Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Question: What is the NTI Buddhist Text Reader?

    Answer: See the About page.

  2. Question: Who are the target users for the reader?

    Answer: See the Goals here.

  3. Question: How do I use the reader?

    Answer: See the Help page for general help in using the reader and dictionary and the page Translation of Chinese Buddhist Texts with the NTI Reader for help in a translation workflow context.

  4. Question: Is this a Chinese-English dictionary?

    Answer: Yes. The project started out as a generic Chinese-English dictionary and works OK for general use. A full Chinese-English dictionary is used to assist in analyzing corpora of Chinese Buddhist texts without the reader having to switch between a literary Chinese-English dictionary and a Buddhist Chinese dictionary.

  5. Question: Can I copy stuff from the NTI Reader?

    Answer: Yes, if you attribute the source appropriately. You should attribute the source of the data to the NTI Buddhist Text Reader under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License license.

  6. Question: How can I add words to the dictionary or join the project?

    Answer: Please do. Send an email to with the words and a reference of where you got them from. To join the project send an email with your GitHub id and a note introducting yourself to

  7. Question: What is a dictionary entry?

    Answer: Headwords dictionary entries can be a word, a freqently occurring phrase, or the name person, place, or organization, with a mapping to another languages. The mappings supported today are Chinese to English and Sanskrit to Chinese with English. Because of the search capabilities the dictionary can be searched in reverse order and for complete phrases as well. The body of dictionary entries includes a list of word senses and how the word is used in the texts forming the corpus.

  8. Question: Is this a research project?

    Answer: The NTI Reader is more of a sequence of experiments than a coherent research project. The project has evolved through personal study, use in volunteer translation at Fo Guang Shan, and academic study.

  9. Question: How big is the dictionary?

    Answer: As of July 2017 the dictionary has 65,585 lexical units with 52,522 headwords. Of those 10,401 are Buddhist terms. As noted in the Terminology Extraction section of the Introduction to Corpus Analysis of the Chinese Buddhist Canon there are about 10,000 Buddhist terms mentioned in Ding Fubao's 《丁福保佛學大辭典》 Dictionary of Buddhist Studies that are found in the Taishō but are not in the NTI Reader. Translating these terms and adding them as headwords to the NTI Reader is a major current focus of work.

  10. Question: What are the current issues and problems with the NTI Reader?

    Answer: There are a number of issues listed in the Github repository issues folder. One fairly major issue is that Siddhaṃ characters and images cannot be displayed in the NTI Reader. This is discussed in detail in issue 5 Special Text, Image Elements and Nonstandard Layouts.


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