Translating the Buddhist Scriptures

5 Minute Dharma


The Buddhist said. In the Middle Length Discourse One oh three. The vegetables agree on the meaning but disagree on the phrasing. But the venerable should know that this is how such agreement on the meaning disagreement on the phrasing come to be. But the phrasing is a minor matter. Please don't get into a fight about something. So minor. So this is talking about. Sharing the Dharma. On the original language that the Buddhist disciples were sharing it and they were disagreeing about the phrasing. In other words they understood and agreed upon the meaning of the Dharma but they're having problems with the exact words to use to express it. And the Buddha don't get hung up on the phrasing. And this applies. Directly to. Translating. When you're translating the the Ceuta's from the original Pali to. Modern English wore things you can do is get hung up on phase phrasing. And phrasing simply means the way that it's put into English the words that are used. And this is a problem because you can get really hung up on this if you. Have done translating I did translate in Bible College my background was in Greek and. Biblical. Translation. And I did I've actually translated the gospel of John a couple of times and I the saloons. And some parts of Matthew. And I think if America did mark too but I can't remember at hand and the beginning of of Luke. And one of the things that I realized. Is. That originally the less you know the more you think a literal translation is the correct way to go. problem with a literal translation is that the people the the people who are reading the literal translation aren't getting the message they're not getting the original message. So which you have to do is come up with a dynamic equivalence so that you understand the message in in this case poly. And then you translate that message from Pali into English. And that's hard to do to to use the right words and to convey things because you can get hung up on the correspondence between the words and not understand the correspondence between the connotations. For an example, I just just reading a translation from I B Horner. in the Vanilla where she was translating that the Buddha was pacing back and forth worth the word pacing has the connotation of be nervous like you're nervous in your pacing back and forth. And a better translation would be walking back and forth because that's walking meditation is what the Buddha was doing. He wasn't pacing he's completely elaborated individual he wouldn't be pacing. and. So the word the connotation pacey means going back and forth. But the connotation has the idea that you're stressed and to bring that across when you're translating is actually much more difficult than people realize and this is what makes translation so difficult.

Coming up next