With reference to ‘ariya-sacca’, Norman mentions in A Philological Approach to Buddhism (p.16):
- “Take for example, the phrase “noble truth”, which I mentioned a few minutes ago. It has become a commonplace to talk about the four noble truths, and this is a perfectly acceptable translation of the compound ariya-sacca: ariya means noble and sacca means truth, so ariya-sacca means noble truth. This translation is so common and so fixed in our minds, that it seems almost like blasphemy to have to point out that not only is this not the only possible translation, but it is in fact the least likely of all the possibilities. If we look at the commentators we find that they knew this very well. They point out that the compound can have a number of meanings. It can mean “truth of the noble one”, “truth of the noble ones”, “truth for a noble one”, i.e. truth that will make one noble, as well as the translation “noble truth” so familiar to us. This last possibility, however, they put at the bottom of the list of possibilities, if they mention it at all. My own feeling is that it is very likely that “the truth of the noble one (the Buddha)” is the correct translation, although we must never lose sight of the fact that in Indian literature multiple meanings are very often intended, so that it is not always possible to say that there is a single correct meaning.”
All of this may seem much over nothing, like Gandalf's questioning of Bilbo's simple ‘good morning’. However, what I have found useful in these papers is at least caution on how critical a rendering pāḷi idiom into English (or another) language is.
Another page to read is one Dmytro had posted on this topic here on DW