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Simple Conversations With Your Colleague

When you work in an office you come across many people every day. Among those, it is not rare to find Sri Lankans if you already have any connections with Sri Lanka. If that person was raised in the country itself, the chance is high that he/she still uses a considerable amount of Sinhala in day-today conversations with friends. As someone already familiar with the Sinhala Language, you can pleasantly surprise that person by speaking a few words with him/her. Let’s see an everyday conversation that can happen in the office. (You may know some of the lines already.)

1. Leo: Tharushi oya sikurada office awe neaneda?

ලියෝ: තරුෂි ඔයා සිකුරාදා office ආවේ නෑ නේද ?

Leo: Tharushi, you didn’t come to the office (last) Friday, did you?

2. Tharushi: Oyatath click una da?

Ow, mama tikak asanipa wela hitiya.

තරුෂි : ඔයාටත් click උනා ද ? ඔව් මම ටිකක් අසනීප වෙලා හිටියා.

Tharushi: Did you also notice? Yes, I was a bit sick.

3. Leo: Oh, mokada une?

ලියෝ: Oh, මොකද උනේ?

Leo: Oh, what happened?

4. Tharushi: Mata una haduna.

තරුෂි : මට උණ හැදුනා.

Tharushi: I had a fever.

5. Leo: Thama hoda nadda? Oya sudumali wela.

ලියෝ: තාම හොඳ නැද්ද ? ඔයා සුදුමැලි වෙලා

You look pale. Leo: Still not better? You look pale.

6. Tharushi: Dan nam godak hodai, eth beheth bonawa.

තරුෂි :දැන්නම් ගොඩක් හොඳයි, ඒත් බෙහෙත් බොනවා

Tharushi: Lot better now, but still taking medicine.

7. Leo: Oyata udawwak one nam kiyanna harida?

ලියෝ: ඔයාට උදව්වක් ඕනිනම් කියන්න හරිද?

Leo: Let me know if you want any help, okay?

8. Tharushi: Of course, mama kiyannam. Thank you, Tharushi.

තරුෂි : Of course මම කියන්නම්. Thank you, තරුෂි.

Tharushi: Of course, I will let you know. Thank you, Tharushi

Now let us explain a few practices in the Sinhala language.

Who is this Tharushi - තරුෂි? That person is a female. You can easily recognize Sinhala female names by checking the ending of the name. If a name ends with ā, ī, or ɪ sound, they are female names in almost every case.

As you may already know, it is perfectly normal to mix some English phrases apart from the usual ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’, ‘happy birthday’, etc.

In the second sentence, you see Tharushi is asking “Oyatath click unada? - ඔයාටත් click උනාද?”. Usually, “click” means ‘to have a positive connection’. But in the Sinhala context, this has another meaning of ‘to notice’ or ‘to understand’. This word is always followed by any form of ‘-වෙනව ’ (උනා -una / වෙලා - wela / වෙනන- wenna). Here are a few examples.

• මට click උනා - Mata click una – I noticed. / I understood.

• තරුෂිට click වෙලා - Tharushita click wela – Tharushi has noticed. / Tharushi has understood

• මට click වෙන්න වෙලා යනවා - Mata click wenna wela yanawa – It takes sometime for me to notice/understand (that thing/person/idea)

In English we say ‘take medicines’, but in Sinhala, we say ‘beheth bonawa - බෙහත් බොනවා’ which literary means ‘drink medicine’. For most day-to-day medicines, we swallow the pills or capsules with water. So, this is where ‘drinking one’s medicine’ has formed.

We think you got some tips on how to form a simple Sinhala conversation to inquire about one’s absence. That’s it for this one. We hope you learned something. Happy learning

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