[skip to content]

SOAS Language Centre

Introduction to Sinhala

A 10-week course aimed at those who wish to understand and to make themselves understood in everyday spoken Sinhala

Duration: 20 hours per term


Featured events

Mode of Attendance: Part Time

This SOAS Language Centre course in Sinhala is designed to give participants a basic conversational ability in the language. The course takes the form of a series of situation contexts in which participants will be asked to understand what is taking place around them and to respond in comprehensible and clear Sinhala.

In this course Sinhala will be presented in Roman script.


The course is taught in English and Sinhala. Class size is normally limited to fifteen to allow intensive practice.

Summary of course contents (by session)
  • Greetings and introductions
  • Getting around (1): the basics for travellers
  • Getting around (2): sightseeing
  • Getting around (3): the market place
  • Getting around (1)-(3): consolidation
  • Social contexts (1): an invitation to a Sinhala home
  • Social contexts (2): speaking about religion and Sinhala culture
  • Social contexts (3): using Sinhala in formal contexts
  • Social contexts (1)-(3): consolidation
  • Overview of vocabulary and grammar

Continuing your study

Subject to demand, the Language Centre will schedule an Introduction to Sinhala 2. The Sinhala script will be incorporated gradually into this course, whilst speaking and comprehension skills continue to be developed, allowing students to make the transition to Sinhala script with confidence.




The following has been prescribed as the set text for this course:

Fairbanks, G. H. (et al.) (1993) Colloquial Sinhalese (Sinhala) - Part 1. USA: Cornell University.


Course materials are not included in the course fee and can be purchased from the SOAS bookshop bookshop@soas.ac.uk.

You are advised not to purchase course materials until your course has been confirmed.


Classes will be held at the Bloomsbury or Kings Cross Campus of SOAS in central London on one evening a week or Saturday daytime. Participants receive 20 hours of language tuition over a ten-week period (with additional weeks where public holidays displace a class session). 

See our online store to book a place on this course.

Language Centre How To Apply

You can enrol:

Not a complete beginner?

If you are not a complete beginner, you will need to complete an assessment for course placement, allowing us to decide which course is right for you.

To apply for an assessment please complete our Needs Analysis Form (pdf; 187kb) and send to the relevant email inbox where a Course Officer will contact you for scheduling.

Course Fees and Discounted Rates

An overview of our Short Course Fees and Discounted Rates.

If you are eligible for a discount, you will not be able to complete your transaction on the Online Store. You will need to bring a paper Application Form (pdf; 462kb) , including your Staff/Student card for us to make a copy of, after which we can process your application at the discounted rate.

Returning students

If you are a returning student, you will have received a letter informing you of the procedures for rejoining prior to the start of the registration period. You can pay using any method indicated above. Returning students, if they are continuing onto the course indicated as the progression course, do not need to be assessed.