HTML-ifying John Kelly’s answer key to Gair and Karunatillake

Hi all,

As you might have gathered, there is a group here working through Gair & Karunatillake’s “A New Course in Reading Pāli”, an unofficial continuation of the summer course from BAUS (more info here).

The instructor @stephen (hi!) pointed out a very useful companion document to Gair & Karunatillake by the scholar John Kelly, which includes translations (and also specific citations to the canon, which are lacking in the original). It’s really useful! It seems ot be available in various locations on the web, here’s the one from (along with audio recordings of Bhikkhu Bodhi’s earlier course on the same book):

Right, now you know as much as I do about this book, dear reader. :slight_smile:

Now, my question: I am thinking about trying to convert Kelly’s document to HTML. That would make it more useful on phones, and it would be more easily searchable. I also have some ideas about fun ways to annotate the document.

Anyway, the version that is floating around is a PDF, and unfortunately it’s one of those weird PDFs that kind of munges up the actual text. Consequently, it’s very hard to parse the content, and doing it by hand would be a very painstaking process.

Does anyone have John Kelly’s contact information, or is he perhaps even a member here? I ask because I was hoping that maybe he still has a pre-PDF version of the document that might be more easily parseable.

A shot in the dark :slight_smile:



I’m afraid I do not have contact information for Mr. Kelly.
Perhaps all one really needs are the sutta reference numbers, almost all the readings come from the sutta piṭaka. There are a few from the Rasavāhinī.
Sutta translations can all be found here, I’m not aware of any English translation of Rasavāhinī.
(One can find the full Pāli text at the 6th Council Website under Anya- Pakiṇṇaka gantha saṅgaho.)



I don’t know if it is still valid, but on the first page of John Kelly’s answer key he gives his email address. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ll DM you as I don’t want to list it here without his permission.


If John doesn’t reply let me know, I’ll contact him.


Thank you all for your responses!

I will email John (can’t believe I didn’t see the email on the first page, @JimInBC!).

Thanks for pointing that out, @stephen. I think one thing that I might do that could be useful would be to extract the references into a post on each of the chapter topics here (and maybe update them where URLs are given and have been changed —for instance the very first exercise is linked to, but that text is now at And adding the SuttaCentral links will give me some good practice in the citations used here.

@sujato thank you for the kind offer Bhante, I will indeed ask if it turns out that the Yahoo mail address is as old-school as it appears!


Dear all,
Yes, John Kelly saw this message on here, and yes, he does still have a an old school yahoo email address, and yes, hesaw your email message this morning, Pat, and just sent a response to you!

For the benefit of all, the gist of my response is:
Hello Pat,

Lovely to get your email.

I’d be very happy to have you create a HTML version of my answer key AND I do indeed have the original Word doc.

Two things to be aware of. I created that document back in 2002 or so, right after I had taught myself Pāli, and I think some of my translations need a little improving. I know more about Pāli now than I did then! Emoji

The other thing is that it was created before 2005 which was when I helped Bhante Sujato and others create Sutta Central, thus none of the links in the existing document are to Sutta Central, which I think is a much better place to link to than Ven. Thanissaro’s translations on Access-to-Insight, plus some of the AN references have changed, as Bhikkhu Bodhi refined them when working through his Wisdom Publications translation.

Coincidentally, I am currently teaching a Pāli class (via Zoom) and we are working through both Gair / Karunatillake and De Silva’s Primer at the same time – since I find that’s easier for complete beginners to the language. Bottom line is I am currently correcting the Gair Answer key document with both the SC links and my improved (hopefully) translations.

Can you wait? If you want, I could send you the current document as is now (links updated to Ch. 5), and the final revised one later. But that would seem to create more work for you. Please let me know.

And thank you too for your kind comments at the end of your email. It’s was both very gratifying and an absolute pleasure for me working with Bhikkhu Bodhi on the translations and with Bhante Sujato on Sutta Central. I am really glad that you and many others have found them useful.

With mettā,


Wow, you’re John Kelly, I’ve heard of you on the internet! :slight_smile:

This all sounds wonderful that you’re revising the answer key. Given that, please consider my query to be transformed into a standing offer to work on any web version if that would be of use to you and isn’t something you would be doing of your own accord. My own academic work is very much in the vein of digitizing language documentation, so I quite like doing that kind of thing.

Thanks again, and I’m happy to see you in this forum!



Hi @johnk! I think seeing you show up in this thread I’m having the same reaction some of my friends would have if Lady Gaga showed up in one of their threads. :rofl:

Thank you so much for the time you put into compiling the sources and translations. It was (and continues to be) so helpful working through the text. :pray:


Absolutely! It would be great if you turn my Gair Answer Key (once revisions are complete) into a web version. Certainly not something I’m doing myself.
Where are you thinking of hosting this web version?

I’ve been part of this forum since the early days, but often forget to pop over and see what people are discussing here, since I’m not much of a social media discussion type person. It was your email to me that alerted me to the fact that I was being discussed! :rofl:


No need to go all gaga over it, Jim! :grin:
I’m just an ordinary bloke on the path like you!


This all sounds great!

I hadn’t thought about where to host it. I did buy a domain at to stick various notes and things as I study. Almost nothing there as of yet aside from an incipient noun paradigm search interface, but I’m hoping to add more as time goes on. I would think it would make sense to make a downloadable version available there as well.

We could also put it on GitHub if you like, which would enable a way to track typos.

I am presuming that SuttaCentral itself would be the wrong place, given that this particular document is of a pedagogical nature…

I won’t put it anywhere without your permission, it goes without saying. Whatever I can do to help share the Dhamma. :dharmawheel:


Thank you for sharing your translation tho. I find it so helpful (and had no idea you part of the SC family).


3 posts were split to a new topic: Pali and Optical Character Recognition

Hi John, I hope things are cooler in Brisbane than they were in Sydney yesterday!

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