Showing posts with label Sri Lanka.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sri Lanka.. Show all posts

Monday, June 4, 2018

The influence of the Portuguese language in Sri Lanka.

From their appearance in 1505 on the shores of Ceylon till the present day, Portuguese has enriched our culture. Just to mention a few words in present day use eg Casadha bandinawa, Cidadiya, Alavango, solderaya, Almariya ets. What is less known is the fact that Portuguese and Tamil were the court languages in the Kotte and the Kandyan Kingdoms. King Wimaladharmasuriya, was proficient in Portuguese and Dona Catherina his Queen was proficient in both languages and educated their offspring to understand and communicate in Portuguese. The Dutch and the British communicated with the Kandyan Kings using the Portuguese language, through an interpreter, as late as in 1812.
Below is a court document signed by King Buvenaka Bahu of Kotte possibly around 1520. This is reproduced in a book 'History of Ceylon' published in 1932.

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