An English Translation of Niddesa

Recently when I browsed about Khuddaka Nikaya, I’m realized until now, there’s no English translation of Niddesa. I know if the Niddesa is a late work, it’s basically a commentaries in Tipitaka, perhaps because of this, no one really interested translated this canon into English.

Anyway, I found this website

It’s looks like they provide english translation of Niddesa without copyright. What do you think about it guys? :thinking:


Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translation of the Sutta Nipāta from 2017 has much of the Niddesa translated with it, along with Paramatthajotikā II.

It is extremely helpful to read the Aṭṭhakavagga with the Niddesa along side it.

I didn’t know about this newer translation of the Niddesa, thanks for pointing it out.


Thanks for alerting us! It looks like a really nice job. @Snowbird what do you think?


It has my vote! Would make a wonderful addition to the site.

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I didn’t know machine translation can be edited so well, it looks like real translation.

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I think perhaps the translator is being somewhat modest about their skills with regard to Pali, it certainly does not seem like an edited machine translation, rather a translation that has used machine translation as a tool to asset the creation of the final text.

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Indeed, it’s more than machine translation. Wanna try to translate it into Indonesian? :wink:

No, it feels like difficult text. Also dry and boring with lots of technical terms…

Busy translating another text.

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This page is good to look at and gives a bit more background.

No it has a CC copyright.


No it has a Creative Commons License :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Looking at it a bit more closely, it seems like a really nice job. And I like their approach to make it all one HTML file with nice clean markup. Be still my hacker’s heart! (They do <br /> like it’s 1999 tho, but I can forgive them that.)

@snowbird might you be interested to prepare this for SC?

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You keep saying that like there are no modern uses for <br /> I don’t doubt that it is unnecessary here, though. What exactly is the problem with using theme, other than two extra characters?

I sent him a message but never heard back. Once the sutta-per-day website launches I can start working on this. Thanks for the poke.


Hi folks, I’m the person who did that translation project. I recently finished a major revision, and changed the license to CC0 to make it easier to re-publish (including on SC). I do want to emphasize that I don’t know Pali — the manual work was rectifying a handful of machine translations from Chinese and Sinhala, and just happened to include many corrections from Pali using dictionaries. It’s also an ongoing project: I have a third major version planned for sometime in 2023 based on translations from Thai.

Those disclaimers out of the way, I’d be happy to get this submitted to legacy, though getting it into the right format for Bilara will take longer. I’ve poked around in the sc-data repo a bit and noted that more recently-submitted translations use HTML attributes that (I think?) align with keys in Bilara documents. Is this a requirement? If so I may as well just skip to formatting for Bilara, but if if not I could have a PR submitted relatively quickly.


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Nice! I assume you’ve referenced Ven Bodhi’s work from the Suttanipata?

If you can get it done for Bilara, it would be awesome.

Not really. The only hard requirement is that the id of the document must match the ID on SC, including bilara. As for internal links for paragraphs and the like, this is usually just dependent on what the source had. These internal links purely operate as plain HTML in the document, they have no wider connection to the SC ecosystem. This is one of the reasons why we are shifting to Bilara.

Why not have a go at preparing them for Bilara and see how it goes? Try one text to start, then you’ll have a good idea what it takes.


Yes, though not until I started the Nidd project. Honestly if I’d known about his edition beforehand, I might never have started the work!

Will do! I need to reformat my source a bit to preserve lines, but after that it should be straightforward to automate building the JSON. I’ll update if I have any issues understanding the format or repo structure, but it looks well-documented.


Hi, just wondering if there are any updates?

Apologies for the delay. It’s in progress — automatically building Bilara-formatted JSON from markdown is working correctly, reformatting line by line to match up with the Pali is taking a bit longer (got slowed down by some health issues but it is coming along!). I set myself a deadline to have a PR in by the end of December.


Nice, thanks for the update.

Just so you know, there is a conversation going about how we can fill in the gaps on SC, so that we have segmented translations for all our texts. The Niddesa is a nice step to accomplishing this.