Dharamshala: The University of Pune’s Pali department in joint collaboration with the Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, will bring out the first-ever trilingual Pali-Sanskrit-Tibetan dictionary.

“Buddhist studies cannot be done properly by knowing only one of the languages. Most Buddhist literature available today are either in Tibetan or Chinese; there is a great need for a dictionary that can be consulted simultaneously — taking Pali as base and Sanskrit and Tibetan as parallels. We will also be including the English meanings for reference,” Pali department head and project coordinator MA Deokar was quoted as saying byThe Indian Express. The University Grant Commission (UGC), which is funding the project, has allotted funds of nearly Rs 9 lakh, taking into account the size of the project that needs a lot of in-depth study of the languages.

“Usually, the UGC does not give such huge funds and manpower for projects. But since I am a special case, they gave me two additional assistants. Also, I am being helped by two members from the Tibetan University, Sarnath,” said Deokar, who is visually-impaired.

“We do not have any trained Tibetan staff here. The people from Sarnath are honourary members and are not present here at all times. For a project of this magnitude, we need the constant help of experts, which we are not getting,” he added.

Almost 50 per cent of the work has already been completed and the group claims that the project will be completed by June 2011.

“We are trying to complete the work as soon as we can. However, if we are not able to meet the deadline, we will apply for an extension. We also wanted to include Chinese in the dictionary because many Buddhist literature are also available in Chinese. We will not be able to do that in the first phase, but are definitely thinking of working on it in the second phase,” Deokar added.