The first part of the above title is self-explanatory:
You’re obviously going to learn the Sinhala names of crockery items like plate, bowl, and dish.
(Spoiler alert: You’ll also learn the typical crockery material such as glass, paper, and ceramic)
But now, how the hell does ceramic, of all things, make one speak better English?
Well, let me tell y’all a story…
My English was already “pretty good”
Growing up, at home we spoke English, so being fluent in English was not a problem for me.
I also had a healthy vocabulary because I was obsessed with reading English books. What’s more, thanks to my mother being an English teacher, my grammar was also at an above-average level.
So I guess I could say that my English was already “pretty good”.
However, turns out that the English I spoke was not the same as the English you might speak. Unfortunately for me, I learned this the hard way.
The “Ceramic” Incident of 2000
It was the year 2000 and a pimply faced 20-year old Dilshan had just enrolled at the International University of Monaco.
Sometime within the first week, I was in the cafeteria, super-excited to be seated at the same table as the cool kids.
One of them (who later went on to become a good buddy of mine), was asking me about Sri Lanka while the others listened. I was loving the attention.
Then, I have no idea what the question was and how we ended up there but I remember answering one of his questions with the word “ceramic”.
But here’s the thing. I pronounced it like this:
No one said anything. They just looked at each confused.
He asked me again and I replied:
Suddenly, one of them picked it out and said “Oh, you mean CERAMIC?”, pronouncing it differently to my version. This was soon followed by loud and hearty laughter from around the table.
Now, don’t get me wrong. They were not the bullying kind. The whole episode was just hilarious to them and today, I obviously see the funny side of it too.
However, at the time, the embarrassment cut deep and it caused me to rethink my style of speaking.
The changes I made (cue: Rocky Balboa training music)
Remember that scene in Rocky IV when he’s in the USSR and he’s training like a champion in the snowy mountains?
Yes, that was exactly how I was – Except, I was with a pen and pad, in the comfort of my room, next to the heater.
The first change I made was to slow…. it…. down.
I realized that we Sri Lankans spoke English at lightning speed. No wonder a simple family dinner at home sounds like an Eminem rap battle.
So I focused more on articulating each word better.
I then fixed my V’s and W’s (a common issue amongst my peeps) by consciously pausing before these problematic words in order to avoid saying “wery”, “wideo”, and “wending machine”.
And finally, only when was I was fully ready…
…I learned to pronounce my arch nemesis in the English vocabulary like this:
The happy ending (cue: Graduation music)
This work I did on myself paid off handsomely.
You see, 3 years later at our graduation ceremony when I got my MBA, I was asked to give a speech as the Class President to the hundreds of people in attendance.
It went well. It went realllly well and I think it was because:
- I spoke slowly and articulated well,
- I got my V’s and W’s right,
- when writing the speech I made damn sure that the blasted word “ceramic” didn’t show up anywhere.
Sinhala Words For “Plate”, “Dish”, “Bowl”, & Other Cutlery
Plate In Sinhala
|– a plate||– piňgaa∙nak|
|– plates||– piňgan|
My Random Notes:
1 If you want to say “side plate”, you could either say ‘side piňgaa∙nȧ’ or simply ‘side plate é∙kȧ’
|I dropped the plate||ma∙mȧ piňgaa∙nȧ væt∙tu∙wa|
|The plate fell||piňgaa∙nȧ væ∙tu∙na|
|This plate is dirty||mḗ piňgaa∙nȧ ki∙lu∙tuyi|
|This plate is not clean||mḗ piňgaa∙nȧ pi∙ri∙si∙dhu nǣ|
|This plate is too small||mḗ piňgaa∙nȧ po∙di væ∙diyi|
|This plate is too big||mḗ piňgaa∙nȧ lo∙ku væ∙diyi|
|This plate is cracked/broken||mḗ piňgaa∙nȧ kæ∙di∙la|
|Would (you) give me a plate?||ma∙tȧ piňgaa∙nak dhé∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?|
|How many plates do you need/want?||o∙yaa∙tȧ piňgan kee∙yak ō∙né∙dhȧ?|
Bowl & Dish In Sinhala
|– a bowl||– “bowl” é∙kak|
|– bowls||– “bowl”|
|– a dish||– dhee∙si∙yak|
|– dishes||– dhee∙si|
My Random Notes:
2 The proper Sinhala word for “bowl” is ‘paa∙thrȧ∙yȧ’
- You can substitute the above words with any of the phrases under “Plate in Sinhala” where appropriate.
Other stuff I’m not sure would fall under “Crockery in Sinhala” (but I threw in anyway just because it’s my blog and I can…)
My Random Notes:
2 The proper Sinhala word for “tray” is ‘ban∙dhḗ∙si∙yȧ’
- You can substitute the above words with any of the appropriate sample phrases you saw before
|paper / cardboard||“cardboard”5|
My Random Notes:
4 ‘mæ∙ti’ = “clay”; ‘piňgaa∙nȧ’ = “plate” (you saw this before); ‘piňgan’ = “of the plate” (as an adjective”); So the Sinhala word for “ceramic” is literally “plate clay”.
5 The correct word for “paper” is ‘ka∙dȧ∙dhaa∙si’ but in this context when referring to the material paper plates are made of, we’ll use “cardboard” instead
|This is a glass plate||mḗ∙kȧ vee∙dhu∙ru piňgaa∙nak|
|I want to buy a glass bowl||ma∙tȧ vee∙dhu∙ru “bowl” é∙kak gan∙nȧ ō∙né|
|I need a glass bottle||ma∙tȧ vee∙dhu∙ru bō∙thȧ∙lȧ∙yak a∙vash∙yayi|
Other Sinhala Words That You “Accidentally” Just Learned
|væt∙tu∙wa||“dropped” (as in, dropping something)|
|dhé∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?||“would (you) give?”|
|pi∙ri∙si∙dhu nǣ||“is not clean”|
|po∙di væ∙diyi||“is too small”|
|lo∙ku væ∙diyi||“is too big”|
|gan∙nȧ ō∙né||“want to get/buy”|
That’s all for now, folks!