FSI Sinhala Basic Course

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What is the FSI Sinhala Basic Course?

This FSI Sinhala course consists of three modules, the first of which is dedicated to learning the writing; in its current form, the first module can be completed in around 15 hours of study. It is necessary to finish the first module before beginning Modules 2 and 3 since there is no transliteration, so being able to read Sinhala script is essential.

The second module represents the main part of the course and is made up of 90 learning “cycles” complemented by dialogs, texts and more. In each cycle, new language is first presented and drilled before being expanded in the second part of the cycle.

Finally, the third module consists of a reference section that deals with the main aspects of Sinhala pronunciation and grammar.

How was FSI Sinhala Basic originally used?

FSI Sinhala was originally created for US diplomatic staff to give them the language training they required before leaving for postings in Sri Lanka. They attended around six hours of classes each day, followed by a further two hours of personal study.

In class, they spoke only Sinhala, and even outside of lesson time, they were expected to speak Sinhala among themselves.

In this way, in a relatively short period of only six months, they were able to acquire a level of competency in the language that would allow them to fulfil the requirements of their positions in the country.

How can you use FSI Sinhala Basic?

You probably won’t be able to recreate anything like the perfect study conditions enjoyed by US diplomatic staff. However, thanks to the comprehensive resources contained in this free Sinhala course, you should be able to benefit from them greatly if you can adapt the materials to your needs.

Unfortunately, the audio that should accompany this course is not currently available, which means you won’t be able to rely on this course as your only source of linguistic input. However, if you have other study materials to use – most importantly, audio recordings to help you with pronunciation and listening – you can use the lessons contained in this course to deepen your knowledge of the language.

For further details about how best to use these materials, check out the blog section for suggestions on making the most of the free FSI materials.

Taking it further

However you decide to use the materials in this course, you won’t be able to master Sinhala without practicing. For this reason, as soon as possible, I urge you to take your new knowledge of Sinhala and put it into practice in the real world.

Try to find native Sinhala speakers to talk to and above all, try to make using Sinhala a part of your daily life. Then, when you start doing this, you will see how quickly your abilities in Sinhala begin to progress.

Module 1

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Module 2

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Module 3

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