“Dilshan, how do you say I love you in Sinhala?”
Now, here’s a question that I’ve been asked a number of times from my non-Sri Lankan friends.
And surprise surprise, it’s always been from the girls.
This is not me being sexist. This is me giving you the facts.
But here’s the interesting part…
It’s not like these girls had a Sri Lankan love interest and thought that this might be a cool way to impress this person (yeah, that always works..).
No, they were just interested to know it… just for the sake of knowing it (huh?).
It’s almost like they’re going around collecting “I Love you’s” in different languages. Probably the same way I go around sampling Big Macs in different countries…
My girlfriend is not Sri Lankan. Ask her how to say “I’m hungry” or “Where is the bathroom?” in Sinhala and she won’t have a clue. Ask her how to say I love you in Sinhala and she’ll say it perfectly and even throw in a couple of different ways of saying it.
I don’t understand this fascination…
Anyway, here it is:
I love you in Sinhala
ma∙mȧ o∙yaa∙tȧ aa∙dhȧ∙réyi
(ma∙mȧ = “I”; o∙yaa∙tȧ = “to/towards you”; aa∙dhȧ∙réyi = “(am) loving”)
But then I thought, why stop at giving you just the words for I love you in Sinhala?
Why not arm you ladies with an arsenal of romantic Sinhala lines that will bug the crap out of my Sri Lankan brethren (my apologies in advance).
But note that the expressions below are gender neutral, which means that these can be also said by a guy to a girl, a guy to a guy, or a girl to a girl, regardless of what your orientation may be. It’s all the same love and therefore, the same expressions.
So in addition to I love you in Sinhala, here are 7 more mega-cheesy romantic Sinhala lines for you to use on that special someone who gives you that warm lovey-dovey feeling.
And no, they have not been ranked according to cheesiness.
1 – Variations of I love you in Sinhala
“I love you a lot”
ma∙mȧ o∙yaa∙tȧ go∙dak aa∙dhȧ∙réyi
(go∙dak = “a lot”)
“I love you even more than my life”
ma∙mȧ o∙yaa∙tȧ ma∙gé pa∙nȧ∙tath va∙daa aa∙dhȧ∙réyi
(ma∙gé pa∙nȧ∙tath= “even my life”; va∙daa = “more than”)
“Do you love me?”
o∙yaa ma∙tȧ aa∙dhȧ∙réyi∙dhȧ?
[o∙yaa = “you”; ma∙tȧ = “to/towards me”; aa∙dhȧ∙réyi∙dhȧ? = “(are) loving?”]
(For best results, use this last line every hour. Guys just luuurve being asked this…)
2 – Variations of “I’m thinking of you”
“I’m thinking of you”
ma∙mȧ o∙yaa gæ∙nȧ hi∙thȧ∙nȧ∙va
(o∙yaa gæ∙nȧ = “about you”; hi∙thȧ∙nȧ∙va = “thinking”)
“I’m always thinking of you”
ma∙mȧ o∙yaa gæ∙nȧ hæ∙mȧ this∙sé∙mȧ hi∙thȧ∙nȧ∙va
(hæ∙mȧ this∙sé∙ma = “always”;
“I’m always remembering you” / “You often cross my mind”
ma∙tȧ o∙yaa∙vȧ ni∙thȧ∙rȧ∙mȧ ma∙thak vé∙nȧ∙va
(ma∙tȧ = “for me”; o∙yaa∙vȧ ma∙thak vé∙nȧ∙va = “remembering you”; ni∙thȧ∙rȧ∙mȧ = “often/always”)
3 – Variations of “I miss you”
“I miss you”
ma∙tȧ o∙yaa∙vȧ ‘miss’ vé∙nȧ∙va
(ma∙tȧ = “for me”; o∙yaa∙vȧ ‘miss’ vé∙nȧ∙va = “miss you” (‘miss’ is borrowed from English);
“I miss you a lot”
ma∙tȧ o∙yaa∙vȧ go∙dak ‘miss’ vé∙nȧ∙va
(go∙dak = “a lot”)
4 – “My heart belongs only to you”
ma∙gé ha∙dhȧ∙vȧ∙thȧ ayi∙thi o∙yaa∙tȧ vi∙thȧ∙rayi
(ma∙gé = “my”; ha∙dhȧ∙vȧ∙thȧ = “heart”; ayi∙thi = “belongs”; o∙yaa∙tȧ = “to you”; vi∙thȧ∙rayi = “only”)
Some might replace ha∙dhȧ∙vȧ∙thȧ with hi∙thȧ, although strictly speaking, hi∙thȧ means “mind”. Also note, this is something you’re bound to hear in any romantic Sinhala movie.
5 – “You are my life / gold / treasure”
o∙yaa ma∙gé pa∙nȧ / rath∙thȧ∙ran / vas∙thu∙wȧ
(o∙yaa = “you” (informal); ma∙gé= “my” ; pa∙nȧ= “life” / rath∙thȧ∙ran= “gold” / vas∙thu∙wȧ = “treasure”)
These really are from the top shelf of cheesiness. But believe it or not, I’ve heard each of these lines being used. This last one (vas∙thu∙wȧ), I overheard a guy say it to his girlfriend in a bus in Colombo. I was like “Dude, really? In public?”
6 – “I like you” / “I am interested in you”
ma∙mȧ o∙yaa∙tȧ kæ∙mȧ∙thi
(ma∙mȧ = “I”; o∙yaa∙tȧ = “to/towards you”; kæ∙mȧ∙thi = “like/interested”)
This one’s for those of you who are early in the relationship, and obviously recognize that maybe I love you in Sinhala is a bit over the top (actually, this might be true in any language)
… And you thought I forgot about you lot.
7 – Pet names to call each other
pæ∙ti∙ya / pæ∙ti∙yo
(pæ∙ti∙ya / pæ∙ti∙yo = name given to any type of baby animal. For example: an adult cat is called poo∙sa, and a baby cat (kitten) is called poos pæ∙ti∙ya)
Although these names sound like one is feminine and the other masculine, this is not necessarily the case. Either one can be used for either gender.
As it is with English, although it’s primary meaning is “baby”, it can be used is a romantic context (not very often though) when speaking to your partner. But unlike in English, not every Sinhala love song has ba∙baa in it…
There, my job is done!
I know I’ve just created hell for myself because in addition to I love you in Sinhala, I’ve given my girlfriend plenty of lines to annoy me with for months to come.
But in all sincerity, I’ll admit that somewhere deep down underneath my grimaces and the layers of ‘cringiness’ inside, there’s a part of me that actually likes it when she brings this element of romance into the relationship.
Be it through words like these, gestures, romantic notes, personalized birthday cards, whatever…. they all make me feel that much more special and loved.
(But just don’t tell her that I told you this… The last thing I need is for her to see this as encouragement).
Do you have something specific that you wanted to say to your Sinhala speaking Partner in addition to just I love you in Sinhala? Put it in the comments below and let’s try to find the best translation of it in Sinhala.
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