Adding a new language to our studies

This coming school year we will start to learn Sinhala.  It is mainly spoken in the country of Sri Lanka.  Because it is an Indo-European language it is remotely related to Latin, Greek, English, and French.


Chart from Wikipedia:

Numeral Sinhala Sanskrit Greek Latin German English French Russian
1 eka (එක) éka heis unus eins one un adin
2 deka (දෙක) dvá dúo duo zwei two deux dva
3 thuna (තුන) trí treis tres drei three trois tri
4 hathara (හතර) catúr téttares quattuor vier four quatre chityri
5 paha (පහ) páñca pénte quinque fünf five cinq pyat’
6 haya (හය) shat héx sex sechs six six shest’
7 hatha (හත) saptá heptá septem sieben seven sept syem’
8 ata (අට) aṣṭá októ octo acht eight huit vosim’
9 navaya (නවය) náva ennéa novem neun nine neuf dyevit’
10 dahaya (දහය) dáça déka decem zehn ten dix dyesit’

While it may be remotely related, the script is nothing like English or French or Greek.  The writing system is based on an ancient script.  It is unique to us because it is the only language we will be studying that is semi-syllabic.  This means that a standard written letter doesn’t just say T, it says a vowel along with it.  To change the default vowel you have to add additional marks to the script.

When I saw someone writing letters in Sinhala I immediately thought my son would enjoy it.  It seemed like drawing.  It should be fun to explore a new language together next school year.  I am currently in search of some type of program to teach us this language.  It isn’t a common language so pickings are slim.

4 Comments:

  1. Thanks Vanessa! What a great surprise!! There are lots of resources out there if you choose Latin – even for young children. We chose Mandarin because it is the most widely spoken Chinese language (about 850 million out of 1 billion speakers).

  2. Sinhala isn’t a language we have chosen for future employment reasons. I think Arabic, Mandarin, and French will serve them well in that arena. We have chosen Sinhala for other reasons and look forward to discovering the language together.

  3. I like your summary of numbers in different languages, it’s a fun way to look at them. I’d like to learn a Chinese language with my children, but am not sure which one to choose. So far we’ve dabbled in French and Pidgin English, and a few greetings in other languages. I’d like to learn some Latin myself, as it forms the basis of so many English words and medical terms.

    I’ve chosen you for a Beautiful Blogger Award, which you can collect here:

    http://chrysalisisland.blogspot.com/2010/07/lovely-surprise.html

    Kind regards,
    🙂 Vanessa

  4. Wouldn’t a more common language be more beneficial to them in the long run? For future employment, communication, and travel opportunities.

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