A twelve week course on Pali for serious students by Bhante Sujato

Thanks for sharing the chat.

I am not a fan of technology in general (I feel it has a tendency to enslave us to craving and wrong thinking) and I have consciously avoided ChatGPT and have reservations about the ethics and safety of using such tools, but I found the chat transcript quite interesting reading.

One thing you could do perhaps is take the sentence patterns from Bhikkhu Bodhi’s “Reading Buddhist Discourses in Pali” and then perhaps train ChatGPT to recognise them and give you similar sentences in the same pattern for you to practice reading.

Or, an alternate way (which I prefer) is to rely on someone else (a human) who has already done the hard work and extracted example sentences from the Tipitaka:

Navapadamañjarī - A New Collection of Sentences

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I still have no email for tonight? Also the app name again?


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OK, must have accidentially deleted, super excited for tonight :slight_smile:

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Main thing is to read the Introduction. Chapter 1 has basic content that I’ll cover in class. So you can prep it if you like.

No worries, thanks for letting me know. I’ve contacted the real hoffman already.

We have a Jacqueline Cadwgan registered, is this you?

If by some chance your email did not arrive, never mind, just check back on this forum shortly before 8:00pm AEST today, I will post the link in a new thread.

It’s still just amazing to see how such a general tool can get so many things right at such a level of detail in such an obscure topic! You did really well in getting it to give you what you needed.

One question I had, at one point you were trying to sort out the “confusing data structure”, and I wasn’t clear exactly what you were referring to.

I was wondering the same thing. It seems like (despite the shortcomings) that the human reading accurate documentation on the SuttaCentral data would have saved a bit of time.


kora, this is amazing. It’s not just seeing what answers you’re getting. It’s seeing how you are training it. It is simply fascinating.

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In the chatlog, I mentioned that “given the confusing naming convention …” it should create anew data structure to reduce AI’s error.

I said that after AI made a few mistakes, it couldn’t use the correct filename “…-root-pli-ms.json”. I faced this kind of problems before when extracting a big zip file that you cannot guess where a file is simply by your understanding. It may hope to find the files at /root/pali/sn/sn40.1.json and /translation/english/sn/sn40.1.json

The naming convention isn’t bad in anyway, it’s very precise and can deal with many sources and translators. But as AI is quite a beginner at reading sutta data, it’s best to help simplify the structure by throwing some complexity away. So, it created a new structure data where you can access translation by just data[“SN”][“English”][“sn40.1”]

This helps reduce errors in later questions. It can focus on analyzing instead of having to remember folder convention and filename pattern. As can be seen that it haven’t made any mistakes accessing the content afterwards, compared to lots of errors at the beginning.

I am very grateful for having such an amazing sentence-align translations. I hope I can help making it more accessible with ChatGPT krub. :pray::pray::pray:


Hello, friends. Is this the right place for asking questions during the course? I’m reviewing the first class and having a hard time understanding the process of strengthening vowels in the derivation of present tense verb stems. What is “the compound vowel nearest in place of articulation” (referred to in page10)? What is closer to what in the Vowel Gradation diagram? Is this the same as the rule expressed in page 10? (i becomes e, and u becomes o, etc. which means that e is like i with a prefixed a, and o is like an u with a prefixed a… did I get it right?)
And why in the case of bhavati the ū in the root was strengthened, but it was lengthened in bhāveti (examples given in page 12).


Hi Luis, check out the last post in this topic by @kora - the AI answered a lot of the questions you asked (which - FWIW - I also struggled to understand too, but have chosen to gloss over for now).


Okay, interesting, thanks. Of course we have to deal with these issues all the time in building apps, I was wondering if there might be something to learn here. One detail is that we add ms to the pali path, which stands for Mahasangiti, i.e. the specific Pali edition we use. Of course most of the time it’s not necessary.

Let’s keep the lesson discussions to their threads, otherwise it will get long and confusing. I’ll copy your questions over there.


Could you print it out? I’ve printed the first three lessons to start with.

Hi everyone. This is just a heads up that a week from today, Sunday 1 October, Sydney time, and that in the south-eastern states and territories of Australia (NSW, Vic, SA, Tas, ACT) will be moving to Daylight Savings Time, advancing ahead one hour.
This means for all the rest of us (including me in Brisbane, Australia), the class will start one hour earlier from Tues 3 October (lesson 10) onwards. Please make a note of it.


Hello @johnk you might already know this, but for anyone who wasn’t in the last class (lesson 9) there was a collective decision to have the next class (Oct 3) at 9 pm AEDST. Which means there will not be a change in the time of the class for those who live in other time zones.


Oh, thank you very much, @acala. I didn’t know that. Disappointing from my point of view, since I was looking forward to the earlier start in my time zone. But democracy rules, I see!


If I remember it correctly, it wasn’t decided ‘democratically’ and we left it open whether we keep this time for the following weeks. For me, with CET, it’s also not too comfortable since it’s lunchtime and I would have to eat with the children after they are back home from playschool.

Yes, it wasn’t exactly a vote but a general discussion. I think the reason was that some folk are joining from the US and it is already very early for them so this way it doesn’t become even more so. As I remember we were going to try it out this week and see how it goes.


If in doubt, check the top of each week’s Lesson discussion thread for the specifics of that week’s meeting. … As you’re aware N Hemisphere summertime adjustments will happen soon, so it may be possible to switch back. … Maintaining the late start saves people in the USA getting up even earlier than they are doing.

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Indeed, an earlier time would mean the class would be at 4 AM here in Central time.


Many sadhus for managing a 5am class.

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