Discussion on Translations. Was: In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version

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Anagarika
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Discussion on Translations. Was: In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version

Postby Anagarika » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:01 pm

mikenz66 wrote:I agree, I think it's the single most useful book that I have.

What I've noticed by doing this, and checking the links from Sutta Central, is that quite a large proportion of the suttas in the book have translations on Sutta Central, the vast majority of those by Bhikkhu Bodhi. I think it's great that we have a serious alternative to the Access to Insight and Metta Net translations (though Bhikkhu Bodhi's excellent footnotes are only available if you purchase the book, or the Nikaya volumes). Sutta Central doesn't have the thematic guides that Access to Insight has here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html and the In the Buddha's Words links are helpful in giving a thematic guide to at least some of the material.

I've fixed a few small things. All chapters now have links to Bhikkhu Bodhi's introductory material, which is well worth reading. Please let me know of any errors, or possible enhancements.

:anjali:
Mike


Mike, a quick question, if you don't mind. When you mention "I think it's great that we have a serious alternative to the Access to Insight" is there a suggestion that ATI translations are of any concern? I mention this not to "stir a pot" but am curious. I have Ven. Bodhi's books and value them immensely. I also utilize ATI (mainly Ven. Thanissaro) and value these translations immensely (along with the many books I've freely picked up at Wat Metta's library.) I also enjoy comparing translations and views of Ven. Bodhi vis a vis Ven. Thanissaro. Do experienced Pali students or practitioners see a qualitative difference between Ven. Bodhi's approach to the suttas vs. Ven. Thanissaro's? I spent some time on articles written by Ven. Bodhi recently on a certain subject , and compared these with the interpretations and opinions of Ajahn Geoff, and enjoyed the detailed and scholarly (albeit somewhat differing) opinions.

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mikenz66
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Re: In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:03 am

Hi BuddhaSoup,

What you say here is exactly what I find helpful about having multiple translations and interpretations:
BuddhaSoup wrote: I spent some time on articles written by Ven. Bodhi recently on a certain subject , and compared these with the interpretations and opinions of Ajahn Geoff, and enjoyed the detailed and scholarly (albeit somewhat differing) opinions.

They do differ in opinions, and it is valuable to see a variety of opinions. They also differ in style. Ven. Bodhi is usually careful to explain how he thinks that the Theravada tradition interprets the suttas, even when he also points out where there may be more straight-forward explanations than those of the Commentators. Ven. Thanissaro seem to me to be more forceful about arguing for the correctness of his personal interpretations. There is a place for both styles.

:anjali:
Mike

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Anagarika
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Re: In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version

Postby Anagarika » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:41 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi BuddhaSoup,

What you say here is exactly what I find helpful about having multiple translations and interpretations:
BuddhaSoup wrote: I spent some time on articles written by Ven. Bodhi recently on a certain subject , and compared these with the interpretations and opinions of Ajahn Geoff, and enjoyed the detailed and scholarly (albeit somewhat differing) opinions.

They do differ in opinions, and it is valuable to see a variety of opinions. They also differ in style. Ven. Bodhi is usually careful to explain how he thinks that the Theravada tradition interprets the suttas, even when he also points out where there may be more straight-forward explanations than those of the Commentators. Ven. Thanissaro seem to me to be more forceful about arguing for the correctness of his personal interpretations. There is a place for both styles.

:anjali:
Mike


Mike thanks for this most excellent response. I like your explanation, and it resonates with what I've felt. One reason that I enjoy Ajahn Geoff is the 'force' of his conviction about the Buddha's Sutta teachings, and his seeming (to me, at least) lack of real interest in spending much time on Commentarial texts. He's like a skilled physician without the best bedside manner..but he's the doctor you want when a family member is ill. Bhikkhu Bodhi seems to allow for some flexibility in his interpretations of Pali Canon Dhamma, and I have sometimes wondered whether his affiliation with Bodhi Temple and his engaged global outreach has given him a broader, more flexible perspective on Canon dhamma and the Commentarial tradition. As you infer, it's auspicious that we have these two Dhamma scholars occupying the planet at the same time, from whom we all benefit.

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Will
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In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version - off topic stuff

Postby Will » Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:07 pm

Did not read this thread closely, so maybe this pdf of the Bhikkhu's compilation is already there - if not, here it is:

Link to site that is most likely violating copyright removed...
mikenz66
Buddhas proclaim the Dharma with one sound, each living being understands according to it kind.
Vimalakirti Sutra

SarathW
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Re: In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version

Postby SarathW » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:14 pm

Thanks for posting.
Is this the complete book.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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cjmacie
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Re: In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version

Postby cjmacie » Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:56 am

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:36 pm

It’s good to preserve the numerical location references as well as augment with URL links. I haven't run across it in DhammaWheel as yet, but back in the DharmaOverground forum, it's not infrequent that one runs across "stale" (err 404) links in older threads.

Folks here are probably well aware, but just in case:
"If hyperlinks to documents are used (in-line or in footnotes), there's the potential that they someday, e.g. tomorrow, no longer work (aka "link rot", "content drift", "reference rot"). A … New Yorker article details this (explaining those colorful quoted terms), and mentions ways of making links one wants to use "permanent". ("The Cobweb: Can the Internet be Archived?" Jan 26, 2015 edition, pp.34-41)."

This is vital for those writing, say, published books, or PhD dissertations. Whether it's necessary here in DW is probably less critical.

Just keeping in mind that anicca probably applies on the internet, as well as generally.

btw: thanx for pointing out the on-line version of B. Bodhi's book, which I've put-off buying for some time.

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cjmacie
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Re: In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version

Postby cjmacie » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:00 am

Postby Anagarika » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:01 am
"…is there a suggestion that ATI translations are of any concern?…"
"I also enjoy comparing translations and views of Ven. Bodhi vis a vis Ven. Thanissaro.
"

Likewise. I tend a amass alternative translations, and, when an issue is serious, compare them with each other, and with the Pali (as per CST 4.0). ANY translation reflects a viewpoint, and rendering Pali in English invariably involves compromises. And then there's the classical problem I remember running into reading the Visuddhimagga, or the detailed sutta instructions on jhana: words like pamojja, piti, sukha, etc. all get rendered by different translators with English words like "joy", "delight", "happiness", "bliss", etc. with no agreement among the translators as to which English word goes best with which Pali word.

"…qualitative difference between Ven. Bodhi's approach to the suttas vs. Ven.
Thanissaro's?"


(another slant on Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:03 pm)

I've found B. Bodhi tends toward finding a sort of commonly accepted rendering of terms. He also was influenced by Nyanponika Thera to try to find single English words for Pali terms. (As he mentions in a footnote somewhere re the choice of "direct path" for 'ekayana magga', noting the limitations of that translation; which Ven. Analayo also uses, making an elaborate case for the choice.)

On the other hand, Than-Geoff, being something of a wordsmith and poet, tends to use more seemingly uncommon English terms, which s/t are startling to the reader, but intended to remind the reader that the Buddha's ideas are actually, intentionally, rather "uncommon". An early teacher on mine noted that she preferred B. Bodhi's versions to TG's, because they were more "readable" for beginners.

I've also noted that both translators are not adverse to changing their minds, over time, as to the best rendering of this or that Pali term. Maybe confusing, but, IMO, a good sign. As Ven. Sujato mentions (somewhere), though we have fairly good English versions for a lot of the Tipitaka, the task is by no means done.

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mikenz66
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Re: Discussion on Translations. Was: In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:18 pm

Please respect the TOS request not to provide links to copyrighted material.


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