Perhaps this should be closed as a 'shopping' question, but maybe translations take a long time to make and therefore there are not too many of them, and they don't go out of date quickly.

The English texts I use seem unreliable. For example:

I only found these using Google, i.e. I have no expertise about what translations exist.

  • Can you recommend any (single) specific translations?
  • Can you give any survey of what (many) is available?
  • Or should I ask about translators instead of translations (I'd prefer 'the best' translation rather than the 'historically-first' translation)?

Even if there are too many, are there great/classic resources that any Anglophone should know?

  • Printed books would be on-topic, though I'm warned that such things might be ten times the size of a bible.

  • Online or (at least) digital references might be convenient. For example the side-by-side (hyper-linkable) translation feature found on the Buddha Vacana site helped me understand (by linking to the Pali word) what it meant when it said "mental phenomena".

  • A resource for any European language (English, French, German, etc) would be interesting

  • Google Translate doesn't do Pali or Sanskrit, but if there's a (free or affordable) semi-competent machine-based translator (accurate although not poetic or idiomatic), that might be good (though it may be hoping too much, to hope for the existence of such a thing yet).

2 Answers 2


I personally use the following translations:

  • Paper copies of Bhikkhu Bodhi's translations of Nikayas (for example Majjhima) for nice smooth English rendition.
  • Access To Insight for quick and convenient search.
  • Dharmafarer for in-depth analysis.

When in doubt, I do my own translation with a dictionary (Sanskrit, Pali, I also use a number of Pali-Russian dictionaries). For this, Sutta Central is a good source of well-formatted Pali texts (it also has translations but I don't like their renditions).


If I want to compare several English translations I go to Obo: http://obo.genaud.net/backmatter/indexes/sutta/sutta_toc.htm

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.