What To Say In Sinhala When Your Spouse Takes FOREVER To Get Ready

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7th February.

That was the deadline I had set for myself for my latest premium product: my Sinhala Verb Book.

Let me glance at the calendar… yep, that would be today.

And no, I’m not ready.

Far from it.

But how the hell did this inspire me to write my first short screenplay?

And why it based on a hypothetical wife who keeps her hypothetical husband waiting for ages while she puts on her hypothetical make-up?

Well, the answer lies with a certain Mr. Charlie Kaufman … > > >


Charlie Kaufman, if you don’t know is the creative genius who wrote movies like “Adaptation”, “Being John Malkovich”, and “Eternal Sunshine For The Spotless Mind”.

I came across an interview of his last week by chance.

Usually when someone fascinates me, I like to find out more about their lives and the way they think.

And so whenever I would take breaks from writing my Sinhala verb book, I would read up on the guy and this led me into the fascinating world of screenwriting.

I believe it created the “itch” for me try my hand at it someday.

If you watched the movie “Adaptation”, you’ll know that he writes out the string of thoughts going through the mind of the main protagonist.

So let me now explain how this blog post came about by mimicking the device Kaufman used by writing out the string of thoughts that went through my mind a few hours back:


  • “It’s 7th Feb today, I should probably email them something about missing the deadline”
  • “I’ll just tell them that I’m not ready”
  • “But I don’t want to just write to them about that”
  • “I should probably teach some new Sinhala along with it. Make it fun and worthwhile for them.
  • “Hey, maybe I’ll teach them how to say “I’m not ready” in Sinhala”
  • “Wait, I can also teach them how to ask “Are you ready?”, “Why aren’t your still ready?”, or even “Hurry up!”
  • “But when will they ever need these phrases?”
  • “Ok, I’m sure there are loads people out there who have to hurry their husbands or wives when going out, right?”
  • “And even if they didn’t, I guess they’ll get to use it on their mom, dads, friends, and co-workers. Anyone who keeps them waiting”
  • “Hang on, that reminds me of my own marriage where “some people” (wink wink) take longer than others”
  • Maybe I can do it like a dialogue between a newly married couple?
  • And maybe this would be my chance to start scratching my screenwriting itch.


The result?

The silly little screenplay I’ve done below, along with the Sinhala phrases and their pronunciation. I even wrote it in the ‘Courier’ font.

(Aw isn’t that cute, Dilshan’s taking himself so seriously…)

Folks, I get bored doing blog posts in the same old format week after week. I’ve been working really hard this last week deconstructing 350 Sinhala verbs and so I thought I’d have some fun and be playful with this post.

Enjoy the format and remember to answer my question that I’ve left at the bottom.



written by Dilshan Jayasinha





Mr. Lazy, looking annoyed, is pacing up and down outside the bathroom door.

He finally makes his hand into a fist and bangs hard on the door.

It immediately opens to reveal Mrs. Smart in a stunning evening dress, looking radiant as ever. She looks puzzled as to why the knock on the door was so loud. She has a “what’s going on?” type of look.



Are you ready? o∙yaa   lǣs∙thi∙dhȧ?       

Mrs. Smart goes back to looking at the mirror



No, I’m still not ready nǣ,   ma∙mȧ   tha∙wȧ∙mȧ   lǣs∙thi   nǣ       

Mr. Lazy intentionally sighs loudly



Why aren’t you still ready? æyi   o∙yaa   tha∙wȧ∙mȧ   lǣs∙thi   næth∙thé?       

Mrs. Smart looks apologetic.



I need more time ma∙tȧ   tha∙wȧ   vé∙laa∙vȧ   ō∙né       
Give me 5 more minutes ma∙tȧ   tha∙wȧ   mi∙nith∙thu   pa∙hak   dhén∙nȧ       
I’ll be ready as soon as possible ma∙mȧ   pu∙luwan   tha∙ram   ik∙mȧ∙nȧ∙tȧ   læs∙thi   vén∙nam       
I’ll hurry up ma∙mȧ   ik∙man   kȧ∙ran∙nam       


Mr. Lazy (who has now become Mr. “Grumpoolal”) doesn’t look convinced. In fact, he looks more annoyed than before. Almost like he’s heard all these reassurances before, the last time they were going out.



Hurry up! ik∙man   kȧ∙ran∙nȧ!       
You’re taking too long! o∙yaa   go∙dak   vé∙laa∙vȧ   gan∙nȧ∙va!       
How much more time do you need? o∙yaa∙tȧ   tha∙wȧ   koch∙chȧ∙rȧ   vé∙laa∙vȧ   ō∙né∙dhȧ?       
Will it take long? go∙dak   vé∙laa∙vȧ   yayi∙dhȧ?       


Now it’s Mrs. Smart’s turn to look annoyed. She doesn’t look apologetic anymore.



Don’t bother me ma∙tȧ   ka∙rȧ∙dȧ∙rȧ   kȧ∙ran∙nȧ   é∙paa       

And with that, she gently shuts the bathroom door while Mr. Smart looks on.

Mr. Smart shrugs his shoulders and shakes his head. He knows she won that round. Humbled, he retreats to his liquor cabinet and pours himself two fingers of Scotch.

15 minutes later Mrs. Smart emerges from the bathroom, looking gorgeous. She smiles at Mr. Lazy who is in front of the TV watching highlights of an old Sri Lankan cricket match.



How do I look? Nice? ma∙mȧ   ko∙ho∙mȧ∙dhȧ?   las∙sȧ∙nȧ∙dhȧ?       

Mr. Lazy smiles at her.



Yes yes, you look very good…. Shall we go? owo   owu,   o∙yaa   ha∙ri   las∙sȧ∙nayi.   a∙pi   ya∙mu∙dhȧ?       

She takes a last look at the mirror in the hall. She looks content.



Ok, let’s go haa,   a∙pi   ya∙mu       

Mr. Smart put his arm around her waist and kisses her on the cheek to show her that he’s sorry about being impatient.

She backs away immediately. She glares at him in disbelief.



You spoiled my make-up!!! o∙yaa   ma∙gé   mḗk-ap   é∙kȧ   sauth∙thu   kȧ∙laa!!!       

She hurries back to the bathroom while Mr. Lazy giggles to himself and heads over to the liquor cabinet. The glass in his hand is empty.





My Question For You:


What is your experience in your own marriage and relationship?


Are you the one constantly hurrying your spouse? Or are you the one hearing the knocking on the door? What other phrases would you want to use in such situations.

Leave your answers in the comments below.

Also, I’ve thrown in many new words above without any grammatical explanation. Ask me about any word that doesn’t sit well with you.

Speak soon!


As a writer, you have to present yourself, and part of what yourself is is what you’re interested in, or what you think is funny, or what you think is sad, or what you think is horrible.

– Charlie Kaufman


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28 Responses to What To Say In Sinhala When Your Spouse Takes FOREVER To Get Ready

  1. Hugh February 8, 2016 at 02:08 #

    Hey Dilshan, I really appreciate your blog, it was a great introduction to Sinhala for me. You have been adding to it for a long time; most of your blog posts are vocabulary, I understand that you write about whatever topic you’re interested in but vocabulary for getting ready for a night out is a really obscure topic.
    I totally understand if you want this blog to be a knowledge bank to go to if somebody wants phrases they can say for a specific situation. I think that we really need some blog posts about verbs and more grammar. I think this is needed if people are to take vocabulary they learned in one blog post and apply it to many situations. I’m sure there are creative and fun ways to discuss verbs if you want to avoid this becoming too formal.
    Again, I certainly do appreciate what you do for others and I don’t want to sound ungrateful for what you have provided us with.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 8, 2016 at 11:40 #

      Hugh, thanks for your honesty, buddy.

      If I understood you correctly, you’d like to see more grammar posts, and less obscure posts.

      For the grammar posts I’ve done so far, please go to my archives and look under “Learn Sinhala Grammar”. I’ll keep adding to them as time goes by.

      About this post being obscure… I used a personal ‘niche’ situation to teach typical “late” themed Sinhala phrases that can be used in ANY such situation, not just when one’s wife/husband keeps you waiting. I choose my titles very carefully and I wanted the reader have the light-bulb go off mid-post that most phrases (barring a few) could actually be used for dialogues with friends, family, co-workers etc. (I’d think twice before telling a co-worker “yes yes, you look beautiful”)…

      Your comment made me realize that this might not be that obvious to a few readers so I’ve added another line to my thought process bullet points above.

      You feedback was very constructive, hence my long reply. I hope I addressed the main points you raised.

  2. Tracey February 8, 2016 at 03:00 #

    I found this funny and as i was reading it i was thinking about my partner (male) and this is him to a tee. He is also the kind that will say i’m on my way while he is still in bed half asleep.
    It is a refreshing change from the usual blog posts we have had. Every now and then it is good to have a change and do something fun. Sometimes sticking to the same stuff all the time gets stale and boring not only for the teacher but the learners as well. I know as a teacher i am constantly thinking of new ways of engaging the children so that their learning experiences are fun so they become engaged and interested. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 8, 2016 at 11:48 #

      Tracey, glad you enjoyed it. Your husband reminds me of someone I know (I shall be nice in case you-know-who is reading this). Since we’re swapping stories about spouses, my wife’s thing is that it’s always “5 minutes” even if clearly it would take longer. But she gets it now and she has even said “15 minutes” to me, which is quite a courageous leap :)

      Thanks for the comment. Regards to your husband too.

  3. Kevin February 8, 2016 at 04:18 #

    Hugh, Dilshan said he only posted this blog topic because he was “late” in publishing his Sinhala Verb Book and applied the “late” theme to an everyday situation. I think the result was great, entertaining and even useful. Not everything should be strict learning. Keep up the great work Dilshan.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 8, 2016 at 11:53 #

      Thanks buddy, glad you enjoyed it and that you “got it”. Thanks for the support too. Very soon, thanks to folks like you, I may not even be needed anymore to respond to comments :) I appreciated your input.

  4. Uma Balu February 8, 2016 at 09:22 #

    Hey Dilshan, that was a really nice post! I think you can include expressions like “wait”, “just a moment”, “I am almost done” and “I am ready!”

    One more idea: You can introduce a female voice – especially in the dialogues. That would not only be interesting, but also a pleasant listening experience for serious learners.

    This month-end I am presenting a paper at a Buddhist conference in Kerala. There will be many delegates from Sri Lanka and I am planning to test my spoken Sinhala with them –
    woooow…Dilshan, I am thrilled at the opportunity!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 8, 2016 at 11:56 #

      Hi Uma, thanks for the feedback. I like the idea of the female voice. I’ll need to find a native speaker for that. Perhaps for one-time premium products that I release I’ll try to do this but for weekly blog posts it might be difficult to organize this seeing that I spend a lot of time in India now. Let me think about that.

      All the very best for your presentation. Let me know how people react.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 8, 2016 at 12:19 #

      And thanks for the suggestions on more expressions. I’m in the car right now. Let me get back and do the translations for you.

  5. Antje February 8, 2016 at 09:51 #

    Fun but still excitingly waiting for the book :)
    No pressure though :P


    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 8, 2016 at 11:57 #

      Haha, I guess I should say “none taken” to the pressure, but I’d be lying. I get the message Antje, I’m working on it. :) Have a great week.

  6. Pinar February 8, 2016 at 10:36 #

    Not married but all my Sri Lankan friends make me wait minimum half an hour so these will come in very handy :) Thank you

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 8, 2016 at 11:59 #

      Thanks Pinar, let me know how it goes. I’d like to see how their shocked faces when you say “ikman karanna” in a no-nonsense tone.

  7. Alexandra February 8, 2016 at 21:10 #

    Hi Dilshan,
    This fits perfectly to my situation with the little change that my Sri Lankan fiancé (husband in 17 days :)) ) is the one who can’t deal with my German punctuality. I’ve already learned that “I’ll pick you up in 15 minutes.” means that i have enough time to sleep an hour, cook and eat a whole meal before I take a shower and get dressed, because he wont be there in the next three hours … :) So the new Sinhala phrases (of course is my part Mr. Lazy) will be the perfect start for our wedding life ;) !
    By the way, how to say in Sinhala “Yes I do/Yes I will.” to confirm the marriage? Could be helpful because we marry in a village in Sri Lanka :) :p
    Thanks and greetings!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 13, 2016 at 12:19 #

      Haha, that is funny. And when you say “German punctuality” it instantly reminded me of the time I went for the Kölner Karneval and my friend and I were just speechless about how on-the-dot punctual the trains were!

      I don’t know of any equivalent to “Yes, I do” in the context of confirming a marriage. I would have to look into that. Don’t want to tell you something I’m not sure of.

  8. Elizabeth February 8, 2016 at 22:23 #

    Hello Dilshan

    Typical conversation between a couple. Have heard this a lot on Sinhala Tele drama
    when I was back in Sri Lanka.

    Now for your question. My spouse & I was always in time. (past tense).

    Bye for now.
    Elizabeth T.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 13, 2016 at 12:20 #

      Thanks Elizabeth, that’s sweet, thanks for sharing. Hope all is well with you. Speak again soon.

  9. Andrea Neuwohner February 9, 2016 at 13:27 #

    Haha, super. So typical! Also that Mr. Lazy spents his waiting time by watching sports on TV! The four answers of Mrs.Smart are in the order of propability, or?

    I need not so much time for the make up but for choosing the clothes. Putting on 5 different dresses, looking critically into the mirror (thinking I should make more sports…) and wearing the first one in the end. :D

    Many greetings from Germany from the carnival region.


    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 13, 2016 at 12:23 #

      Yeah Andrea, I didn’t mention that but yes, I also get the “privilege” of being asked the question of “How does this dress look?” and I need to answer quick because even if there’s a moment of hesitation, there could be a change of outfits that’ll take a little more time. I’m learning….

      Thanks for your comment. I also just replied your email now. Thanks again for that.

  10. Shirley Vilathgamuwa February 10, 2016 at 18:40 #

    Love it Dilshan, highly useful phrases. Wish I had those many moons ago, my darling Sri Lankan husband, was a terrible at getting ready on time. I swear he always took more time in front of the mirror than most women. But the end result was always fabulous, the man knows how to dress and look totally awesome.

    None the less they will most certainly be useful, the suggestion in a previous post of also using a female voice sounds great.

    Still looking forward to the up coming book, no pressure. This was a ‘brain relax post from you, needing a break from your big project’ great idea.

    Blessings :)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 13, 2016 at 12:26 #

      Thanks Shirley, glad you liked it and yes, you can use these phrases in other contexts too.

      You’ve always spoken very highly of your husband. Sounds like an interesting man.

      Since I posted this “fun” post, I have been back at the more serious verb deconstructing. It’s coming along fine. Thanks for the encouragement.

  11. Lenita February 11, 2016 at 15:07 #

    Hey there Dilshan – I really love your blog and the way you write . Hoping to go back to Sri Lanka this year so I definitaly need to learn more Sinhala.
    Keep up the good work :)
    ciaoooooooo from Florence Italy

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 13, 2016 at 12:27 #

      Thanks Lenita, always happy to hear nice things about my writing. Great for my ego :)

      Take care and “ciaaaaaaaaaoooo” to you too.

  12. Laurence February 11, 2016 at 22:21 #

    That was very entertaining, thank you Dilshan !

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 13, 2016 at 12:29 #

      Mais je t’en prie, laurence.. C’était mon plaisir (and I mean it, I did have fun writing this).

  13. Rachel April 26, 2016 at 06:55 #

    Hey Dilshan,

    This is by far the most handy post I’ve read on the site! I swear my fiancé’s face was pure shock when I responded with the “Don’t bother me” to his asking when I’d be ready, and promptly told me I’m not allowed on the blog any more. Probably the funniest interaction we’ve had thus far. But, in all seriousness, you do an amazing job, and have helped me start picking out words and phrases I can use with Hubby to be and his family. Thank you for all of your hard work and the humor!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha April 29, 2016 at 13:59 #


      Thank you so much, glad you liked it and that you’re finding it useful to connect with your future hubby & family. Can’t wait to show your comment to my wife. Thanks again!

  14. Kristen Warnakulasuriya January 19, 2020 at 02:07 #

    What if it’s the guy that takes to long? Can the same sentences be used? I ask because I am the one always waiting and how can you say ‘ I should leave your butt’!

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