New Translation Project from Sutta Central

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soapy3
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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by soapy3 » Sun May 03, 2015 10:03 pm

mikenz66 wrote: His style certainly polarizes. Perhaps there is something in his writing (and speaking) that makes more sense to a native speakers of certain American dialects, but is somewhat grating for others. His choice of words is certainly not easy for non-native speakers.
I'm a native English speaker. I have no trouble understanding his writings. I just don't like his style. I agree with your assessment of Bhikkhu Bodhi's style, but I actually find it a fraction less off-putting than TB's.

I like Sujato's goal of making the new English translations easier to translate into other languages.

My wish is that Sujato shares TB's passion for getting to the true literal meaning of the Pali, and that he finds a way to make his translations inspiring.

soapy3
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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by soapy3 » Sun May 03, 2015 10:05 pm

mikenz66 wrote: I think that's basically here, though I have not investigated local print shops, since if I want something bound I just spiral bind it at work. It's also possible for authors to have books set up with on-line operations such as Lulu https://www.lulu.com/, for minimal prices.
It is far from cheap or worth price. I don't want just spiral bound books, but something of the quality of Lulu at a price reflective of a cheap medium paper can be.

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mikenz66
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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by mikenz66 » Mon May 04, 2015 12:34 am

soapy3 wrote:
mikenz66 wrote: His style certainly polarizes. Perhaps there is something in his writing (and speaking) that makes more sense to a native speakers of certain American dialects, but is somewhat grating for others. His choice of words is certainly not easy for non-native speakers.
I'm a native English speaker. I have no trouble understanding his writings. I just don't like his style. I agree with your assessment of Bhikkhu Bodhi's style, but I actually find it a fraction less off-putting than TB's.
Yes, I wasn't referring to you specifically. Apart from style, local people I know who are not native speakers have difficulty with Ven T's writing, and, particularly, speaking, which is very fast and often hard for me to follow. I listened to his talks for a while before I realised that one of the people he often referred to wasn't "John Lee", but "Ajahn Lee"... :thinking:

soapy3 wrote: I like Sujato's goal of making the new English translations easier to translate into other languages.

My wish is that Sujato shares TB's passion for getting to the true literal meaning of the Pali, and that he finds a way to make his translations inspiring.
It depends on what you mean by "literal". I think every translator worth reading has a passion for getting the "true meaning", but I think if you want "literal" in the sense of word-for-word translation with extremely consistent translation terms you'll be disappointed. From the threads I've linked above, it seems Ven Sujato's intention is to get across the "actual" (not "literal") meaning in clear English. The "actual" meaning includes knowledge of Pali idioms, and how certain expressions are used in other suttas. Of course, this inevitably involves some judgement.

The argument seems to be that if you want literal you can look at the Pali and get a word-for-word translation. The translation project will have a much tighter linking between English and Pali, so that you'd be able to easily access the Pali for each English sentence:
Sujato wrote: Natively Digital: The translation is intended from the outset to be a digital text, and will be matched sentence by sentence with the underlying Pali.
http://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/tra ... ikayas/341
This renders a "literal" translation somewhat superfluous.

Already, with the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta for example, you can go to the Pali here, turn on the Pali->English lookup (with the controls on the left) and see how (almost) every word translates, and compare that with the English (of course Pali syntax is somewhat backwards from English, so it's a bit of a struggle...). Better linking will make finding a sentence in the middle of a long sutta absolutely trivial.

:anjali:
Mike

soapy3
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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by soapy3 » Mon May 04, 2015 1:37 am

I wish he would have translated "concentration" as "stillness" and left dukha untranslated. Very nice set up though. I've hoping for years for somebody else to make fresh, online translations. I'm excited.

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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by mikenz66 » Mon May 04, 2015 4:28 am

Did you read this comment?
http://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/dra ... u=mikenz66
Sujato wrote: Stillness is okay sometimes, but not really exalted enough. The only word that works for me in English would be "coalescence". I think that is pretty good in terms of meaning, but it is not easy to make it work.
I think people a little familiar with Pali would rather have key terms, like samadhi and dukkha, left untranslated, but there are compromises with readability for people not so familiar with the Pali terms.

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soapy3
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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by soapy3 » Mon May 04, 2015 11:52 am

I don't see a problem even with asking a complete beginner to look up two words in a glossary. Not "exalted" enough, really? "Stillness" is not "high and mighty" enough of a word, wuuut? :). That is nuts. Sujato is just going to perpetuate the mistake of beginner meditators furrowing their brows and tensing up for another generation.

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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by alan » Mon May 04, 2015 2:02 pm

I find his voice to be calm and soothing, but then again he shares my accent. Spending time on Bali, I hear Aussies speaking all the time and often have to bend an ear and pay particular attention to get the meaning! That's probably true throughout the English speaking world.
No one has responded with particulars about the text, so I'll just say a useful version would inspire readers to think and contemplate. Leaving key words untranslated is not helpful, not inspiring, and certainly will not gain new readers.
Sure, you can ask people to "look up words in a glossary". But will they do it? And if so, will they understand the meaning? My guess is no and no.

So I say, if you are going to interpret, do it the right way and let the reader know what you think about the meanings of those words. And do it in a way that stays true to the teacher. The teacher was elevated--he wants you to be too.

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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by Zom » Mon May 04, 2015 2:28 pm

:goodpost:

Btw, world system is not a galaxy - this is a star system with 1 star, planets around it.

Galaxy is mentioned in AN 3.80 (even 3 types of galaxies there - small, middle, big one) and the smallest consists of 1000 world-systems where each world system has 1 Sumeru mountain with 4 continents and 1 sun and 1 moon revolving around it.

Bakmoon
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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by Bakmoon » Mon May 04, 2015 3:40 pm

soapy3 wrote:I don't see a problem even with asking a complete beginner to look up two words in a glossary. Not "exalted" enough, really? "Stillness" is not "high and mighty" enough of a word, wuuut? :). That is nuts. Sujato is just going to perpetuate the mistake of beginner meditators furrowing their brows and tensing up for another generation.
But Samadhi doesn't actually refer to stillness. That would be the meaning of the word Samatha, or perhaps Passadhi. Samadhi conveys a sense of the mind gathering up and becoming unified. Naturally, a mind that has Samadhi will always have Samatha, but they aren't actually referring to the same thing.

Also, if you look at his draft translation of the Dhammacakka Sutta, he leaves the word Samadhi untranslated instead of rendering it as concentration.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by alan » Tue May 05, 2015 1:48 pm

Above all, a translation which loses the majesty and wonder of the Dhamma would be a disservice to readers.

soapy3
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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by soapy3 » Tue May 05, 2015 2:03 pm

alan wrote:Above all, a translation which loses the majesty and wonder of the Dhamma would be a disservice to readers.
Agreed, but I that has already happened ( my earlier comments about TB's and BB's style )

soapy3
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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by soapy3 » Tue May 05, 2015 2:04 pm

Hey Mike, thanks for your posts in this thread. I'm excited about Sujato's projects. I also checked out his site and his books look interesting to me. I think I will read some of them once I am finished with my current stack.

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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by mikenz66 » Thu May 07, 2015 9:39 am

Not quite about translation, but this new feature that is being worked on is quite cool. The idea is to link suttas on Sutta Central to references in the Sutta Central Discussion Forum. The idea being that if you are looking at a sutta you will be able to find where it has been discussed.

http://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/dis ... scover/458

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 08, 2015 11:24 pm

Ven Sujato and others have started posting a lot of links to essays, etc, which are then available directly from the suttas.

For example, go to http://suttacentral.net/en/dn15 and click on the box on the left (the one with the three horizontal lines) and then on "Discuss & Discover".

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Mike

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Re: New Translation Project from Sutta Central

Post by mikenz66 » Wed May 13, 2015 7:33 pm

Ven Sujato has updated the translation in the first post of this thread, in response to the various comments and suggestions there:
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/dr ... kka/439/36

:anjali:
Mike

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