Well-known apps like Duolingo, Babbel or Rosetta Stone offer no Sinhalese courses, but there are other apps for learning Sinhalese that are just as good.
Now let's take a look at the apps, software and online courses that you can use to learn Sinhalese. The biggest advantage of such learning apps is that they are much cheaper than traditional language courses.
Sinhalese Basic Course
From 17 Minute Languages
Online Access (PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS)
Suitable for: Beginners and Advanced Learners, Students, Professionals
Content: 1300 words (basic course), 5200 words (complete course), grammar, verb conjugations, exercises
Prices: USD 29,95 (Basic Course), USD 97 (Complete Course)
The Sinhalese Basic Course contains a vocabulary trainer for the basic Sinhalese vocabulary (1300 words) with native-speaker audio, as well as grammar explanations and various exercises.
The vocabulary trainer works with a long-term memory method, in which the new vocabulary is checked at increasing intervals.
You can choose between text input, multiple choice or simply confirming whether you knew a word or not.
The exercises include text comprehension questions, filling in word gaps or just vocabulary lists where one side is covered.
The basic course corresponds to the official language levels A1 and A2 (explanation of CEFR language levels).
The Complete Course contains:
- Basic course for beginners (basic vocabulary with 1300 words)
- Intermediate course (1800 more words)
- Advanced course for experts (2100 words)
- Additional specialized vocabulary
- Covers the official CEFR language levels A1 to C2
There are 17 different languages you can use to learn Sinhalese with this app.
Summary: Much cheaper and even better than the famous Rosetta Stone. There is a free demo version available and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Link: Sinhalese Basic Course and Complete Course
uTalk Sinhalese App
Alternative to Duolingo or Babbel
Android App, iPhone App, Online Version
Content: Sinhalese vocabulary (2000 words), lessons and playful exercises
USD 12 (1 month and all 160 languages)
USD 60 (12 months and all 160 languages)
Discount offer: USD 199 (Lifetime Access to all 160 Languages)
The uTalk app teaches about 2000 Sinhalese words and focuses primarily on playful exercises.
There are several exercises to choose from:
Read and listen to Sinhalese words (with translation and photos)
Match the Sinhalese word you heard to a photo
Speak a Sinhalese word and compare the recording with the original
A memory game with pictures
Speak the Sinhalese translation of an English word
The vocabulary is divided into 60 freely selectable topics. The special thing about the uTalk app is that you get access to all
The interface of the app is well made and is similar to other apps like Babbel, Duolingo or Mondly.
Summary: Getting access to 160 languages is impressive and the scope (2000 words with native speaker audio and exercises) is also solid.
Link: uTalk Sinhalese Language Course App
Cudoo: Sinhalese Course
Online Learning with Certificates
Online Access (PC, Mac, smartphones)
Content: Sinhalese video lessons and quiz tests
Prices: USD 12.99 (one course), USD 24.99 (4-7 courses bundle)
Cudoo is a kind of online university that offers courses with certificates on different topics.
This includes language courses for 160 languages. These are all beginner courses (CEFR level A1 and A2).
For each language there are 1-10 courses and each course has 20-40 lessons.
The lessons each include a short video with new vocabulary and there are short quiz questions below the video.
Summary: The videos are well made, so especially for smaller languages these courses are a good start.
Link: Cudoo Online Sinhalese Language Course
Bluebird Sinhalese App
Sinhalese Lessons and Exercises
Android and iPhone apps, online version (PC and Mac)
Content: Sinhalese exercises with native speaker audio and speech recognition
Prices: USD 9.99 (1 month), USD 100 (12 months), USD 200 (unlimited), USD 400 (163 languages)
The Bluebird App offers 146 source languages and 163 target languages and dialects, including Sinhalese.
The Sinhalese language course in this app includes the following:
Daily video lessons in three difficulty levels
Basic Sinhalese vocabulary on several dozen topics
Common Sinhalese verbs with conjugations
Analysis of your own pronunciation (with speech recognition)
Tests: listening comprehension, filling in word gaps, vocabulary quizzes
There are about 500 video lessons for learning Sinhalese, each 5 to 60 minutes long. For languages with other scripts, the words can also be displayed transliterated in the Latin script.
The Bluebird app has no grammar lessons. Instead, you are supposed to understand the grammar "implicitly" from the examples, like in Rosetta Stone.
Summary: The video lessons and the interface take some getting used to, but the exercises are quite varied. Especially for smaller languages, this app is a viable alternative.
Lingo Sinhalese App
Playful Sinhalese Learning
Android and iPhone Apps, Online Version (PC and Mac)
Content: Sinhalese lessons and exercises
Prices: USD 19.99 (1 month), USD 40 (3 months), USD 60 (6 months)
The Lingo Play App offers language courses for 70 languages. It offers "gamified learning", which means learning vocabulary in a playful way.
Each Sinhalese lesson offers the following exercises:
Presentation of new words with translation and image
Decide whether a Sinhalese word matches the image
Select one of four pictures that matches a word
Type in the Sinhalese word for a picture
Correctly type in a spoken Sinhalese word
In the full version this app offers up to 5000 Sinhalese words. The interface of the app is similar to Babbel, Duolingo or Mondly.
There is also a multiplayer mode and competitions where you can test your Sinhalese skills against other people.
Summary: Overpriced Sinhalese course that does offer some good exercises, but is not better than other similar apps.
Instant Immersion: Sinhalese
Learning Software for Download
PC and Mac
Suitable for: Beginners and intermediate learners, travel vocabulary, business
Content: Sinhalese vocabulary lessons and exercises
Prices: USD 35 (Level 1), USD 55 (Level 1-3)
The Instant Immersion Sinhalese learning software is available for download only for PCs and Macs.
According to the vendor, this software is supposed to be "as good as Rosetta Stone", but much cheaper because less money is spent on advertising.
Unfortunately, this promise cannot hold.
The software interface is chaotic and all three "language levels" offer a chaotic mix of easy and difficult words.
Essentially, this software only introduces new Sinhalese vocabulary with native speaker audio and pictures, and then there are a few exercises.
Sinhalese grammar is not included at all.
Summary: Limited scope and bad interface. At least it is relatively cheap and there is a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Educational Software for Download
PC (Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP)
Content: Sinhalese lessons with native speaker audio and speech recognition, grammar
Prices: USD 35 (second language for free)
The Linguashop educational software ("TeachMe") is available for over 90 languages, including Sinhalese. It also includes an audio CD.
The native speaker audio and speech recognition are relatively good.
However, the interface of the learning software is quite chaotic and there are no exercises — only lessons where new vocabulary is presented.
It is also unclear how many words are included in this Sinhalese learning program. There is no information about this on the website.
Some grammar lessons are included — however, these are basically just images with short texts.
Summary: Poor quality for a relatively low price. You get language courses for two languages when you buy, one as a free bonus.
Additional Ways To Learn Sinhalese Online:
Colanguage: Find Skype teachers
At Colanguage you can arrange face-to-face language lessons online via Skype with language teachers around the world (from $5-10 per hour).
In addition to using apps, it is definitely a good idea to also practice with native speakers in order to learn Sinhalese properly.
Tandem: Find a language exchange partner
Instead of hiring teachers, you can also find people who are interested in a free language exchange online via Skype.
It is completely free of charge, but you have to act as a language teacher for the other person half of the time.