SN1.17 Sujato translation error

Test says: “Where the fool founders”
Shoul say: “Where the fool flounders”

Text says: “They’d founder with each step”
Should say: “They’d flounder with each step”


Off the top of my head I would say that I’ve seen those two words used interchangeably. Both meaning to stumble or lose traction.


Should say: Should say

I joke!

Not off the top of my head, consulting a dictionary, it seems they have two slightly different meanings as a verb (obviously, as a noun “founder” is a kind of CEO and “flounder” is a kind of fish):

  • founder - to sink (as in a boat) or, (somewhat metaphorically) of a hoofed animal, to succumb to laminitis (that is to become permanently unable to walk)
  • flounder - to struggle clumsily


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Here is the definition: SuttaCentral — Dictionary results

Concise Pali English Dictionary
vi + sad + a
sinks down; to be dejected.

PTS Pali English Dictionary
to sink down Ja.iv.223.
to falter, to be dejected or displeased SN.i.7; AN.iii.158; Pp.65


Thanks @mikenz66, should have looked at the Pāli too! :sweat_smile:

So I guess “founder” as in “to sink” was intended, as (perhaps?) was the confusion with “flounder”

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Yes, “founder” seems like a good fit for visīdati in this sense.


I must say, I’m so impressed that with the aid of the awesome Suttacentral software it’s trivial for even me to sound knowledgeable: Go to Bhante @sujato’s translation, turn on Pali, hover over the Pali until I find the right word, click to get the dictionary entry…

Sometimes the hover facility can’t figure out some complex Pali. I presume that will improve with time, but at the moment it gets most of it. Saves me bothering Pali gurus over straightforward things. :sweat_smile:

I also note that Bhikkhu Bodhi also uses “founder”: SuttaCentral


It will if we can find someone to work on it! We have ideas, but as always our resources are much thinner than our potential, so if any programmers are out there looking for a fun task, let us know!