System of Romanization of Sinhala
heḷa latinsiṅhala hôḍiya
The following Tables gives the scheme of Romanization
of the Hela alphabet into Latin script:
| Vowel || Table || || || || |
| a|| ā ||æ ||ææ ||i ||ī|
| é ||É || u || ū || o ||ô
| ṛ || ṛ ṛ ||ai || au || aṅ || aḥ |
| Conso||nent ||Table || || |
| k || kh || g || gh || ṅ |
| c || ch || j || jh || ñ |
| ṭ || ṭh ||ḍ ||ḍh ||ṇ |
| t ||th || d ||dh || n |
| p ||ph || b ||bh || m |
| y || r || l || ḷ || v |
| ś || ṣ || s || h || ṅ |
- The arrangement of vowels and consonants in the Siṅhala alphabet is in the order determined by the Indian Grammarian Pāṇiṇi which other Indian languages also follow.
- The two Tables given contain 18 vowels and 35 consonants. Since each consonant can be combined with each vowel there are a potential of over 600 character entities. However many of these do not occur in practice.
- A Consonant-Vowel combination is usually written as a single character in Sinhala. It is rendered in Roman script by two letters (three in the case of aspirated consonanats) combining the consonant from the Consonant Table with the vowel from the Vowel Table, e.g. ka, kā, ki, kī, ku, kū, etc.
- Consonents written alone without a vowel combination are written in Latin script as the single consonent from the Consonant Table, e.g. k, t, etc.
- The long from of a vowel is the vowel written with horizontal bar (macron) above it. The only exceptions are the long form of æ and ṛ which are got by simply doubling the character.
- Consonants in line 3 are palatal consonants (pronounced with the tip on the tongue on the palate) and their dental couterparts (pronounced with the tip of the tongue on the teeth) are given on line 4. It is important to look out for these differences.
- Some characters written as a single entity have a preceding m or n sound. Thus the word for mango has two chacters in Sinhalese written form, the first being the vowel 'a', and the second charcter has an m-sound before the 'ba' consonant-vowel combination. In Romanizing this is written as three characters: m + b + a. Thus the word for mango is: amba, which has four characters in Latin but only two in Sinhala script.. Similarly the word for bed is 'ænda' containing four letters in the Latin rendering whereas when written in Sinhala it has only two characters.
- Aspirated vowels are written with an h after the vowel. This usage is different when h appears with a vowel in a consonant-vowal combination, e.g ha, hā, hi, hī, etc.
- The last character in the Consonant Table is a pure nasalized sound and is sometimes written with the dot under m (instead of dot over n) as: ṃ.
- Note the three s-sounds given in the last line of the Consonant Table. These have separate character representations in Sinhala.