“If only I could turn back time”…
Now that’s a line that gets thrown around a lot. Not just willy but also, umm… nilly.
But what does it really represent? Regret, right?
Ok, what if we got that opportunity to go back? Would we act any differently? I’d like to think “yes”, but then again, in the long-term, would we, mere creatures of old habits, revert to our usual ways and find ourselves in only a ‘slightly’ better situation today?
(As you can see, I do have a lot of time on my hands to sit in a café in Colombo with my laptop, gaze far away into the Indian ocean, and confuse the crap out of myself with my own thoughts)
Here’s what I’ve learned at the age of 34:
(Spoiler: it’s not going to be a ground-breaking discovery, it’s actually quite “duh”, especially for a 34 year old – BTW, younger LBSS readers, please tell Uncle Dilshan if it’s still cool to use “Duh”? Also, is it still cool to use “cool”?)
Of course we can fantasize for hours about how we would’ve done things differently…
How we would’ve spent more time with a loved one while they were with us. Or how we should’ve quit our shitty jobs and followed our dreams despite the crippling fear we felt. Or how we shouldn’t have worn that embarrassingly shiny reflective shirt to a wedding that forced the group photo to be taken without the flash…
But I don’t think it’s healthy to “live” in that spot for too long. Every time I catch myself dwelling on something of the past (and when I finally snap out of it), I notice 2 things:
But then, a couple of years ago, when discussing this with my brother, he advised me to “Take the LESSON, forget the EXPERIENCE”… a gem of a line considering all the dumb things he’s said in the past (like when watching an interview of the hip-hop artist Notorious B.I.G. who was killed, my brother said “I think this was filmed before he died”… Yeah, that’s the kind of Confucius we’re dealing with).
But I liked this particular advice of his.
And so today, whenever I get those “If I could just turn back time” sentiments, the stronger, more mature (and I’d like to think more handsome.. ahem) version of Dilshan doesn’t waste too much time reliving that regretful EXPERIENCE. Instead, I learn whatever LESSON I need to learn from it, promise myself that I’ll try not to let it happen again, and I move the f*** on, because life will go on whether I like it or not… and I don’t want to miss out on the awesome things that it has to offer.
And let’s face it, there are a lot of awesome things out there! :)
But I digress…
So let’s go onto the Sinhala learning part. Let me tell you what’s different about this post.
About This Post…
Forget 2 birds, I’ve designed this post in such a way that we’ll be killing MULTIPLE birds with one stone.
What You’ll Learn From This One Post:
- You’ll get your first taste of numbers in Sinhala. Not all of them but only 21 of them that I’ve shrewdly selected.
- You’ll learn how to say “Morning”, “Noon”, “Evening”, and “Night” in Sinhala
- You’ll learn how to say TIME in Sinhala
- And of course, you’ll learn how to tell the time in Sinhala (in case the title of this blog post didn’t give it away…)
My Lazy But Smart Approach To Telling The Time In Sinhala
By now, you know that I don’t go for perfection in this blog. I go for “good enough”.
That’s the same approach I’ve taken in this post.
For example, I’m not going to show you how tell them time when it’s 5.22 p.m. Instead, I’ll be focusing on the closest multiple of 5 (and so that would be 5.20 p.m.).
(You still have time to run away if perfect Sinhala is your thing. Don’t say I didn’t warn you..)
Still here? High five!
We’re going to use the example of 5.20 p.m. throughout this post. I’ve explained it below in the blue box:
STEP 1: The Word For TIME in Sinhala
STEP 2: The Words For AM & PM in Sinhala
The “proper” Sinhala words for AM is “pé∙rȧ∙vȧ∙ru” and PM is “pas∙varu”.
It’s almost never used when speaking Sinhala, and as you already know, this blog focuses on real-life conversational Sinhala. No time for “proper” Sinhala.
So how do we say AM & PM in day-to-day Sinhala?
We use the equivalent words for “Morning”, “Noon”, “Evening”, & “Night”.
“Morning”, “Noon”, “Evening”, & “Night” In Sinhala
But How Do I Know Which One To Use?!!
Disclaimer: There is no hard & fast rule for this (as far as I know) but you really can’t go wrong with the following guidelines.
|When to use…||Typically when the time is between…|
|Morning (‘u∙dhḗ’)||4.00 a.m. – before 12.00 noon|
|Noon (‘dha∙val’)||12.00 noon – before 4.00 p.m.|
|Evening (‘ha∙vȧ∙sȧ’)||4.00 p.m. – before 8.00 p.m.|
|Night (‘rǣ’)||8.00 p.m. – before 4.00 a.m.|
Note: Don’t worry about memorizing this table. No one’s going to look at you in a weird way if you miss an hour or so.
STEP 3: Reading The Hours In Sinhala
I don’t want you to memorize anything.
At the end of this post, I have something that should help you remember them through practice. So for now just breathe, relax, glance through the numbers 1-12, and let’s just single out 5 since we’ll need that to read “5.20 p.m.”
Numbers in Sinhala (1-12)
And the 4th and FINAL Step:
Step 4: Reading The Minutes In Sinhala
Once again, don’t you dare even think of memorizing any of the following. Just glance at the following table like how you’d do when you see someone attractive on the road but don’t want to come across as a pervy creep. Just take a quick look and move on.
Numbers in Sinhala (Increments of 5)
One More Quick Example Before The Bonus Section
How would you say “The time is 6.40 a.m.”?
- Step 1: The word for TIME in Sinhala, which is ‘vé∙laa∙vȧ‘
- Step 2: “a.m.” or “p.m”, which since it is
6.30 a.m.(Edit: corrected to ‘6.40 a.m.’) falls into the ‘u∙dhḗ‘ bracket
- Step 3: Looking up the HOUR, which in this case is ‘ha∙yayi‘ (6)
- Step 4: Looking up the MINUTE, which in this case is ‘ha∙thȧ∙li∙hayi‘ (40)
So we would read the time in Sinhala as… (drum roll please):
“vé∙laa∙vȧ u∙dhḗ ha∙yayi ha∙thȧ∙li∙hayi”
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