Translations and translators

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diamind
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Translations and translators

Post by diamind » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:05 am

What are the best translations of the pali cannon? Are there translators to avoid?

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mikenz66
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Re: Translations and translators

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:30 am

Hi diamind,

We are blessed with having modern translation of most of the Suttas, and the Vinaya freely available at https://suttacentral.net/ (a variety of translators, but the first four Nikayas are consistently translated by Bhikkhu Sujato, and for his translations you can set it up to see the Pali and English sentence by sentence, which can be helpful as the Pali also gives access to the on-line dictionary. There are a large number of translations by Thanissaro Bhikkhu at https://www.dhammatalks.org/ . https://accesstoinsight.org/ has his older translations, and also some translations by other authors.

While there will always be quibbles about translations, most of these translations are fine, unless you are trying to sort out certain picky details. If you are unsure about something, you can always compare translations between the different versions on Sutta Central and the other sites.

If you want translations with detailed footnotes and cross references, Bhikkhu Bodhi's are excellent, but they are not free. There are quite a few of his translation on Sutta Central, but without the footnotes.

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Mike

BKh
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Re: Translations and translators

Post by BKh » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:53 pm

You may find this very brief article helpful... It is a simple overview of the trustworthy translators of major works.

https://readingfaithfully.org/overview- ... criptures/
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diamind
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:26 am

Re: Translations and translators

Post by diamind » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:52 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:30 am
Hi diamind,

We are blessed with having modern translation of most of the Suttas, and the Vinaya freely available at https://suttacentral.net/ (a variety of translators, but the first four Nikayas are consistently translated by Bhikkhu Sujato, and for his translations you can set it up to see the Pali and English sentence by sentence, which can be helpful as the Pali also gives access to the on-line dictionary. There are a large number of translations by Thanissaro Bhikkhu at https://www.dhammatalks.org/ . https://accesstoinsight.org/ has his older translations, and also some translations by other authors.

While there will always be quibbles about translations, most of these translations are fine, unless you are trying to sort out certain picky details. If you are unsure about something, you can always compare translations between the different versions on Sutta Central and the other sites.

If you want translations with detailed footnotes and cross references, Bhikkhu Bodhi's are excellent, but they are not free. There are quite a few of his translation on Sutta Central, but without the footnotes.

:heart:
Mike
Thanks for the reply. So is the whole cannon translated? I want to collect them all together and start chanting them. I think I remember someone posting a chekc list of the entire cannon, do you know anything about that? thanks again

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DooDoot
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Re: Translations and translators

Post by DooDoot » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:04 pm

diamind wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:05 am
What are the best translations of the pali cannon? Are there translators to avoid?
Imo, Bhikkhu Bodhi has by far the best translations (although I don't resonate with 100% of his translations).

BKh
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Re: Translations and translators

Post by BKh » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:37 pm

diamind wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:52 am
Thanks for the reply. So is the whole cannon translated? I want to collect them all together and start chanting them. I think I remember someone posting a chekc list of the entire cannon, do you know anything about that? thanks again
There are a variety of resources on ReadingFaithfully.org. For example

Building a Sutta Library is a brief "bibliography" to guide in collecting a good set of the complete canon up to the Jatakas:
https://readingfaithfully.org/buildingasuttalibrary/

To track what you have read, there is the Life List:
https://readingfaithfully.org/?s=life+list

And general checklists for the MN, SN, and AN:
https://readingfaithfully.org/sutta-che ... ng-suttas/

Is that what you were after?
ReadingFaithfully.org Daily Practice with the Suttas | becomeabuddhist.org
audtip. org Audio Sutta Recordings | BuddhaRupa Images of the Buddha across time and space

diamind
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:26 am

Re: Translations and translators

Post by diamind » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:57 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:30 am
Hi diamind,

We are blessed with having modern translation of most of the Suttas, and the Vinaya freely available at https://suttacentral.net/ (a variety of translators, but the first four Nikayas are consistently translated by Bhikkhu Sujato, and for his translations you can set it up to see the Pali and English sentence by sentence, which can be helpful as the Pali also gives access to the on-line dictionary. There are a large number of translations by Thanissaro Bhikkhu at https://www.dhammatalks.org/ . https://accesstoinsight.org/ has his older translations, and also some translations by other authors.

While there will always be quibbles about translations, most of these translations are fine, unless you are trying to sort out certain picky details. If you are unsure about something, you can always compare translations between the different versions on Sutta Central and the other sites.

If you want translations with detailed footnotes and cross references, Bhikkhu Bodhi's are excellent, but they are not free. There are quite a few of his translation on Sutta Central, but without the footnotes.

:heart:
Mike
Thanks for the links... Im not happy about this " gender-neutral" language, why is Sujato boasting about that? If he is changing the sutta to suit his own needs then what else is being changed? hmmm

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mikenz66
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Re: Translations and translators

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:00 am

diamind wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:57 am
Thanks for the links... Im not happy about this " gender-neutral" language, why is Sujato boasting about that? If he is changing the sutta to suit his own needs then what else is being changed?
Gender of nouns is a slightly tricky thing. If I recall correctly, there are suttas that are clearly spoken to not only bhikkhus where the audience is addressed as "bhikkhus". The commentary to the Satipatthana Sutta comments that it was addressed to not only bhikkhus, but also bhikkhuni's and lay followers:
Ekayano ayam bhikkhave maggo = "This is the only way, O bhikkhus." Why did the Blessed One teach this Discourse? Because of the ability of the people of the Kurus to take in deep doctrine.

The inhabitants of the Kuru country — bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, upasakas, upasikas — by reason of their country being blessed with a perfect climate, and through their enjoyment of other comfortable conditions, were always healthy in body and in mind. ...

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... wayof.html
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Mike

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mikenz66
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Re: Translations and translators

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:12 am

Here is some reasoning about the term:
Sujato wrote:
Peter_Durham wrote: Monastics isn’t a word I have come across very often, why not “monks” or Bhikkus?
Yes, it’s a bit weird. Anandajoti and Analayo have recently argued, I think correctly, that the term “bhikkhus” is used in the suttas, as well as referring specifically to male monastics, to refer to monastics in general, including bhikkhunis (just as “men” is used in English). So avoidng unnecessary gender issues is a good thing. On the other hand, as you say, “monastic” is not standard spoken English, although we use it quite a bit these days. (“We” meaning those of us in monastic communities who care about not being sexist). One could argue that “monk” can serve as a non-gendered term (like, say, “actor”), since in Buddhist countries they are quite happy to speak of “female monks”. As an alternative, we could always use “Hesychasts 5”

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/dr ... kka/439/24
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Mike

BKh
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Re: Translations and translators

Post by BKh » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:44 pm

diamind wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:57 am
Thanks for the links... Im not happy about this " gender-neutral" language, why is Sujato boasting about that? If he is changing the sutta to suit his own needs then what else is being changed? hmmm
I have read quite a bit of his translations. His use of gener neutral terms is only when the pali could be reasonably interpreted to be such. When the text is talking about men he uses male pronouns, etc. His usage is in line with current trends that will likely be considered standard in a decade or two. In some ways this is merely future-proofing them.

It's hard to accuse him of changing things when the Pali is presented allong with the English line-by-line. If you have issues with anything he has translated you can bring it up on SuttaCentral for a technical discussion about the merits.
ReadingFaithfully.org Daily Practice with the Suttas | becomeabuddhist.org
audtip. org Audio Sutta Recordings | BuddhaRupa Images of the Buddha across time and space

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mikenz66
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Re: Translations and translators

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:38 pm

BKh wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:44 pm
It's hard to accuse him of changing things when the Pali is presented allong with the English line-by-line. If you have issues with anything he has translated you can bring it up on SuttaCentral for a technical discussion about the merits.
This English-Pali capacity is amazing. Even if one's Pali is rudimentary, the on-line dictionary lookup gives a sense of the sentence construction. In many cases, this makes it obvious that translation differences are simply choices in how to render the sentence into readable English (which often requires adding extra words, due to the way English works) and shouldn't be taken too seriously.

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Mike

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