Tamil Phrases

Custom Search

Sri Lanka has a diversity of ethnic groups. Languages spoken in the country vary. The two major native languages are Sinhala spoken by the Sinhalese majority and Tamil language used by the Tamils. Although, Sinhala and Tamil are languages from different source, both share some common characteristics and obviously have influence on each other's linguistic evolution as well. English is widely spoken but it may be useful to learn some phrases in Sinhala if visiting the country for business or pleasure.  

a: as the in ‘u’ in ‘cup’
aa: as in the ‘a’ in ‘father’
e: the ‘e’ in ‘met’
i: the ‘i’ in ‘bit’
o: the ‘o’ in ‘hot’
u: the ‘u’ in ‘put’
ai: like ‘eye’
au: like the ‘ow’ in ‘how’
dh: the ‘th’ in ‘then’
g: as in ‘go’
s: like ‘sit’
th: like the ‘th’ of ‘thin’


Hello: vanakkam
Goodbye: poytu varukirehn
Yes: aam
No: il-lay
Please: tayavura saydhih
Thank you: nandri
Excuse me: mannikavum
Sorry: mannikavum
How much is it?: ahdu evvalah-vur?
My name is..: en pay-yehr…

Getting Around: 

What time does the…leave/arrive?: eppohlidur arutur…sellum/vahrum?
Boat: padadur
Bus: baas
Train: rayill
I’d like a one way/return ticket: enakka oru/iru vahlay ticket vaynum

Where is it?: un-ghe irukkaradhur?
Where is..?: …un-ghe?
Turn left/right: valadhur/ itadhur pakkam tirumbavum

Around Town:

Bank: vanghee
Pharmacy/Chemist: marunduh kadhai-karehr
My hotel: en udehr hotehl
Market: maarket
Post office: tavaal nliayem
Food Bread: rotti
Butter: van-nay
Coffee: kahpee
Tea: the-neer
Sugar: seeree
Water: neer
Milk: paal


1: ondru
2: iranduh
3: muundruh
4: naan-guh
5: ainduh
6: aaruh
7: ulluh
8: uttu
9: onbaduh
10: pat-tuh

Hope you found the above useful. If you do not know the language, we recommend that you print this page out and keep it on your person when travelling around Wonderful Sri Lanka.

                                                 Courtesy www.kwintessential.co.uk

Travel    Itinerary Planning     Travel Agencies    Hotel Guide    Airlines/Car Rentals     Sri Lanka at a Glance    Cities    Map   Wonderful Sri Lanka    Eating Out    Sinhala Phrases     Calendar      Fun     Outbound Travel