Sinhala (සිංහල)   Sinhala (සිංහල)

Sinhala is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 16 million Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka. It also used as a second language by another 3 million people belonging to other ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, where it is one of the official and national languages, along with Tamil. There are also considerable numbers of Sinhala speakers in Singapore, Thailand, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

Sinhala at a glance

  • Native name: සිංහල (Siṃhāla) [ˈsiŋɦələ]
  • Linguistic affliation: Indo-European; Indo-Iranian; Indo-Aryan; Southern Indo-Aryan; Insular Indo-Aryan
  • Number of speakers: c.17 million
  • Spoken in: Sri Lanka
  • First written: 9th century AD
  • Writing system: Sinhala alphabets
  • Status: official and national language in Sri Lanka

Sinhala is also known as Sinhalese or Singhala - the latter version is closer to the pronunciation native name. The native name of the language is සිංහල (Siṃhāla), which comes from Sanskrit and could be translated as "lion-seizer", "lion-killer" or "lion blood", which refer to the legendary founder of the Sinhala people, Prince Vijaya, a descendant of Sinhabahu/Sīhabāhu ("Lion-arms"), the son of a princess of the Vanga Kingdom and a lion.

Sinhala alphabet

The Sinhala alphabet, a descendent of the Brahmi script, started to appear in Prakrit inscriptions during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. Both the alphabet and the language have changed considerably since then. The earliest surviving literature in Sinhala dates from the 9th century AD.

The Sinhala alphabet is also used to write Pali and Sanskrit in Sri Lanka.

Notable features

Vowels

Sinhala vowels

Vowel diacritics with ka

Sinhala vowel diacritics with ka

Consonants

Sinhala consonants and conjuncts

Numerals

Old Sinhala numerals

These numerals are no longer used in written Sinhala, instead the Western-style numerals are used.

Spreadsheet of the Sinhala alphabet (Excel, 56K)

Sample text in Sinhala

සියලූ මනුෂ්‍යයෝ නිදහස්ව උපත ලබා ඇත. ගරුත්වයෙන් හා අයිතිවාසිකම් සමාන වෙති. යුක්ති අයුක්ති පිළිබඳ හැඟීමෙන් හා හෘදය සාක්ෂියෙන් යුත් ඔවුනොවුන්වුන්ට සැළකිය යුත්තේ සහෝදරත්වය පිළිබඳ හැඟීමෙනි.

Transliteration

Siyalū manuṣyayō nidahasva upata labā. Garutvayen hā ayitivāsikam samāna veti. Yukti ayukti piḷiban̆da hæn̆gīmen hā hṛdaya sākṣiyen yut ovunōvunvunṭa sæḷakiya yuttō sahōdaratvaya piḷiban̆da hæn̆gīmen.

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Information about Sinhala | Sinhala phrases | Sinhala numbers | Sinhala learning materials

Links

Information about the Sinhala alphabet and language
http://www.sinhalapage.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinhala_language
http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international/bylanguage/sinhalachart.html
http://www.sinhala-online.com

Sinhala lessons and courses
http://mylanguages.org/learn_sinhala.php
http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php?page=Sinhala
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=rTFAAAAAYAAJ&redir_esc=y

Sinhala phrases
http://www.learningplace.com.au/deliver/content.asp?pid=31976
http://www.sinhala-online.com/sinhalese-conversation.html?unicode=yes
http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/language/sinhala-phrases.html
http://www.languageshome.com/English-Sinhalese.htm
http://www.the-backpacking-site.com/countries/sri_lanka-phrase.html

Sinhala and Tamil word and letter puzzles
http://panther.lk/toys/toys.asp?ToysCat=5

The South Asian Literary Recordings Project - Sinhalese authors reading extracts from their work: http://www.loc.gov/acq/ovop/delhi/salrp/sinhalese.html

Online Sinhala dictionaries
http://www.sinhaladictionary.org
http://www.sinhala-online.com/sinhalese-dictionary.html
http://www.lanka.info/dictionary/EnglishToSinhala.jsp
http://dictionary.tamilcube.com/sinhala-dictionary.aspx
http://www.freepcclinic.com/madura_online_dictionary.html

English Sinhala Dictionary
Powered by Lena Dictionary

Online Sinhala radio
http://www.nilwalaradio.com
http://www.miyurusara.com

Online news in Sinhala
http://www.lankadeepa.lk
http://www.sinhala24news.com
http://lankaenews.com/Sinhala/
http://www.rivira.lk/edition/

Free Sinhala fonts and software
http://www.wazu.jp/gallery/Fonts_Sinhala.html
http://ananmanan.lk/free_sinhala_fonts/
http://www.sjp.ac.lk/fa/cc/sinhala_fonts.html
http://www.wideshaseva.com/home/free_sinhala_fonts.html
http://www.metta.lk/fonts/

Convert romanized Sinhala to the Sinhala alphabet
http://unicode.malindaprasad.com/

More Sinhala links
http://sites.google.com/site/soyouwanttolearnalanguage/sinhala

Indo-Aryan languages

Awadhi, Assamese, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Chakma, Dhivehi, Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Konkani, Kotia, Kutchi, Maithili, Marathi, Marwari, Modi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Romany, Saraiki, Sindhi, Sinhala, Sourashtra, Sugali, Sylheti, Urdu

Syllabic alphabets / abugidas

Ahom, Badaga, Balinese, Batak, Baybayin (Tagalog), Bengali, Brahmi, Buhid, Burmese, Chakma, Cham, Dehong Dai, Devanagari, Dives Akuru, Ethiopic, Evēla Akuru, Fraser, Gondi, Grantha, Gujarati, Gupta, Gurmukhi, Hanuno'o, Javanese, Jenticha, Kaithi, Kannada, Kharosthi, Khmer, Khojki, Kulitan, Lanna, Lao, Lepcha, Limbu, Lontara/Makasar, Malayalam, Manpuri, Modi, Mongolian Horizontal Square Script, Mro, New Tai Lue, Oriya, Pahawh Hmong, Pallava, Phags-pa, Ranjana, Redjang, Shan, Sharda, Siddham, Sindhi, Sinhala, Sorang Sompeng, Sourashtra, Soyombo, Sundanese, Syloti Nagri, Tagbanwa, Takri, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Tigalari (Tulu), Tikamuli, Tocharian, Tolong Siki, Varang Kshiti


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