Shakespeare language will certainly be of use to you at times. Don't expect the miracle of meeting a German-speaking Sri Lankan. You have no other alternatives to communicate with the locals. It would be a shame to miss wonderful encounters, especially since the Sri Lankans are usually very hospitable and enjoy talking to visitors. If you are unable to fill in any larger gaps, remember to bring a German-English dictionary with you.

Basic idioms / common expressions

GermanCinghalais
Good day good eveningAyubowan / Suba rathiyak way va
How are you?Kohomada sahpa saw neepa?
Good thanks and you?Sanee-penn innava, istouti
I understand / I don't understandMaṭa taeraenavaā / Mata thayrennay nehe
sorrySamaāva
Good-byeAyubowan
Good dayPaiḷaigaænaīmae
Many ThanksBohoma istouti
Excuse me pleaseMaṭa samaāvaenana / karauṇaākara
My name is...Magae nama
no thanksNéhé istouti
Yes NoOvou / Néhé
Here you goOyaāva saādarayaena paiḷaigananavaā

Trade / Buy

GermanCinghalais
How much does it cost?Kyede?
That is a good priceEya laābha taiyaenanae
It is too expensiveMilavedi!
Can you bring the price down?Oba aḍau mailaka haækai
I would like to buy thisMama mailadaī gaænaīmaṭa avaśaya
I like it / I don't like itMama ādarae / mama vaaira
moneyMaudala
Just browsing.Mama haeāyananae

Mode of Transport

GermanCinghalais
I want to go to ...Maṭa yanana kaæmatai ...
planeGauvana yaānayaka
boatBaeāṭaṭau
trainDaumaraiya
taxiTaækasai
busBasa
I want to rent a ...Mama kaulaiyaṭa gaænaīmaṭa avaśaya ...
motorcycleYataurau paædai
automobileMaeāṭara ratha
bicycleBayaisaikalayaka

Directions

GermanCinghalais
Where is ...? / How do I get to / to ...?Kaeāhaeda ...? / gaænaīmaṭa ākaāraya ...?
BankBaæṁkau
railway stationDaumaraiya sathaānaya
City centerNagara madhayayae
hotelHaeāṭala
hospitalRaeāhalae
Is it far?Samaīpa / daura?
straightHaraiyaṭama idairaiyaena
Left RightVama / ayaitaiya
North South West EastUtaurau / dakauṇau / ya / kaeāhaeda

numbers

GermanCinghalais
one two three four five six seven eight nine tenEka, deka, tuna, hatara, paha, haya, hata, ata, navaya, dahaya
twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixtyVaisai, taisa, hataḷaisa, panahaka, haæṭa
seventy, eighty, ninetyHaætataǣ, asaū, anaū
HundredSiya

Times / date and days

GermanCinghalais
What time is it?Vaelaāva kaīyada?
When?Kavadaā there?
YesterdayIyae
Today (tomorrow / noon / evening)Ada (ada udaǣsana / dahavala / savasa)
tomorrowHaeṭa
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday SundaySandaudaa, angaharauvaadaa, badaadaa, barahasapatainadaa, saikauraadaa, saenasauraadaa, iraidaa
I'm on vacation hereMaā naivaāḍauvaeya / saṁcaāraka
I am here to workMama vaaeda sandahaa maa maehai / vayaapaara samcaaraya

To table!

GermanCinghalais
I'm hungry / I'm thirstyMaṭa baḍagainaiyai / maṭa taibahayai
Good AppetiteOyaagae ahaara vaela rasavaindainana
Bottom up!Palavaenai haetauva!
It was great!Eya itaā rasaya!
What do you recommend?Oba maeānavaāda raekamadaārau karananae?
I'm vegetarianMama nairamaāṁśa vaemai
Not sharp! (I don't like it spicy)Kauḷau baḍau taeārava
It is too hot!E sandahaa baeahaea unausauma!
I have an allergyMaṭa āsaātamaikayai
seafoodMauhaudau āhaāra
peanutsRaṭakajau
glutenGalaūṭana
I take / I would like to haveMama kaæmataiyai
waterJalaya
Tea / coffeeTae / kaeāpai
Beer WineBaiyara / vayaina
The Bill pleaseMaīṭa amatarava, karauṇaākara

Health / Emergency / Safety

GermanCinghalais
I have to see a doctorMama daeāsatara balanana ōnae
Call a doctor / ambulanceVaedayavarayaekau amatanana / gailana ratha
Where is the hospital?raeāhala yanau?
I do not feel goodSanee-pa na-tha
I am in pain hereMama maetana karadara
Where are the restrooms?Adaāḷa vaæsaikaiḷai kaeāhaeda?
Help!Udava!
policePaealaisa
dangerAnataura
I've lost my wayMama ataramaṁ vaelaā

Other

GermanCinghalais
Good day !Sauba davasaka!
408 posts
Updated October 8, 2018
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