computerized Pali dictionary and learning software
Sept 1, 2001
1) Enter "enlightenment" in the 'Search
Word' data entry area.
2) Press the button 'Find English Exact'
3) in the list of recent words, double-click on
"pabodhana" to view the full definition.
4) now, double-click on the definition of the word
"enlightenment" (second line in the list)
5) in the full definition now displayed, double-click
on the word "sambodhi", right-click on the mouse, and
choose 'Copy' from the pop-up menu.
6) double-click on the word "enlightenment"
in the 'Search Word' data entry area, right-click on the mouse, and
select 'Paste' from the pop-up menu. Now press 'Find Pali Exact'.
7) Surprise! Not found. It was not found as a 'direct
entry' in the dictionary, but it was found in the definitions of two
english words. (see the Recent Words list).
8) single-click on the Recent Words list entry
9) now hit the little button '>>' between the
two lists at the bottom. This entry is now saved for future
reference. If you wish to see the full definition at any time, just
double-click on the new entry in your 'Selected Words' list.
10) now, let's research sambodhi as a word.
Double-click on the first line of the 'Recent Words' list (left side
of screen). This will make "sambodhi" the 'Search Word'
11) Press 'Research Pali Word'. You will get some
context information handy for understanding the word.
12) Move "bodhi" and "bodha" to
the 'Selected Words' list using a single-click of the mouse to select
a word, then '>>' to move.
13) Press the button at the lower right called 'Save
Selected Words'. Save your selected words to disk, then open the file
with your word processor, select all text, and select the font
So, if you have a declined form of a word (or a word
that you don't know at all)
a) try 'Find Pali Exact' first.
b) use 'Research Pali Word' (saving words you wish to
look at again)
c) then, after you have a good idea about the word,
use 'Find Pali Exact' again (saving words you wish to look at again).
This makes it very easy to find just about any word
you will see in the Pali Canon - even if you do not know Pali grammar
or you aren't certain which characters are accented!
You can search for your word exactly the way it
looks in the text. Paliwords can find 80 % of the words in
the entire Pali Canon directly. If a word form is not found, it is
probably a complex "compound word". You can use Paliwords
to look up the "pieces" of the compound word. All in all,
you should be able to find 98% of the words in the Pali Canon in
seconds. (proper names, irregular words and fancy euphony aren't in
To make this even easier, you can take an entire Pali
Canon text (for instance, off the web) and let Paliwords process the
entire text *automatically*. No typing! Then, you can use your
word processor, spreadsheet, database or learning software to edit,
format and print the files as you please.
Paliwords, is much more than just a faster way to look
Paliwords is a free electronic dictionary for
Pali/English, English/Pali reference. The word file contains 20,139
Pali/English definitions and 28,872 English/Pali definitions.
Although there are many unique forms of words in Pali, there are only
about 13,000 base words. The rest of the words are derived from these
base words by using grammar rules. The base words are in the dictionary.
First, a bit of history. Many qualified people
collaborated to create the list of words that Metta Net is making
freely available. These are the words that you will find in version 1
of the dictionary file. The words are copyrighted, but offered
for free distribution. Sean Whittle, who was working on an online
Pali lexicon got the file and posted it on the Internet on June 30, 2000.
Using this file as a base, I created paliwords to make
it easy to reference the words in the file. I also reformatted the
words so that they would take up less disk space and be faster to download.
Paliwords has all of the features of a simple paper
dictionary, plus much more. It turns a reference dictionary into a
personalized learning tool.
buttons and functionality
Tip: If you are working
on a Pali/English or English/Pali text in your computer (or on
paper), you can start paliwords, minimize it, and it will be
instantly available for reference when you need it.
There is no real "Help" in the program. All
that this button does is provide some basic points and suggest
finding this web page.
Therefore, you may wish to save this web page to
disk and/or print it out for reference.
Pali Exact Button
To look for a Pali word, make certain that the
"Pali to English" option is selected and type in the Pali
word. You can use the LeedsBit PaliTranslit codes (Alt+0999 style) or
the transliteration style of typing. When you type in words
using the transliteration style, they will be automatically converted
to the correct Pali characters in "LeedsBit PaliTranslit"
font as you type. (a table of the transliteration codes is available here).
Paliwords will look for the word plus all other
related words, listing them in the 'Recent Words' list box.
To make searching more effective and learn Pali
grammar at the same time, I highly recommend that you print out
chapters XXI to XXV of Ven. Narada's "An Elementary Pali
Course" and keep them handy for reference. Of course, any
grammar summary of this sort can be used.
English Exact Button
Enter the English word, and hit the button.
When you create a mini-dictionary, you can use a
computer file (*.txt) to quickly and automatically create:
- a sorted list of unique word forms in your text (Tip:
- a mini-dictionary file that provides both the
meaning of the word and "dictionary context information"
for each and every word form.
- a file that just lists unique word forms that are
*not* found in Paliwords.
- a file (.txt) that you can import into learning
software (like Input Easy) for "drill and practice"
memorization of words.
The file created can be loaded into your word
processor, spreadsheet, or database for editing and printing. Right
now the sort order is "romanized".
Tip: If you wish to put the text in "almost
Pali" sort order
a) put page breaks between the sections, print, and
sort into Pali sort order by hand
b) "cut and paste" if you have the patience
c) use the "Outline" feature of your word
processor to create "Headings" for each section, then drag
and drop the sections into order
Recent Words list
To save you time, all words you look up (with their
definitions) are kept handy for quick reference. If you wish to see
the full definition of a word again, simply double-click on it.
You can also save your Selected Words list to your
Selected Words Button
Paliwords assumes that you are looking up words
because you are uncertain of what they mean. Since these are words
you need to learn and memorize right now, I added this button.
It will create a text file (.txt) using your Recent
Words list. You can simply open this file with your word processor
and print it out for study, or you can Import into Input Easy for
"drill and practice" memorization exercises. Input Easy
supports the Pali transliteration style of typing for easy typing of
the Pali words. Input Easy can also create paper tests (and answer
sheets!) at the touch of a button.
Tip: You can instantly load the saved file into
Input Easy at a touch of the Input Easy 'Import' button.
ATTENTION INTERNATIONAL USERS: For the font
(and therefore any software using the font) to work correctly, you
must select English (any one) as your currently active language before
you start your software program. If this doesn't work, try setting
the language to English *and* changing the 'country' setting to the
United States. (Start->Settings->Control Panel->Regional
Settings). You can set them back when you are finished working with
whatever software you were using.
Note for people using Paliwords versions 1.0 to 3.5
you only need to download the software file!
If you do not have the 'File of
Words', you will need to download both of the files below and
put them in the same directory.
WARNING: Known Bug in the Palitrans word processing software
(not in Paliwords)
If you try and load a file larger than 60K
(about 4000 words)
Palitrans will "hang" (stop responding to
(by email only)
Windows 95 (or above)
at least 800 x
600 screen resolution
32 Mb. of Memory
font installed on your computer!
computer users had some troubles downloading recently. This was quite
a bother for everyone. However, when I emailed the file to them,
there were no troubles.
So, if you
wish to have the software, please send an email message to
I will email the software to you directly. Note: Please put 'Paliwords
4.0' in the subject line.
file is about 146 Kb. (zipped) and 312 Kb unzipped (ie tiny).
software and the file of words below must both be in the same
directory for paliwords to work correctly.
There is no
installation program. Double-click to start the program (to remove
the program, just delete the file).
This Word File
900 Kb. (zipped). This is the entire 48,000 word dictionary file.
software and the file
must both be in the same directory for paliwords
to work correctly.