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South Asia Department

Languages of South Asia at SOAS: Sinhala

Sinhalese is the national language of Sri Lanka, where it was long ago introduced from northern India. Sinhalese is therefore related, albeit distantly, to the Indo-Aryan languages of the north, rather than to the neighbouring Dravidian languages of southern India.

A knowledge of Sinhalese is naturally a prerequisite for the study of modern Sri Lanka, and its older literature is an important resource for Buddhist studies courses: our arrangements for Sinhala teaching are currently under review. Courses at Beginners’ or Intermediate level may be available.

Contact:

Dr Amal Gunasena (ag42@soas.ac.uk) or the Language Centre (languages@soas.ac.uk).

Degree Programmes

Degree Course Options

Language Centre

Suggested reading:

  • Fairbanks, Gair, De Silva, Colloquial Sinhalese, Parts I and II, New York 1993.
  • C.E. Godakumbure, Sinhalese literature, Colombo 1955.
  • W.S. Karunatillake, Spoken Sinhala, Colombo 1992.
  • C.H.B. Reynolds, Sinhalese: an introductory course, London 1995.
  • C.H.B. Reynolds, An anthology of Sinhalese literature up to 1915, London 1970.

Please Note: Not all courses and programmes are available every year