Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lonely Planet: Sri Lankan English (и аюбован)

Like every other country where English is spoken, Sri Lanka has its own peculiar versions of some words and phrases. Life can be a bit confusing if you don't have a grasp of some of the essentials of Sri Lankan English, so we've included a few examples here.

Greetings and Questions
Go and come - farewell greeting, similar to 'see you later'; not taken literally
How? - How are you?
Nothing to do - Can't do anything
What to do? - What can be done about it?; more of a rhetorical question
What country? - Where are you from?

baby/bubba - term used for any child up to about adolescence
batchmate - university classmate
paining - hurting
peon - office helper
to gift - to give a gift
uncle/auntie - term of respect for elder

Getting Around
backside - part of the building away from the street
bajaj - three-wheeler
bus halt - bus stop
coloured lights - traffic lights
down south - the areas south of Colombo, especially coastal areas
dropping - being dropped off at a place by a car
get down (from bus/train/three-wheeler) - to alight
normal bus - not a private bus
outstation - place beyond a person's home area
petrol shed - petrol/gas station
pick-up (noun) - 4WD utility vehicle
seaside / landside - indicates locations, usually in relation to Galle Rd
two-wheeler - motorcycle
up and down - return trip
up country/ Hill Country - Kandy and beyond, tea plantation areas
vehicle – car

bite - snack usually eaten with alcoholic drinks
boutique - a little, hole-in-the-wall shop, usually selling small, inexpensive items
cool spot - traditional, small shop that sells cool drinks and snacks
hotel - a small, cheap restaurant that doesn't offer accommodation
lunch packet/rice packet - portion of rice and curry wrapped in plastic and newspaper and taken to office or school for lunch
short eats - snack food

buck - rupee
last price - final price when bargaining
purse – wallet


Важнейшим и универсальным словом является Аюбован (Ayubowan) – это и приветствие и прощание, буквально – пожелание долгой жизни и благополучия.

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