Colombo - Post Report Question and Answers

How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

You can get by in English for most everything - Sep 2020


It's not necessary to speak Sinhala, especially in Colombo. About a quarter of the population speaks English fluently. - Apr 2020


Most people speak some English. I get by fine and really only know a few words in Sinhalese. - Sep 2017


If you learn some Sinhala, you will be greatly appreciated! Even some Tamil as there are many in the businesses and resorts that speak Tamil. However if you only know English you will do okay! Most tuk-tuk drivers know a little and can get around and most shops you will frequent will speak some English. - Mar 2017


None. - Sep 2013


Not a lot in Colombo but it would be very beneficial outside. It's appreciated, too. - Sep 2012


It really helps to learn the basics in Sinhala - yes, no, thank you, (I) don't want it, it's too expensive, right, left, stop, etc. - Dec 2011


Basically none as everybody speaks English, but the British Council has Sinhala classes and that is great way to meet people when you first arrive. - Feb 2010


None. - Sep 2008


English is widely spoken. - Feb 2008


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