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 don't need Sinhala or Tamil at all for daily living. - Mar 2021

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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