Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Let's Learn Sinhalese in English 2

Following are some Sinhala sentences constructed according to the rules and practices mentioned above.

Ayya: potha kiyavanava:

(The elder brother reads the book. / The elder brother is reading the book.)

Malli pa:n kanava:

(The younger brother eats bread. / The younger brother is eating bread.)

Teacher uganvanava:

(The female teacher teaches. / The female teacher is teaching.)

In Sinhala language, as in many other languages, you can find so many English words being used just as normal Sinhala words. Not only that, if you use the proper Sinhala words instead of the English ones, the native listeners would even laugh at you probably. For example, the Sinhala word for the teacher is “guruthumi:” (feminine). If you use “guruthumi:” instead of “teacher”, natives would definitely laugh at you. Well, I don’t know if laughing or scorning is right or wrong, but it would happen. Some English words that you can use just as Sinhala words (with the same original English meaning) are:

teacher (but only feminine), bus, van, car, bicycle, motor cycle, seat, TV, radio, telephone, phone, hose, bag, driver, plane, helicopter, shirt, tie (that you wear), toilet, bucket, basket, bat (that you use in sports), hall, wire, cable, bulb, switch (noun), collar, shampoo, machine, antenna, accident, handle (noun), bus halt/stand, butter, cake, computer, printer, keyboard, camera, video camera, recorder, laptop (computer), smart phone, mobile phone, cell phone, call (telephone call), motor, key tag, engine, garage, purse, hand bag, pharmacy, doctor, nurse, attendant (in hospital), ambulance, banner, poster, sticker, parcel, t-shirt, bra, photo, factory, bill, ticket, car park, park, rubber, bakery, salon, sofa, concrete, slab, battery, charger, transformer (electric), bed sheet, label, form (that you fill in), party, office, restaurant, rest house, cream, yogurt, …

The above list can be much longer than that. Actually words in the above list are guaranteed to be used in (almost) every situation (without using a Sinhala word). However, there are some English words being used along with the Sinhala words. One may use a Sinhala word; another may use an English word. The sinhala words/meanings are shown in brackets. Some of such words are:

room (ka:maraya), bathroom (na:na ka:maraya), pantry (kussiya), garden (vaththa), glass (vi:dhuruva), cap (thoppiya), cup (ko:ppaya), pocket (sa:kkuva), class (panthiya), market (pola), bank (baenkuva), clerk (lipikaruva:), book shop (poth sa:ppuva), shop (sa:ppuva/kadaya), watch (that is wrist watch) (oralo:suva), girl (kella/gaehaenu lamaya:), boy (kolla:/pirimi lamaya:), girlfriend (ya:lu gaehaenu lamaya:), boyfriend (ya:lu pirimi lamaya:), uncle (ma:ma:), aunty (naendha:), train (the vehicle) (ko:chchiya), training (puhunuva), exercise (that you do to keep fit) (vya:ya:ma), diary (dhinapotha), time (vela:va), place (thaena), drama (na:tya), film (that is movie) (chithrapatiya), filter (the filtering device) (peranaya), exam (viba:gaya), maths (ganithaya), science (vidhya:va), music (sangi:thaya), song (sindhuva), beach (verala), building (godanaegilla/bildima), wedding (magula/kasa:dhaya), bet (noun) (ottuva), hotel (ho:talaya), tattoo (pachchaya), powder (piti), tea (the:), board (lae:lla), taste (noun) (rasa), engineer (injine:ruva:), lawyer (ni:thignaya:), …

I will show how to use English words in Sinhala sentences later. Depending on the context, most of the English words are “Sinhalized” (that is, made kind of compatible with Sinhala pattern) with a few tricks which I will explain later.

Now that we know how to construct some valid Sinhala sentences (in present time) in the affirmative/positive statement form, let’s learn how to modify the sentence to form five other variants of it. Not only in this particular case, but in all other tenses you can form these five variants:

1. Negative statement

2. Affirmative question

3. Negative question

4. Affirmative tag question

5. Negative tag question

First let’s see how to form the affirmative question. It’s very easy. You just put “dha” at the end of the verb of the sentence.

Amma: bath uyanava: → Amma: bath uyanava:dha?

(Does the mother cook rice? / Is the mother cooking rice?)

Bath uyanava: → Bath uyanava:dha?

(Is rice cooked? / Is rice being cooked?)

Amma: uyanava: → Amma: uyanava:dha?

(Does the mother cook? / Is the mother cooking?)

Uyanava: → Uyanava:dha?

(Does “someone” cook “something”? / Is “someone” cooking “something”?)

This positive question form is also used to make a request (requesting somebody in front of you to do something) in Sinhala. You may also put “karuna:karala” (meaning “please”), or “please” itself at the beginning or the end of the sentence.

Oya: potha denava:dha?
(Can/Will you give the book?)

Karuna:karala e:ka kiyanavadha?
(Can/Could you please tell it?)

Pae:na denava:dha please?
(Can I have the pen please?)

How to construct the negative statement? First remember that you must use the word “naehae” which is equivalent to English “not”. You put this word after the verb. In addition, you slightly modify the last few letters (last syllable) of the verb as follows (actually it has a clear pattern). The verb ending “nava:” is modified to “nne”.

Amma: bath uyanava: → Amma: bath uyanne naehae.

(The mother does not cook rice. / The mother is not cooking rice.)

Bath uyanava: → Bath uyanne naehae.

(Rice is not cooked. / Rice is not being cooked.)

Amma: uyanava: → Amma: uyanne naehae.

(The mother does not cook. / The mother is not cooking.)

Uyanava: → Uyanne naehae.

(“Someone” does not cook “something”. / “Someone” is not cooking “something”.)

Ok. Now let’s see how to make the negative question. Actually it is the combination of above two. You first make the negative statement, and then puth “dha” at the end of “naehae”; so it becomes like “naehaedha”. And very often, naehaedha is again changed to “naedhdha” (so it can be easily pronounced; nothing else).

From this moment on, I will not be writing all forms of the same sentence structure as I have been doing. Instead I would cite the longest sentence structure (with the doer, object, and verb).

Amma: bath uyanava: → Amma: bath uyanne naedhdha?

(Does the mother not cook rice? / Is the mother not cooking rice?)

Ayya: potha liyanava: → Ayya: potha liyanne naedhdha?

(Does the elder brother not write the book? / Is the elder brother not writing the book?)

Last let’s learn how to make the two tag questions. Unlike in English, it is very very easy to construct them. You just use the tag “ne:dha”. To make the affirmative tag question, you put it just after the verb. And to make the negative tag question, you put it just after “naehae” of the normal negative statement.

Amma: bath uyanava: → Amma: bath uyanava: ne:dha?

(The mother cooks rice. Doesn’t she? / The mother is cooking rice. Isn’t she?)

Amma: bath yanava: → Amma: bath uyanne naehae ne:dha?

(The mother doesn’t cook rice. Does she? / The mother is not cooking rice. Is she?)

You can easily make all types (6) of sentence variations/forms of the same sentence as the following example shows. Using the verbs and nouns given in the first lesson, you should practice now. In the future lessons, you will learn more tenses and with them too, you can have these variations/forms.

Lamaya: potha kiyavanava: .

(The child is reading the book. / The child reads the book.)

Lamaya: potha kiyavanne naehae.

(The child is not reading the book. / The child does not read the book.)

Lamaya: potha kiyavanava:dha?

(Is the child reading the book? / Does the child read the book?)

Lamaya: potha kiyavanne naedhdha?

(Is the child not reading the book? / Does the child not read the book?)

Lamaya: potha kiyavanava: ne:dha?

(The child is reading the book. Isn’t he? / The child reads the book. Doesn’t he?)

Lamaya: potha kiyavanne naehae ne:dha?

(The child is not reading the book. Is he? / The child does not read the book. Does he?)

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