After Warder

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After Warder

Postby Reductor » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:41 am

Hey All,

I'm using Warder with the understanding that it has a great deal more in it than I will be able to pick up the first time. But there will come a time when I need something more: what is suggested?

My main goal is to read the canonical texts. A comment of Bhikkhu Bodhi's, that I read some place long ago, stated that Warder was not a broad education in the canonical Pali, but was a text on the Pali of the Digha (apologies if I've misquoted him - it's an old memory). How to be broader in understanding?

Going further than that, how does a westerner like me, who's distant from any place offering Pali classes, go about learning commentary level Pali? (I'm unlikely to get to that point, but am curious.)

Anyway, thanks for reading this; I look forward to any help.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: After Warder

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:07 am

Reductor wrote:Hey All,

I'm using Warder with the understanding that it has a great deal more in it than I will be able to pick up the first time. But there will come a time when I need something more: what is suggested?

My main goal is to read the canonical texts. A comment of Bhikkhu Bodhi's, that I read some place long ago, stated that Warder was not a broad education in the canonical Pali, but was a text on the Pali of the Digha (apologies if I've misquoted him - it's an old memory). How to be broader in understanding?

Going further than that, how does a westerner like me, who's distant from any place offering Pali classes, go about learning commentary level Pali? (I'm unlikely to get to that point, but am curious.)

Anyway, thanks for reading this; I look forward to any help.
Warder is generally good for sutta Pali, but commentarial Pali is a different beast. Ven Dhammanando and Kare can give you good advice, they are excellent Pali scholars. Also, write (a real letter, not e-mail) to Ven Bodhi asking his opinion. In the meantime get a hold of PALI READER with Notes and Glossary by Dines Andersen. You can get a copy (make sure it has the glossary) for less than $20.00. Good sutta translation practice. http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchR ... ali+Reader

The glossary in this book is what makes it of high value, and the book gives you a lot of textual/sutta stuff to translate.


Also, if you do not have it, Steven Collins' Pali Grammar for Students may be of value.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: After Warder

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:39 am

I would suggest you start by studying Charles Duroiselle’s Practical Grammar of the Pāli Language and (if you can get hold of them) the second and third parts of A.P. Buddhadatta’s Pali Course. If you want to read Jātakas or the Dhammapada Atthakathā, then besides Tilt’s recommendation you should also download De Silva’s textbook from the same website as Duroiselle’s — it’s a good aid to building the vocabulary that you’ll need for these works.

Then read well-translated texts alongside the original Pali. Minor Readings and Illustrator —Ñāṇamoli’s translation of the Khuddakapāṭha and its commentary— is a great one to start with. Another good one is Dispeller of Delusion, Ñāṇamoli’s translation of the Sammohavinodanī (Vibhaṅga Atthakathā). And when you can’t figure out what’s going on and how on earth the translator renders some passage the way he does, post your queries here or go pay a visit to the monks at your nearest Sri Lankan or Burmese vihāra.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: After Warder

Postby Kare » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:31 pm

You have already got some very good advice here. I might add that since Warder uses texts from the Digha, you might try to read the full Digha after you finish Warder. Then you will already have studied parts of the Digha, so you will often find yourself on familiar ground. You will also get a few new challenges.

But there is no study edition of the Digha that I know of, so for further studies Glenn Wallis, "Buddhavacana, a Pali Reader", might be useful. This is a collection of suttas from different Nikayas, each with its glossary and ample space for notes.
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Re: After Warder

Postby Reductor » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:02 am

Hi All,

I really appreciate the three of you taking time to answer my post. You've provided me several good paths forward and I'm quite excited. Thanks!

Tilt wrote:Also, write (a real letter, not e-mail) to Ven Bodhi asking his opinion.


I've got a letter going in another window. When BB gets back to me I'll post again in this thread.

And thanks for pointing out PALI READER. I'd been aware of Steve Collins' book, though I haven't bought it, but was not of Mr. Andersen's, which is inexpensive enough for a (mostly) broke bloke like myself.

Dhammanando wrote:I would suggest you start by studying Charles Duroiselle’s Practical Grammar of the Pāli Language and (if you can get hold of them) the second and third parts of A.P. Buddhadatta’s Pali Course.


Are these for canonical Pali or for commentarial or for both?

or go pay a visit to the monks at your nearest Sri Lankan or Burmese vihāra.


Haha. That would be a long, long trip. So long as the internet isn't gutted in the next two or three years, I'll post here.

Kare wrote:I might add that since Warder uses texts from the Digha, you might try to read the full Digha after you finish Warder. ... further studies Glenn Wallis, "Buddhavacana, a Pali Reader", might be useful.


I had thought I'd buy the PTS Digha at some point and read the whole thing, as you suggest. Is it a worthwhile purchase, or are electronic versions, like the SLTP, suitable stand-ins?

Also, another member posted a review of Wallis' reader and found it a bit lacking - I take it you have a different opinion of it?
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: After Warder

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:27 am

Reductor wrote:
Dhammanando wrote:I would suggest you start by studying Charles Duroiselle’s Practical Grammar of the Pāli Language and (if you can get hold of them) the second and third parts of A.P. Buddhadatta’s Pali Course.


Are these for canonical Pali or for commentarial or for both?


Commentarial. The passages for translation in Buddhadatta's works are drawn primarily (though not exclusively) from the Jātaka Atthakathā. Duroiselle's work is likewise based on the Sanskrit-influenced grammar of the commentaries. Having said that, even those not interested in the commentaries would do well to at least read chapter xiv, which is by far the best overview of Pali syntax in English.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: After Warder

Postby Kare » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:19 pm

Reductor wrote:
Kare wrote:I might add that since Warder uses texts from the Digha, you might try to read the full Digha after you finish Warder. ... further studies Glenn Wallis, "Buddhavacana, a Pali Reader", might be useful.


I had thought I'd buy the PTS Digha at some point and read the whole thing, as you suggest. Is it a worthwhile purchase, or are electronic versions, like the SLTP, suitable stand-ins?

Also, another member posted a review of Wallis' reader and found it a bit lacking - I take it you have a different opinion of it?


After I finished Warder, I bought the PTS Digha and the commentaries and started reading. The Digha texts were recognizable, but the commentary gave me a slap in my face. It took a lot of patience and headscratching to start finding some meaning in it. The point is, however, to be stubborn and not give up. Gradually even some parts of the commentary started making sense, and if you persist, more and more of it will open itself to you.

As for the Wallis reader, it seems the former poster had some unrealistic hopes. I agree, however, with his description "So after working through a couple of passages I decided that this book offered nothing more than I would get simply working with a dictionary and an already published translation." Yes, it is not a primary. You don't get excessive help, but after finishing Warder I don't think you will need that much extra help. The positive side of the book is that you get a collection of texts and the necessary glossaries in one handy volume. You don't have to haul a large dictionary along with volumes of the Tipitaka to read those texts. The poster also complains that the translations of the text not always comply with the dictionary. In fact, that is a good thing. Once you have mastered the basics, it is useful to see that translation is not an exact science. There are always several ways of formulating an idea.
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Re: After Warder

Postby pulga » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:32 pm

Has anyone seen Yang-Gyu An's The Buddha's Last Days: Buddhaghosa's Commentary of the Mahaparinibbana Sutta published by the PaIi Text Society? Is it worth using as a basis to familiarize oneself with Buddhaghosa's style of writing?
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Re: After Warder

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:48 pm

pulga wrote:Has anyone seen Yang-Gyu An's The Buddha's Last Days: Buddhaghosa's Commentary of the Mahaparinibbana Sutta published by the PaIi Text Society? Is it worth using as a basis to familiarize oneself with Buddhaghosa's style of writing?


It's a fine translation and would be worth using for the stated purpose. However, if one wanted to begin with some commentary to suttas in the first four Nikāyas, those of Bhikkhu Bodhi to the Brahmajāla, Mahānidāna, Sāmaññaphala and Mūlapariyāya Suttas are available at a fraction of the price.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: After Warder

Postby Derek » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:37 pm

Reductor wrote:what is suggested?


Michael:

When I was studying Pali, I used the Geiger/Norman Grammar and of course the PED.
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Re: After Warder

Postby pulga » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:14 pm

Dhammanando wrote:It's a fine translation and would be worth using for the stated purpose. However, if one wanted to begin with some commentary to suttas in the first four Nikāyas, those of Bhikkhu Bodhi to the Brahmajāla, Mahānidāna, Sāmaññaphala and Mūlapariyāya Suttas are available at a fraction of the price.


Thank you, Bhante. My only experience in trying to learn commentarial Pali comes from an attempt to work through passages from the Visuddhimagga using Ven. Nanamoli as my guide. I admit that I probably gave up too soon: it was the unpacking of the elaborate compounds that did me in. But I think it's worth giving it another try.
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Re: After Warder

Postby Reductor » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:52 am

Dhammanando wrote:Commentarial. The passages for translation in Buddhadatta's works are drawn primarily (though not exclusively) from the Jātaka Atthakathā. Duroiselle's work is likewise based on the Sanskrit-influenced grammar of the commentaries. Having said that, even those not interested in the commentaries would do well to at least read chapter xiv, which is by far the best overview of Pali syntax in English.


Thank you for the clarification, Bhante.

Kare wrote:After I finished Warder, I bought the PTS Digha and the commentaries and started reading. The Digha texts were recognizable, but the commentary gave me a slap in my face. It took a lot of patience and headscratching to start finding some meaning in it.

...

As for the Wallis reader, it seems the former poster had some unrealistic hopes. ...


Thank you for the encouragement, Kare, and for your thoughts on "Buddhavacana" (and on readers in general).

It's extremely helpful to get the voices of experience that are yours, Dhammanando's, Tilt's and of all the other posters on this forum.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: After Warder

Postby Reductor » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:59 am

Derek wrote:
Reductor wrote:what is suggested?


Michael:

When I was studying Pali, I used the Geiger/Norman Grammar and of course the PED.


Thanks for the suggestion Derek.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: After Warder

Postby Mkoll » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:48 pm

In the meantime get a hold of PALI READER with Notes and Glossary by Dines Andersen. You can get a copy (make sure it has the glossary) for less than $20.00. Good sutta translation practice. http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchR ... ali+Reader


Thanks, tilt; hadn't heard of that one.
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Re: After Warder

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:28 pm

Mkoll wrote:
In the meantime get a hold of PALI READER with Notes and Glossary by Dines Andersen. You can get a copy (make sure it has the glossary) for less than $20.00. Good sutta translation practice. http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchR ... ali+Reader


Thanks, tilt; hadn't heard of that one.


The second volume —the glossary— is available online:
https://ia600407.us.archive.org/32/items/cu31924071132082/cu31924071132082.pdf

It seems that the work is now out of copyright.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: After Warder

Postby Reductor » Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:43 am

Hey,

Just found that you can buy a pdf version of Buddhavacana from pariyatti.org . Cost: 5 bucks.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: After Warder

Postby Reductor » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:04 am

Regarding my original post, below is the pertinent bit from the email I received from Bhikkhu Bodhi. And no, Tilt, I didn't email him - I wrote him (I swear!). I did, however, include my email at the bottom of my letter, and will assume the Bhikkhu Bodhi made a small slip.

BhikkhuBodhi wrote:Dear Michael,

Thank you for your email. I am hesitant to recommend Warder's book to a relative beginner in study of Pali. The title is a bit misleading. I would retitle it: "Introduction to Pali for Students of Sanskrit, LInguistics, and Philology." I used it myself to learn Pali--back in 1973--but I recognize its faults, mainly two: (1) the explanations use highly technical linguistic terminology, opaque to one who doesn't come from a background in linguistics; (2) W uses rather obscure and curious passages from the Digha Nikaya for his reading exercises, texts that often relate to the core dhamma teachings only tangentially (like the Buddha's debates with the brahmins, early Buddhist cosmology, narratives and extended similes, etc.).

I have been teaching a weekly introductory course on Pali here at Chuang Yen Monastery. The students are mostly the resident monks and nuns, though a few lay students attend, and a few people participate through ooVoo. I have been using Lily De Silva's Pali Primer, which is available online. The book is boring (I admit), but it provides in a nutshell the basic grammatical structures--the declension system of nouns and the conjugation of verbs--that one normally needs as a foundation for learning this language.


I was just now looking at the Pali course recorded by Bhikkhu Bodhi in 2003. While doing that I checked the "Words from the teacher" page, where I found the very quote that I had half remembered. Also included there is B. Bodhi's preferred course in teaching Pali.

Anyway, there you have it.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: After Warder

Postby Kare » Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:42 am

Reductor wrote:Regarding my original post, below is the pertinent bit from the email I received from Bhikkhu Bodhi. And no, Tilt, I didn't email him - I wrote him (I swear!). I did, however, include my email at the bottom of my letter, and will assume the Bhikkhu Bodhi made a small slip.

BhikkhuBodhi wrote:Dear Michael,

Thank you for your email. I am hesitant to recommend Warder's book to a relative beginner in study of Pali. The title is a bit misleading. I would retitle it: "Introduction to Pali for Students of Sanskrit, LInguistics, and Philology." I used it myself to learn Pali--back in 1973--but I recognize its faults, mainly two: (1) the explanations use highly technical linguistic terminology, opaque to one who doesn't come from a background in linguistics; (2) W uses rather obscure and curious passages from the Digha Nikaya for his reading exercises, texts that often relate to the core dhamma teachings only tangentially (like the Buddha's debates with the brahmins, early Buddhist cosmology, narratives and extended similes, etc.).



I have seen criticism of the Warder book in this vein from time to time, and frankly - I do not understand it. When I started learning Pali back in 1972, I used this book and had no teacher. I had no special linguist training, no Sanskrit and no philology. I just had Warder - and I had an open mind and a will to study. The explanations in Warder made Pali transparent to me. It is true that there was not so much of the core dhamma in the textbook passages. But is that really a problem? You want to use the book to learn the language. Once you can read Pali, you have no problem at all finding core dhamma passages.
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Re: After Warder

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:17 pm

Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:(1) the explanations use highly technical linguistic terminology, opaque to one who doesn't come from a background in linguistics;


But whose opacity may be readily dispelled by consulting Wikipedia's fine entries for linguistic topics:

Phonetics Topics

Linguistic Morphology

Grammatical Cases

Grammatical Tenses

Grammatical Voices

Grammatical Moods

Grammatical Gender

Grammatical Number

Syntax
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: After Warder

Postby pabhaata » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:44 pm

i would recommend 'A new course in reading Pali' by James W. Gair and W.S. Karunatillake. it is more simple and concise than Warder. the quotes from the canon are also well chosen and inspiring.
later, when you are comfortable with reading the main pali texts - begin to consult the commentaries when you have trouble comprehending some difficult term. that is why the commentaries were written - in order to explain some difficult phrases and terms in the main canon.
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