I love you in Sinhala & 7 more romantic lines to annoy your partner

i love you in sinhala“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.

But here’s the interesting part…

It’s not like they 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 with an arsenal of romantic Sinhala lines that will bug the crap out of my fellow Sri Lankans (my apologies in advance).

But note that the expressions below are gender neutral, which means that these can be said by a girl to a guy, 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 poosa, 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 babaa 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 own 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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119 Responses to I love you in Sinhala & 7 more romantic lines to annoy your partner

  1. mayank May 7, 2013 at 20:28 #

    “you look like an angel” = ?

    • Dilshan Jayasinha May 8, 2013 at 21:04 #

      I can translate it for you but I must tell you that, unlike in English, this is not used very often. But here goes:

      – o∙yaa dhḗ∙vȧ dhoo∙thi∙kaa∙vak va∙gḗ (to a female)

      – o∙yaa dhḗ∙vȧ dhoo∙thȧ∙yék va∙gḗ (to a male)

      [o∙yaa = informal you ; dhḗ∙vȧ dhoo∙thȧ∙yék = “a male angel”; dhḗ∙vȧ dhoo∙thi∙kaa∙vak = “a female angel”; va∙gḗ = “like”]

      I’m trying to come up with an equivalent romantic line that you can use, with the same effect, but as you may have seen from the post, I’m not very good at this romantic stuff :-)

      • mayank May 11, 2013 at 10:05 #


      • subha October 19, 2013 at 10:36 #

        Thank you :-)

      • Xaviera June 13, 2018 at 07:37 #

        Hi Dilshan,

        I love ur blog is extremely helpful… I hope you could help me in translating the following words to english…

        umma kate –
        sudu boole –
        manika –
        wasthu kate –
        raththaran –

        And also help tosuggest some sweet pet names for my sri lankan boyfriend:)

        Thank u!

  2. Tanya December 6, 2013 at 17:21 #

    How to say i love u so much my baby elephant in Sinhala?

    my guess is Godak adarei mage petiyo???

    And how to say kiss you?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 7, 2013 at 18:46 #

      Close… But excellent effort though.

      It’s “ma∙mȧ o∙yaa∙tȧ go∙dak aa∙dhȧ∙réyi, ma∙gé a∙li pæ∙ti∙yo”


      Note that “a∙li pæ∙ti∙ya” is sometimes used to describe someone chubby/fat, especially a chubby kid (uh-oh…blocked out memories from my childhood are rushing back right now….). So I’d be watchful using that, especially if your partner is a heavy set person.

      In Sinhala, as far as I know, there isn’t an equivalent signing-off line such as “kiss you”. You could probably say “ma∙mȧ o∙yaa∙tȧ haa∙dhu∙wak é∙vȧ∙nȧ∙va” which means “I’m sending you a kiss” – although I don’t think I’ve heard this being used. (but maybe that’s just poor old me who nobody wanted to send kisses too). Boo hoo…

      Good luck with everything. Let me know how your partner reacts, ok?

      • Tanya December 8, 2013 at 13:03 #


        thank you so much for your reply.This was very helpfully.Anyway i thought to study sinhalese.I had a few book tht i bought when i was in Sri Lanka.So i hope if i have any questions about learning,i can feel free to ask you.By the way i am married with Sri Lankan boy so i like to study his lang.

        Also i would like to say that your blog is very useful and keep up a good work,I was searching for a long time on web a blog like this where actually we can hear a pronounce all words and sentences so we can know how to pronounce them correctly.

        Best Regards!

        • Dilshan Jayasinha December 8, 2013 at 14:02 #

          Glad I could help. Thank you also for the kind words about my blog. It’s always nice to hear such positive feedback.

          Yes sure, you can ask me questions.

          Until next time then…

          All the best Tanya!

        • Eden August 17, 2019 at 10:26 #

          Hi Mr. Dilshan?! Can I ask what’s the meaning of Ela and Fatta in English? Thanks in advance

          • Dilshan Jayasinha August 17, 2019 at 10:33 #

            Hi Eden, those are slang words, mostly used by the younger generation.

            “ela” = “cool” (for example, in agreement to a suggestion made by someone)

            “patta” = “awesome” or “amazing” as an adjective.

            Does that help? Where did you see/hear them?

  3. Amol December 20, 2013 at 09:06 #

    Hey Dilshan,
    Nice to read your extremely helpful blog here. Am a guy and my boyfriend is SriLankan. We study together in Bangalore, India. He proposed to me last week and we came up wid da usual english pleasantries. Wanna surprise him now. Can you help me translate this to Sinhala? ‘ Dear, with you around i have nothing to fear.
    Waiting for your reply.
    Thanks. :)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 21, 2013 at 11:42 #

      Hi Amol, that’s fantastic, congratulations!

      The closest translation I could suggest is “ma∙mȧ o∙yaath ék∙kȧ in∙nȧ kang ma∙tȧ ba∙yȧ vén∙nȧ ki∙si∙mȧ dhé∙yak nǣ”. It translates more to “As long as I’m with you, I have nothing at all to fear”.

      Here’s the breakdown of the above phrase (so that you know exactly what you’re saying)

      o∙yaath ék∙kȧ = “with you”;
      ma∙mȧ o∙yaath ék∙kȧ in∙nȧ kang = “As long as I’m with you”

      ma∙tȧ nǣ = “I don’t have”
      ma∙tȧ ki∙si∙mȧ dhé∙yak nǣ = “I don”t have anything at all”
      ba∙yȧ vén∙nȧ = “to fear”
      ma∙tȧ ba∙yȧ vén∙nȧ ki∙si∙mȧ dhé∙yak nǣ = “I don’t have anything to fear at all”

      Hope that helps. Good luck!

  4. Monica February 11, 2014 at 23:17 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    I am also very thankful for your blog. I have been waiting to say something in sinhalese to my boyfriend. He is such a humorous guy. Can you help me translate “Your are my prince!”

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 18, 2014 at 00:06 #

      Thanks Monica!

      I have 2 suggestions:

      1) “You are my prince” = ‘o∙yaa ma∙gé ku∙maa∙rȧ∙ya’
      2) “You are my royal prince” = ‘o∙yaa ma∙gé ra∙jȧ ku∙maa∙rȧ∙ya’

      Either one is fine. Hope that helps.

  5. Lee February 23, 2014 at 23:14 #

    I miss you (a lot)! can also be uba / oya / oba nethuva mata (godak) paalui. උඹ / ඔයා / ඔබා නැතුව මට ගොඩක් පාළුයි – which literately means without (nethuva) you I am lonely (paalu)

  6. dani April 7, 2014 at 14:30 #

    Hello please could i have a friendly translation of “im sorry you are leaving”

    • Dilshan Jayasinha April 8, 2014 at 11:15 #

      Hi Dani, you could say something in the lines of “o∙yaa ya∙nȧ é∙kȧ gæ∙nȧ ma∙tȧ dhu∙kayi” (lit: “I am sad about your leaving/departure”). Hope that helps!

  7. Gail May 21, 2014 at 04:07 #

    Mission accomplished! When hubby came home, I said, “Mama oyaata aadhareyi. Oyaa mata aadhareyidha?” And he said, “God, how annoying!” ;)

    Now I’ve just forced him to listen to the podcast and he alternated between giggling and cringing. He even learned how to say “I miss you” in Sinhala, too! (Funny that there’s no corresponding Sinhala word…)

    But you didn’t teach us the pet name he called me when we were dating: chooti menika. LOL!

    Thanks for this fun lesson!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha May 21, 2014 at 08:11 #

      Haha! Perfect reaction! Exactly what was expected :)

      “Chooti Meniké”, that’s very cute.

      Thanks for sharing that, Gail. Please say hello to Nishan too. You both made me very happy.

  8. Harold June 10, 2014 at 22:22 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    I just googled what do you mean by I love you in sinhala and then i somehow reached your blog, btw i am an indian and my gf is a srilankan, i have learnt most of these sentences here and it has touched my girls heart a lot, all thanks to you man :D and also i would like to know the meanings of these words

    1) you are my Angel
    2) you mean the world to me
    3) i love you my Angel

    And also my apologies in advance as i am really gonna annoy you for more meanings in future :P, i hope you don’t mind and keep up the good work brother :)

    • Harold June 11, 2014 at 18:41 #

      I am still awaiting your reply :)

      • Dilshan Jayasinha September 2, 2014 at 18:54 #

        Hi Harold, sorry for the long delay. Some of the phrases you asked for with “angel” might not translate that well into Sinhala (see my answer to the first comment above from Mayank).

        o∙yaa ma∙gé mu∙lu lo∙kḗ = “You are my whole world”. Again, not very often used as far as I know.

        Sorry again about the delay.

        • Harold September 2, 2014 at 19:18 #

          Hey Dilshan, good to see you back, its alright about the delay, i have all the time in the world to learn more about it from you :D

          Btw what does ‘Chootemenika’ mean, the word sounds pretty cute, would like to know what it means :)

          And tnx again for the reply :)

          • Dilshan Jayasinha September 4, 2014 at 19:05 #

            Hi again Harold,

            choo∙ti = “little/tiny”
            mæ∙ni∙ké = I suppose the closest word is “maiden” or “damsel” (basically, “young lady/girl”)

            It’s a cute name to refer to one’s wife, girlfriend.

            I’m curious, where did you hear it?

          • Harold September 4, 2014 at 19:15 #

            Scroll up, you ll see from sone other peoples post and comments, so go it from there, it sounded cute and i wanted to know what it means :)

          • Dilshan Jayasinha September 4, 2014 at 19:21 #

            Oh of course! That shows that I’m getting way too many comments on this blog than I can handle. Can’t keep track, haha! (good problem to have though) :)

          • Dilshan Jayasinha September 17, 2014 at 16:02 #

            Also, FYI the word for “gem” or “precious stone” in Sinhala is ‘mæ∙ni∙kȧ’. So I’m guessing (not 100% sure but seems likely) that ‘mæ∙ni∙ké’ came from this word. Just makes it a little more romantic :)

  9. Erica November 3, 2014 at 06:40 #

    Thanks Dilshan,

    I tried out mama oyaata aadarei on my boyfriend (only in an email – I was too shy to say it!) and he responded ‘mamath oyata adarei’ :) So now I’m guessing (and hoping ;D ) that ‘mamath’ means something like ‘me too’ . . .

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 3, 2014 at 07:14 #

      Oh wow! Big moment! :) Yes, “mamath”, means “me too”. So happy that you built up the courage to say it… Well, now you know what the obvious next step is, right?… Listen to my pronunciation above, practice it, and then say it him directly :) All the best, Erica!

      • Erica November 3, 2014 at 08:15 #

        Thank you – it really is great being able to hear the pronunciation of words too. Which brings to mind – are you making any more videos? I’ve studied the first 5 that you sent and found them enormously useful so was wondering if there are more in the series.

        Thanks again for this FAB site :)

        • Dilshan Jayasinha November 4, 2014 at 17:49 #

          Hi again Erica, unfortunately, I’ve not really had time to put together more videos. I most likely will develop a collection and sell them on the blog sometime in the near future. Will keep you posted.

  10. kavit November 18, 2014 at 00:47 #

    Hi Could you translatemama oyagæna hæmathissema hithanava please


    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 18, 2014 at 19:33 #

      Hi, it’s “I’m always thinking about you”.

      • kavit November 18, 2014 at 19:37 #


  11. nishana November 25, 2014 at 00:40 #

    Hi dilshan. . I’m getting married soon …I’m Hindi and my fiance is Sri lakh an…I want to surprise him by playing a love song in sinhala for our first dance. Please could you translate the song nethu aadara by uddikka premaratha for me…I love the song. Please please could you help me.


  12. Lovy Pradeep November 27, 2014 at 21:09 #

    in this song: [link removed] what is she responding to ‘ye ye katrina’ when he first says that?

  13. Sara December 4, 2014 at 16:20 #

    Hallo Dilshan!
    Kohomada? ;). Im from iran, i have Bf from Sri Lanka so I’d like to learn some sinhali phrases; i found ur blog is very usefull for me, tnx a lot… I have qus, what’s the meaning of “okkama” in sinhala? Actully i told him “love u” then he rplyd me “okkama” ! What is that meaning?

    Tnx Dilshan

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 11, 2014 at 07:01 #

      Hi Sara, I’m guessing he said “Okama” which could mean either “same thing” or “exactly that thing”. I’ve never heard it being used in this context though as a reply to “I love you”. Hope that helps.

      • gerard July 31, 2016 at 21:05 #

        Hi Dilshan,

        Just wondered whether “Okkama” could’ve meant “all of me?” or “everything?” as

        against your translation for “Okama”

        • Dilshan Jayasinha August 20, 2016 at 21:22 #

          Hi Gerard, yes that’s a possibility too. But still, you wouldn’t just reply with “everything” when someone says “Love you”, would you? (but then again, I’m not the most romantic guy either. What do I know…).

  14. Paul December 7, 2014 at 14:05 #

    Hi Dilshan

    When I heard the podcast for this section, I never thought I’d want to use the phrases here, I gigled along with you during the session

    But…… Christmas is nearly here, and it’s a nice addition to the cards on gifts for my wife.

    Thank you for the posts on this slushy subject :-)



    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 11, 2014 at 07:02 #

      Thanks Paul, glad to hear that you’re going to use some of the mushy phrases. Let me know how she reacts :)

  15. Mya December 14, 2014 at 23:31 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    How do you say, ” You are such a nice guy. I am so happy that I met you. I hope we can be friends forever! “

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 20, 2014 at 07:42 #

      Hi Mya,

      o∙yaa ha∙ri hoňdhȧ mi∙ni∙hék/kol∙lék = “You are a very nice man/boy”

      o∙yaa∙vȧ hambȧ vu∙naa∙tȧ ma∙mȧ go∙dak sa∙thu∙tuyi = “I am very happy to have met you”

      a∙pi hæ∙mȧ∙dhaa∙mȧ yaa∙lu∙vo vé∙laa iňdhiyi ki∙yȧ∙la ma∙mȧ praar∙thȧ∙na kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va = “I wish that we will always be friends”

      Hope that helps?

      • pretty February 23, 2015 at 17:48 #


        I would be thankful and hope you can you translate this:

        America mokada Australia mokada
        okkama gebai marge thamie.

        please….i saw this on my friend. i just want to know what it is.

        • Dilshan Jayasinha February 23, 2015 at 18:05 #

          I don’t get it entirely, sorry. Might be easier to ask your friend what it means.

  16. Sarah January 24, 2015 at 16:56 #

    My boyfriend is from Sri Lanka & this website helped me write him a romantic text and he was soo happy about it, so thank you so much.(:
    Anw, could you please tell me some more nicknames for boyfriend? I am calling him pætiyo now and he loves it.
    Thank you.

  17. Steve March 1, 2015 at 20:23 #

    Hello Dilshan, greetings from the UK.

    First thank you so much for putting so much energy and time into this site, your videos, phrasebook and audio samples have helped a lot.

    I have begun to learn some Sinhala because of a new Sri Lankan love in my life.

    My girlfriend calls me “lover” and “sweetheart” a lot and I am wondering what are the same terms in Sinhala?

    Thank you.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha March 1, 2015 at 20:44 #

      Hi Steve, firstly, congratulations on the new love in your life (and Sri Lankan too!) :)

      “lover” (female) = pém∙vȧ∙thi∙yȧ

      “sweetheart” (female) = not too sure but I’d go with ‘sé∙né∙hé∙van∙thi∙yȧ’

      Good luck and all the best to you both. Let me know how she reacts :)

      • Steve March 7, 2015 at 12:22 #

        Hi Dilshan

        She did react well to this when I told her not long after you posted. She had quite the smile on her face!


  18. Jen April 22, 2015 at 07:45 #

    Hi there. I’ve been dating my Sri Lankan boyfriend for 5 months now. I’m hoping you can help me translate this:
    “I never want to be without you”
    “I can’t wait to start my life with you”


    • Dilshan Jayasinha April 22, 2015 at 18:14 #

      Hi Jen, congratulations :)

      The closest transations:

      “I never want to be without you” = ‘ma∙tȧ ka∙vȧ∙dhaa∙vath o∙yaa næ∙thu∙wȧ in∙nȧ bǣ’ (lit. “I can never be without you”)

      “I can’t wait to start my life with you” ‘o∙yaath ék∙kȧ a∙pé jee∙vi∙thȧ∙ya pa∙tan gan∙nȧ∙kan ma∙tȧ in∙nȧ bǣ” (“our” life instead of “my”)

      All the best and do let me know how he reacts :)

  19. Juliana Barbieto April 28, 2015 at 10:11 #

    Please translate “My Honey” as name called to sweethearts

  20. Frans July 20, 2015 at 20:08 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    This I found out myself!

    Sweety manika, umma, umma!

    U must try, no charge!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha July 21, 2015 at 17:29 #

      Ha! Very generous of you. Ok, will try and let you know the results :)

  21. Alec July 22, 2015 at 11:36 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    I am preparing to propose to my girlfriend (who is Sri Lankan) and was hoping you could help me by translating;

    “Will you marry me?”

    I have always been very bad at learning Sinhala but I think my girlfriend would thoroughly enjoy it if I was able to ask her this.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha July 22, 2015 at 12:34 #

      Wow buddy, this is great news!

      I’m assuming that your Sri Lankan girlfriend speaks Sinhala (and not Tamil)? You might want to check this since both languages are spoken in Sri Lanka.

      Assuming it’s Sinhala, the direct translation of “Will you marry me?” sounds a little weird to me in my head so we’re going to go with “Would you like to marry me?” (trust me on this).

      For that I’ll give you 2 choices.

      1) o∙yaa maa∙vȧ baňdhin∙nȧ kæ∙mȧ∙thi∙dhȧ?

      2) o∙yaa maa∙vȧ ka∙saa∙dhȧ baňdhin∙nȧ kæ∙mȧ∙thi∙dhȧ?

      The only difference is the inclusion of the word “ka∙saa∙dhȧ” in the 2nd version. Either one is fine but I’d personally go with the 2nd – seems proper.


      – ‘o∙yaa’ = informal “you”;
      – ‘maa∙vȧ ka∙saa∙dhȧ baňdhin∙nȧ’ or ‘maa∙vȧ baňdhin∙nȧ’ = “to marry me”
      – ‘kæ∙mȧ∙thi∙dhȧ?’ = “like”

      I’ll email you the pronunciation a little later. Would be kinda awkward if she doesn’t understand your accent and you’re down on one knee, sweating nervously while she looks confused :)

      • Alec July 22, 2015 at 13:55 #

        Haha, thank you very much.

        Yeah it definitely is Sinhala. The pronunciation would be great, it would be the worst time for confusion :)

      • Niel November 9, 2015 at 12:26 #

        Can you also send me an email about the pronounciation for this? Cause I may potentially be doing the same thing

  22. Ayomi July 23, 2015 at 13:47 #

    Hey Dilshan!

    Thank you very much for your useful blog! Will soon be able to reconciliate with my basic sinhala knowledge thanks to you!
    I am half sri lankan half french and my dad never spoke sinhala to me.
    I was just written this by a lankan gentleman: “mata oya nathuwa inna ba”
    Can you please translate for me?

    Thank you!! Bohome istuti ?

    • Dilshan Jayasinha July 27, 2015 at 15:14 #

      Hi Ayomi, thanks for reaching out. Glad you find the blog useful. Your lankan gentleman said “I cannot be without you”…

      Woooo…. :)

      ma∙tȧ bǣ = “I can’t”
      in∙nȧ = “to be/exist”
      o∙yaa = “you”
      næ∙thu∙wȧ = “without”

      Does that help understand it better?

  23. Ayomi July 23, 2015 at 16:07 #

    And also please, what is mage kella? Am lost… In translation ?

    • Dilshan Jayasinha July 27, 2015 at 15:18 #

      ma∙gé = “my”
      kél∙lȧ = “girl”

      So, “my girl”

      This gentleman is making things quite clear I think ;-)

      • Ayomi July 27, 2015 at 22:22 #

        Thank you very much for your kind and prompt answer!
        All the best,

  24. Laurence July 27, 2015 at 14:30 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    I just came back from Sri Lanka recently, and someone has written to me “oyta mama adarai”. Which is written in a different order to what you wrote above (mamȧ oyaatȧ aadhȧréyi) AND with a different spelling !

    Does that mean that the first two words can be placed in either order (oyta mama or mama oyta)?

    Makes learning confusing !
    Thanks for your help. I’m having a lot of fun with this site :-)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha August 3, 2015 at 16:18 #

      Hi Laurence, firstly, forget about comparing the spelling since there is no standard way of writing Sinhala words in English. I write them in a way that I think best captures the pronunciation. But that doesn’t mean that someone else’s spelling is wrong.

      Regarding the order of the words, yes, both versions can be said, but I would recommend my version since I feel it is slightly more “correct”

  25. Sam July 27, 2015 at 15:36 #

    I want to sing a sinhala love song for my girlfriend.. Could u suggest a song and the meaning of what m singing.. I want to feel every word I sing.. I really love her…

    • Dilshan Jayasinha August 3, 2015 at 16:20 #

      Hi Sam, that’s nice but unfortunately my knowledge of Sinhala songs is really bad. I confess I don’t listen to Sinhala songs or radio stations so I really can’t recommend anything. Hopefully some other reader who sees this might be able to help you out. Sorry about that buddy.

  26. Lehen September 5, 2015 at 21:16 #

    Hello Dilshan,

    Thank you for shedding some (much-needed) light on the intricacies of Sinhala!

    I just came back from Sri Lanka, where I quite unexpectedly met a funny and all together rather winsome Sinhalese man (I say “rather unexpectedly” because I was not looking to meet anybody, in fact it hadn’t even crossed my mind at all). I made gallantly copious (or should I say “copiously gallant”? Hmmm..) efforts to repudiate my my attraction to him, because I felt it was not appropriate at the time. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, we were around each other for at least 8 hours per day for 11 days. On our last night together I thought I picked up some vibes from him, but naturally I swiftly dismissed them too.

    Well, it turns out the attraction was mutual and a sort of “something” started between us via texts (right now I can picture you saying “Really?” to yourself) from the moment I stepped on the plane to fly home. His English is, shall we say, rather “challenging” for me, which coupled with my total lack of previous experience in conducting any kind of relationship, let alone this kind (whatever that may be), via texting/chatting, renders this endeavour nigh unfeasible (well, I shall not tell a lie, there is a bunch of other things that contributes, but those are well beyond the the scope of linguistics discussed here, so I won’t go into them). Plainly put, I spend too much time trying to “translate” his English to a more standard version. He keeps saying, “what I do”, which after some research I now understand, and “I don’t understand what I say now” (no punctuation in either of these).

    Have you any idea what he means by:1)”my feeling is good” 2) “I cannot identify” 3) “I think not now” and it doesn’t mean what it seems like it does 4) “have lot of think.and I wont say dont try to stop and your feeling and try to developed” 5) “it came by hearts” 6) “and you have good feeling” 7) and, finally, is there an expression in Sinhala that says something like “you and me tub(e)lights”.
    I have a nagging suspicion that he is translating directly from Sinhala, so perhaps you could help.

    So sorry for the jeremiad, but I guess I needed to get it out!

    Thanks a lot,


    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 15, 2015 at 20:40 #

      Hi Lehen, sorry for the delay.

      Well… that’s quite the situation you’ve got yourself into. But it’s very sweet, nevertheless. One of those “You’re so wrong for me that you’re so right” stories. Been there, done that.

      For the life of me, I can’t (and don’t know if it’s even fair to him) try to interpret what your beau has been saying. The only thing I could decipher in some certainty is “tubelight” which essentially is what we in SL call a typical white fluorescent lamp. And since when it is switched it takes a couple of seconds to light up, we use the term “tubelight” to someone who in a certain moment takes too long to understand a joke or understand what the other person said.

      Does this make sense?

  27. zanne October 1, 2015 at 06:35 #

    Hello Dilshan,

    I read your blog in the past to get some info on how to freak my S.L. Boyfriend out. I now often ask, whether he loves me or not in Sri Lankan. Hahaha!
    But my request now is to learn how to say “Don’t lie to me.”

    Many thanks.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 2, 2015 at 13:47 #

      Ok… wasn’t expecting that. Here it is: matå boru kiyanna épaa

      • Dilshan Jayasinha October 2, 2015 at 13:48 #

        Let me know how he reacts. Shocked would be my guess…

        • zanne October 3, 2015 at 05:51 #

          Well you’d be right in assuming.
          He did a startled pause and started laughing, then commented on my accent.
          A+ thank you!!

          • Dilshan Jayasinha October 3, 2015 at 07:03 #

            Haha, perfect! Couldn’t have asked for a better reaction.

          • fehneez October 3, 2015 at 21:01 #

            can you tell me what does PAWAM means. This is a srilankan word

  28. shahxadi October 3, 2015 at 21:00 #

    what does pawam means in srilanka

  29. Patty November 4, 2015 at 12:39 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    I agree some were a little cheesy but some were good and I will try to use them rather than the usual ‘I love you’.

    What I would like to know how to say is: Where have you been? Why did that take you so long? You are so late, your dinner is in the dog. Thank you for the present, it’s lovely. (It’s our anniversary today) ahhhhh!

    I’m not really a moaner but they will have more impact if said in Sinhala.
    My husband is impressed with my progress as I come out with random snippets from time to time.

    Thanks for your help.


  30. Signe April 25, 2016 at 16:23 #

    I was recently in Sri Lanka.
    I have kept in touch with my yoga instructor who also gave massages.

    He keeps writing: “I am with you always”
    Is this normal?
    He is a buddhist so I thought it had something to do with that.
    Now I am not so sure what to think..

    • Dilshan Jayasinha April 29, 2016 at 13:54 #

      Hmm… It’s difficult for me to judge if it’s “normal” or not considering that I’ve also been guilty of (intentionally) having said a lot of weird things to girls during my single years just to throw them off balance :) I’ll just say that I haven’t heard anyone saying this before. I think best would be for you to ask him directly. No more mystery then. Good luck.

  31. Aashni May 28, 2016 at 14:43 #

    Hi Dilshan!

    This is such an awesome and useful blog, I’ve made quite a few Sri Lankan friends in the last couple of years and have been learning Kandyan dancing and getting into the music, so I’d love to learn the language to understand the songs better. If only there were a similar website where I could learn my mother tongue (Gujarati)… :P

    We’re about to break up from uni for summer and one of my closest friends is Sinhalese, so I was just wondering how you’d say “I will miss you” (i.e. with the future tense)?

    Also, mama oyate adhareyi can be used for friends too, right?

    Thanks so much! Looking forward to your reply :)

  32. Dilshan Jayasinha May 30, 2016 at 11:03 #

    Hi Aashini, kem cho?

    Thanks for the kind words. I never get tired of hearing “awesome & useful blog”.

    The simplest way to say “I will miss you” (in the future tense) is ‘ma∙tȧ o∙yaa∙vȧ miss vén∙nȧ ya∙nȧ∙va’ (“I’m going to miss you”).

    I’m not too sure if ‘mama oyate adhareyi’ can be used on friends. I think its best left to romantic conversations.

    Does that make sense?

    • Aashni May 31, 2016 at 22:00 #

      :O Saru che! Ane tamne? :D
      Thanks very much, I do hope to learn the grammar of all this one day so I can figure these things out myself, though that will take time :)
      That does make sense… so is there a version of ‘I love you’ that can be used for friends? Or something with a similar meaning?
      PS I actually do go around collecting ‘I love you’s in different languages. Guess it must be a girl thing xD

      • Dilshan Jayasinha June 2, 2016 at 10:27 #

        Aashini, as of now, I can’t really think of a phrase that is equivalent to “I love you” that can be used on a friend. I know that if you say “ma∙mȧ o∙yaa∙la∙tȧ aa∙dhȧ∙réyi” (using the plural “you”) ona group of friends, it works because then there’ll be no ambiguity. Let me think about that and get back to you. About the “I love you” collection, years ago I had the bright idea of creating an app that had I love you’s from languages around the world. Did some heartbreaking research to realize that there were already a number of them in the app store… You should think about getting one since you’re a collector.

  33. Danielle Cliff June 26, 2016 at 19:22 #

    Hi Dishlan,

    Your blog is fantastic as I now have a wonderful Sri Lankan boyfriend. I will be relying on you for phrases in future lol! Altho my BF has a sense of humour & sent him last night the phrase ‘I am always thinking of you’ & he tells me today I said ‘I’m not always thinking of you’ – I got a all flustered til he started laughing! LOL ?. Can’t wait to visit Sri Lanka for 1st time in Oct with Yaso ?. Want to learn the basics too such as hello, goodbye, thank you etc.

    • Danielle Cliff June 26, 2016 at 19:24 #

      Oops sorry Dilshan ?

      • Dilshan Jayasinha July 1, 2016 at 14:56 #

        Hi Dalliene… Oops sorry Danielle (see how I got my revenge? ;-))

        Thanks for all the nice words. I too LOVE teasing my wife and making her get flustered the same way your Yaso does, so we have that in common. The basic words you mentioned are all included the in the free ebook I sent you the day you signed up. Let me know if you don’t find it?

  34. Paula July 24, 2016 at 16:41 #

    Can you tell me how to say “i hate you” or I’m angry at you…. the problem is that the second phrase might mean longer words too. I will tell it to him in times that he make me so mad. thank u

    • Paula July 24, 2016 at 16:49 #

      P.S. don’t worry, the “I hate you” is not meant to hurt my husband.One time, I searched the translation online, he said it means “i hate you” but has a deeper meaning talking about “revenge” I dont like that. but i simply wanna tell him sometimes that I hate him and i believe it will make sense to him if i Tell it in his language…. i searched it now again, is this consistent? mama um̆baṭa vaira karanavā

      • Dilshan Jayasinha July 30, 2016 at 13:26 #

        Haha, never got this question below. I think you should just stick to the Sinhala equivalent of “I’m angry at you” which is “ma∙mȧ o∙yaath ék∙kȧ tha∙ra∙hayi”. Or in the heat of the moment you could say “o∙yaa maa∙vȧ tha∙ra∙ha gas∙sȧ∙nȧ∙va” (“You’re making me angry”). Hope that helps. Let me know how he reacts. Good luck.

  35. Krystal December 28, 2016 at 02:04 #

    I have been dating a man of Sri Lankan heritage who was my childhood friend since the age of 8 for nearly a year now in January 2017. His parents, aunties, uncles and cousins have all been very impressed with my learning Sinhala. Thank you for all your help in my learning! His mom and I practice together all the time. They are very excited that I want to learn! In 2017 we are all going to Sri Lanka so I hope I can impress his family there too especially his aachi whom I’ve only met via FaceTime. I think being a native English and Spanish speaker helps me learn Sinhalese quicker. Any who, thank you very much for helping me actively show an interest to my love and bestfriend and his family!