As the majority of my international friends know, my attempt at learning languages resulted in a splattering of abusive Italian and ‘mucho lovo’. Which I’m led to believe is incorrect anyways. But no worries, Sinhalese cant be that hard!
Where to start? මම කුකුල් මස් මැණික් කන ආදරය… Not there.
Ok, I’ll start with the basics… My name is Freddie. Ma gay nama Freddie. I realised that the easiest way to remember this was to think what it sounded like in English. So I’ve got this one covered. My gay name Freddie.
Gindera sounds like Tindera, and it also means fire. Boom! A lot of expats I’ve spoken with, haven’t learnt Sinhalese for a number of reasons. Here’s a few of my favorite excuses.
- When you try and speak Sinhalese, the locals pretend like they don’t understand anyways, so whats the point.
- Its not spoken in any other country so its not really that useful
I personally think it will be a terrible shame if I didn’t at least give it a go. So far the response I’ve had has been very warming. Most are surprised, but appreciate it. However then they think your fluent and unleash a hole load of පාරේ වැටී මිය ගිය කුකුළන්.
In order for me to gain respect and talk about what needs to be done on site with the employees its really necessary that I learn to communicate. Bit of a challenge but fingers crossed I’ll be bilingual by Christmas…
How times have changed… I used to loose my French book on purpose so that I had an excuse not to bother at school. Since arriving I’ve been quickly filling up a little note book with appropriate Sinhalese phrases. Last week, I think I left it in a tuk tuk and I’m absolutely gutted. Back to ma gay nama Freddie for now.