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NTI Buddhist Text Reader Project


The NTI Buddhist Text Reader is a digital library for Chinese Buddhist texts with a built-in text reader, a Chinese-English dictionary and corpus management tools, for analyzing and managing Buddhist Chinese texts. This is a non-profit, open source project. Subscribe to the group ntireader-announce, a low volume group for announcements, to keep up to date.


  1. Create a text reader for the Taishō Shinshū Daizōkyō version of the Chinese Buddhist canon.

  2. Create a Chinese-English Buddhist dictionary that is free and easy to use for everybody interested in Buddhism, including lay people reading Buddhist texts, students, translators, and academics.

  3. Create tools that are useful for lingustic analysis of Buddhist texts, including identification of specialist Buddhist terms and comparison of Chinese texts.

There are three parts to the project:

  1. The web user interface. This includes HTML and JavaScript files. The HTML files are generated by the Go language cnreader command line tool from the Chinese Notes sister project. The dynamic content is driven by a Go web application.

  2. The data. This is the dictionary and text files. The data files are in UTF-8 tab delimited text. There is also a corpus directory, which contains the literature to build the vocabulary and word frequency from. These are Chinese texts from the Buddhist canon and related collections.

  3. Jupyter notebooks and other Python tools for building vocabulary.

The license for the web site and dictionary content is Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. The license for source code and markup templates, is Apache 2.0.


  1. The dictionary includes many terms from the CC-CEDICT Chinese - English dictionary, shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

  2. Historic Buddhist texts from the Taishō Tripiṭaka are from CBETA.

  3. Sources listed in the References.

Humanistic Buddhism texts are now moved to the Humanistic Buddhism Reader.

Getting Started

Adding new vocabulary

To get started adding new vocabulary navigate to the Add Entry Colab Sheet and click Open in Colab. Colab works best with Chrome.


To install the software follow instructions in the file.

Copyright Nan Tien Institute 2013-2018,


NTI Buddhist Text Reader with Taisho canon and embedded Chinese-English Buddhist dictionary







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