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Sinhala - Sinhalese Resources

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Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2599 days ago

502 posts - 1091 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 1 of 1
05 May 2020 at 12:40am | IP Logged 
FOR REPOSTING TO THE “A LANGUAGE LEARNERS’ FORUM” (LLORG)
During the period from February 2020 through May 2020, I conducted a complete revision to the twenty-eight (28) lists of resources which I had posted on the LLORG during the previous three-year period. As revising these types of documents directly on the LLORG in the “Edit Mode” is fraught with difficulties, I removed their contents from the LLORG, stored them on my computer, and completed the revisions. During the revision process an event occurred which prevented me from reposting the contents to their original files and, as a contingency measure, I have posted them here on the HTLAL in the anticipation that either the Administrator or the Moderators of the LLORG will copy/paste them to the LLORG. - Speakeasy

1. INTRODUCTION

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. The island is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is the legislative capital while Colombo is the largest city and center of commerce. – Source: Wikipedia

Languages of Sri Lanka
Several languages are spoken in Sri Lanka within the Indo-European, Dravidian and Austronesian families. Sri Lanka accords official status to Sinhala and Tamil. The languages spoken on the island nation are deeply influenced by the languages of neighbouring India, the Maldives and Malaysia. Sinhala is mostly spoken by the Sinhalese people, who constitute approximately 74.9% of the national population and total about 16.6 million. It uses the Sinhala abugida script, which is derived from the ancient Brahmi script. The Rodiya language, a dialect of Sinhala, is spoken by the low-caste community of chamodi veddhas. The Veddah people, totaling barely 2,500 in 2002, speaks the Veddah language, of which the origin is debated. The Tamil language is spoken by Sri Lankan Tamils, as well as by Tamil migrants from the neighboring Indian state of Tamil Nadu and by most Sri Lankan Moors. Tamil speakers number around 4.7 million. There are more than 40,000 speakers of the Sri Lankan Malay language. – Source: Wikipedia

Sinhala Language
Sinhala, also known as Sinhalese, is the native language of the Sinhalese people, who make up the largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka, numbering about 16 million. Sinhala is also spoken as a second language by other ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, totalling about four million. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. Sinhala is written using Sinhala script, which is one of the Brahmic scripts, a descendant of the ancient Indian Brahmi script closely related to the Kadamba script. – Source: Wikipedia

2. CORNELL UNIVERSITY SINHALA

Comprehensive Program of Study
This presentation of resources follows the same general pattern of all similar lists that I have prepared; that is, there are three major sections: Introduction, Legacy, Contemporary. As an exception to the general pattern, the Sinhala resources available at, or published by, Cornell University are presented first and together. The simple reason is that Cornell’s materials, which support a complete program of study, occupy such a predominate place amongst the totality of resources available for the study of Sinhala as to make them all but unavoidable. Here they are:
     
Cornell University LRC: Sinhala
Without having done any research on the matter, it seems to me that the Sinhala resources at Cornell University derive from the efforts and successes of a handful of actors from the 1960’s onwards. Some of you may recognize a number of the titles below. By virtue of their original dates of publication, but save for having been reprinted, some of them would be listed in the “legacy” section. Nevertheless, irrespective of their original dates of publication, for reasons of expediency, all of the titles below appear in the “contemporary” section. First, here is the LINK to the materials: [color=#0040FF">Cornell University LRC: Sinhala[/color">. Second, here are the titles (authors names, dates of publication, and number of pages omitted)::

Beginning Colloquial Sinhala: An Introductory Sinhala Curriculum: Student Edition
Beginning Colloquial Sinhala: An Introductory Sinhala Curriculum: Teacher’s Edition
Beginning Colloquial Sinhala: An Introductory Sinhala Curriculum: DVD
Spoken Sinhala Grammar: A Handbook
Beginning Readings in Colloquial Sinhala
Intermediate Sinhala Reader
Readings in Colloquial Sinhala
Literary Sinhala     
Literary Sinhala Inflected Forms: A Synopsis with a Transliteration Guide
                
3. SINHALA RESOURCES LEGACY

Sinhala Courses, Supplements, etc.
Without taking into account the Cornell University materials listed above.

(1) Colloquial Sinhalese (Sinhala) (1968), 673 pages total, by Gordon H. Fairbanks, J.W. Gair, et al; Cornell University
(2) Spoken Sinhalese 1968), 673 pages total, by Gordon H. Fairbanks, J.W. Gair, et al; Spoken Language Services
NOTE: "Colloquial Sinhalese” and “Spoken Sinhalese" are same course. Audio-lingual method. Approx. 24 hours of AUDIO recordings. Spoken Language Services published copy titled “Spoken Sinhalese.” PDFs and MP3s hosted in "Other Language Resources" section of Yojik website.

DLI Sinhala Basic (1960s – 1970s) – NONE
No evidence of a DLI Sinhala Basic course on Yojik, Live Lingua, ERIC websites.

FSI Sinhala Basic (1979), 563 pages, by Bonnie Graham MacDougall, Kamini de Abrew
Audio-lingual method NOT used. For classroom instruction. Emphasis on reading, writing, grammar. NO mention of aural/practice. Possible prequel/sequel to “Colloquial Sinhalese” which was used by U.S. Government.

FSI Sinhala Basic (1979) -- NO AUDIO Recordings
AUDIO recordings for FSI Sinhala Basic NOT available ...

In March, 2015, on HTLAL, DemiPuppet reported: “Sorry, I don't have any audio for … Sinhala. Based on catalogs, it looks like the US government used "Colloquial Sinhalese" written by Gordon Fairbanks et al. The books were published by Cornell University in 1968 and are probably covered by copyright. The books and audio [for Colloquial Sinhalese] can be purchased directly from Cornell … As far as I know, no audio was ever created for Bonnie MacDougall's "Sinhala Basic Course". It is not listed in the catalog of audio available from the US government. It's possible that someone else has made a recording, but I'm not aware any. The US government also used "Colloquial Sinhalese" by Fairbanks. Audio for that course was listed in the government catalog and may now be purchased directly from Cornell. I looked through the first volume. Unfortunately, the book does not use the Sinhala writing system.   Correction: please note that the “Colloquial Sinhalese” course books DO use Sinhala exclusively as of Unit 13." Although another member contested DemiPuppet’s information, audio recordings for the FSI “Sinhala Basic Course” have never surfaced.
     
Introduction to Spoken Sinhala, An (1977), 123 pages, by D. D. De Saram; University of Sri Lanka
Short introduction to spoken Sinhala. Depicts scenes from daily life. Phrasebook style. Circa 16 min. of AUDIO recordings. CEFR A0. Hosted on Yojik website.
     
Sinhalese Self-Taught by the Natural Method with Phonetic Pronunciation (1918, reprinted 1999), 120 pages, by Don M. De Z. Wickrema; Asian Educational Services
Employed Natural Method. Reprint of 1918 phrasebook. Amazon customer quite dissatisfied; with good reason.

Shinhala Grammars, Writing, Readers, Literature, etc. (Legacy)
For reasons of expediency, irrespective of their dates of publication, “legacy” grammars, readers and similar materials have been listed in the “contemporary” section of this file. This includes the “literary, prose, etc.” materials located in the "Other Language Resources" section of the Yojik website.

4. SINHALA RESOURCES: CONTEMPORARY

Sinhala Courses, Supplements, etc.

Beginning Colloquial Sinhala: An Introductory Sinhala Curriculum: Student Edition; Cornell University
Beginning Colloquial Sinhala: An Introductory Sinhala Curriculum: Teacher’s Edition; Cornell University
Beginning Colloquial Sinhala: An Introductory Sinhala Curriculum: DVD; Cornell University

DLI GLOSS Sinhala -- NONE

DLI Headstart2 Sinhala – NONE

Glossika Sinhala – NOT YET AVAILABLE
Circa 2018, announcement of prospective expansion of languages. Sinhala materials not yet available.

Introduction to Spoken Sinhala, An (1992), 407 pages, by W. S Karunatillake; M.D. Gunasena & Co
Most likely for classroom instruction. No mention of audio recordings. No reviews on Amazon. At a price approaching 400 $US, for collectors only.     

Let's Learn Sinhala, Vol. 1 : Vowels and Consonants (2003), 111 pages
Let's Learn Sinhala, Vol. 2 : Vowels and their Strokes (2006), 192 pages
Let's Learn Sinhala, Vol. 3 : Consonants and their Ways (2003), 186 pages
Let's Learn Sinhala, Vol. 4 : Special Letters and Strokes (2008), 230 pages
Series by J.B. Disanayaka; Independently published. Descriptions seem to emphasize written language. No mention of audio recordings. Probably for use with an instructor. Guestimate CEFR A2. The two Amazon reviews are positive, but lack details.

Let us speak Sinhala, Vol.1 : no description (2007), 233 pages
Let us speak Sinhala, Vol.2 : Advanced Grammar, dialogues and folk tales (2007), 209 pages
Let us speak Sinhala, Vol.3 : Verb conjugation (2007), 209 pages
Collection by S. Perera (2007); published by Rahnama / Stamford Lake. Traditional approach: grammar, exercises. Probably CEFR A2. AUDIO: (2) CDs per course book. For classroom use with possibility of self-instruction. May be out-of-print. Two Amazon reviews: very positive.

NFLC (National Foreign Language Center) Sinhala – University of Maryland - NONE

Sinhalese: An Introductory Course (2nd ed., 1995), 364 pages, by C. H. B. Reynolds; Routlege
Introduction to Sinhalese spoken in Sri Lanka. Classroom and self-instruction. Romanised script with gradual introduction of Sinhalese script. AUDIO: 5 x C60 cassettes, for separate purchase. Probably CEFR A1. No Amazon reviews.

Spoken Sinhala Made Simple (2018), 415 pages, by V. T. Fernando; Independently published
Teaches colloquial Sinhala. Intuitive transliteration system (explained in 1st chapter). Numerous dialogues, exercises. Grammar explained.   No mention of audio recordings. Probably CEFR A2. The two Amazon reviews contradict one another (5 stars, 1 star).

U.S. Peace Corps Sinhala Language Trainer’s Manual (1995), 759 pages
Not a students’ manual. For instructors: lesson plans, guided dialogues, grammar/culture notes, handouts, sample visual aids. No audio recordings. Little use to beginning independent language learner.

Shinhala Phrasebooks, Language Guides, etc.

DLI Sinhala Language Survival Kit – NONE

Introduction to Spoken Sinhala, An (1977), 123 pages, by D. D. De Saram; University of Sri Lanka
Short introduction to spoken Sinhala. Depicts scenes from daily life. Phrasebook style. Circa 16 min. of AUDIO recordings. CEFR A0. Hosted on Yojik website.

Kauderwelsch Sprachführer Singhalesisch - Wort für Wort (5th ed, 2016), 160 pages, by Nalin Bulathsinhala et al.; Reise Know-How Verlag
Kauderwelsch AusspracheTrainer Singhalesisch – AUDIO Recordings
Available in German only. Paired set of phrasebook and AUDIO recordings (extracts only). Sold separately.

Say it in Sinhala: English-Sinhalese Phrase Book (6th ed., 2005), 329 pages, by J B Disanayaka; Stamford Lake

Sinhala Phrasebook & Dictionary (4th ed., 2014), 232 pages; Lonely Planet

Sinhalese Self-Taught by the Natural Method with Phonetic Pronunciation (1918, reprinted 1999), 120 pages, by Don M. De Z. Wickrema; Asian Educational Services
Employed Natural Method. Reprint of 1918 phrasebook. Amazon customer quite dissatisfied; with good reason.

U.S. Army Special Forces 200-Hour Sinhalese Familiarization Course
Emphasis on basic communication needs. The “200 hours” refers to contact time in the classroom. Materials themselves evoke a language guide. In self-study, CEFR A0 upon completion.

Shinhala Grammars, Writing, etc.
For reasons of expediency, irrespective of their dates of publication, “legacy” grammars, readers and similar materials have been listed in the “contemporary” section of this file. This includes the “literary, prose, etc.” materials located in the "Other Language Resources" section of the Yojik website.

Colloquial Sinhalese Clause Structures (1960s, reprint 2017), 170 pages, by James W. Gair

Encyclopaedia of Sinhala Language and Culture (2012), xxx pages, by J.B. Disanayaka; Sumitha Publishers
From the editors: There are three books in one: a grammar book, a dictionary and an encyclopaedia, all pertaining to Sinhala, the island language of the Sinhalese. Consisting of 25 essays, arranged thematically and divided into encyclopaedic entries of equal length, it is also a chronicle that narrates the saga of the Sinhalese.

Literary Sinhala (1974), 453 pages, by James Gair et al.; Cornell University
An introduction to written Sinhala for intermediate-level students. See also the section for Cornell University.

Literary Sinhala Inflected Forms: A Synopsis with a Transliteration Guide to English (1976), 89 pages, by James Gair et al.; Cornell University
Differs from the author’s “Literary Sinhala”: “… in this summary, the inflected forms are grouped into sections dealing with nouns, pronouns, verbs …” See also the section for Cornell University.

Samples of Contemporary Sinhala with Glossary and Brief Grammatical Notes (1976), 57 pages, by James Gair et al.; Cornell University

Sinhala (2010), 315 pages, by Dileep Chandralal; John Benjamins Publishing
Description: “… writing system, phonology, morphology, grammatical constructions and discourse and pragmatic aspects of Sinhala … required reading for not only linguists and Sinhala specialists but also to anyone interested in language, thought, and culture.” Not for beginners.

Spoken Sinhala Grammar: A Handbook (no date), xxx pages, by Bandera Herath; Cornell University
Spoken Sinhala Grammar is a supplementary handbook of basic colloquial Sinhala grammar for classroom instruction, but also as a resource for reference and for self-study students. This handbook has a combination of grammar charts, grammar notes, and extensive appendices that provide a complete and invaluable reference guide for students. See also the section for Cornell University.

Studies in South Asian Linguistics: Sinhala and Other South Asian Languages (1998), 392 pages, by James W. Gair, Barbara C. Lust; Oxford University Press

Shinhala Dictionaries, etc.

One to One Dictionary: English-Sinhalese & Sinhalese-English (2013), 566 pages, by Naseer Salahudden

Sinhalese-English and English-Sinhalese Dictionary (2001), 336 pages, by T. Moscrop
     
Sinhalese-English/English-Sinhalese Dictionary (2013), 336 pages, by Naseer Salahudeen; Hippocrene Books
     
Shinhala Readers, Literature, etc.
For reasons of expediency, irrespective of their dates of publication, “legacy” grammars, readers and similar materials have been listed in the “contemporary” section of this file. This includes the “literary, prose, etc.” materials located in the "Other Language Resources" section of the Yojik website.

Beginning Readings in Colloquial Sinhala; Cornell University

Intermediate Sinhala Reader; Cornell University

Readings in Colloquial Sinhala; Cornell University

Sinhala Bible (Union Old Version) (2015); Bible Society Of Singapore

Shinhala Culture, Society, History, etc.

Encyclopaedia of Sinhala Language and Culture (2012), xxx pages, by J.B. Disanayaka; Sumitha Publishers
From the editors: There are three books in one: a grammar book, a dictionary and an encyclopaedia, all pertaining to Sinhala, the island language of the Sinhalese. Consisting of 25 essays, arranged thematically and divided into encyclopaedic entries of equal length, it is also a chronicle that narrates the saga of the Sinhalese.

Shinhala Media

BBC Sinhala

SBS Sinhalese

Shinhala Miscellany

Central Institute of Indian Languages

Exotic Indian: Sinhala Books – Online Bookstore

LankaLibrary Forum
Forum for Sinhala culture, literature, history, religion etc.

Indiana University CeLT Recorded Materials Archives: Sinhala
The Indiana University CeLT Recorded Materials Archive presently hosts NO materials for Sinhala.

The Indiana University CeLT Recorded Materials Archive presently hosts NO materials for Sinhala.

Info Lanka: Gateway to Sri Lanka
     
OLAC (Open Language Archives Community) -- Sinhala
OLAC, the Open Language Archives Community, is an international partnership of institutions and individuals who are creating a worldwide virtual library of language resources by: (i) developing consensus on best current practice for the digital archiving of language resources, and (ii) developing a network of interoperating repositories and services for housing and accessing such resources.

Sinhala & Sri Lanka Forum

Student Sri Lanka - 3 ways to Learn Sinhala Language online
     
The South Asian Literary Recording Project -- Sinhalese Authors

5. IMPROVING THIS FILE?
Please feel at liberty to post your own recommendations and/or comments and I’ll see what I can do about incorporating them into the lists above.

6. SUBSEQUENT COMMENTS
Visitors to this file are encouraged to review the subsequent comments, posted below, as they include members’ suggestions concerning materials and form a running commentary on resources for the study of this language.

EDITED:
Completely revised: April 2020




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