Tamil Phrases

Since Sri Lanka endows a diversity of ethnic groups, language spoken in the country is various. 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 leftright: valadhur/ itadhur pakkam tirumbavum

Around Town

Bank: vanghee
Pharmacy/Chemist: marunduh kadhai-karehr
My hotel: en udehr hotehl
Market: maarket
Post office: tavaal nliayem


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

To learn Tamil why not consider some Foreign Language Tution?

Translation in all languages.
Choose one!

See the whole list here