Countries in Sinhala – Part (2/2): The GAZILLION* Country Phrases You Suggested!

countries in sinhala part 2

Photo Credits: Awesome Father

*Okay okay…It wasn’t really a gazillion but there were many many many suggestions from all of you. Thank you all!

Honestly folks, like I mentioned in Part 1 of this blog post, when I sent out that email, I didn’t expect such a response. And after seeing those numerous replies clogging up my inbox what immediately followed was a wave of panic accompanied with the words “Holy crap! Now I actually need to do the work!!”.

(For the sake of decency, let’s continue believing that I said “crap” and not something worse)

What You’ll Get In This Post

  • 120 (you heard me, ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY!) country related phrases
  • An image showing you the structure of this post
  • The “Top 5” popular suggestions
  • A downloadable reference table for correctly inserting your country name into these phrases

My Approach To Part-2 Of Countries in Sinhala

Here’s what I did in this post:

I put all your suggestions on one long-ass document and started sorting them out into broad categories.

There were a number of them that I kept seeing over and over again (I’ve listed the popular “Top 5” somewhere below).

I then managed to finally put them into 3 main categories with as few sub-categories as I could manage. Click on the image below to see the structure I was finally happy with:


Country Phrases in Sinhala - Structure1

Click to Enlarge Image


Some notes before we start:

  • All suggestions that sounded kind of similar with only slight nuances between them were bundled into one common phrase. In case you don’t find your suggested phrase (or you can’t recognize it because I’ve changed the original meaning too much, let me know in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do).
  • I’ve used the informal “you” (o∙yaa) in all instances
  • I’ve sorted the phrases out into questions (Q), answers (A), and neutral (). However, you won’t find the answer to every question listed below because I only used the ones that were suggested.
  • There were some phrases that were way too specific. So rather than throw sentences that are irrelevant to the rest of you, I will email those sentences to those who requested them (some of you may have already got an email from me)


In all phrases, the country I’ve taken as an example is Sri Lanka. Why? Well it’s kind of appropriate since we’re learning SINHALA after all (and also because it’s my blog, my rules, and I just love this country to bits, so there!).

But in order to substitute your country with “Sri Lanka” in the phrases, you’re going to need to some help. And that’s where the following PDF comes into play.

Whenever you see ‘shree lan∙kaa∙vȧ’ (or any of its variants such as ‘shree lan∙kaa∙vén’ or ‘shree lan∙kaa∙vé’), just look up the equivalent for your country from the following table.

Oh, and feel free to download it. (I’m in that kind of mood today)

thumbnail for reference table

Click to View The Reference Table

The Top 5 Popular Suggestions That You Sent In

  1. “How many people live in your country?”
  2. “I am from […] but I live in” […]”
  3. “Where in […] do you live?”
  4. “What is your favorite country?”
  5. “Where are the places I should visit in your country”


Alright, let’s (finally) get to the phrases. Speak to you again at the end.


1. The Country Someone Is From

1.1 General Phrases About Where Someone Is From

Q What is your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
A My country is [Sri Lanka]@ ma∙gé ra∙tȧ [shree  lan∙kaa∙vȧ] 1
Q Which country are you from? o∙yaa   mo∙nȧ   ra∙tén∙dhȧ?
Q Which country does he/she come from? é∙yaa   én∙né   mo∙nȧ   ra∙tén∙dhȧ?
Q Are you from [Sri Lanka?] o∙yaa   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vén]∙dhȧ?
A I am from [Sri Lanka] ma∙mȧ   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vén]
A I come from [Sri Lanka] ma∙mȧ   én∙né   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vén]
Q Where in [Sri Lanka] do you live? o∙yaa   shree  lan∙kaa∙vé   pa∙dhin∙chi   vé∙laa   in∙né   ko∙hé∙dhȧ?
A I live in the north / south / east / west ma∙mȧ   pa∙dhin∙chi   vé∙laa   in∙né   u∙thu∙ré / dha∙ku∙né / næ∙gé∙nȧ∙hi∙ré / bas∙naa∙hi∙ré
It is located north / south / east / west of [Colombo] ḗ∙kȧ   thi∙yén∙né   [ko∙lȧmbȧ]∙tȧ   u∙thu∙rin / dha∙ku∙nin / næ∙gé∙nȧ∙hi∙rin / ba∙tȧ∙hi∙rin
Q Do you live near your country’s capital city? o∙yaa   pa∙dhin∙chi   vé∙laa   in∙né   o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   a∙gȧ∙nu∙wȧ∙rȧ   laňgȧ∙dhȧ?


1 When speaking it’s quite common to refer to ‘shree lan∙kaa∙vȧ’ as simply ‘lan∙kaa∙vȧ’


1.2 Nationality & Place Of Birth

Q What is your nationality? o∙yaa   mo∙nȧ   ra∙tḗ   jaa∙thi∙kȧ∙yék∙dhȧ? 2
Q In which country were you born? o∙yaa   i∙pȧ∙dhu∙né   mo∙nȧ   ra∙tḗ∙dhȧ?
Q Are you a [Sri Lankan]? o∙yaa   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vé]   ék∙ké∙nék∙dhȧ?
A Yes, I am a [Sri Lankan] owu,   ma∙mȧ   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vé]   ék∙ké∙nék
A No, I am not a [Sri Lankan] nǣ,   ma∙mȧ   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vé]   ék∙ké∙nék   né∙méyi
He/She is a [Sri Lankan] é∙yaa   [shree lan∙kaa∙vé]   ék∙ké∙nék
My parents are from [Sri Lanka] ma∙gé   dhé∙mawu∙pi∙yo   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vén]


2 Literally translates as “You’re a national/citizen of which country?”


1.3 Living In A Country

I’m from [Sri Lanka] but I live in [Australia] ma∙mȧ   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vén],   ḗth   ma∙mȧ   pa∙dhin∙chi   vé∙laa   in∙né   [os∙trḗ∙li∙yaa∙vé]
I have lived in [Sri Lanka] ma∙mȧ   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vé]   jee∙vath  vé∙laa   thi∙yé∙nȧ∙va
I’ve been in [Sri Lanka] for a long time ma∙mȧ   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vé]   go∙dak   kal   iňdhȧ∙la   in∙nȧ∙va
I’ve not been in [Sri Lanka] for that long ma∙mȧ   éch∙chȧ∙rȧ   kal   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vé]   iňdhȧ∙la   nǣ
After [Sri Lanka], the next best place in the world to live in is my country [shree  lan∙kaa∙vȧ∙tȧ]   pas∙sé,   lō∙kȧ∙yé   jee∙vath   vé∙laa   in∙nȧ   ee∙laň∙gȧ   hoňdhȧ∙mȧ   ra∙tȧ   ma∙gé   ra∙tȧ
Q In which country would you like to live in? o∙yaa   mo∙nȧ   ra∙tḗ   jee∙vath   vén∙nȧ   aa∙sȧ∙dhȧ? 3


3 Instead of ‘aa∙sȧ∙dhȧ?’ you can also say ‘kæ∙mȧ∙thi∙dhȧ?’ which also means “(do you) like?”



2 Getting To Know A Country Better

2.1 Population & People

Q How many people are there in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   mi∙nis∙su   kee∙dhé∙nék   in∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
Q What is the population of your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   ja∙nȧ∙ga∙ha∙nȧ∙yȧ   kee∙yȧ∙dhȧ?
The people in my country are friendly ma∙gé   ra∙tḗ   mi∙nis∙su   ha∙ri   yaa∙luyi
There are very few [Sri Lankans] in [Spain] [spaan∙yȧ∙yé]   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vé]   mi∙nis∙su   ha∙ri   ti∙kȧ   dhé∙nék   in∙nȧ∙va
There are very many [Sri Lankans] in [Spain] [spaan∙yȧ∙yé]   [shree lan∙kaa∙vé]   mi∙nis∙su   ha∙ri   go∙dȧ   dhé∙nék   in∙nȧ∙va


2.2 Climate & Weather

Q What is the climate like in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   dhḗ∙shȧ∙gu∙nȧ∙yȧ   koyi   va∙gḗ∙dhȧ?
Q Is it very cold in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   go∙dak   see∙thȧ∙lȧ∙dhȧ?
A My country is very large so it has many different climates ma∙gḗ   ra∙tȧ   ha∙ri   lo∙ku   hin∙dha   é∙kȧ   é∙kȧ   jaa∙thi∙yé   dhḗ∙shȧ∙gu∙nȧ   thi∙yé∙nȧ∙va
Q How is the weather in your country these days? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   mḗ   dha∙vas∙vȧ∙lȧ   kaa∙lȧ∙gu∙nȧ∙yȧ   ko∙ho∙mȧ∙dhȧ?
A These days it is raining in my country mḗ   dha∙vas∙vȧ∙lȧ   ma∙gḗ   ra∙tḗ   va∙hi∙nȧ∙va
A These days it is hot in my country mḗ   dha∙vas∙vȧ∙lȧ   ma∙gḗ   ra∙tḗ   ras∙néyi


2.3 Food

Q What type of food do you have in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   mo∙nȧ   jaa∙thi∙yé   kǣ∙mȧ   thi∙yé∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
Q What do People eat in [Sri Lanka]? shree  lan∙kaa∙vé   mi∙nis∙su   kan∙né   mo∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ ?
Q What is the typical type of food item [Sri Lanka] shree   lan∙kaa∙vȧ∙tȧ   aa∙vḗ∙ni∙ka   kǣ∙mȧ   jaa∙thi∙yȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q What do people in your country typically eat? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   mi∙nis∙su   saa∙maan∙yȧ∙yén   hæ∙mȧ∙dhaa∙mȧ   kan∙né   mo∙kak∙dhȧ? 4
Q What is the food from your country that I must try? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   kǣ∙mȧ   vȧ∙lin   ma∙mȧ   kaa∙la   ba∙lan∙nȧ   o∙nȧ   kæ∙mȧ   jaa∙thi∙yȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q What’s the dish that your country is the most famous for? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ   prȧ∙sidh∙dhȧ   mo∙nȧ   kǣ∙mȧ   vȧ∙lȧ∙tȧ∙dhȧ?
Q What’s the dish that your hometown is the most famous for? o∙yaa∙gé   u∙pan   ga∙mȧ   prȧ∙sidh∙dhȧ   mo∙nȧ   kǣ∙mȧ   vȧ∙lȧ∙tȧ∙dhȧ?
Q What do you think of [Sri Lankan] food? o∙yaa   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vé]   kǣ∙mȧ   gæ∙nȧ   hi∙than∙né   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?


4 Literally translates as “What do people in your country typically eat everyday?”. ‘hæ∙mȧ∙dhaa∙mȧ’ = “everyday”


2.4 Languages

Q What language do they speak in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   ka∙thaa   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ   baa∙shaa∙vȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q What languages they speak in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   ka∙thaa   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ   baa∙shaa   mo∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
A In my country we speak English ma∙gé   ra∙tḗ   a∙pi   in∙gree∙si   ka∙thaa   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va
Q What is the main language in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   prȧ∙dhaa∙nȧ∙mȧ   baa∙shaa∙vȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q How many languages are spoken in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   baa∙shaa   kee∙yak   ka∙thaa   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?


2.5 Sports & Leisure

Q What is the most popular sport in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   ja∙nap∙pri∙yȧ∙mȧ   kree∙daa∙vȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q What are the most popular sports in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   ja∙nap∙pri∙yȧ∙mȧ   kree∙daa   mo∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
Q What is the national sport in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   jaa∙thi∙kȧ   kree∙daa∙vȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q What do people in your country do in their free time? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   mi∙nis∙su   vi∙vḗ∙kȧ∙yȧ∙tȧ   kȧ∙ran∙né   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
[Sri Lanka] has the best cricket team@ [shree  lan∙kaa∙vȧ]∙tȧ   lō∙kȧ∙yé   hoňdhȧ∙mȧ   ‘kri∙kȧt’ (cricket)   kan∙daa∙yȧ∙mȧ   thi∙yé∙nȧ∙va 5


5 The original suggestion that was submitted had “Australia” instead of “Sri Lanka”. As a huge fan of our Sri Lankan cricket team, sorry, I couldn’t bring myself to write that…


2.6 Geography

Q Where is your country located? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ   thi∙yén∙né   ko∙hé∙dhȧ?
Q Is it close to [Sri Lanka]? ḗ∙kȧ   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vȧ]∙tȧ   laňgȧ∙dhȧ?
Q Do you know where [Sri Lanka] is located? o∙yaa   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vȧ]   thi∙yén∙né   ko∙hé∙dhȧ   ki∙yȧ∙la   dhan∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
Q What are the neighboring countries of your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ   laňgȧ   thi∙yé∙nȧ   a∙nith   ra∙tȧ∙val   mo∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
My country is twice the size of [Sri Lanka] ma∙gé   ra∙tȧ   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vȧ]   tha∙ram   dhé∙gu∙nȧ∙yak   lo∙kuyi
My country is half the size of [Sri Lanka] ma∙gé   ra∙tȧ   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vé]   baa∙gȧ∙yak   tha∙ram   lo∙kuyi
Q What is the capital of your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   a∙gȧ∙nu∙wȧ∙rȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?


2.7 Cost Of Living & Taxes

Q Is it expensive to live there? é∙hé   jee∙vath   vén∙nȧ   lo∙ku   vi∙yȧ∙dhȧ∙mak   ya∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
Q Are things more expensive in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   ba∙du   mee∙tȧ   væ∙di∙yȧ   ga∙nan∙dhȧ?
Q What is the average salary in your country? saa∙man∙yȧ∙yén   o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   mi∙nis∙sun∙gé   pa∙di   kee∙yȧ∙dhȧ?
Q What is the average rent in your country? saa∙man∙yȧ∙yén   o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   gé∙val   ku∙li   kee∙yȧ∙dhȧ?
Q What is the average house price in your country? saa∙man∙yȧ∙yén   o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   gé∙val   vȧ∙lȧ   ga∙nang   kee∙yȧ∙dhȧ?
Q What is the average cost of a hamburger in your country? saa∙man∙yȧ∙yén   o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   ‘hæm bȧrgȧr’ (hamburger)   é∙kȧ∙kȧ   gaa∙nȧ   kee∙yȧ∙dhȧ?
Q What is the currency in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   paa∙vich∙chi   kà∙rȧ∙nȧ   mu∙dhal   jaa∙thi∙yȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q What is the best local product I should buy? ma∙tȧ   mé∙hén   gé∙ni∙yan∙nȧ   pu∙lu∙wan   hoňdhȧ∙mȧ   ba∙du∙wȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q How are the taxes in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   ba∙dhu   ko∙ho∙mȧ∙dhȧ?


2.8 Culture

Q What are the best local festivals to see? ba∙lan∙nȧ   thi∙yé∙nȧ   hoňdhȧ∙mȧ   jaa∙thi∙kȧ   uth∙sȧ∙vȧ   mo∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
Q Is this a tradition in your country? mē∙kȧ   o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   chaa∙rith∙rȧ∙yak∙dhȧ?


2.9 Religion & Politics

Q Which religions do you have in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   thi∙yé∙nȧ   aa∙gam   mo∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
Q What political system do you have in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   thi∙yé∙nȧ   dhḗ∙shȧ∙paa∙lȧ∙nȧ   krȧ∙mȧ∙yȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q Who is the leader of your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   naa∙yȧ∙kȧ∙ya   kawu∙dhȧ?


2.10 General Country Preferences

Q What is your favorite country? o∙yaa∙gé   aa∙sȧ∙mȧ   ra∙tȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ? 6
Q Do you like [Sri Lanka]? o∙yaa   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vȧ]∙tȧ   kæ∙mȧ∙thi∙dhȧ?
Q What do you like most about your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ   gæ∙nȧ   o∙yaa   aa∙sa∙mȧ   dhé∙yȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
I like my country because of […] ma∙mȧ   ma∙gé   ra∙tȧ∙tȧ   aa∙sȧ   […]   hin∙dha
Q Where is your favorite place in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   o∙yaa   aa∙sa∙mȧ   thæ∙nȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q Where are your favorite places in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   o∙yaa   aa∙sa∙mȧ   thæn   mo∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
Q What is your country famous for? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ   prȧ∙sidh∙dhȧ   mo∙kȧ∙tȧ∙dhȧ?
A My country is famous for […] ma∙gḗ   ra∙tȧ   prȧ∙sidh∙dhȧ   […]   vȧ∙lȧ∙tȧ
This is a beautiful country mḗ∙kȧ   las∙sȧ∙nȧ   ra∙tak
Q What are the differences between [Sri Lanka] and [India]? [shree  lan∙kaa∙vayi]   [in∙dhi∙yaa∙vayi]   a∙thȧ∙rȧ   vé∙nȧ∙sȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?


6 Instead of ‘aa∙sȧ∙mȧ’ you can say ‘kæ∙mȧ∙thi∙mȧ?’ which also means “favorite” or “like the most”


3. Traveling To A Country

3.1 Getting Travel Tips

Q Do you think I should I go see / visit your country? ma∙mȧ   o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ   ba∙lan∙na   yan∙nȧ   ō∙né   ki∙yȧ∙la   hi∙thé∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
Q What can I do there? ma∙tȧ   é∙hé   kȧ∙ran∙nȧ   pu∙lu∙wan   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q What is there to see in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   ba∙lan∙na   thi∙yén∙né   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q What should I absolutely do when I visit your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ∙tȧ   gi∙yaa∙mȧ   ma∙mȧ   kȧ∙ran∙nȧ∙mȧ   ō∙nȧ   dhé∙yȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q What should I absolutely not do when I visit your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ∙tȧ   gi∙yaa∙mȧ   ma∙mȧ   no∙kȧ∙lȧ   yu∙thu∙mȧ   dhé∙yȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q What cities are worth to visit in your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   ma∙mȧ   ba∙lan∙na∙mȧ   ō∙nȧ   na∙gȧ∙rȧ∙val   mo∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
Q What are the places I should visit in [Sri Lanka]? [shree  lan∙kaa∙vé]   ma∙mȧ   ba∙lan∙nȧ   yan∙nȧ   ō∙nȧ   thaen   mo∙nȧ∙vadhȧ?
Q When is a good time to visit your country? o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ∙tȧ   yan∙nȧ   hoňdhȧ   kaa∙lȧ∙yȧ   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
A The best time to visit is during spring / summer / autumn / winter season yan∙nȧ   hoňdhȧ∙mȧ   kaa∙lȧ∙yȧ   va∙san∙thȧ / gim∙haa∙nȧ / sa∙rath / si∙si∙rȧ kaa∙lȧ∙yȧ


3.2 Making Travel Plans

Q Which country are you going to? o∙yaa   yan∙né   mo∙nȧ   ra∙tȧ∙tȧ∙dhȧ?
A I am going to [Sri Lanka] ma∙mȧ   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vȧ]∙tȧ   ya∙nȧ∙va
A I am going to [Sri Lanka] and then going to [India] ma∙mȧ  [shree   lan∙kaa∙vȧ]∙tȧ   gi∙hil∙la   ee∙tȧ   pas∙sé   [in∙dhi∙yaa∙vȧ]∙tȧ   ya∙nȧ∙va
Q Which are the countries that you have been to? o∙yaa   mo∙nȧ   ra∙tȧ∙val   vȧ∙lȧ∙tȧ   gi∙hil∙la   thi∙yé∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
Q When are you coming to [Sri Lanka]? o∙yaa   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vȧ]∙tȧ   én∙né   ka∙vȧ∙dha∙dhȧ?


3.3 Arriving In A Country

Q What brings you to my country? ma∙gé   ra∙tȧ∙tȧ   aa∙vé   mo∙kȧ∙kȧ∙tȧ∙dhȧ?
Q What did you previously know about my country? ma∙gé   ra∙tȧ   gæ∙nȧ   ka∙lin   dhæ∙nȧ∙gé∙nȧ   hi∙ti∙yé   mo∙kak∙dhȧ?
Q How did you travel to [Sri Lanka]? o∙yaa   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vȧ]∙tȧ   aa∙vé   ko∙ho∙mȧ∙dhȧ? 7
Q How long are you Staying? o∙yaa   koch∙chȧ∙rȧ   kal   in∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
I wish you a nice holiday! ma∙mȧ   o∙yaa∙tȧ   su∙bȧ   ni∙vaa∙du∙wak   praar∙thȧ∙naa   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va!


7 Instead of ‘aa∙vé’ you can say ‘ga∙man kȧ∙lé’ which also means “traveled” or “came”


3.4 Leaving A Country

I leave [Sri Lanka] soon ma∙mȧ   laňgȧ∙dhi∙mȧ   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vén]   ya∙nȧ∙va
I leave [Sri Lanka] in a few days ma∙mȧ   dha∙vas   ti∙kȧ∙kin   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vén]   ya∙nȧ∙va
I leave [Sri Lanka] tomorrow ma∙mȧ   hé∙tȧ   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vén]   ya∙nȧ∙va
I leave [Sri Lanka] in a week ma∙mȧ   sa∙thi∙yȧ∙kin   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vén]   ya∙nȧ∙va
I am going back to [Sri Lanka] ma∙mȧ   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vȧ]∙tȧ   aa∙pa∙hu   ya∙nȧ∙va
See you soon back aayith   én∙nȧ 8
Q How long did you stay here? o∙yaa   mé∙hé   koch∙chȧ∙rȧ   kal   hi∙ti∙ya∙dhȧ?
Q How long did you stay in [Sri Lanka]? o∙yaa   [shree  lan∙kaa∙vé]   koch∙chȧ∙rȧ   kal   hi∙ti∙ya∙dhȧ?


8 Literally translates as “Come again!”

3.5 Returning To The Home Country

Q When are you returning to your country? o∙yaa   o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ∙tȧ   aa∙pa∙hu   yan∙né   ka∙vȧ∙dha∙dhȧ?
Q When did you last visit your country? o∙yaa   o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ∙tȧ   an∙thi∙mȧ∙tȧ   gi∙yé   ka∙vȧ∙dha∙dhȧ?
Q How many times per year do you visit your country? o∙yaa   awu∙rudh∙dhȧ∙kȧ∙tȧ   kee   sæ∙rȧ∙yak   o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ∙tȧ   aa∙pa∙hu   ya∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
Q Do you feel homesick? o∙yaa∙tȧ   o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tȧ   ‘miss’   vé∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ? 9
A I feel homesick ma∙tȧ   ma∙gé   ra∙tȧ   ‘miss’   vé∙nȧ∙va


9 Literally translates as “Do you miss your country?”

3.6 Inviting Someone To Come Visit

Q You should come visit my country o∙yaa   ma∙gé   ra∙tȧ   ba∙lan∙nȧ   én∙nȧ   ō∙né
Q You should come and visit me one day o∙yaa   ka∙vȧ∙dha   ha∙ri   maa∙vȧ   ba∙lan∙nȧ   én∙nȧ   ō∙né
Q Have you been to my country? o∙yaa   ma∙gé   ra∙tȧ∙tȧ   æ∙vil∙la   thi∙yé∙nȧ∙va∙dhȧ?
My family would love to have you stay with us one day ma∙gé   pawu∙la   go∙dak   kæ∙mȧ∙thi   véyi   o∙yaa   ka∙vȧ∙dha∙ha∙ri   a∙pith   ék∙kȧ   in∙nȧ   aa∙voth


Some of them were a mouthful, eh? I know, sorry about that but trust me, these were the most simplified versions of the phrases that my brain and I could come up with.

If you have any suggestions on how to make them simpler (perhaps you’ve heard an easier version somewhere), please mention it in the comments below since you’ll be doing all of us a HUGE favor.

Please leave all your questions below. And you’re most welcome to share the crap out of this post with any of the social media buttons

(Again, let’s assume that I meant ‘crap’ and not something worse).

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36 Responses to Countries in Sinhala – Part (2/2): The GAZILLION* Country Phrases You Suggested!

  1. Julie March 26, 2014 at 22:41 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    after this blog your tribe here should affirm solemnly your title as most famous and most popular “International Promoter Of The Sinhala Language” at least with a fanfare and a nice looking deed … ;D …
    It has become absolutely cool. Just thanks! :)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha March 27, 2014 at 06:15 #

      Thanks Julie! Ha, I found the “fanfare and nice looking deed” idea hilarious. Imagine that. Thanks again for the kind words. Talk to you again soon.

  2. Elizabeth March 27, 2014 at 16:05 #

    Hi Dilshan

    The above phrases are really awesome. I have heard some of them only, but not all of it. You know you are a great help in the Sinhala language, the only problem is I have no one to communicate with. That’s sad. Anyway I get to know a lot. What more better phrases I know than what you have already mentioned? I believe reading also gives a person good knowledge. Believe this. I have not spoken a single word of Sinhala since July 2003 todate. So thank you very much for your great help.

    Good Luck

    • Dilshan Jayasinha March 27, 2014 at 16:31 #

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Thanks so much for yet another wonderfully sincere comment! You are very welcome.

      Yes, I agree. Nothing speeds up and the learning process of a language (or as in your case, remembering what you already knew) by speaking it. Hopefully someone will turn up with whom you could speak Sinhala. Just yesterday I received an email from a reader who said that she was taking the train when the gentlemen next to her started speaking on his mobile phone. She recognized that it was Sinhala and they got talking afterwards about it. Amazing, isn’t it? I felt very proud that she was able to notice that it was Sinhala. So hopefully, you’ll bump into someone like that :) You could also check if there is a Sri Lankan Society/Group in your area.

      Thanks again Elizabeth for your comment and speak to you again soon.

      • Elizabeth April 1, 2014 at 16:02 #

        Hi Dilshan

        Yes there is a Sinhala Society in Calgary NE, which is too far for me to travel.
        I use the city transport. Maybe one day I will find luck by meeting somebody who
        will communicate in Sinhala so I could brush up the forgotten language.

        Thanks again for the thumbs up.

  3. Laura March 27, 2014 at 19:18 #

    Omg! That’s a LOT of questions and answers (btw thanks, there are so many in the food section!) … I must absolutely learn at least half of them before I come to visit the country (sometime in the not-so-near future so I got time!). As always, awesome job :)

    Take care,
    Looking forward to the next post!

    Ps: kudos on the T20! Go Sri Lanka! ;)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha March 28, 2014 at 12:39 #

      Thanks Laura! I honestly thought of you when working on the food section (I promise!) as your email showed how keen you were on this topic (I believe the word “obsessed” may have been used :)). So I’m thrilled that you found it useful.

      About the T20 cricket world cup, first of all, that’s awesome that you’re aware of it! You’re the 2nd European reader to mention it to me. Hope learning the basic rules of cricket as it could take some getting used to. Secondly, well, Sri Lanka lost yesterday’s match against England. Which means we’ll have to play well in the next match in order to secure a place in the next round of the tournament. So yes, GO LIONS!

      Take care Laura and thanks again for your comment!

      • Laura March 28, 2014 at 22:56 #

        Well…seeing that my boyfriend and his best friend (who is from Pakistan so a big cricket fan too) can’t stop taking about it, I’m kind of starting to get the rules. It’s confusing but, hey, I understood the concept of “offside” (it took me a while and “Bend it like Beckham” definitely helped) so I’ll manage this too.
        And I’m flattered you thought of my obsession!

        Take care!

        • Dilshan Jayasinha March 29, 2014 at 16:27 #

          Aha I see, so that’s your source of cricket info :)

          Just a word of caution though… “off side” in cricket and “off side” in football/soccer (since you mentioned Bend It Like Bekham”) are two totally different things (unless you were being sarcastic and I misunderstood your joke – sorry).

          There you go, something to ask your boyfriend to explain further. It’s great dinner conversation :)

          • Laura March 29, 2014 at 17:07 #

            That’s interesting info (I wasn’t sarcastic) … I’ll ask him all about it!

          • Laura March 31, 2014 at 18:27 #

            What a comeback Lions! ;)

          • Dilshan Jayasinha March 31, 2014 at 19:05 #

            I know, right?! What a great match! My throat hurts right now just by screaming at the TV every time a wicket fell. I’ve been a proud Sri Lankan all my life but tonight, I’m feeling a tad bit prouder than usual :) Take care Laura.

  4. peter kocsis March 27, 2014 at 22:13 #

    Hi Dilshan !

    Thank you for this great post!

    I have a question:

    You write following:

    1)What are the places I should visit in [Sri Lanka]?
    [shree  lan∙kaa∙vé]   ma∙mȧ   ba∙lan∙nȧ   yan∙nȧ   ō∙nȧ   thaen   mo∙nȧ∙vadhȧ?

    2)Where are your favorite places in your country?
    o∙yaa∙gé   ra∙tḗ   o∙yaa   aa∙sa∙mȧ   thæn   mo∙kak∙dhȧ? –

    In 1) both thæn and monavaadha are plural- but in 2) thæn is plural but
    mo∙kak∙dhȧ is singular. Can we conclude from this, that the usage of singular/plural regarding these combinations of nouns with interrogatives are somewhat optative?

    • Dilshan Jayasinha March 28, 2014 at 12:52 #

      Hi Peter, there’s actually a much simpler explanation: I made a mistake (whoops).

      As a rule (and which I advise you to also follow – which you appear to have figured out by yourself), I use “mo∙kak∙dhȧ?” for singular and “mo∙nȧ∙vadhȧ?” for plural. When speaking, however, you’ll hear people sometimes using “mo∙kak∙dhȧ?” in plurals (although you’ll rarely hear “mo∙nȧ∙vadhȧ?” when using a singular). I had copied and pasted from the previous line and had not remembered to adjust it.

      But I am super-impressed by your hawk eyes, my friend! And also for your reasoning. You’ve now given me a reason to triple-check my next post before publishing it :)

      Thanks again for pointing it out.

      • peter kocsis March 28, 2014 at 17:29 #

        Thank you for the informations! But I have to confess, that I also made a error in my letter, I wrote:

        “Can we conclude from this, that the usage of singular/plural regarding these combinations of nouns with interrogatives are somewhat optative? ”

        The correct word is not ” optative” ,which means ” expressing a desire or wish”, but “optional” which means ” leaving to choice” . This is one of the many pitfalls in the english language, into which I am prone to fall… I am sure sinhala also have some of these…

        • Dilshan Jayasinha March 29, 2014 at 16:21 #

          To be honest, when I saw “Optative” in your first comment, I had to first Google it to know what it meant. And although I didn’t quite understand what you meant in that context, I brushed it aside since the error was on my part. But thanks to that, I also learned a new word!

          • peter kocsis March 29, 2014 at 19:05 #

            But then it is good that you learned this word because you also have ” the optative mood” in the sinhala verbal system: balamiwaa ( I would like to look) , balahiwaa (you would like to look) etc,, and forms like jiya veewaa ( Victory! ) sæpa veewaa ( good health!) etc.

          • Dilshan Jayasinha March 30, 2014 at 12:47 #

            That’s very true, it does exist in Sinhala. However, I would not use the versions you mentioned when speaking as they are very ‘proper’ and ‘formal’ written Sinhala that you’ll probably never have to use (I myself may have used it a very few times when learning Sinhala grammar in school).

            Also, some small corrections for you:

            Wishing someone victory or good luck is “ja∙yȧ vḗ∙wa!”
            Wishing someone good health is better said as “sa∙nee∙pȧ vḗ∙wa!” (‘get well!’) or “ik∙mȧ∙nin sa∙nee∙pȧ vḗ∙wa! (‘get well soon!’)

            Just thought you might find that useful.

          • peter kocsis March 30, 2014 at 16:06 #


            “Also, some small corrections for you:
            Wishing someone victory or good luck is “ja∙yȧ vḗ∙wa!”
            Wishing someone good health is better said as “sa∙nee∙pȧ vḗ∙wa!” (‘get well!’) or “ik∙mȧ∙nin sa∙nee∙pȧ vḗ∙wa! (‘get well soon!’)
            Just thought you might find that useful.”

            Thank you for these useful corrections- I now see that there is also written” yaja veewaa” in my book- I just could not read it properly.

            I have found some other optatives, what do you think of these: niduk vewaa! ( be without sorrows) , subha raatriyak vewaa! ( god night) etc ,the greeting :aayuboowan! and the traditional wishes at marriages: særada/særadee/særadeevaa!

          • Dilshan Jayasinha March 31, 2014 at 14:01 #

            Hi again Peter, one things for sure. The book that you’re referencing doesn’t seem to be one for spoken Sinhala.

            “Nidhuk vewa” – is something I remember using in Buddhist Sunday School when I was a kid in a sort of “prayer” but I have never used it in normal conversation (and I really mean “never” :)).

            “Subha raathriyak” – is something you’ll usually hear a TV or News presenter say at the end of the segment; I can’t think of a scenario when you would say that to a friend.

            “Aayubowan” – as you might remember, I mentioned its use in Episode 1 of the Video Tutorials.

            “særadeevaa!” – I don’t know this word personally although it does ring a bell.

          • peter kocsis March 31, 2014 at 18:14 #

            Thank you Dilshan for this information, This proves again that it is hardly possible to learn a living language by books,( as i try) but you need feedback and corrections from people who actually speak the language (,which also changes all the time.) ,and who also can tell when to use what in which context.
            But now we can at least conclude, that the use of the optative mood in the everyday sinhala spoken idiom is very restricted! And thank the Lord for this, because there are other difficulties enough…

          • Dilshan Jayasinha March 31, 2014 at 18:59 #

            Haha, completely agree :) Take care, Peter.

  5. Andrea Neuwohner March 30, 2014 at 11:10 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    was it more work to design the tables or to fold the papers for the “suggested phrases bowl”? ;)

    Compliments for your always eye-catching introducing photos or graphics on the top of each post, I liked the colourful map very much of countries (1/2). They are very good appetizers.

    Think I will get some knots in my tongue with some phrases, but I am going to accept this challenge! Many helpful expressions for my next trip to Sri Lanka!!!!

    Thanks again for your doing all this for us in that high quality!

    Greetings from Germany, sunny weather, 20 degrees, weekend….. , Andrea :)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha March 30, 2014 at 12:58 #

      Haha, good question Andrea.

      Ok, since you asked, here’s a little “peek behind the curtain” for you… If you look at the photo again, you’ll notice that it’s only the top layer that is neatly folded (maximum 3-4 sheets of paper as I remember, or maybe 5). The rest underneath it is just old crushed paper that I took from my wastepaper bin (this gave the bowl the volume and the effect that there was more). So the folding took only a couple of minutes since I cut all the sheets in one go. (I told you.. I always try to be as “lazy but smart” as I can :)). Et voila!

      Yes, I agree that they’re not all the easiest phrases to remember. Hopefully, you’ll notice some similarities and patterns on your own and will be able to recall them easily. Do let me know how it goes.

      Thanks for your comment. Glad that you enjoyed this post of mine.

      Greetings from Colombo, sunny weather, 31 degrees, weekend. Speak to you again soon.

  6. peter kocsis March 30, 2014 at 16:07 #

    JAYA veevaa off course!

  7. Shagerina Tilakasiri April 1, 2014 at 17:11 #

    Oh dear! =O That is a lot of homework for me !

    • Dilshan Jayasinha April 2, 2014 at 20:26 #

      Haha. I don’t think you need to remember everything. My advice is to read everything only once so that you’ll notice some patterns in the words used. Then you could try to guess what each Sinhala word means based on the English translation. If you don’t know a word and you’re stuck, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to sort it out for you. After that you can use this page as reference. I don’t have any plans of deleting/hiding it anytime soon :) Good luck Shaggy!

  8. Julie April 3, 2014 at 17:27 #

    Hi again…
    I was so amused about your discussion with Peter Kocsis… hehe. optative forms for beginners is somehow funny…
    @Peter: I use a book this book: Dileep Chandralal (2010): Sinhala. Amsterdam: J. Benj. Publishing.
    It is focused on the more spoken Sinhala and I find it is a readable linguistic instruction :-) (your comments seem that your are interested in those things).
    @ Dilshan… nothing you would ever wanted to read… :D.
    Looking forward whats coming up from you next time…
    Until then I am busy with this amount of phrases you gave us … and trying to pronounce that at least in a way that I would be understood somehow… (hehe… do you understand my hint??)
    TC Julie

    • peter kocsis April 3, 2014 at 21:52 #

      Hi Julie and Dilshan!

      I also have that book, but what the student of the spoken language needs is a more systematical grammar of the moderne spoken language written in a non-sinhala language. The eminent scholar J.B. Disanayaka has announced that he will write a grammar, but as this Mahattayaa is born in 1937 and he has to write this grammar from the beginning as a one- man production, I am afraid that this will be a race against the time.
      But there are some points in the book of Dileep Chandralal which I would very much like to discuss with you, which also perhaps may be interesting for Dilshan, The question is, if Dilshan wants to make a special thread for these discussions as they are not for the beginner beginners or we just can go on here?

    • Dilshan Jayasinha April 4, 2014 at 15:54 #

      Hi Julie! Thanks for the contribution.

      Unfortunately, I didn’t get the hint (sorry!). Please remind me by email, my memory (like me) is getting old I guess… :(

  9. Julie April 4, 2014 at 08:05 #

    Hi Dilshan and Peter,
    I am really interested in your points but
    indeed I think for more detailed questions we would need another thread…
    @Dilshan…? :-)

    Hope to talk to both of you soon.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha April 4, 2014 at 16:03 #

      Hi again Julie and Peter,

      Well, it sounds to be out of the scope of this blog (I haven’t read the books you’ve mentioned but based on what you said it seems that it’s focused on advanced & written Sinhala, right?). But feel free to continue here. Who knows, it might garner some interest amongst other readers who read it and if that happens we could move the discussion to a separate thread.

      Sounds good to you both?

  10. Julie April 5, 2014 at 09:33 #

    Hi Dilshan,
    thanks for oyur reply… I gave you my answer with a mail… :-)

    Have a very nice weekend!

  11. Riyas April 13, 2014 at 15:24 #

    Can you provide your tutorial in sinhala letters

  12. Riyas April 13, 2014 at 15:31 #

    i need to learn this with sound

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