LBSS 08: The Language You Speak [AUDIO TUTORIAL]


Lazy But Smart Sinhala Podcast - Session 8

In this 8th session, we look at some easy ways to talk in Sinhala about the language you speak.

Click on the following link to see the full catalog of the LBSS Podcast so far.

In this session we’ll specifically learn how to:

  • Create present-tense sentences using “doing”
  • Create present-tense sentences using “speaking”
  • Tell someone the language you speak (e.g. “I speak English”)
  • Ask someone if they speak a specific language (e.g.“Do you speak English?”)

And yes, we will do the usual sample dialogue and the Q&A session at the end.


(Click on the video below to watch the Video Tutorial version of this post):

Sinhala Video Tutorial - Ep-05


Right-click the link to download the Language List in Sinhala


Key Sinhala Words and Phrases Used In This Session

Section 1: Present-Tense Sentences Using “Doing”




ma∙mȧ   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“I (am) doing”
o∙yaa   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“You (are) doing”
é∙yaa   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“He/she (is) doing”
‘Ricky’   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“Ricky (is) doing”
o∙bȧ   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“You(fml) (are) doing”
o∙yaa∙la   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“You(pl) (are) doing”
é∙yaa∙la   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“They (are) doing”
a∙pi   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“We (are) doing”
o∙bȧ∙la   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“You(fml;pl) (are) doing”


Section 2: Present-Tense Sentences Using “Speaking”


væ∙dȧ“work” (noun)
væ∙dȧ  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“working”
paa∙dam“studies/lessons” (noun)
paa∙dam  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“studying”
ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“speaking”


ma∙mȧ   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“I (am) speaking”
o∙yaa   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“You (are) speaking”
é∙yaa   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“He/she (is) speaking”
‘Ricky’   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“Ricky (is) speaking”
o∙bȧ   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“You(fml) (are) speaking”
o∙yaa∙la   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“You(pl) (are) speaking”
é∙yaa∙la   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“They (are) speaking”
a∙pi   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“We (are) speaking”
o∙bȧ∙la   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“You(fml;pl) (are) speaking”



Section 3: Tell Someone The Language You Speak




ma∙mȧ   in∙gree∙si   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“I (am) speaking English” / “I speak English”
o∙yaa   in∙gree∙si   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“You (are) speaking English” / “You speak English”
é∙yaa   in∙gree∙si   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“He/she (is) speaking English” / “He/she speaks English”
‘Ricky’   in∙gree∙si   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va“Ricky (is) speaking English” / “Ricky speaks English”


Section 4: Ask Someone If They Speak A Specific Language


sin∙hȧ∙lȧ“Sinhala” (wow… that was tough to guess)


o∙yaa   in∙gree∙si   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?“Do you speak English?”
é∙yaa   in∙gree∙si   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?“Does he/she speak English?”
‘Ricky’   in∙gree∙si   ka∙thaa  kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?“Does Ricky speak English?”
o∙yaa sin∙hȧ∙lȧ ka∙thaa kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?“Do you speak Sinhala?”


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13 Responses to LBSS 08: The Language You Speak [AUDIO TUTORIAL]

  1. thay September 20, 2013 at 09:07 #

    pls can you give me all past, present, future verb?

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 20, 2013 at 17:55 #

      Hi again Thay, I don’t have a such a list but will have to work on it for the future.

  2. Shiju Krishnan U K September 22, 2013 at 21:08 #

    when will next podcast going to be online?

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 24, 2013 at 21:15 #

      Hello, not for another couple of weeks I think. Busy with a few other things right now unfortunately.

  3. Julie October 13, 2013 at 00:19 #

    Hi Dilshan,
    So it should be: “Mama sinhala paa dam karavana.” right?

    How would you now say : “I like studying Sinhala.”?

    “mama sinhala paa dam karavana kaemathi.”
    Is this possible to say?

    Looking forward to your reply!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 13, 2013 at 15:24 #

      Let’s start with the first sentence:

      Yes, “I study Sinhala” or “I am studying Sinhala” is ‘ma∙mȧ sin∙hȧ∙lȧ paa∙dam kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va’ (but notice there was a small error in your spellings of ‘kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va’)

      But your 2nd sentence is not entirely correct; and that’s because you’re translating “studying” directly – so it’s not entirely your fault. In Sinhala, this structure doesn’t exist. Instead you need to use the infinitive “to study” (by the way, infinitive as you might know is the form of “to eat”, “to sleep”, “to learn”, etc).

      So, rather than “I like STUDYING Sinhala”, the sentence we should try to translate is “I like TO STUDY Sinhala” (which effectively means the same thing)

      Remember how I said that every verb ends with ‘nȧ∙va’? Well, the good news is that the infinitive of every verb ends with ‘n∙nȧ’.

      kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va (“doing”) / kȧ∙ran∙nȧ (“to do”)
      paa∙dam kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va (“studying”) / paa∙dam kȧ∙ran∙nȧ (“to study”)
      ka∙thaa kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va (“speaking”) / ka∙thaa kȧ∙ran∙nȧ (“to speak”)

      So, going back to the phrase “I like to study Sinhala”, we would now say:
      “ma∙mȧ sin∙hȧ∙lȧ paa∙dam kȧ∙ran∙nȧ kæ∙mȧ∙thi” (You see? We used the infinitive)


      You could also say “I like to LEARN Sinhala” (in fact, I recommend that you say this instead of “I like to study” because it’s more commonly used).

      If I told you that the word for “learning” in Sinhala is ‘i∙gé∙nȧ gan∙nȧ∙va’, could you try to guess how to say “I like to learn Sinhala?”

      (clue: the same way we changed only the 2nd part of the compound word paa∙dam kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va, similarly, in this example you should only change the 2nd part of ‘i∙gé∙nȧ gan∙nȧ∙va’).

      Just give it a try. No pressure. if you make a mistake, I will block you from my blog for 6 months, so no pressure… :)

  4. Julie October 14, 2013 at 08:04 #

    YEAH, Dilshan,
    in respect to get blocked I had a sleepless night, and now I’m typing with shivering fingers to give you my try :)

    “mama sinhala igéna gan nna kaemathi”. (correct???)

    :-) I love your way to enable some fearless learning… :D, if I’ve made a mistake I just need some additional lessons full of some patient educational strategies for bad learners … of course without pressure, haha!

    But seriously: Thanks a lot for your really long reply to my question above!!

  5. Dilshan Jayasinha October 14, 2013 at 08:39 #

    Wunderbar! That’s exactly correct, well done! (and of course, this means you don’t get blocked :))

    No really, I’m happy to see that you’re picking up the language so well.

    Here’s some additional info:

    Similar to how the word ‘kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va’ is used in compound words (e.g. ka∙thaa kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va’, paa∙dam kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va’, etc.), the word gan∙nȧ∙va is also used in compound words. See the examples below with their infinitives:

    i∙gé∙nȧ gan∙nȧ∙va (“learning”) / i∙gé∙nȧ gan∙nȧ (“to learn”)
    ni∙dhaa gan∙nȧ∙va (“sleeping”) / ni∙dhaa gan∙nȧ (“to sleep”)
    hus∙mȧ gan∙nȧ∙va (“breathing”) / hus∙mȧ gan∙nȧ (“to breathe”)
    pa∙li gan∙nȧ∙va (“taking revenge”) / pa∙li gan∙nȧ (“to take revenge”)

    So, you can now use any of the above with kæ∙mȧ∙thi. For example:
    ma∙mȧ ni∙dhaa gan∙nȧ kæ∙mȧ∙thi (“I like to sleep”)

    But note: Probably you shouldn’t use ALL the examples above. For instance, I wouldn’t advise you to go around telling people “ma∙mȧ pa∙li gan∙nȧ kæ∙mȧ∙thi”… Might scare them away…

    Well done again.

  6. Julie October 14, 2013 at 10:34 #

    uuuffff! :D

    mata san tho sayi… :-))

  7. Tim March 21, 2014 at 08:16 #

    I am awaiting your next installment. You have done a wonderful job. Let me encourage you to kep up the good work.

  8. Tootie October 12, 2015 at 17:16 #

    Loving having you in the car all day. The podcasts are a tremendous help for the music of the language and of course the pronunciation.

    No more podcasts Dilshan?

    Great lessons, thank you for your unending altruism.


    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 25, 2015 at 14:26 #

      Thanks Tootie. No immediate plans to release more podcasts since I’m currently focusing on a series of premium ebook releases. But when I get back to podcasts, you and I can meet again in your car, like the good old days, ok?

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