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A Sinhalese-English dictionary

Preface
Abbreviations
The Sinhalese Alphabet


[page iii]

PREFACE.

THE late Rev. CHARLES CARTER, Compiler of this Dictionary, arrived in Ceylon, as a Missionary of the Baptist Missionary Society, on 22nd September, 1853. He set himself at once to acquire a knowledge of the language, in which he made rapid progress, and was able to preach his first sermon in Sinhalese at Biyanwila four months after arrival. During his Missionary career he attained such a command of the language as has been rarely or ever equalled by Europeans. His English-Sinhalese Dictionary, printed at the Government Press, is the best of its kind and is in general use. He is the author of various works for the acquisition of the language; Lesson Books, both for English and Sinhalese Students; Sinhalese Verbs reduced to Conjugations; and a Grammar Book. His aim in all these labours has been service to Ceylon. Of the present work he wrote from New Zealand, where he died on 6th July, 1914: “I willingly render it as an offering to our gracious Master, for the benefit of Ceylon, especially for Missionary work.”

The author, who commenced the work in 1892, has put into the compilation what would equal ten years’ consecutive labour.

The manuscript has been subjected to the scrutiny of competent Sinhalese scholars, who contributed valuable suggestions and corrected the work at the press, viz. the late Mudaliyar Simon de Silva, with the assistance of the late High Priest Dharmarama of Vidyalankara Oriental College, and the late Mr. S. de Saram, Literary Adviser to the Baptist Missionary Society.

We also acknowledge the valuable assistance rendered by Mr. T. Petch, Botanist and Mycologist of Peradeniya, in the correction of the Appendix of Botanical Names.

The omission of Romanised characters after the Sinhalese word will, we hope, be met to some extent by the alphabet at the beginning, for those who are unacquainted with the Sinhalese characters. To the definition in English of classical Sinhalese words not in ordinary use, there is added the ordinary Sinhalese word, making it useful to the Sinhalese reader, as well as supplying the English reader with the best word for ordinary use, at the same time showing that the word defined is not the ordinary word.

Mudaliyar A. Mendis Gunasekera, late of the Registrar-General’s Office, Editor of the “Jnanadarsaya,” and author of a “Comprehensive Grammar of the Sinhalese Language,” to whom the manuscript was submitted, states that “The work is much fuller and more valuable than any other Dictionary of the language yet published, and will supply to a great extent the want of a good Dictionary much felt at present.”

The work is the property of the Baptist Missionary Society, which purchased the rights from the Compiler before his death.

We are indebted to the generosity of the late Mr. G. B. Leechman, which has made it possible to publish the work.

JOHN A. EWING.

BAPTIST MISSION HOUSE,
COLOMBO. 21st May, 1924.

[page iv]

ABBREVIATIONS.

a. or adj. ... adjective
abs. ... abstract
acc. ... accusative case
act. ... active voice
ad. ... adverb
aff. ... affix
alg. ... algebra
anat. ... anatomy
ap. ... appellation
arch. ... a[r]chitecture
arith. ... arithmetic
ast. ... astronomy
astro. ... astrology
B. ... Buddhist, or in Buddhism
B.P. ... Buddhist Priest (hood)
Ben. ... Bengali
biol. ... biology
bot. ... in botany, or botanical list
cau. ... causative
C. En. ... Ceylon endemic
ch. ... church
ch. E. ... Church of England
chem. ... chemistry
Chr. ... Christianity, or Christian usage
cl. ... classical
c. n. ... concrete
col. ... colloquial
coll. ... collective
comp. ... in composition
conch. ... conchology
conj. ... conjunction
const. ... constellation
cont. ... contracted, or contraction of
cor. ... correctly
cp. ... compare
D. ... Dutch
dat. ... (with) dative case
desid. ... desiderative form
E. ... Elu
emp. ... emphatic
Eng. ... English
eng. ... engineering
ep. ... epithet
er. ... erroneous(ly)
E. S. ... English-Sinhalese Dictionary
exel. ... exclamation
exp. ... expletive
fem. ... feminine
fr. ... from
fig. ... figuratively
gen. ... generally
geo. ... geography
geol. ... geology
geom. ... geometry
gram. ... grammar
H. ... Hindu
H. myth. ... Hindu mythology
hon. ... honorific
idem ... as the preceding
I. ... India
imp. ... imperative
ind. ... indeclinable
indet. ... indefinite form (as පොතක්)
instr. ... instrument (al)
int. ... interjection
inten. ... intensive
inter. ... interrogative
leg. ... legal, in law
(Legum.) ... Leguminosæ
lit. ... literally
log. ... in logic
math. ... mathematics
med. ... medical
men. ... mental
meta. ... metaphorical
mil. ... military
mus. ... music
myth. ... mythology
n. ... noun
n. c. ... noun collective
nat. hist. ... natural history
neg. ... negative
neu. ... neuter
num. ... numeral
obj. ... object
obs. ... obsolete
ord. ... ordinarily
P. ... Pali
paint. ... painting
par. or part. ... particle
pas. ... passive
pers. ... personal
pert. ... pertaining to
ph. ... phrase
phil. ... philosophy
phren. ... phrenology
pl. (n.) ... plural
pl. (v.) ... participle
poe. ... poetry
Port. ... Portuguese
post. ... post position (for English preposition)

[page v]

p. p. or p. pl. ... perfect or past participle
p. prest. ... present participle
print. ... printing
priv. ... privative
pron. ... pronoun
pron. ref. ... reflexive pronoun
q. V. ... quod vide, which see
R. C. ... Roman Catholic
rel. ... relative
res. ... respectfully
rt. ... root
S. ... Sinhalese
Sans. ... Sanscrit
sculp. ... sculpture
sg. ... singular
sp. ... specially
sp. ... species
sub. ... subject
suf. ... suffix
sur. ... surgery
sy. ... synonym
T. ... Tamil
temp. ... temporal
ter. ... termination
v. a. (dj.) pres. ... adjectival form of the verb in the present tense (as කරන)
v. a. (dj.) pret. ... the same in the preterite (as කළ)
var. ... variety of
v. aux. ... verb auxiliary
v. c. ... verb causative
v. i. ... verb intransitive
v. n. ... verbal noun
v. n. i. ... verbal noun intransitive
v. n. t. ... verbal noun transitive
voc. ... vocative case
zo. or zool. ... zoology

BOTANICAL SECTION.
EXPLANATIONS.

C. En. ... Ceylon endemic, used of plants peculiar to Ceylon
Cp. ... Compare
G. D. ... General Dictionary
Hill ... (as in hill-paddy)-ගොඩබිම high or dry land, distinction from swamp
Tree ... ගහ, තරුව, තුරු, දුම, ද්‍රැම, ද්‍රැමය, ද්‍රැව, රුක, වෘක්‍ෂය
Creeper ... ලතාව, වැල

 

ABBREVIATIONS OF LATIN NAMES.

Acanth. ... Acanthaceæ
Alis. ... Alismaceæ
Amarant. ... Amarantaceæ
Amary. ... Amaryllideæ
Ampel. ... Ampelideæ
Anacard. ... Anacardiaceæ
Ancist. ... Ancistrocladeæ
Anon. ... Anonaceæ
Apocyn. ... Apocynanceæ
Arali. ... Araliaceæ
Aristo. ... Aristochiaceæ
Asclep. ... Asclepiadeæ
Auran. ... Aurantiaceæ
Balan. ... Balanophoraceæ
Begon. ... Begoniaceæ
Berb. ... Berberideæ
Bignon. ... Bignoniaceæ
Bigon. ... Bigoniaceæ
Bix. ... Bixineæ
Borag. ... Boragineæ
Burma. ... Burmanniaceæ
Burser. ... Burseraceæ
Cact. ... Cactaceæ
Campan. ... Campanulaceæ
Capparid. ... Capparideæ
Capri. ... Caprifoliaceæ
Caryo. ... Caryophyllaceæ
Celast. ... Celastraceæ
Cerato. ... Ceratophyllaceæ
Chail. ... Chailletiaceæ
Char. ... Characeæ
Cheno. ... Chenopodiaceæ
Chlor. ... Chloranthaceæ
Combret. ... Combretaceæ
Commel. ... Commelinaceæ
Comp. ... Campositæ
Connar. ... Connaraceæ
Convolv. ... Convolvulaceæ
Corna. ... Cornaceæ
Crassu. ... Crassulaceæ
Crucif. ... Cruciferæ
Cucurb.(it.) ... Cucurbitaceæ
Cyper. ... Cyperaceæ

[page vi]

Datis. ... Datiscaceæ
Dillen. ... Dillenaceæ
Dioscor. ... Dioscoræceæ
Dipsa. ... Dipsacaeæ
Dipterocarp. ... Dipterocarpaceæ
Dros. ... Droseraceæ
Eben. ... Ebenaceæ
Ehæag. ... Elæagnaceæ
Elat. ... Elatineæ
Equis. ... Equisetaceæ
Eriocaul. ... Eriocauloneæ
Euphorb. ... Euphorbiaceæ
Fico. ... Ficoideæ
Flagel. ... Flageliariaceæ
Gentian. ... Gentianaceæ
Geran. ... Geraniaceæ
Gesner. ... Gesneraceæ
Gooden. ... Goodenoviaceæ
Gram. ... Gramineæ
Guttif. ... Guttiferæ
Hæmo. ... Gæmodoraceæ
Halor. ... Halorageæ
Hydro. ... Hydrocharideæ
Hydroph. ... Hydrophyllaceæ
Hyper. ... Hypericaceæ
Ilic. ... Ilicineæ
Illece. ... Ukkecevraceæ
Iso. ... Isocteæ
Junc. ... Joncaceæ
Lab. ... Labiatæ
Laur. ... Lauraceæ
Legum. ... Leguminosæ
Lemn. ... Lemnaceæ
Lentibul. ... Lentibulariaceæ
Lili. ... Liliaceæ
Lina. ... Linaceæ
Logan. ... Loganiaceæ
Loran. ... Loranthaceæ
Lycopod. ... Lycopodiaceæ
Lyth. ... Lythoraceæ
Magnol. ... Magnoliaceæ
Malpi. ... Malpighiaceæ
Malv. ... Malvaceæ
Melastom. ... Melastomaceæ
Meli. ... Meliaceæ
Menisperm. ... Menispermaceæ
Monim. ... Monimiaceæ
Morin. ... Moringeæ
Myris. ... Myristicaceæ
Myrsi. ... Myristicaceæ
Myrt. ... Myrtaceæ
Naiad. ... Naiadaceæ
Nepen. ... Nepenthaceæ
Nyct. ... Nyctagineæ
Nymph. ... Nymphæaceæ
Och. ... Ochnaceæ
Ola. ... Olacineæ
Onag. ... Onagraceæ
Orchi. ... Orchideæ
Orob. ... Orobanchaceæ
O. S. ... Oryza sativa
Pandan. ... Pandanacæ
Passi. ... Passifloracæ
Pedal. ... Pedaliaceæ
Phytol. ... Phytolaccaceæ
Piper. ... Piperaceæ
Pittospor. ... Pittosporaceæ
Plan. ... Plantagineæ
Plumbag. ... Plumbagineæ
Podo. ... Podostemaceæ
Polygal. ... Polygalaceæ
Polygon. ... Polygonaceæ
Ponte. ... Pontederiaceæ
Portu. ... Portulaceaceæ
Prim. ... Primnaceæ
Prot. ... Proteaceæ
Ranun. ... Ranunculaceæ
Rham. ... Rhamnaceæ
Rhiz. ... Rhizocarpeæ
Rhizoph. ... Rhizophoraceæ
Ros. ... Rosaceæ
Rox. ... Roxburghiaceæ
Rub. ... Rubiaceæ
Rut. ... Rutaceæ
Sabi. ... Sabiaceæ
Salva. ... Salvadoraceæ
Samy. ... Samydaceæ
Sant,. ... Santalaceæ
Sapind. ... Sapindaceæ
Sapot. ... Sapotaceæ
Saxi. ... Saxifragaceæ
Scitam. ... Scitamineæ
Scroph. ... Scraphutariaeæ
Selag. ... Selaginellaceæ
Simar. ... Simarrubaceæ
Solan. ... Solanaceæ
Stercul. ... Sterculiaceæ
Styl. ... Stylidiaceæ
Styr. ... Styraceæ
Tac. ... Taccaceæ
Tamar. ... Tamariscineæ,
Tern. ... Ternstroemjaceæ
Thym. ... Thymelæceæ
Tili. ... Tiliaceæ
Triu. ... Triurideæ
Typh. ... Typhaceæ
Umbel. ... Umbelliferæ
Urti. ... Urticaceæ
Vace. ... Vacciniaceæ
Valer. ... Valerianaceæ
Verben. ... Verbenaceæ
Vio. ... Violaceæ
Xyr. ... Xyrideæ
Zygo. ... Zygophyllaceæ

[page vii]

THE SINHALESE ALPHABET.

1. —VOWELS.

Short.

a, as in America.
i, as in pin.
oo, as in foot.
e, as in men.
o, as in & Co..
-  

Long.

a, as in ah!
or ඊ i, as in marine.
oo, as in food.
e, as in mane.
ai, as in time.
o, as in moan,
ou, as in our.
-  

The above are the full vowel signs, and are always initial.

II. — PRONUNCIATION OF VOWELS.

1. අ varies slightly in pronunciation, depending sometimes on the meaning or derivation, and sometimes on the consonants with which it is combined. It has the sound of o in dove, of o in not, and the clear, distinct sound obtained by shortening ah! In the absence of a living teacher, let the student choose the last of the three.

2. ඉ and ඊ have a fine, sharp sound.

3. එ and ඒ have a full, broad and—to Englishmen—vulgar sound, like the Irish pronunciation of meat = mate.

4. ඓ has the polite sound of i in time, somewhat prolonged.

5. ඔ and ඕ have the English broad, vulgar sound.

6. ඇ and ඈ. have the vowel sound of the bleating of a sheep, minus the quivering. Cat and cart, if pronounced very vulgarly, not in the direction of au in caught, but in that of a in ram, will express the sounds; and as there is no letter in English to express them, let one hyphen - represent the short vowel, and two - - the long one.

III.—THE NON-INITIAL VOWEL SIGNS.

     (ආ) (ඉ) (ඊ)
(උ) and (ඌ) and
(එ) ‍ෙ (ඒ) ‍‍ේ (‍ඓ) ‍ෛ (ඖ) ‍ෞ
(ඕ) ‍ො (ඕ) ‍ෝ (ඇ) (ඈ)

1. අ has no non-initial sign, but it is in herent [sic] in every consonant, and, unless displaced by the sign of some other vowel or suppressed, is pronounced after the consonant.

2. ා is written after the consonant: as කා.

3. ි ී are written above the consonant: as කි කී මි මී.

[page viii]

4. ැ, ෑ, ු, ූ are written below the consonant: as කු කූ මු ම. ූ ැand ෑ are used only with the consonants ක ග ත භ ර ශ.

5. ෙ is written before the consonant after which it is pronounced, and lengthened by the addition of ා් ට් to the consonant: as කෙ කේ මෙ මේ.

6. ෛ also precedes the consonant: as කෛ.

7. ො The first of these precedes, and the latter follows the consonant, and is lengthened by the addition of ් to the letter: as කො කෝ.

8. ෞ The first of these, too, precedes, and the latter follows the consonant: as කෞ.

9. ැ ෑ are written after the consonant, above the position occupied by ැ ෑ: as කැ කෑ මැ මෑ.

IV.—THE SIGN ් OR ? IS USED FOR TWO PURPOSES.

1. To suppress the inherent vowel: as මක maka, මක් mak; අම ama, අම් am.

2. To lengthen the others: as කො කෝ කේ එ ඒ ඔ ඕ.

3. The form ? is attached to those letters which have their final stroke turned back to the left: as ම ම් ව ව් ඔ ඕ.

4. The joining of two consonants suppresses the inherent vowel of the first; and if ෙ accompanies the second, that is placed before the first: as ස්වල්ප = ස්වල්ප swalpa; ස්නේහ = ස්නේහ snēha.

V.—CONSONANTS.

  ┌──────── ────────┐ ┌──────── ────────┐  
  Unaspirated. Aspirated. Unaspirated. Aspirated. Nasal.
K class ක k ග g ඩ ng
Ch class ච ch ජ j ඤ ny
T class ට t ඩ d ණ n
Th class ත th ද dh න n
P class ප p බ b ම m
  ය y ර r ල l ව w ං ng
  ශ s ෂ sh ස s හ h ළ l:ch

VI.—PRONUNCIATION OF THE CONSONANTS WHICH DIFFER FROM THE ENGLISH.

1. The aspirated consonants are pronounced as if accompanied by a vocal h: e.g., ඛ is pronounced like k in back-hall, allowing the h to coalesce.

2. ග is always hard.

3. ච has less of the hissing sound than the English ch in rich.

4. ත is much lighter than the English th. It has the sound which the Irish sometimes give to t when followed by r: e.g., trick, trip, straight, pronounced something like thrick, thrip, sthraight.

5. ද This, too, is a real dental, and has the sound heard in the Irish pronunciation of d in such words as drink, drip, drop.

[page ix]

6. ර is always trilled.

7. ශ is very light, like c in cinder, and its inherent vowel is generally ඇ, not අ.

8. ෂ has less of the hissing sound than the English sh. and is often pronounced like the ordinary s ස.

9. : is the guttural k, as hard as the German ch, and never followed by a vowel in the same word.

VII.—IN SOME WORDS ය, ර, AND න ARE EXPRESSED BY OTHER SIGNS: ය BY ්‍ය, ර, BY ෙ, AND ්‍ර, න BY ?.

1. ්‍ය suppresses the inherent vowel of the consonant to which it is added, and is pronounced after that consonant: as මඟල්‍ය Mangal-ya.

2. ෙ is written on the uppor part of a consonant, and is pronounced before it with its own inherent vowel suppressed: as පෙර්‍වත Parwatha.

3. ්‍ර suppresses the inherent vowel of the consonant to which it is Joined, and is pronounced after that consonant: as පුත්‍රයා Poothrayah.

4. ? is used for three purposes;—

a. When joined to the aspirated consonants ඨ, ඪ, ධ, the corresponding unaspirated consonants respectively precede them: as කඪ Kat-ta, මඪ Mad-da. රුඬ Roodh-dha.
b. When joined to ච, dh (ද්) precedes the ව: as මළු madhwa.
c. When joined to any of the other consonants, it signifies that a very short sound of න් precedes them: as කඳු Kandoo.

VIII.—VOWEL-CONSONANTS.

1. ඍ roo, සෲ; rōō: ඏ loo, ඏෟ lōō; ළු loo, ළූ lōō.

2. They are joined to other consonants and pronounced thus: කෘ kroo, කෲ krōō, කෟ kloo, කෟ klōō, කළු kaloo. කළූ kalōō.

IX.:—ILLUSTRATION OF THE COMBINATIOX[sic] OF VOWEL AND CONSONANT.

a.—The non-initial vowel signs are invariably pronounced after the consonant.

b.—In all Sinhalese words each syllable must be pronounced separately and distinctly, with as little accentuation as possible, even on the long vowels

1. vowel අක aka අකා akā ආක āka ආකා ākā
2. vowel ඉචි ichi ඉචී ichī ඊචි īchi ඊචී īchī
  ඉපි ipi ඉති ithī ඉරී irī ඊකි īki
3. vowel උටු ootoo ඌදු ōōdhōō උගු oogoo උගු oogoo
4. vowel එබෙ ebe ඒබේ ēbē එරෙ ere ඒරේ ere
5. vowel ඓමෛ aimai අමෛ amai ඉරෛ irai ආවෛ āwai
6. vowel ඔෂො osho ඕනො ōno ඕමෝ omo ඕලෝ olo
7. vowel ඖරෞ ourou කෞරෞ kourou වෞනෞ wounou    
8. vowel ඇමැ - m - ඇරැ -    - ඈරූ - - roo ඈරු - - r -

[page x]

X.—MISCELLANEOUS EXERCISE.

කප kapa කපා kāpā මකපි makapi
එසේ esē මෙසේ mesē මානෙල් mānel
මනාප manāpa අලප් alap කිපෙන kipena
යුසය yoosaya රහදිය rahadhiya දුවනවා dhoowanawā
ක්‍රමයක් kramayak කම්පාව kampāwa ස්වල්පය swalpaya
පර්‍වත parwatha පුත්‍රය poothraya සන්‍යක sanyaka
‍කොඪා kot විරුද්ධ wiroodhdha ද්වීප dhwīpa
ස්නේහ snēha කඳු kandhoo ලිඳවල් lindhawal
ක්‍රළු krōōloo ක්‍රළූ kroolōō ක්‍රා krā

මැ කැ කූ රැ රු රූ m - k - kōō r - roo rōō


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