Sinhalese language, also spelled Singhalese or Cingalese, also called Sinhala, an Indo-Aryan language primarily spoken by the Sinhalese people of Sri Lanka, who make up the largest ethnic group on the island, numbering about 16 million. Sinhala is also spoken as the first language by other ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, totalling about 4 million people as of 2001.
Sinhala also known as Sinhalese in English, is the native language of the Sinhalese people who constitute approximately 75% of the population of Sri Lanka and number greater than 15 million. Sinhala is also spoken as a second language by about three million people from other ethnic groups in Sri Lanka. It has evolved over the course of more than 2,300 years. Sanskrit and Pali are ancestor languages of Sinhala. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages, and has been influenced by Dravidian languages such as Tamil and less so from a few other Indo-European languages: English, Dutch, and Portuguese.