Sanskrit viṃśati "twenty", Sinhalese visi-, Hindi bīs).
Kolamba is the source of the name of the commercial capital Colombo.There are also high frequency words denoting body parts in Sinhala, such as olluva for head, kakula for leg, bella for neck and kalava for thighs, that are derived from pre-Sinhalese languages of Sri Lanka.The author of the oldest Sinhalese grammar, Sidatsangarava, written in the 13th century CE, recognised a category of words that exclusively belonged to early Sinhala.The most important difference between the two varieties is the lack of inflected verb forms in the spoken language.The situation is analogous to one where Middle or even Old English would be the written language in Great Britain.The children are taught the written language at school almost like a foreign language. Most slang were regarded as taboo and most was frowned upon as non-scholarly.
However, nowadays Sinhalese slang, even the ones with sexual references are commonly used among younger Sri Lankans.
It belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages.
Sinhalese has its own writing system, the Sinhalese alphabet, which is one of the Brahmic scripts, a descendant of the ancient Indian Brahmi script closely related to the Kadamba alphabet.
It is now spoken by a few families in Macau and in the Macanese diaspora.
The language developed first mainly among the descendants of Portuguese settlers who often married women from Malacca and Sri Lanka rather than from neighbouring China, so the language had strong Malay and Sinhalese influence from the beginning.
Some of the differences can be explained by the substrate influence of the parent stock of the Vedda language.