The LBSS Tribe has spoken. And the WINNER is…

9134141_s-1Thanks to everyone who replied to the question I asked in my last email:

“Which of the following do you want me to write about next?”

  • The Sinhala words for Members of the Family? or
  • Vegetables in Sinhala?

BTW, I could’ve sent you a follow up email with these results, but I try to avoid sending multiple emails in a week to my mailing list (unless it’s necessary) so I decided to do this in a post. Hope you get to see it.

Well, it was a close one, folks, but the winner finally ended up being…

(Drum roll please… and DJ, play that funky tabla beat too!)




But for those of you who voted for the “Veggies” post, don’t be too disappointed. Seeing that there were many of you, I’ll make sure to do that one also very soon, ok?


Brainstorming the “Family” post

Earlier this evening, I already got started on the brainstorming (or as I like to call it: scribbling, doodling, crossing out half of it, feeling really awful, and then starting over).

family members in sinhala brainstorming

Brainstorm in a tea cup (click to enlarge)


True story: the wind blew away one of the pages while I was trying to take this pic. Managed to catch it before it landed in the neighbor’s yard.


Your ideas are VERY welcome…

Of course, I’ve got my own ideas on what should be in this post, and since I can be honest with you guys, let me also add that I’m reasonably happy with what I’ve come up with so far (don’t let the crappy-looking notes above fool you).

But I’d love to hear your thoughts on it too.

So far, here are some of the most helpful comments/suggestions I’ve got by email . As you’ll see, they really help me shape this basic post into something of real value to you guys.

(I’ve kept these comments anonymous as I’m too sleepy to send out emails asking each person if it’s ok to mention their names).

Here they are:

  • Perhaps not only the names for the (direct) family members but other relatives too?
  • You can include a brief explanation about the wide concept of “cousin” in Sri Lanka, it would be interesting.
  • My vote would be for Members of the Family which would still go well with your 8 part self-intro series..
  • I would love to see “Members of the family in Sinhala” because I found that in SL, family bonds are really strong
  • Since i am going to meet family and friends in Colombo end of this month, some help with that would be nice
  • Members of the family would be a great addition. (But) rather than just vocabulary, I would love if you could present these words in simple sentences such as “she is not my mother, she is my aunt”. Or “I have one daughter and two sons”.
  • My boyfriend is Sri Lankan and would greatly help with communicating with his parents and extended family. So the answer to your question below I’d find the members of the family more useful to at this stage.
  • Maybe you can (also) do some cultural notes and explain the following: When I asked our (Sri Lankan) friend if a certain person was his family, he replied “No, not family, but relation”. But this person called our friend “Uncle” and calls me “Aunty”. Also, his sister calls me “big sister” in English.

You see what I mean? It’s SUPER helpful.

So please leave any suggestions you also may have in the comments below (and remember to tick the “notify” box). The post won’t be ready for a few more days so you have time to submit any suggestions.

Alright my dear tribe, thanks again for your many emails. I’m off to bed now. Got a blog post to write tomorrow…

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9 Responses to The LBSS Tribe has spoken. And the WINNER is…

  1. Shagerina Tilakasiri November 14, 2013 at 08:17 #

    Ha! I am too smart for this unless if my future husband is a Sinhala! :P

  2. Karin November 14, 2013 at 14:28 #

    Salut Dilshan,
    My chéri calls his big brother “Aiya”, and his big sister “Akki” or “Akka”… did you plan on telling us about this in your post ?

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 14, 2013 at 14:57 #

      Salut Karin, yes yes, definitely was planning on including that. It’s an important difference between Sinhala and English. In English we’d simply say “big brother” or “little brother” (like in French) but in Sinhala there are 2 distinct words for it. It’s also important because this is the standard way of addressing someone in your age group (even if it’s a stranger). WIll talk about it more in the post so stay tuned…

  3. joe November 17, 2013 at 04:35 #

    a “members of the family” post……great to hear about that….pertinent and helpful….you are providing a great service…….and free!….thanks so much dilshan…….will let you know how i am progressing with the lessons in due course………..i am giving myself some leeway here….anyway…..all the best……..

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 17, 2013 at 05:29 #

      Thanks Joe. Best of luck with the “lazy” learning, exactly my kind of style, haha.

      • joe November 17, 2013 at 09:04 #

        -“lazy” learning.–…..your response to my earlier comment ……. enjoyed that…….it was funy and perceptive dilshan…you have got my number i think!………

  4. Anthony January 1, 2014 at 10:24 #

    My partner says that it should be oyaata not oya kohomadha ? Which is correct he is from South Sri Lanka maybe it is different for him ?
    I am just loving the lazy way if learning…by downloading it onto my MP4 player and listening whilst dog walking
    Thanks it’s great fun

    • Dilshan Jayasinha January 3, 2014 at 07:37 #

      Hi Anthony,

      Good question. Your partner’s version is also correct. The reason for the difference is in the subsequent answer that you give to the question. For simplicity sake, in the following explanation, I’m going to call it “Your partner’s version” and “My version” (although I’m sure neither one of us take credit for inventing them..).

      Your partner’s version:
      Question: o∙yaa∙tȧ ko∙ho∙mȧ∙dhȧ? = “How (is it) for you?”
      Answer: ma∙tȧ hoňdhayi = “(It) is good for me”

      My version:
      Question: o∙yaa ko∙ho∙mȧ∙dhȧ? = “How (are) you?”
      Answer: ma∙mȧ hoňdhin in∙nȧ∙va = “I (am being) fine”

      Since both are grammatically correct, just for your information, here’s why I chose to introduce my version in my lessons:

      – I didn’t want to confuse the beginner by introducing what is called the dative case (to/for) in the initial lesson
      – I wanted to introduce the verb form of ‘nȧ∙va’, which I then explained in the 5th tutorial
      – So, In keeping with the “lazy but smart” theme, I decided to go with the one that is simpler and more useful for future lessons.

      But I will say this too… I think (and this is purely through my observation) that your partner’s version is more often used when inquiring about someone’s health although it can also be used as a greeting. Your partner might disagree with me which is why it would great if you could ask him his thoughts on this. I really enjoy these types of discussions as something good always comes out of it.

      Thanks for the question!

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