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Dictionary of Sri Lankan English

What is the difference between samba, sambar, sambhur and sambol? a molgaha and a mirisgala? malu miris and miris malu? a mudalali and a mudaliyar?


How do you pronounce mawatha, Veddah and perahera?


Where will you find a floor patient, a cake structure and an umbrella couple? What is meant by a soft corner, a dead rope and a forward Peter?

A Dictionary of Sri Lankan English contains approximately 2,500 examples of words and expressions which are characteristic of the English spoken in Sri Lanka. It is intended for Sri Lankan students and teachers of English, for foreigners living in Sri Lanka, and for anyone with an interest in international varieties of English. Every entry is compared with so-called "standard" British English, together with a pronunciation guide, examples of usage, quotes from published books, illustrations, and further notes. There is also an introduction outlining the main features of Sri Lankan English, but avoiding linguistic jargon with the intention of being accessible to the general reader.

Further information, together with sample pages, updates and new entries, photographs and related articles, can be found on the website

Michael Meyler

Michael Meyler is a teacher of colloquial Sinhala and Tamil for beginners. He first came to Sri Lanka in 1985 as an English language teacher. For 15 years he taught the popular Sinhala beginners’ class at the British Council in Colombo. He is the author of A Dictionary of Sri Lankan English (2007), and SET: a trilingual dictionary of colloquial Sinhala, English and Tamil (2013).

₨. 1,500/-
Author Michael Meyler
ISBN 978-955-5054-20-1