SV: [Pali] Re: Pali Dictionary?
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Fra: Pali@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Pali@yahoogroups.com] På vegne af Robert
Sendt: 15. september 2005 06:05
Emne: RE: [Pali] Re: Pali Dictionary?
Good points Rett, and I must admit I felt the same. However, two things
should be asked - first is that, as Rett hinted at, lexicography is a
specialist area requiring not just the obvious prerequisite of a thorough
knowledge of both languages, but also an inordinate amount of time and money
to do a thorough job of searching out the material. The scond thing is
slightly easier to do, but is also a prerequisite before any work is
embarked upon - deciding on what niche the dictionary is intended to fill,
who is the intended market and how much detail is intended? This also
involves deciding, these days, whether it is hard copy or internet based -
both would be ideal but each requires very special skills.
If the person thinking of doing this already has spent many years knocking
together great stacks of vocab cards with full and detailed sources, then
much of the leg work may already be done and sharing this could be a great
service to Pali students. To get some idea of the labour involved, just
consider how Margaret Cone is going on her task.
Perhaps some thought could be given to a reverse index to this new work or
to existing dictionaries - but even that would require checking every single
entry for accuracy and modern usage (for the English).
Hope this doesn't sound too much like pouring cold water on the idea - but
as someone who has many large projects simmering away in the backgraound and
likely to stay no further advanced, I would just suggest that all these
things be thought through before committing the next decade of a life to one
project. If the enthusiasm is there, and the skills and money, then I
suggest some encouragement because it could be a valuable resource - but
please think about how and where the dictionary would be used before
starting - that would save a lot of reworking later.
Writing a lexicographically satisfactory dictionary of the language of the
Pali canon is an absorbing and time-consuming task that requires generous
funding, and funds are generally not available for scholarly pursuits of
this kind: it is virtually impossible to find Buddhist sponsors who would be
willing to finance such a project, not to speak of the number of highly
qualified scholars it would be necessary to employ in order to complete such
a project within three, possibly four generations. The sad fate of A
Critical Pali Dictionary, Copenhagen 1924 - 2001 tells all about the
>From: rett <rett@...>- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>Subject: [Pali] Re: Pali Dictionary?
>Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 10:31:10 +0200
> >There is a perfectly adequate English/Pali dictionary available
> >published by PTS, compiled by A.P.Buddhadatta, so I'm not sure what
> >your penpal hopes to achieve with a new one - unless I've
> >misunderstood your question.
>I'd like to take this chance to politely disagree. I find Buddhadatta's
>English/Pali dictionary to be barely adequate rather than perfectly
>adequate. I agree with I.B Horner's foreword which, in thinly veiled
>language says that the present dictionary is at least better than nothing.
>A new dictionary would be very welcome. Surpassing Buddhadatta's dictionary
>wouldn't be the result of an amateur hobby-project, however.
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