English Translations of the Reading Passages in James W. Gair & W. S. Karunatilaka

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Excerpt: James W. Gair and W.S. Karunatilaka’s Literary Sinhala, published at Cornell University in 1974, remains the best textbook for non-native speakers who want to learn literary Sinhala, which is quite distinct from the colloquial language. Given that very few institutions outside Sri Lanka offer Sinhala instruction, many persons seeking a reading knowledge of the language use this textbook on their own. Literary Sinhala, however, was produced with the assumption that the user would have access to an instructor, and does not include English translations of the Sinhala reading passages. This publication, commissioned and published by the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies 40 years after the appearance of Literary Sinhala, provides these translations. The intention is to make the textbook more helpful, especially for those using it without an instructor.