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Sinhala language facts for kids

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Sinhala
Sinhalese
සිංහල
Siṁhala
සිංහල in Noto Serif Sinhala Black.svg
Native to Sri Lanka
Ethnicity Sinhalese people
Native speakers 17.000 million  (2012)
3 million L2 speakers (2012)
Language family
Early forms:
Elu
  • Sinhala
Dialects
Vedda (perhaps a creole)
Writing system
Official status
Official language in  Sri Lanka
Linguasphere 59-ABB-a

Sinhala or Sinhalese, earlier referred to as Singhalese, is the language of the Sinhalese. They are largest ethnic group of Sri Lanka. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family.

Sinhala has two varieties/forms - Spoken and Written, the former being the most popular form. Spoken Sinhala is easier to learn and use because it is so much relaxed in grammatical formality and rigidity.

Sinhala is spoken by about 19 million people in Sri Lanka, about 16 million of them are native speakers. It is one of the constitutionally-recognised official languages of Sri Lanka, with Tamil. Sinhala has its own writing system (see Sinhala script) which is an offspring of the Indian Brahmi script.

The oldest Sinhala inscriptions were written in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC; the oldest existing literary works date from the 9th century AD.

The closest relative of Sinhala is Dhivehi, the language of the Maldives, .

The word order of Sinhala language is SOV (subject-object-verb) just like Japanese, Korean and many other languages in Asia. It would be easy for people from that particular language style to learn Sinhala with a little time and practice.

Ex 1 :

      I     home   go
      Mama  gedara yanawa.

Ex 2 :

      beautiful  dress
      Lassana    anduma

Morphologically, the words are built with the stem followed by a particle. The particle can vary so that it adds more grammatical change into the word connecting it to the whole sentence.

pusa yanawa -

kitten is going.

pusath yanawa -

kitten is also going.

ballata denawa -

giving (it) to the dog

ballatath denawa

giving it to the dog as well

ballatama denawa

giving it to the dog itself.

If you really take a good look at these sentences, you may easily find the stem of the words: pusa, pusath; ballata, ballathath, ballatama.

pusa- is the stem of the subjectival phrase. (kitten)

Pusa + th - as well

pusa + ta - to kitty

pusa + ta + th - to kitty as well

pusa + ta + ma - to kitty itself ^^

Writing system

ආයුබෝවන් in Noto Sans Sinhala
ආයුබෝවන් (āyubōvan) means "welcome", literally wishing one a long life
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