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but maybe translations take a long time to make and therefore there are not too many of them, and they don't go out of date quickly.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

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