How to read Sinhala
This site uses Sinhala Unicode fonts. To see them displayed correctly, follow the steps below. We recommend that you use Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or later versions instead of Internet Explorer , Google Chrome or Opera, which seem to have some rendering issues.
- If you have Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or a later version running on Windows, simply install the Sinhala Pack and restart your computer.
- Right click on your Desktop, choose Properties, go to Advanced/Appearance tab, click on Effects and choose ClearType as the method to smooth edges of screen fonts.
- Change Character Encoding to UTF-8 Unicode in your browser (VIEW→ENCODING in most browsers).
- If you use a Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Netscape or any version of Internet Explorer, please download the Malithi Web Sinhala Unicode font by clicking here.
- Install it in your computer. For Windows, simply copy the font to your Windows\Fonts folder. Refer to system documentation for other operating systems.
- Restart your computer (not necessary on Windows XP).
- In Windows, right click on your Desktop, choose Properties, go to Advanced tab, click on Effects and choose Cleartype as the method to smooth edges of screen fonts.
- Change Character Encoding to UTF-8 Unicode in your browser (VIEW-->ENCODING in most browsers).
How to write Sinhala
- After following the above steps, you can use the Windows character map program to type in Sinhala. Remember to choose Kaputa.Com or Malithi or other Sinhala Unicode font you have installed, when you do this.
- If you have Windows XP Service Pack 2, install the Sinhala Enabling Pack for XP by clicking here (this has been developed by Microsoft and endorsed by the Sri Lankan government).
- Read the instructions before you install it.
- It lets you toggle seamlessly between typing English and Sinhala using the language button on the task bar. This is, by far, the best solution. It uses the standard Wijesekera layout.
- You can type in Unicode just as easily as you do with any other Sinhala or English font.
- If you don't have Windows XP SP2 but have an older version of Windows and Microsoft Office XP, you can download the Sinhala Pack for Office XP here.
- This lets you type Sinhala documents in Microsoft Word. You can copy and paste what you write in Wikipedia. Note: you will need to have your XP CD handy.
- If you are using a version of Windows other than XP SP2, you can use the FutureSinhala keyboard driver to type in Sinhala unicode.
- It's a small background program that intercepts what you type and converts it to the Sinhala unicode format.
- You can type in phonetics, Wijeysekara layout or Singlish (ea kiyanne mehema type karana eka) and the program will type it in Sinhala on any open window (MS Word etc.).
- If you want to type in Sinhala using your Android smartphone, you can download the Helakuru Keyboard from the Google Playstore. If you don't have Google Playstore installed, then you can download the Helakuru APK version.
- Helakuru is a mostly used Keyboard app among Sri Lankans in 2020.
Still having problems
- Inform the other users about the problems you're having. Sinhala Unicode is relatively new and it may take a while to have universal support.
- We have found Mozilla Firefox 2.0 on Windows XP Service Pack 2 to deliver the best results.
- And not Kaputa or Kandy or eKottu? Unicode is the international standard for non-Latin scripts. It is Wikipedia's policy to use Unicode fonts in international sister sites. This is to ensure universal usability. You cannot use non Unicode fonts to search in Wikipedia. See other sister sites such as Tamil Wikipedia and Hindi Wikipedia to understand its capabilities.
- Latest Linux distros come with Sinhala support by default(remember to select Sinhala while installing). Currently, Sinhala does not come built in with Windows XP unlike Tamil and Hindi. However, the beta versions of upcoming Windows Vista comes with Sinhala support by default.
- There are also some complaints about the lack of pilis in Sinhala Unicode. This is a misunderstanding due to the fact that some modifiers such as yansaya and repaya are not explicitly included in the Unicode code chart. However, these modifiers are included in the glyph tables and can be typed into documents using the appropriate combination of characters. The Sinhala keyboard layout recommended by ICTA include keys for both these modifiers.
- Feel free to discuss these issues in the talk page.
Tips on Writing in Sinhala
If you have Windows XP Service Pack 2, and you have installed the Sinhala Enabling Pack for XP (this has been developed by Microsoft and endorsed by the Sri Lankan government) then you can type Sinhala in the normal way(as if you are writing with hand). So, following tips does not apply for them. For example, if you need to type kolamba (කොළඹ) then you can type kombuwa + ka + aela pilla + la + mba. No need to type as ka + kombuwa ha aela pilla + la + mba as shown below.
If you don't have it installed, please follow the following tips.
Following tips were formulated by looking at most common errors that has been done in writing using unicode sinhala. Please try to avoid the errors far as possible using the following tips. Feel free to add more tips on avoiding error as you find them (some of these are due to the lack of support for sinhala typing at the moment.)
- kombuwa (ෙ) should come after the consonant.
- e.g.: gedara (ගෙදර) is written as: ga + kombuwa + da + ra but not as kombuwa + ga + da + ra.
- kombuwa haa aela pilla (ො) is a single composite modifier.
- e.g.: kolamba (කොළඹ) is written as: ka + kombuwa ha aela pilla + la + mba but not as kombuwa + ka + aela pilla + la + mba.
- in the same lines all the modifiers ේ, ෛ, ො, ෝ, ෞ have their own single composites.
- rakaranshaya (්ර) is written as: hal kereema + zero width joiner(zwj) + ra
- e.g.: prauda (ප්රෞඪ) is written as: pa + hal kereema + zwj + ra + kombuwa haa gayanukitta + ddha
- yansaya (්ය) is written as: hal kereema + zwj + ya
- e.g.: udyoga (උද්යෝග) is written as: u + da + hal kereema + zwj + ya + kombuwa haa diga aela pilla + ga
- Kaputa Sinhahala Unicode Fonts for Windows, Linux and Mac
- Enabling Unicode Sinhala in Linux (Debian, Fedora and Ubuntu)
- LKLUG Unicode Sinhala font
- Malithi Unicode font
- Sinhala plugin for Internet Explorer 6
- Sinhala Pack for Windows XP Service Pack 2
- Sinhala Fonts
- Sinhala Fonts 2
- SinhalaSP key board drver
- Unicode organisation
- සිංහල යුනිකොඩ් සමූහය - Sinhala Unicode
- HelaBasa Sinhala Fonts with Wijesekara Keyboard for Windows 98, 2000, XP
- GNU FreeFont (FreeSerif has Sinhala range)