The SPPU dictionary will have 50 booklets; Chinese to add

The Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has announced that its latest dictionary will contain 5,000 Pali words and it will be a volume of 50 fascicles. In addition to English, Tibetan, and Sanskrit languages, the dictionary will soon include Chinese, making it the only unique multilingual dictionary of its kind.

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the Dictionary of Buddhist Terms is the only book in the world taking Pali as a keyword and offering meanings and citations simultaneously in Sanskrit, Tibetan and English which has been presented in Roman script. It was published by Prof. Nitin Karmalkar, Vice Chancellor, SPPU and Raja Dixit, President, Marathi Vishwakosh.

Each fascicle contains 100 words and three published fascicles have so far covered 300 words starting with the first alphabet ‘A’.

At least 300 more words will soon be added in the next booklet of the same alphabet, said the researchers involved in the project.

The project, led by Professor Mahesh Deokar with Dr Lata Deokar, Snehal Kondhalkar and Maheshwar Singh Negi, started two years ago and these linguists said the dictionary would be a compiled volume of 50 fascicles covering all the alphabets of the Pali language.

Head of the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies, Doekar said, “We will soon add the Chinese language to the project and are looking for a suitable scholar to collaborate. In addition, we plan to have this dictionary in Devanagiri and Tibetan script.

The dictionary is intended to be practical and will serve as a guide for researchers in Buddhist studies involved in comparative studies of different Buddhist traditions of which Pali, Buddhist-Sanskrit and Tibetan are the main languages.

On the occasion, Professor Prasad Joshi, Sanskrit scholar and pro-vice-chancellor of Deccan College, said that this project made an important contribution to the field of lexicography. Joshi himself has been involved in creating a Sanskrit dictionary for several years now.

“Around the world, there aren’t many lexicography projects going on, and compiling dictionaries is a lengthy process. We need to train more lexicographers and prevent this art from disappearing,” said Joshi, who suggested that the digital version of the dictionary be made available to scholars around the world for wider reach.

Having worked extensively in Ladakh and interacted with Buddhist monks for geological studies and research, Karmalkar said this dictionary has the potential to bring out the literary works, now hidden in the many monasteries available in the Tibetan language in Ladakh, to d other researchers as well.

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