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Pali Language Books & Resources -The List

Pali language books
Learning resources for the Pali student: primers/courses, grammar guides, dictionaries, sutta sources, translations, pdfs, and other references & aids. Including: AK Warder, Collins, Geiger, Duroiselle, & de Silva.

Pali Language Books & Grammar Guides

Basic Pali courses & primers

A Pali Primer; Lily de Silva
A Pali Primer; Lily de Silva  - also  available here and here.
Answers to the exercises.
Bhikkhu Bodhi's  Audio tutorial of Pali Primer by De Silva
Bhante Suddhāso's Video tutorials of Pali Primer; by de Silva
A publication of the Vipassana Research Institute. Basic introductory text, centered on short translation exercises. Less in-depth than some. Recommended to those with little or no experience in classical languages.
An Elementary Pali Course; Narada Thera
An Elementary Pali Course; Narada Thera - also available here and here
This slender volume is intended to serve as an elementary guide for beginners.
The New Pali Course  Ven. Buddhadatta
The New Pali Course - Part III;  by Ven. Buddhadatta
Study guide to Part II;
Basic introduction with exercises, written by a Sri Lankan monk who taught Pali at Ananda College in Sri Lanka.


A New Course in Reading Pali; James W. Gair & W.S. Karunatillake
A New Course in Reading Pali; James W. Gair & W.S. Karunatillake - also available here.
This book is intended as an introduction to the reading of Pali texts. It uses readings drawn largely from Theravada canon, both prose and poetry. The reading are in Roman script, and carefully graded for difficulty.
An Easy Introduction to Pali
An new anonymous Pali course with simple and clear explanations.
Pali Made Easy;  Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya
Pali Made Easy;  Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya - also available here

Pali Readers

Pali Buddhist Texts. Explained to the Beginner.  R. Johansson
Pali Buddhist Texts. Explained to the Beginner. by R. Johansson also here
Aimed at the early learner, and focused on conveying key Buddhist concepts while teaching grammar and vocabulary. Includes grammar overview, vocabulary and translation for each selection; with a chapter comparing Pali and Sanskrit.

Buddhavacana by Glenn Wallis
Buddhavacana by Glenn Wallis
A comprehensive Pali reader intended to enable a student to move directly into reading the Pali Nikayas.

Dhammapada by Radhakrishnan
Radhakrishnan, S., The Dhammapada, with Introductory Essays, Pali Text, English Translation and Notes.. For more advanced students, a breakdown of the best known and most-read text of the Pali Cannon. Substantial analysis and explanation of the text included, but no vocabulary.
Dhammapada by Radhakrishnan
See also the University of Taiwan's Digital Library & Museum of Buddhist Studies Reading of the Dhammapada. A complete word by word analysis of grammar and meaning.

Pali Grammar guides

A Pali Grammar for students; Steven Collins
This book is intended for modern students, inside or outside the classroom, as a work of reference rather than a "teach yourself" textbook.
A Practical Grammar Book of the Pali Language; Charles Duroiselle
A Practical Grammar Book of the Pali Language; Charles Duroiselle. Origonally composed in 1906, this text is long out of print, though a revised translation by Eisel Mazard is freely available - also available here. A very concise and thorough grammar guide though there are some typos errors. 

An Introductory Grammar of the Pāḷi Language; Allan Bomhard
Pali Grammar; E Müller
 Pali Grammar; E Müller
Pali Grammar; V Perniola
Pali Grammar; Vito Perniola
  See also: 'Pali Inflection Tables & Short forms' below

Pali Language Books - Advanced

Introduction to Pali; A.K. Warder
Audio walk through here
The standard text for learning Pali in the West. Very thorough and well designed, covers a broader range and depth than the Pali Primer. Though can be a little advance for the novice.

A Pali Grammar; Wilhelm Geiger
A Pali Grammar; Wilhelm Geiger
Originally published in German in 1916. Historical examination of the phonology and morphology of the language. Also available here and here too.

Syntax of the Cases in the Pali Nikayas; A. Wijesekera

Pali-English Dictionaries - pdfs

Pali-English Dictionary;  (PED) The Pali Text Society
Pali-English Dictionary; PED: The Pali Text Society, T.W. Rhys Davids and W. Stede.  Also here.
 Online searchable version
Still the comprehensive standard - representing more than 20 years effort on the part of T.W Rhys Davids. Contains most Pali words to be found in the Tipitaka, with English definitions and Sanskrit roots.

A Dictionary of Pali   Margaret Cone
A Dictionary of Pali A-Kh - Margaret Cone 
A Dictionary of Pali G-N - Margaret Cone
A major new dictionary of Pali from the Pali Text Society. This is a truly significant publication for both Pali studies and Buddhist studies more generally. Set to replace the Rhys Davids PED dictionary, though only two of the planned 4 volumes are yet published.

Much smaller than the Rhys Davids PED dictionary. Written by a monk, aimed at the student. The CPED (also here) focuses on the meanings of Pali terms as they are traditionally conceived in the Theravada tradition, but makes note of modern Western interpretations as well.
Online version also: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

A Dictionary of the Pali Language; R.C. Childers
The Student’s Pali-English Dictionary; U Phe Mon Tan

 See also: 'Online Dictionaries' below

 Pali Inflection Tables & Short forms

A Practical Guide to Pāḷi Grammar; Ānandajoti Bhikkhu - also available here
A New Collection of Sentences; Ānandajoti Bhikkhu -also here and here
Pāli Primer Language Guide Edition 1; - also here

Histories and Literature Guides

von Hinuber's, A Handbook of Pali Literature. A survey of the available Pali literature, with descriptions of the contents and history of the texts of the Tipitaka. Also includes a general overview of the history of the Pali language, and its scholarship in the modern era.

Norman, K.R., Pali Literature
Norman, K.R., Pali Literature Including the Canonical Literature in Prakrit. A general survey of Pali literature, similar to that of von Hinuber, but more precise and focusing primarily on works available in Romanised editions.

A History Of Pali Literature by Bimala Churn Law
A History Of Pali Literature by Bimala Churn Law. (Also here) This book, published for the first time in 2 volumes in 1933, has become a classic in Pali studies. It presents an exhaustive picture of the Pali Literature, both canonical and post-canonical, giving summaries of all the Pali books.

Pali Resource Websites

Pali Online Dictionaries

Critical Pali Dictionary CPD   (good but incomplete, The entries cover the range from "a" to "kāpurisa".)

Pali Suttas

Sutta Central - The Pali Canon in Roman script with translations in many languages, along with partial parallel versions of Chinese, Tibetan, Sanskrit etc. Full text search and even dictionary lookup.
The Pali Canon - The complete Pali Canon in multiple scripts at  This is the Burmese edition finalized in May 1956.
Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project - a public domain electronic version of the Pali Canon

Similarly allows full text search, dictionary look up and the choice of multiple scripts.

Guides to structure of Canon


Pali-English Sutta Translations


Ajahn Thanissaro
Michael Olds
Bhikkhu Sujato
Translations in English, Chinese, Tibetan, Sanskrit at  Sutta Central 
Anandajoti Bhikkhu

pdf, epub etc

Bhikkhu Bodhi
Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli
Maurice O’C. Walshe
This website reviews the modern translations of the suttas and provides links and an overview of the many Translators of the Pāli canon.

Other Pali online guides & courses

Video Pāḷi Tutorials:

Pali Studies:
Bhante Suddhāso:
Ven Sugatavamsa:

Audio Pāli Tutorials

 Bhikkhu Bodhi
Ajahn Brahmali

Vocabulary Aids

Other Pali Language Resource Lists

Pali Scripts and Alphabets

Some Pali study forums that might be of help

Pali Language Translation Tools


Leigh Brasington has composed a Free Unicode Word Processor and Database tool called the Unicode Document Processor. The tool is useful for accessing an offline version of the PED dictionary, and a translated database of the suttas.

Pali Lookup

Pali Lookup also provides an offline Pali-English dictionary, but includes some other very useful functions such as providing a word usage count and inflection tables for pāli nouns, adjectives and verbs. Supposedly v 4.0 can be sourced from software.informer, but if this doesn't work (it didn't for me), you can source  Pali Lookup v 2.0 here or from the BPS Library here. You may need to install CSX fonts. Download the zip file and install in windows fonts folder.

Digital Pali Reader

Digital Pali Reader from Pali.Sirimangalo.Org provides a database of the Tipiṭaka in romanised script with a search facility and the inbuilt dictionaries allow for instant lookup of words. It operates within a web browser and will require either Firefox ESR 52 or version 56.0 of Firefox or older to run on. See my blog post on the  Digital Pali Reader installation options  and installation video tutorial.

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Intro & Kāya section | Satipatthāna Sutta | Translation guide

The Satipatthāna Sutta can be found in two forms:
Majjhima Nikaya 10 (MN 10), &
Digha Nikaya 22 (DN 22)
There are also, I believe, versions in the Chinese āgama:
Madhyama Āgama No. 26 &
Ekottarika Āgama 12.1
The term satipaṭṭhāna is a compound of sati, (mindfulness) and either paṭṭhāna, (foundation) or upaṭṭhāna, (presence). The compound term could thus be interpreted as sati-paṭṭhāna ("foundation of mindfulness" : preferred by Buddhaghosa's commentary) or sati-upaṭṭhāna, "presence of mindfulness". According to Anālayo, "presence of mindfulness," is a more etymologically correct (cf. smṛty-upasthāna in BHS).

Upaṭṭhāna is derived from the verb upaṭṭhāti (itself a variant of upatiṭṭhati), and literally means standing near, and by extension, attending on, serving. The word sati is a feminine action noun derived from the past participle of sarati the basic meaning of which is to remember. It is cognate with Vedic smṛti:memory, recognition, …

Pali Adjectival Suffixes

In this post we'll look at how both nouns and verbs can be formed into adjectives by use of suffixes. (And though a little off subject, how they can be formed for other uses...). It follows on from the post on participles in Pali.
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The question arises 'how do we know?' Some words appear to belong to two or more categories:
cold : 'I have a cold' (noun) or 'it is a cold night' (adj)
smile : 'the monk smiled' (verb) or 'I like your smile' (noun)

Anguttara Nikāya :Book of Ones | Translation guide

I've decided to reproduce here my attempts at translation, as a guide for others. These are an ongoing work, but hopefully are of some use as an aid to other students attempting the same thing. I must stress that I myself am just a student of Pali and make mistakes.

For the sake of example, the translations are very literal and of course could be phrased differently.

The format of the table rows below is as follows:
Pali text(class) Case, number, gender or person, number, tense [if a verb]Dictionary definition Translation