How To Make Text Spoken

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Basic guidelines

The main guideline is that we read the text as written except for those things mentioned below. If you are not happy with words that the translator uses you may want to find a different text to read.

Intro to the Recording

  • You can include at most 2 seconds of silence at the beginning of the recording. Try to avoid starting with a big inhalation sound.
  • Read the citation and name of the sutta as it appears in your translation. (Even if there are other names and citations listed at Sutta Central)
Example for
{1 second pause} Aṅguttara Nikāya ten sixty, Girimananda Sutta: Discourse to Girimananda Thera, translated by Piyadassi Thera

Ending the Recording

  • Unless the recording is extremely short, you can close by saying, "End of Such-and-such Sutta" omitting the citation and translator name.
  • Include five seconds of silence at the end,
Example, from sutta above:
End of Girimananda Sutta {5 seconds pause}

Dealing with abbreviations

When spoken, the following abbreviations can be read out in full:

for i.e. say:

"That is"
"That is to say"

for e.g. say:

"For example"

Dealing with parenthetical text

As a general principle, stick to the text as closely as possible. However sometime there may be added text in parentheses that does not read well aloud. The reader must determine if the parenthetical text is redundant information for clarification or if it is necessary to the meaning of the text.

A particularly good example of the variety of uses of parentheses is at
Note the following
"Bhante (Venerable Sir,) the Venerable Girimananda is afflicted with disease, is suffering therefrom, and is gravely ill. It were well, bhante, if the Blessed One would visit the Venerable Girimananda out of compassion for him." (Thereupon the Buddha said):

The "(Venerable Sir)" is clearly redundant simply offering a translation of the Pali word "Bhante," thus not essential to the meaning and not necessary to read. In fact, if you read it there might be confusion. The "(Thereupon the Buddha said)" however does help to clarify who is speaking and therefore should be read.

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