Learn a Few Local Words

While most residents in Ella do speak English and visitors can travel around the area without conversing in the local tongue, the benefits of learning a few local phrases may prove to be valuable. Not only will learning Sinhala terms for “Hello, “Thank You!” and “Goodbye” endear travellers to the local community but it will also help one create a rapport with the many interesting people one meets during a holiday in Ella.

Traditional greeting in Sinhalese Ayubowan!
Bye! Gihin Ennam!
Yes Ow
No Na
Ok Hari
Thank you! Stutti!

As a language that is not difficult to pick up, at least in terms of key phrases, Sinhala lessons are not required for foreigners to carry on a conversation with locals in the area. As most local residents in Ella and elsewhere in the country comprehend basic English to a large degree, tourists can pepper English sentences with Sinhala terms to practice at first. As a nation, Sri Lankans are some of the friendliest in Asia and as such asking for directions and seeking help while on the road and travelling around in Ella would be made that much more of a pleasant encounter if one knew a few words in the local language.

Pick up a Sinhala-English dictionary from a bookshop in Colombo or a phrase book and practice the language with hotel staff and other people you come across on your travels and enjoy a cultural exchange to remember in Ella.