The Significance Of Sri Lanka Languages In Building A Harmonious Society

By Stella Tessa

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country that is home to a diverse population of cultures and languages. The nation's linguistic legacy is a monument to its richness and vibrancy, with Tamil and Sinhala recognized as official languages. Other than its official languages, smaller populations also speak other tongues, each of which has a distinct history and cultural value.

In this post, Sri Lanka Immigration Services'll take you on a tour through Sri Lanka's linguistic landscape to learn about the intriguing histories of the country's various tongues and how they contribute to the country's distinctive identity. Join us as we explore the complexity and diversity of the Sri Lankan language.

What language is spoken in Sri Lanka?

The languages spoken in Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean, reflect the nation's rich history and numerous ethnic populations. It is a land of ancient customs and cultures. Tamil and Sinhala are two the country of Sri Lanka official languages. The bulk of the country's inhabitants, the Sinhalese, speak Sinhala as their native tongue. The Tamil community, which primarily resides in the country's north and east, speaks Tamil. Both languages are encouraged to be used by the Sri Lankan government, which also appreciates their value in conserving the nation's cultural legacy and fostering national cohesion.

How to say hello in the Sri Lanka language

How to say hello in the Sri Lanka language


Sinhala, often known as Sinhalese, is the principal language spoken by the Sinhalese, who constitute the majority of Sri Lanka's population. Moreover, it is used as a second language by other ethnic groups. Pali, the liturgical language of Sri Lankan Buddhists, has had a significant influence on the language. In addition, a number of vocabulary from English, Dutch, Tamil, and Portuguese have been incorporated into Sinhala as a result of centuries of colonial control. The 58 basic characters in the Sinhalese script, which also includes a number of diacritics, are used to write the language of Sinhala.


Tamil is the second official Sri Lanka language, and it is spoken by a sizeable portion of the residents, especially in the north and east of the island. In addition to being the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, it is a member of the Dravidian language family. Tamil has its own writing system called the abugida, which has a vowel count of 12 and a consonant count of 18. Tamil literature has a long literary history that dates back more than two thousand years. Sanskrit has had a significant influence on the language, and many Tamil words have been translated from Sanskrit.

Tamil alphabets in Sri Lanka language


English is frequently used in Sri Lanka as a second language, particularly in government, business, and education. The majority of private schools use it as their primary language of instruction, and having strong English skills is highly prized in the competitive job market. The development of Tamil and Sinhalese has also been influenced by English, as both languages have adopted many English loanwords. The extensive use of English in Sri Lanka has been greatly influenced by its past as a British colony.

Other languages

In addition to Sinhala, Tamil, and English, various languages are spoken in Sri Lanka, notably among minority communities. One of them is the Veddah language, which is used by the native Veddah people who reside in Sri Lanka's forested areas. With only a few thousand speakers remaining, the Veddah language is deemed endangered. The language is closely linked to Sinhala, with which it shares many linguistic characteristics.

Malayalam is another language used in Sri Lanka by Muslims who are originally from Kerala. Tamil and Malayalam are both Dravidian languages that share a lot of commonalities. The Eastern Province of Sri Lanka is where it is primarily spoken.

Creole Malay, a hybrid of Tamil, Sinhala, Malay, Bahasa, and Arabic, is another language spoken by the Sri Lankan Malay minority. Its vocabulary and syntax are particular to this language, which is only spoken in Sri Lanka.

Moreover, Sri Lankans speak a variety of Sinhala and Tamil dialects. To give one example, the Up-country Tamil dialect is spoken in the Central Province while the Jaffna Tamil dialect is spoken in the Northern Province. The Southern dialect is spoken in the Southern Province, much as the Sabaragamuwa dialect is spoken in the Sabaragamuwa Province. Notwithstanding their differences in vocabulary, pronunciation, and syntax, all of the dialects are based on the standard forms of Tamil and Sinhala.

Understanding the importance of Sri Lanka language present and future

The historical importance of the Sri Lanka language is indisputable, and it has had a significant impact on the development of the nation's culture and identity. The inability to communicate effectively has, however, occasionally resulted in armed confrontations between different ethnic groups. The British government imposed English as the primary language for official reasons throughout the colonial era, which is where this problem has its beginnings. This decision resulted in the marginalization of Sinhala and Tamil as native languages, creating a sense of cultural inferiority among the Sinhalese majority and Tamil minority.

A civil war that lasted more than 20 years resulted from the conflict between the two language groups in the end. Nonetheless, in recent years, the Sri Lankan government has taken proactive steps to support linguistic diversity and forge a sense of national harmony. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which added Tamil as an official language alongside Sinhala, was one of the most important moves taken in this direction.

In addition, the government has founded universities and language schools to encourage Tamil and Sinhala learning and development. There have also been initiatives to identify and safeguard the nation's indigenous tongues, including Veddah and Creole Malay. To bridge the gap between the two linguistic communities, the government has also promoted multilingual education in schools and institutions.

Must-Know Sri Lanka Language Phrases For Travelers Speak Like A Local

Must-Know Sri Lanka Language Phrases For Travelers Speak Like A Local

Must-know Sri Lanka language phrases for travelers speak like a local

Learning a few basic words and phrases in the native tongue of Sri Lanka language will make your trip to Sri Lanka easier and more pleasurable. You can use the following words and expressions when traveling in the nation:

  • Hello - Ayubowan (pronounced a-yoo-bo-wan)
  • How are you? - Kohomada (pronounced ko-ho-ma-da)
  • What is your name? - Oyage nama mokakda? (pronounced oya-ge na-ma mo-ka-da?)
  • My name is _______ - Mama _______ (pronounced ma-ma _______)
  • Thank you - Bohoma istuti (pronounced bo-ho-ma is-thoo-tee)
  • You're welcome - Bohoma stuti (pronounced bo-ho-ma stoo-tee)
  • Yes - Owa (pronounced o-wa)
  • No - Naa (pronounced naa)
  • Excuse me - Samahara karanne (pronounced sa-ma-ha-ra ka-ran-ne)
  • I love you - Mama oyata adarei (pronounced ma-ma o-ya-ta a-da-rei)
  • Brother - Aiya (pronounced ai-ya)
  • Sister - Nangi (pronounced nan-gi)
  • Goodbye - Suba aluth awrudak wewa (pronounced su-ba a-luth aw-ru-dak we-wa)
  • Welcome - Apeyage anagatha (pronounced a-pe-ya-ge a-na-ga-tha)

Gaining some basic language skills will enable you to communicate with people and demonstrate your interest in their way of life. Take some time to learn these words and phrases before your visit to Sri Lanka to enhance your memorable experiences.

Are you considering visiting Sri Lanka and want to learn more about the local languages? You've found it! Sri Lanka has a varied range of languages, from Sinhala to Tamil and others, reflecting its rich cultural mark on the world. Don't worry if you're not fluent in the local languages – we've got you covered with some common phrases to help you navigate your travels.

What happens, though, if you require extra assistance? For information on travel necessities and visa applications, visit our website, Sri Lanka Immigration Services. Your vacation to Sri Lanka would be easy and hassle-free with the aid of our services.

Embrace many Sri Lanka languages and cultures, whether you're touring historic temples, resting on beautiful beaches, or indulging in exquisite cuisine.

Bon, voyage!

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