Thursday, July 20, 2017

Let's Learn Sinhalese in English 3

As in other languages, the spoken Sinhala also has the following pronouns. The verb does not change depending on the pronoun.

Singular Plural
Mama, Man (I) Api (We)
Eya: (He or She)
U: (It – animal)
E:ka (It – thing)
Araka (That)
Me:ka (This)
E:gollo, E:gollan (They)
Un (They – animals)
E:va: (They – things)
Arava: (Those)
Me:va: (These)
Oya: (You) O:gollo, O:gollan (You)

Mama yanava: (I am going. / I go.)

Api yanava: (We are going. / We go.)

Eya: yanava: (She/He is going. / He/She goes.)

O:gollo yanava: (You are going. / You go.)

U: kanne naehae. (It is not eating. / It does not eat.)

Un kanne naehae. (They are not eating. / They do not eat.)

Oya: yanava:dha? (Are you going? / Do you go?)

Egollo yanava:dha? (Are they going? / Do they go?)

Earlier, we knew how to make “Yes/No” questions, and the two tag questions (For example, the two immediately above examples are “yes/no” questions). Now let’s learn how to make “Wh-” questions. Just as in English, Sinhala too has the few keywords similar to the English “Wh-” words as follows.

Mokakdha – what
Ko:kadha – which
Aeyi – why
Kohomadha – how
Kohe:dha – where
Kavudha – who
Ka:vadha – whom
Ki:yatadha – at what time (when)
Kavadhdha / Kavadhadha – at which day/date (when)

You know the usual sentence order (doer + object + verb). You can put one of above question words
  • before the doer or
  • after the doer (before the object) or
  • before the verb (after the doer) or
  • after the verb.

Yes, all these three forms are same and popular equally. Just placing the question word is not enough. You have to modify the ending of the verb from “-nava:” to “-nne” (You learnt this modification earlier too).

Eya: potha kiyavanava: → Kohomadha eya: potha kiyavanne?
                                           Eya: kohomadha potha kiyavanne?
                                           Eya: potha kohomadha kiyavanne?
                                           Eya: potha kiyavanne kohomadha?
                                    (How is he reading the book? / How does he read the book?)

                               → Kohe:dha eya: potha kiyavanne?
                                          Eya: kohe:dha potha kiyavanne?
                                          Eya: potha kohe:dha kiyavanne?
                                          Eya: potha kiyavanne kohe:dha?
                                  (Where is he reading the book? / Where does he read the book?)

                               → Aeyi eya: potha kiyavanne?
                                          Eya: aeyi potha kiyavanne?
                                          Eya: potha aeyi kiyavanne?
                                          Eya: potha kiyavanne aeyi?
                                   (Why is he reading the book? / Why does he read the book?)

                               → Ki:yatadha eya: potha kiyavanne?
                                          Eya: ki:yatadha potha kiyavanne?
                                          Eya: potha ki:yatadha kiyavanne?
                                          Eya: potha kiyavanne ki:yatadha?
                                   (When is he reading the book? / When does he read the book?)

Let’s see a few more questions. As you know now, both the continuous and simple tense meanings are there in this Sinhala sentence pattern. Therefore, I will not write both tenses as the meaning of a Sinhala sentence, and instead I will be only citing either tense for simplicity from this moment on.

Mokakdha oya: karanne?
Oya: mokakdha karanne?
Oya: karanne mokakdha?
(What are you doing?)

Ko:kadha oya: kanne?
Oya: ko:kadha kanne?
Oya: kanne ko:kadha?
(Which are you eating?)

Ka:vadha mama ganne?
Mama ka:vadha ganne?
Mama ganne ka:vadha?
(Whom am I taking?)

Kavudha bath kanne?
Bath kavudha kanne?
Bath kanne kavudha?
(Who is eating rice?)

Kavudha oya:?
Oya: kavudha?
(Who are you?)

Kavudha eya:?
Eya: kavudha?
(Who is he/she?)

You know there is no difference between active voice sentence structure and passive voice sentence structure in Sinhala. Remembering the learned points, read and understand the following sentences.

Aeyi potha kiyavanne?
Potha aeyi kiyavanne?
Potha kiyavanne aeyi?
(Why is the book read?)

Kohe:dha bath uyanne?
Bath kohe:dha uyanne?
Bath uyanne kohe:dha?
(Where is rice cooked?)

Kavadhadha e:ka karanne?
E:ka kavadhadha karanne?
E:ka karanne kavadhdha?
(When is it done?)

Let’s now learn about adjectives and adverbs in Sinhala. First learn the following adjectives.

Lassana Beautiful
Kaetha Ugly
Usa Tall, High
Miti, Kota Short
Mahatha Fat
Hi:ni, Kettu Thin, Slim
Loku Big
Podi Small
Bara Heavy
Saehaellu Light
Pohosath Rich
Duppath Poor
Ganan Expensive
La:ba Cheap
Ho’mdha Good
Naraka Bad
Rasa Tasty, Sweet
Thiththa Bitter
Eaththa True
Boru False
Pissu Mad
Saera Strict, Hot (like chili)
Viyali, Ve:lichcha Dry
Theth, Thetha Wet
Ga’mdha Smelly
Suva’mdha Fragrant
Vatina: Valuable
Pirisi’mdhu Clean
Vaedhagath Important
Ahinsaka Innocent
Napuru Cruel
Ugath Learned
Mo:da Foolish
Dhaksha Clever, Smart
Nithara Constant

Following is the list of colors. In Sinhala, each color name is both an adjective and a noun (the name of the color itself), similar to English practice. However, you can put the word “pa:ta” (pa:ta means “color”) after the color name to make it an explicit noun. For example, “sudu pa:ta” means the “red color”. You can put “la:” in front of a color name to mean “light color”, and “thadha” to mean “dark color”. For example, “la: rathu” means “light red”, and “thadha rathu” means “dark red”.

Sudhu White
Kalu Black
Rathu Red
Nil Blue
Kola Green
Kaha Yellow
Dham Purple
Alu Grey
Thae’mbili Orange
Dhu’mburu Brown
Ran, Raththaran Gold
Ridi: Silver
Ro:sa Pink

As you do in English, you put an adjective in front of a noun. That’s it. You can put any number of consecutive adjectives as you want.

Lassana lamaya: loku potha kiyavanava: (The beautiful child is reading the big book.)

Ho’mda amma: bath uyanava: (The good mother is cooking rice.)

Usa ketthu lamaya: duvanava: (The tall thin child is running.)

Duppath tha:ththa: rathu potha gannava: (The poor father is taking the red book.)

Mama la: kola gaha kapanava: . (I am cutting the light green tree.)

Just as an adjective describes a noun, an adverb describes a verb. In Sinhala too (as in English), you make most of the adverbs out of adjectives. In English you put the suffix “-ly” at the end of the adjective to form the relevant adverb. In Sinhala, in fact there are about four suffixes that you can use to make the adverb - “-ta”, “-in”, “-en”, “-va”. You should learn the relevant suffix, but there is no set of rules to determine the correct suffix.

Lassana → Lassanata (beautifully)

Kaetha → Kaethata (ugly)

Ho’mdha → Ho’mdhata (well)
             → Ho’mdhin (well)

Pirisidhu → Pirisidhuva (cleanly)

Naraka → Naraken (badly)
          → Narakin (badly)

Actually, there is some complexity in making adverbs (this same complexity exists in English too). Sometimes the ending syllable of the adjective is modified; that is, one or more ending letters may be deleted/elided, and/or one or more letters may be brought in from outside. However, when you get familiar with the words and sounds, and when you learn more and more words, you will find that there are some intuitive reasons for letters being deleted and brought from outside.

Naraka + in → Narakin (the ending “a” is deleted)

Loku + ta → Lokuvata (“va” is brought in from outside)

Following is a list of some irregular adverbs (those not made out of adjectives). As you are well aware, there are tons of adverbs of this nature in English too.

Adha Today
I:ye Yesterday
Heta Tomorrow
Dhaen Now
Passe Later
Pere:dha: The day before yesterday
Anidhdha: The day after tomorrow
La’mgadhi Lately, soon
Itha: Very, Too, So
Ithin So (as in “so, what happened?”)
I:ta passe After that
E:nisa:, Ema nisa: Therefore
Eheth, E: una:ta However
E:ka neme: By the way
Mona: unath, Mokak unath Anyway
E: vidiyata, Ehema Like that
Me: vidiyata, Mehema Like this
A:yeth Again
Ovu Yes
Naehae No
Issara, E: davasvala Earlier, Those days
Me: davasvala These days

Usually the adverb is put in front of the verb (just as you put the adjective in front of the noun). And, you can put as many adverbs as you want.

Eya: lassanata liyanava: (He is writing beautifully.)

Amma: ho’mdata bath uyanava: (The mother is cooking rice well.)

Lamaya: ho’mdata lassanata liyanava: (The child writes well and beautifully.)

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