Looking for Pali Language Teacher

The Estonian Theravaada Sangha is a community of bhikkhus, established in 2014. There are 3 monks in Sangha today. More information about us can be found on the ETS website www.sangha.ee

We are planning to fly to Sri Lanka to learn the Pali language on October 25 and we would like to find a teacher who is ready to teach us the Pali language to the extent that we are able to translate Tipitaka from the Pali language into Estonian. Today, only a few texts from the Pali language have been translated into Estonian, and these texts would already need a newer translation. Our goal is to translate the entire Tipitaka from Pali language into Estonian. If we can’t translate the whole Tipitaka in our lifetime, we can at least get started.

In connection with the above, we are looking for a Pali language teacher who would be ready to teach us the Pali language and, if necessary, come to Estonia to help translate Nikaya texts.

8 Likes

Hi @Thitamedha, this sounds like a great initiative!

It is certainly good to have a good grounding in Pali to translate the Tipitaka, but there is more help around! The SuttaCentral team has developed a most awesome software to assist translation, called Bilara (you need to be logged in to a GitHub account to access the site).

Bilara has the Pali text divided into segments, and when translating one of these segments, it shows you a “translation memory”, i.e. it shows you how you translated the same or a similar passage earlier. The canon is very repetitive, and once you have, for example, translated the formula for the first Jhana, on each new occurrence you just have to click on the respective suggestion from the translation memory, and there it is in your new translation. Especially if you want to make a consistent translation of the canon, this is of utmost value! And of course, it makes your work much easier and faster.

Another advantage is that you can view several columns next to each other. You may have one column with the Pali root text, another one for your Estonian translation, and in a third one, you can view the English translation by Bhante Sujato, for example. This allows even translators who are not 100% experienced in Pali (like myself) to make well-founded translations.

I am certainly a bit biased with my enthusiasm for Bilara because I am using it for German translations. Would be nice to see you join the Bilara community!

Calling Bhante @sujato

9 Likes

Venerable Thitamedha, there is a free online course Learning Pali - Buddha’s Language and at 3 Levels, by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi.

So you may not need to go so far.
:pray:

5 Likes

Congratulations on your aspiration! I’m not really versed in places to learn while in Sri Lanka, but I imagine you could do so at Na Uyana or another large monastery. There’s also Peradaniya University in Kandy, which has a good teaching record for Buddhist studies, and has a fair number of international students.

If you want to look further, send me a PM, and I’ll put you in touch with some people who might be able to help.

O, another option, you might approach @A.Bhikkhu who has completed his Pali grammar, he has an excellent knowledge of Pali, and might be able to help, or send you to someone who can.

6 Likes

Thank you, Dana, for mentioning the baus.org Pali language offerings.
There one can find links to 38 videos, given through the pandemic, covering the beginning of Pali Primer through the entirely of Gair and Karunatillake.
Another place that gives the links to the first 19 videos is
Pali Basics | Sutta and the City

Stephen

4 Likes

Thank you to all of you who took the time to respond.

We will definitely start using Bilara software and take the time to learn from Bhikkhu Bodhi lectures.

May You be happy, healthy and free from dukkha!

7 Likes

Whenever you are ready for that, a project needs to be set up for you. Please let Bhante Sujato or myself know so we can organize that for you.

4 Likes