Pali Beginner

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Padipa
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:22 pm

Pali Beginner

Post by Padipa » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:37 pm

I've been with Buddhism for some time, but recently started self-teaching Pali. While it's difficult, for many different reasons, it's a most rewarding adventure. I've come here to share & learn, to grow in understanding. I would like to start by seeking help to a problem which I need to overcome: here it is. I'm using the book by James Gair & W.S. Karunatillake. But, for a dictionary, I'm using the work of Buddhadatta Mahathera. The problem is with the different choices of romanization by these 2 sources. Specifically, the letters "n" & "m," with their various manifestations. I do not have a keypad which allows me to differentiate the different symbols used to distinguish between the various sounds represented by these letters--I hope this does not prevent me from getting help. What I am hoping to learn here, is how to know which romanization of the many used for "n" & "m" is which when jumping between the 2 aforemetioned book sources? This problem becomes acute when, in order to do the exercises in Gair/Karunatillake, I seek help from Mahathera's dictionary--the 2 sources are obviously "on different pages" as the metaphor goes.

Is there a rule to know which m/n symbol is equivalent to which other m/n symbol? Please, ask me to clarify any ambiguities I"ve created in seeking help here. Best!

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Sam Vara
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Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Pali Beginner

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:42 pm

Hi Padipa,

without seeing some printed examples, it's difficult to get a sense of the problem. But why not look at some other Pali dictionaries to see if there is one which uses the same forms as your book by Gair and Karunatillake?

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/

http://lirs.ru/lib/dict/Pali-English_Di ... -25,v1.pdf

http://dictionary.tamilcube.com/pali-dictionary.aspx

http://www.buddha-vacana.org/toolbox/dico.html

And there is a good one on Sutta Central:

https://suttacentral.net/

(The little magnifying glass icon top right...)

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pitakele
Posts: 139
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 11:27 pm

Re: Pali Beginner

Post by pitakele » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:22 pm

Padipa wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:37 pm
What I am hoping to learn here, is how to know which romanization of the many used for "n" & "m" is which when jumping between the 2 aforemetioned book sources? This problem becomes acute when, in order to do the exercises in Gair/Karunatillake, I seek help from Mahathera's dictionary--the 2 sources are obviously "on different pages" as the metaphor goes.
I don't have time just now to differentiate the various uses of 'm', 'n', 'ṃ' etc. but sometimes these are interchanged for euphonic purposes. The printed version of Concise Pali English Dictionary can be confusing as it uses a diacritical combining 'n' and the tail of 'g/j' for the niggahīta (nasal consonant) 'ṃ'. This is not the case in the digital versions here viewtopic.php?f=23&t=70

To type diacritics on a computer, a straightforward method (utilizing auto hotkeys) is Ven. Ānandajoti's Unicode Input-Programme - instructions & download https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/ ... /index.htm

On Android, you can use AnySoftKeyboard together with the Pali & Sanskrit Pack
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ftkeyboard

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... epack.pali
now here = nowhere

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Volovsky
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:32 am

Re: Pali Beginner

Post by Volovsky » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:49 am

ṃ = ṁ = ŋ (called niggahīta)
ṅ = ɲ (belongs to gutterals, pronounced like ng)
ṇ is another letter, different from the two above, belongs to linguals (pronounced by bringing the up-turned tip of the tongue in contact with the back of the palate)

Is that what you want?

PS: In some editions the way some words are written might be different, and ṃ may substitute ṅ (e.g. saṅgha vs. saṃgha). But this is not due to a different romanization style, but because some editors might write words differently (it is similar to "characterize" vs "characterise").

Padipa
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:22 pm

Re: Pali Beginner

Post by Padipa » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:05 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:42 pm
Hi Padipa,

without seeing some printed examples, it's difficult to get a sense of the problem. But why not look at some other Pali dictionaries to see if there is one which uses the same forms as your book by Gair and Karunatillake?

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/

http://lirs.ru/lib/dict/Pali-English_Di ... -25,v1.pdf

http://dictionary.tamilcube.com/pali-dictionary.aspx

http://www.buddha-vacana.org/toolbox/dico.html

And there is a good one on Sutta Central:

https://suttacentral.net/

(The little magnifying glass icon top right...)
Thank you, for your kindness and generosity--I truly appreciate it. Unfortunately, I do not have Internet access @ home: I do have it @ work and when I visit the public library, the latter of which makes my time in this forum possible. So, although the onlibe dictionaries are a great resource in general, for my particular situation much of their utility is lost.

I originally ordered the Rhys Davids dictionary, waited weeks for it, then received it in such a ruined state that I had to return it--2 more weeks to get the Mahathera book which, though lacking the etymological strength of the first dictionary, is still very good for most of what I do. The problem is, as stated above, that it uses these 2 letters for different purposes which, for a beginner, can be confounding @ times.

But there is even more help by the good people here, so I'll move to wee what other good stuff the forum w=has unearthed for me. BEST!

Padipa
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:22 pm

Re: Pali Beginner

Post by Padipa » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:09 pm

pitakele wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:22 pm
Padipa wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:37 pm
What I am hoping to learn here, is how to know which romanization of the many used for "n" & "m" is which when jumping between the 2 aforemetioned book sources? This problem becomes acute when, in order to do the exercises in Gair/Karunatillake, I seek help from Mahathera's dictionary--the 2 sources are obviously "on different pages" as the metaphor goes.
I don't have time just now to differentiate the various uses of 'm', 'n', 'ṃ' etc. but sometimes these are interchanged for euphonic purposes. The printed version of Concise Pali English Dictionary can be confusing as it uses a diacritical combining 'n' and the tail of 'g/j' for the niggahīta (nasal consonant) 'ṃ'. This is not the case in the digital versions here viewtopic.php?f=23&t=70

To type diacritics on a computer, a straightforward method (utilizing auto hotkeys) is Ven. Ānandajoti's Unicode Input-Programme - instructions & download https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/ ... /index.htm

On Android, you can use AnySoftKeyboard together with the Pali & Sanskrit Pack
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ftkeyboard

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... epack.pali
So, forgive me if my assumption here is wrong, I can download the software and use it to convert my keyboard in a Pali-compatible way? That will be great if that is what this is--I'll have to read more on it as time allows. Thanks, so much, for all the effort--much appreciated indeed! BEST!

Padipa
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:22 pm

Re: Pali Beginner

Post by Padipa » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:40 pm

Volovsky wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:49 am
ṃ = ṁ = ŋ (called niggahīta)
ṅ = ɲ (belongs to gutterals, pronounced like ng)
ṇ is another letter, different from the two above, belongs to linguals (pronounced by bringing the up-turned tip of the tongue in contact with the back of the palate)

Is that what you want?

PS: In some editions the way some words are written might be different, and ṃ may substitute ṅ (e.g. saṅgha vs. saṃgha). But this is not due to a different romanization style, but because some editors might write words differently (it is similar to "characterize" vs "characterise").
It appears more complicated to me than this--let me absorb more and respond when I can word things more clearly--THANK YOU for your support--much appreciated. BEST!

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pitakele
Posts: 139
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 11:27 pm

Re: Pali Beginner

Post by pitakele » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:40 am

Padipa wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:09 pm
So, forgive me if my assumption here is wrong, I can download the software and use it to convert my keyboard in a Pali-compatible way? That will be great if that is what this is--I'll have to read more on it as time allows.
Yes, it is a small software - Pali diacriticals are created using Alt + other keys, e.g. Alt + a -> ā, Alt + A -> Ā etc. If needed, here is an alternate download link
https://www.mediafire.com/download/1gfo72f4xy8a1yt
Padipa wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:05 pm

I originally ordered the Rhys Davids dictionary, waited weeks for it, then received it in such a ruined state that I had to return it--2 more weeks to get the Mahathera book which, though lacking the etymological strength of the first dictionary, is still very good for most of what I do.
You can download a pdf version of the Rhys Davids dictionary (PTS) from this link in my previous post viewtopic.php?f=23&t=70
now here = nowhere

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Volovsky
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:32 am

Re: Pali Beginner

Post by Volovsky » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:39 am

Padipa wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:05 pm
I originally ordered the Rhys Davids dictionary, waited weeks for it, then received it in such a ruined state that I had to return it--2 more weeks to get the Mahathera book which, though lacking the etymological strength of the first dictionary, is still very good for most of what I do.
Just download off-line Pali dictionary from Android market - one is "Pali dictionary" - a small one by Buddhadatta, where you don't have to bother yourself with diacritics. Another is "Android tipitaka" - contains all Tipitaka+ Commentaries+ dictionaries (PED included). It is also available for other platforms, but I use only Android, and don't know details of the other ones.

Padipa
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:22 pm

Re: Pali Beginner

Post by Padipa » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:28 pm

Volovsky wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:49 am
ṃ = ṁ = ŋ (called niggahīta)
ṅ = ɲ (belongs to gutterals, pronounced like ng)
ṇ is another letter, different from the two above, belongs to linguals (pronounced by bringing the up-turned tip of the tongue in contact with the back of the palate)

Is that what you want?

PS: In some editions the way some words are written might be different, and ṃ may substitute ṅ (e.g. saṅgha vs. saṃgha). But this is not due to a different romanization style, but because some editors might write words differently (it is similar to "characterize" vs "characterise").
Okay, yes, it looks like, so far anyway, your explanation is what I am looking for. I've not had time to cross reference (hence, validate) each letter you mention but things look good to this point. I am very grateful for the time you have given to help me. BEST!

Padipa
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:22 pm

Re: Pali Beginner

Post by Padipa » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:29 pm

pitakele wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:40 am
Padipa wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:09 pm
So, forgive me if my assumption here is wrong, I can download the software and use it to convert my keyboard in a Pali-compatible way? That will be great if that is what this is--I'll have to read more on it as time allows.
Yes, it is a small software - Pali diacriticals are created using Alt + other keys, e.g. Alt + a -> ā, Alt + A -> Ā etc. If needed, here is an alternate download link
https://www.mediafire.com/download/1gfo72f4xy8a1yt
Padipa wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:05 pm

I originally ordered the Rhys Davids dictionary, waited weeks for it, then received it in such a ruined state that I had to return it--2 more weeks to get the Mahathera book which, though lacking the etymological strength of the first dictionary, is still very good for most of what I do.
You can download a pdf version of the Rhys Davids dictionary (PTS) from this link in my previous post viewtopic.php?f=23&t=70
Excellent--more wonderful help from this great forum--thank you--can't wait to start trying out some of these things! Best

Padipa
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:22 pm

Re: Pali Beginner

Post by Padipa » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:40 pm

Volovsky wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:39 am
Padipa wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:05 pm
I originally ordered the Rhys Davids dictionary, waited weeks for it, then received it in such a ruined state that I had to return it--2 more weeks to get the Mahathera book which, though lacking the etymological strength of the first dictionary, is still very good for most of what I do.
Just download off-line Pali dictionary from Android market - one is "Pali dictionary" - a small one by Buddhadatta, where you don't have to bother yourself with diacritics. Another is "Android tipitaka" - contains all Tipitaka+ Commentaries+ dictionaries (PED included). It is also available for other platforms, but I use only Android, and don't know details of the other ones.
Again, excellent--thank you. I was hoping to minimize (simplify) the number of resources I use: wanted 1, go-to dictionary and 1, go-to grammar source. However, Pali as a language-to-be-learned has a very small following (compared with Spanish & French, for example) which makes sense. What you are all telling me about the various resources available is pretty much what I suspected, but I wanted to be sure. Perusing this forum a bit, before joining, made me wonder if, possibly, some of you had found/made ways to simplify the learning experience of Pali.

This thread has opened up new ideas for me, and re-invigorated my drive to consume & learn Pali. I absolutely love Theravada Buddhism & hope to write my own commentaries, in Pali, someday. Best!

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