|Also Known As: Sinhalese language,Sinhala language,Sinhalese,Singhala,Singhalese,Chingalese,Cingalese,Sinhala
Sinhala (සිංහල, ISO 15919: siṁhala, pronounced [ˈsiŋɦələ], sometimes referred by alternative spelling Singhalese) is the language of the Sinhalese, the largest ethnic group of Sri Lanka. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages.
Sinhala is spoken by about 19 million people in Sri Lanka, about 16 million of whom are native speakers. It is one of the constitutionally-recognised official languages of Sri Lanka, along with Tamil. Sinhala has its own writing system (see Sinhala alphabet) which is an offspring of the Indian Brahmi script.
The oldest Sinhala inscriptions were written in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE; the oldest existing literary works date from the 9th century CE.
The closest relative of Sinhala is the language of the Maldives, Dhivehi.
Sinhala is actually a Sanskrit term; the corresponding Middle Indic word is Sīhala; the actual Sinhala term is heḷa or eḷu. The Sanskrit and the Middle Indic words have as their first element (siṃha and sīha) the word "lion" in the respective languages. According to legend, Sinhabahu or Sīhabāhu ("Lion-arms"), was the son of a Vanga princess and a lion. He killed his father and became king of Vanga. His son Vijaya..... full article at Wikipedia