Discussion on using SCVoice

BethL replied:

Just to give another shout-out to SC-Voice: It is AWESOME. :hugs: and I use it every day.

I have also created a Google Drive where I’m filing all pāli spoken/chanted suttas I can find in the public space. Most of the recordings are by a monastic named Venerable Jiv. who prefers to remain anonymous. Venerable @Snowbird confirmed these are chanted in the Sri Lankan tradition. My main objective for this project, really, is to find all of his recordings on the Internet and load them into my Google drive.

A few of the recordings are in the voice of someone I presume is North American, based on the accent.

Currently I’ve uploaded about 50 suttas. If anyone would like a link to the Google drive, let me know in an email.

Enjoy! :pray:t3:


This is wonderful to hear!
:bouquet: :lotus: :hibiscus:


Hello BethL
please do send me a link to the drive. I am listening to as much spoken Pali as I can.
thank you


Dear @BethL Beth,

apologies for sounding stupidly low-tech again… but I don’t know how to use SC Voice, would it be possible for you to give us a tutorial? – I went to the link you provided but didn’t know what to do! :face_with_spiral_eyes: :cry:

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What is Voice?
Sounds a bit like something from that Dune movie!



Venerable @sabbamitta is the SC Voice expert…she might chime in with a recommendation for learning how to use it.


There are some initial explanations here.

When you open the site for the first time you should see some little green tutorial cards that point to some basic features, like search, play, settings etc. In case you have skipped them you can activate them again in settings :gear: > general.

SC-Voice also has a section “sutta study with SC-Voice” in it’s own wiki where you can find more detailed instructions (but alas! they still need to be adapted with the latest play options that have been added).

If you have more specific questions, please ask, and I will answer as I can.


Thank you so much :pray: :sunflower:

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@Gililan has most recently been testing out SC-Voice for us, with special focus on learning how to use it.

I wonder…do you see each other in class? If so, then perhaps @Gillian might offer some impromptu guidance given her recent experience.



I was going to reply and ask what is “that Dune movie,” but actually I’m fine with not knowing!

Also found this which is new (for me at least):
It is another sutta reader that works offline (similar to digital pali reader). You can see many different translations (Bodhi, Sujato, Thanissaro etc.) and it uses DPD.


Voice is super easy to access via Sutta Central.

Go to any screen on suttacentral.net that has a suttaplex card like this one (I’d always wondered what a suttaplex card too):

All the suttaplex cards have that speaker icon near the top right corner. Clicking on it takes you to Voice.

Alternatively if you are reading the sutta already, look at the top right corner of your screen. If you see the speaker icon as you do in the screen shot below, then click on it to go to Voice.
Or you can try clicking on the hamburger menu (three dots) beside the search icon. This reveals a very long menu, and scrolling right down, the final item is “Listen on SC Voice.”

@karl_lew, @sabbamitta, did I omit anything obvious? I remember how confusing I found it all at first!

It would be nice if @Dheerayupa, @acala, @stephen, @BethL, @Me1 and anyone else who is using Voice for the first time could comment on their experiences in this thread, it would be really helpful, and allow us to determine whether more documentation would be helpful or not. Thanks.

@johnk, you are in danger of having the Pali Class resources thread swamped in too much detail, so I’ll split this discussion off somewhere else and put a direct link to it in the OP.


And for anyone curious about suttaplex pages… The URL for a suttaplex page is just the base site url followed by the citation (aka UID, aka unique id). For example this is a suttaplex page:


Compared to a url for a specific document, e.g.


And the top translations presented on a suttaplex card will be those in your chosen site language if any exist. I mention this since now Voice can also do Spanish and Portuguese if I’m not mistaken.


Thank you so much for this @Gillian !

Not sure if it’s obvious, but there are still two more ways to access Voice via SuttaCentral:

It has a box with the “related projects” on the Home page

And it has a link in the footer

And of course it is possible to open it independent from SuttaCentral by just typing sc-voice.net into your browser URL line.

Yes, please! As Gillian said, there is a certain learning curve, but I believe that once you’ve understood how it works it’s actually easy. We still welcome any feedback; this will help us to improve the app even further (if this is at all possible … it’s already perfect, isnt’t it? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

Perhaps still a remark on the Pali voice, Aditi. Her pronunciation isn’t 100% perfect, but I think quite reasonable. It has taken @karl_lew a LOT of work to customize it from a voice originally programmed for Hindi, I think it took a year or so to get Aditi’s pronunciation to where it is now. So again a big SADHU for this work, and to all those who helped with their feedback! :pray:

A few suttas, from SN 1.1 up to SN 2.20, have been recorded by Bhante Sujato both in Pali and in English. You can select his voice in the settings. It’s nice to listen to his Pali chanting (I prefer without translation in this case)! :lotus:


No, you are not mistaken. However these two language don’t have a great coverage yet with translations.

Other supported translation languages next to English are French, Japanese, and German. For root languages, only Pali is supported. And currently we have only sutta narration, no vinaya or abhidhamma. And only segmented translations, no legacy translations. But you can listen to suttas in Pali that have no segmented translation in any language at all.


I’ve discovered that reading the Dhamma in different languages yields new insights. Simply put, there are subtle things that English cannot express as well as other languages. And vice versa. For example, consider the word “vigilance”, which expresses an active, attentive and engaged awareness. Oddly, EN has no verb for “vigilance”. EN limps by with “watch”, which is anemically passive (e.g., “watch TV”). EN also uses the unwieldy “keep an eye on”.

Yet ES/PT both have verbs. For example, “keep an eye on the milk to prevent it from boiling over” translates into the concise and direct “Vigia a leite!”. Milk froths disastrously when it boils, so watching the milk to keep it from boiling over requires vigilant action. It requires a verb that EN sadly lacks (“keep an eye?” :laughing:). EN/PT/ES all have Latin roots, but EN seems to have lost its verb.

In translations, this lack of an EN word for “vigilance” makes it difficult to express “keep an eye on the mind to prevent it from boiling over”. Yet ES/PT can actually express that quite well since they actually have verbs. We can’t say in EN, “a vigilated mind”. But we can in ES/PT say “a mente vigilada/vigiada”.

AN1.40:1.2: A tamed, guarded, protected, and restrained mind is very beneficial.”

And here in the ES Pali dictionary, we see that amazing verb, “vigilado”…

SuttaCentral Voice: an1.40:1.2/es/ebt-deepl
Una mente domada, vigilada, protegida y contenida es muy beneficiosa.»

(Bhante @sujato, a curiosity for you)


English does have ‘observe’, ‘monitor’ and ‘note’, which seems to capture it well.


Okie dokie, putting on my IT consulting hat now! :grin: We IT people always love to give feedback and share best practices. Here are my observations:

  • The tutorial pop-up is too much information for the new end-user who lands on sc-voice.net. The card system on which the new version is based is brilliant! And I think it is quite intuitive. I understand that the card feature is something that needs explaining, especially with the feature that they persist every time an end-user goes to sc-voice.net unless they are closed (not minimized). I love that feature. That said…

  • I’m wondering whether we’re under-estimating the ability of new end-users to intuit their way around without the tutorial getting pushed straight-away onto the home landing page. I think it might create confusion and overwhelm from a GUI perspective, distracting the end-user from just plunging into whatever card and figuring out the play/pause buttons at the bottom of the screen. (Besides, the tutorial icon is already nested at the top left of the screen as an option to click.) A lot of times end-users just learn about a new app by fooling around with it a few times and then it’s fine. That said…

…a handful of scheduled end-user group trainings would be a great idea!!! :heart_eyes:

  • The customize settings pop-up is likely too much information from a GUI perspective. End-users can learn how to customize settings by looking at the tutorial (it should be included in the tutorial). Many end-users already know what a gear-wheel icon is for.

  • It’s unclear to me what the pyramid-looking icon is for and what the resulting circles diagram is supposed to convey.

So, I think if we un-clutter the GUI a bit the end-user adoption might stand a better chance. It would be great if SCVoice is a menu option under SuttaCentral when it shows up on search engines. (Maybe that’s an objective already.) As a bonafide app that completely complements the main goal of SC, to me SCVoice belongs on the top menu of the SuttaCentral landing page. Otherwise, I’m not sure how long it will take for legacy end-users to scroll down the SC home page to learn about SCVoice happen-chance … they already know how to find what they’ve already been using so why would they scroll down the home page?

May these reflections benefit your service to all!



Thank you for your feedback, @BethL ! @karl_lew and I will have something to discuss … :smile:

They came to be as a response to @Gillian 's initial confusion when she tested the app. For her they seemed to be helpful.

See here what it’s about with the pyramid-looking icon and the resulting circles diagram. :laughing:

Take for example a sutta like DN 33. It lists a lot of doctrinal terms without explaining them in detail and is quite a bit overwhelming. With the help of the graph card you can find your way to individual phrases and the suttas where they are explained, in a visual representation. How useful it is for you depends perhaps on your individual study style.


What was more helpful was your voice coaching in real time. Not all first time users will enjoy this luxury. I’m seeing a need for a very simple brief Intro to Voice, and quite keen to work on it with you.


Totally second that.

From an ancient 20th century folk.