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    And then give my input to his last question:

    Originally posted by PassTheDoobie View Post
    six paramitas
    [六波羅蜜] (Jpn.: roku-haramitsu or ropparamitsu)

    Six practices required of Mahayana bodhisattvas in order to attain Buddha-hood. The Sanskrit word paramitais interpreted as "perfection" or "having reached the opposite shore," i.e., to cross from the shore of delusion to the shore of enlightenment. The six paramitas are (1) almsgiving (Skt dana ), which includes material almsgiving, almsgiving of the Law, and almsgiving of fearlessness (meaning to remove fear and give relief ); (2) keeping the precepts (shila); (3) forbearance (kshanti), or to bear up patiently and continue one's Buddhist practice under all opposition and hardships; (4) assiduousness (virya), to practice the other five paramitas ceaselessly, with utmost physical and spiritual effort; (5) meditation (dhyana), to focus the mind and contemplate the truth with a tranquil mind; and (6) the obtaining of wisdom (prajna), which enables one to perceive the true nature of all things.

    From source: The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism

    Chant and figure the answer out for yourself! Buddhism would say that what you feel is a reflection of your life condition and not the bum's. The answer lies in your humanity, not in your wallet, though the wallet is sometimes used to express humanity. I don't think there is a correct answer here about giving money. There is a correct answer here about feelings of "it is repulsive for me". But the answer can only come from yourself.
    And as we know Scegy is now practicing and chanting everyday! What a wonderful inspiration you have been to us all Scegy and Easy! Thanks so much for sharing your lives and showing us all the way!

    This thread is full of such conversations and I encourage everyone reading to go back every hundred pages or so and see how much we have all grown together since this thing started!

    I bow in humble obeisance!



      Right on!


      "All disciples and lay supporters of Nichiren should chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with the spirit of many in body but one in mind, transcending all differences among themselves to become as inseparable as fish and the water in which they swim. This spiritual bond is the basis for the universal transmission of the ultimate Law of life and death. Herein lies the true goal of Nichiren's propagation. When you are so united, even the great desire for widespread propagation can be fulfilled."

      The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life
      (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, page 217)


        Missing Scegy also. Hope he is well and always in my chants.

        PTD, some awesome reposts! Thanks for that and taking the time as it's very encouraging reminder of where this was and where it is today.

        Nam Myoho Renge Kyo


          Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!

          Great read from the old posts...very inspiring.

          Chanting is working so very well for me that I have been busy as a little beaver building something....something to grow in. Chanting for the tools and materials you need for success is remarkably effective!

          Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to all the Chanting Growers!


            "When one practises the Lotus Sutra under such circumstances, difficulties will arise, and these are to be looked on as 'peaceful' practises."

            (Ongi kuden - Gosho Zenshu, page 750, The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, page 115) Selection source: "Kyo no Hosshin", Seikyo Shimbun, February 15th, 2010


              We can break any impasse with strong prayer! The Gosho teaches us to pray "as earnestly as though to produce fire from damp wood."* Invoking the power of faith, let's be victorious even in our toughest battles!

              Daisaku Ikeda

              * Gosho - On Rebuking Slander of the Law and Eradicating Sins - WND-1, page 444, "I am praying that, no matter how troubled the times may become, the Lotus Sutra and the ten demon daughters will protect all of you, praying as earnestly as though to produce fire from damp wood, or to obtain water from parched ground."


                "Employ the strategy of the Lotus Sutra before any other."

                (The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol.1, page 1001) Selection source: "Kyo no Hosshin", Seikyo Shimbun, August 26, 2009


                  ^^^^^To "Employ the strategy of the Lotus Sutra before any other." means to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as the first step in resolving any difficulty. Engaging one's Buddha Nature is the means to overcome any obstacle.^^^^^


                    Nam myoho renge kyo

                    From "The Oneness of Mentor and Disciple", in the SGI Quarterly, January 2010, page 28.

                    Buddhism is a philosophy with the aim of empowering people. Its central premise is that each person has the innate capacity to triumph in any circumstances in which they find themselves, to surmount any source of suffering, transforming it into a source of growth and strength. It is a philosophy established on the conviction that there exist within the lives of each of us at each moment inexhaustible reserves of courage, wisdom, compassion and creative energy.

                    Nam myoho renge kyo !!
                    (Medical Patient In Compliance)

                    Nam myoho renge kyo !! Mugi wasshin
                    your bud

                    Peace/ Be here now

                    Babba's Farm L.L.C.

                    The political views, or conspiracy theories, of icmag ownership, do not reflect my own views and are sole property of the participants


                      "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the greatest of all joys."

                      (Ongi kuden - Gosho Zenshu, page 788, The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, page 212) Selection source: Study for Beginners, February 16th, 2010


                        More Easy from a little more than two years ago:

                        Originally posted by EasyMyohoDisco View Post
                        I did it, another huge thing I chanted for got MOM to a meeting, best day we had together in my life! My new shakubuku Amby made it to meeting too, afterward the amazing meeting he stayed back and spent time with us too and it was awesome. Afterwards I took my mother around here and introduced her to my neighbors and I was just thrilled and very pleased.

                        Mother made some great contacts with new members and next month is women's month and I'm confident she'll attend another meeting. On tuesday we get the results of her Bone Marrow exam and we'll get the results we been waiting for.

                        My friends, I've got goosebumps saying this but I got everything I chanted for so far that could be attained in the present which are: a better relationship with my mother, a better living situation, goto school fulltime, increased faith and wisdom and my little pet whom is one of the first things I chanted for and have had now for a few months and I'm so happy I just got mom. Next is complete undergraduate then get into my dream law school and turn my district into a region or area (many many more members!). Alot of people came to support us today, I'm sure all of you were with me as well.

                        I really struggled hard again with Mentor Disciple but after today I doubt I'll be entertaining doubts in my heart about it, trust me, without M&D there is no BUddhism. Nichiren Daishonin was enlightened by the law and is in my living room as a result through Gohonzon. *The only Buddha to be taught directly by The Law is the Buddha of Beginningless Time (the Nam-myoho-renge-kyo Thus Come One).*

                        Got some messages to respond to I just noticed writing this and I'll keep this short:

                        Chanting Growers, New members and Older members, we're are soo united on this thread and so dedicated for kosen-rufu my gf had a YWD meeting and there were three other girls in my living room on saturday night with her and I was high-fiving her after the meeting because she was smiling. This thread helped nurture that meeting, I immediately felt compelled to come here and say that because that YWD meeting was because of this thread and its members. Collectively we have made this vow to be united and how amazing is it we're not holding hands chanting everyday yet it feels like that, while we exchange our very energy online transmitted through the words from our fingers. This bond is the Mystic Law.

                        I bow in obeisance to all the Chanting Growers!

                        Nam-myoho-renge-kyo! Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                        All of you know my story, this day was the best one yet. It took alot of effort and different approaches but Nam-myoho-renge-kyo! all the way consistently.

                        THANK YOU!!!!


                          The following will seem long and boring for many, but I wanted those that are inclined to read to be aware of this important aspect of the reality of teachings from another time, another culture and another language. For example, the Lotus Sutra in English is a translation of a translation of a translation of a translation. I have seen charges of changing "a word here" and "a word there" in the translations of the Gosho we share here and I want to expose that for the bullshit that it is.

                          As one can see reading the following, there is no such thing as word for word when it comes to translating into English from Chinese and Japanese. Evil people try and influence others by taking advantage of their lack of understanding in certain areas. When I see the truth twisted for the purpose of confusing others, it pisses me off more than just about anything else in this world!


                          From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                          Translation is the comprehension of the meaning of a text and the subsequent production of an equivalent text, likewise called a "translation," that communicates the same message in another language. The text to be translated is called the source text, and the language that it is to be translated into is called the target language; the final product is sometimes called the target text.

                          Translation, when practiced by relatively bilingual individuals but especially when by persons with limited proficiency in one or both languages, involves a risk of spilling-over of idioms and usages from the source language into the target language. On the other hand, inter-linguistic spillages have also served the useful purpose of importing calques and loanwords from a source language into a target language that had previously lacked a concept or a convenient expression for the concept. Translators and interpreters, professional as well as amateur, have thus played an important role in the evolution of languages and cultures.[1]

                          The art of translation is as old as written literature. Parts of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, among the oldest known literary works, have been found in translations into several Southwest Asian languages of the second millennium BCE. The Epic of Gilgamesh may have been read, in their own languages, by early authors of the Bible and of the Iliad.[2]

                          Since the Industrial Revolution, developments in technology, communications and business have changed translation greatly. Once the activity of a relatively small group of clerics, scholars and wealthy amateurs working with religious or literary texts, it is now a profession with accredited schools, professional associations, and accepted standards and payscales.[3] In particular, the advent of the Internet has greatly expanded the market for translation and introduced a vast array of new tools and types of work, including product localization, content management, and multilingual documentation. An estimated 75% of professional translators currently make their living from technical texts of various kinds.[4]

                          Since the 1940s,[5] attempts have been made to computerize or otherwise automate the translation of natural-language texts (machine translation) or to use computers as an aid to translation (computer-assisted translation).


                          Etymologically, translation is a "carrying across" or "bringing across". The Latin translatio derives from the perfect passive participle, translatum, of transfero ("I transfer"—from trans, "across" + fero, "I carry" or "I bring"). The modern Romance, Germanic and Slavic European languages have generally formed their own equivalent terms for this concept after the Latin model—after transfero or after the kindred traduco ("I bring across" or "I lead across").[6]

                          Additionally, the Ancient Greek term for "translation", μετάφρασις (metaphrasis, "a speaking across"), has supplied English with metaphrase (a "literal translation", or "word-for-word" translation)—as contrasted with paraphrase ("a saying in other words", from the Greek παράφρασις, paraphrasis").[7] Metaphrase corresponds, in one of the more recent terminologies, to "formal equivalence", and paraphrase to "dynamic equivalence."[8]

                          A widely recognized icon for the practice and historic role of translation is the Rosetta Stone, which in the United States is incorporated into the coat of arms of the Defense Language Institute.


                          History of theory

                          Discussions of the theory and practice of translation reach back into antiquity and show remarkable continuities. The distinction that had been drawn by the ancient Greeks between metaphrase ("literal" translation) and paraphrase was adopted by the English poet and translator John Dryden (1631–1700), who represented translation as the judicious blending of these two modes of phrasing when selecting, in the target language, "counterparts", or equivalents, for the expressions used in the source language:

                          When [words] appear... literally graceful, it were an injury to the author that they should be changed. But since... what is beautiful in one [language] is often barbarous, nay sometimes nonsense, in another, it would be unreasonable to limit a translator to the narrow compass of his author's words: 'tis enough if he choose out some expression which does not vitiate the sense.[6]

                          Dryden cautioned, however, against the license of "imitation", i.e. of adapted translation: "When a painter copies from the life... he has no privilege to alter features and lineaments..."[8]

                          This general formulation of the central concept of translation — equivalence — is probably as adequate as any that has been proposed ever since Cicero and Horace, in first-century-BCE Rome, famously and literally cautioned against translating "word for word" (verbum pro verbo).[8]

                          Despite occasional theoretical diversities, the actual practice of translators has hardly changed since antiquity. Except for some extreme metaphrasers in the early Christian period and the Middle Ages, and adapters in various periods (especially pre-Classical Rome, and the 18th century), translators have generally shown prudent flexibility in seeking equivalents — "literal" where possible, paraphrastic where necessary — for the original meaning and other crucial "values" (e.g., style, verse form, concordance with musical accompaniment or, in films, with speech articulatory movements) as determined from context.[8]

                          In general, translators have sought to preserve the context itself by reproducing the original order of sememes, and hence word order — when necessary, reinterpreting the actual grammatical structure. The grammatical differences between "fixed-word-order" languages[9] (e.g., English, French, German) and "free-word-order" languages[10] (e.g., Greek, Latin, Polish, Russian) have been no impediment in this regard.[8]

                          When a target language has lacked terms that are found in a source language, translators have borrowed them, thereby enriching the target language. Thanks in great measure to the exchange of calques and loanwords between languages, and to their importation from other languages, there are few concepts that are "untranslatable" among the modern European languages.[8]

                          In general, the greater the contact and exchange that has existed between two languages, or between both and a third one, the greater is the ratio of metaphrase to paraphrase that may be used in translating between them. However, due to shifts in "ecological niches" of words, a common etymology is sometimes misleading as a guide to current meaning in one or the other language. The English actual, for example, should not be confused with the cognate French actuel (meaning "present", "current"), the Polish aktualny ("present", "current")[11] or the Russian актуальный ("urgent, topical").

                          The translator's role as a bridge for "carrying across" values between cultures has been discussed at least since Terence, Roman adapter of Greek comedies, in the second century BCE. The translator's role is, however, by no means a passive and mechanical one, and so has also been compared to that of an artist. The main ground seems to be the concept of parallel creation found in critics as early as Cicero. Dryden observed that "Translation is a type of drawing after life..." Comparison of the translator with a musician or actor goes back at least to Samuel Johnson's remark about Alexander Pope playing Homer on a flageolet, while Homer himself used a bassoon.[11]

                          If translation be an art, it is no easy one. In the 13th century, Roger Bacon wrote that if a translation is to be true, the translator must know both languages, as well as the science that he is to translate; and finding that few translators did, he wanted to do away with translation and translators altogether.[12]

                          The first European to assume that one translates satisfactorily only toward his own language may have been Martin Luther, translator of the Bible into German. According to L.G. Kelly, since Johann Gottfried Herder in the 18th century, "it has been axiomatic" that one works only toward his own language.[13]

                          Compounding these demands upon the translator is the fact that not even the most complete dictionary or thesaurus can ever be a fully adequate guide in translation. Alexander Tytler, in his Essay on the Principles of Translation (1790), emphasized that assiduous reading is a more comprehensive guide to a language than are dictionaries. The same point, but also including listening to the spoken language, had earlier been made in 1783 by Onufry Andrzej Kopczyński, member of Poland's Society for Elementary Books, who was called "the last Latin poet".[14]

                          The special role of the translator in society is aptly described in an essay that was published posthumously in 1803 and that had been written by Ignacy Krasicki — "Poland's La Fontaine", Primate of Poland, poet, encyclopedist, author of the first Polish novel, and translator from French and Greek:

                          “ [T]ranslation... is in fact an art both estimable and very difficult, and therefore is not the labor and portion of common minds; [it] should be [practiced] by those who are themselves capable of being actors, when they see greater use in translating the works of others than in their own works, and hold higher than their own glory the service that they render to their country.[15]

                          Religious texts

                          Translation of religious works has played an important role in history. Buddhist monks who translated the Indian sutras into Chinese often skewed their translations to better reflect China's very different culture, emphasizing notions such as filial piety.

                          A famous mistranslation of the Bible is the rendering of the Hebrew word קֶרֶן (keren), which has several meanings, as "horn" in a context where it actually means "beam of light". As a result, artists have for centuries depicted Moses the Lawgiver with horns growing out of his forehead. An example is Michelangelo's famous sculpture. Some Christians with anti-Semitic feelings used such depictions to spread hatred of the Jews, claiming that they were devils with horns.

                          One of the first recorded instances of translation in the West was the rendering of the Old Testament into Greek in the third century B.C.E. The resulting translation is known as the Septuagint, a name that alludes to the seventy translators (seventy-two in some versions) who were commissioned to translate the Bible in Alexandria. Each translator worked in solitary confinement in a separate cell, and legend has it that all seventy versions were identical. The Septuagint became the source text for later translations into many languages, including Latin, Coptic, Armenian and Georgian.

                          Saint Jerome, the patron saint of translation, is still considered one of the greatest translators in history for rendering the Bible into Latin. The Roman Catholic Church used his translation (known as the Vulgate) for centuries, but even this translation at first stirred much controversy.

                          The period preceding and contemporary with the Protestant Reformation saw the translation of the Bible into local European languages, a development that greatly affected Western Christianity's split into Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, due to disparities between Catholic and Protestant versions of crucial words and passages.

                          The Luther Bible in German, Jakub Wujek's bible translation in Polish, and the King James Bible in English had lasting effects on the religions, cultures and languages of those countries.

                          See also: Bible translations and Translation of the Qur'an

                          Fidelity vs. fluency

                          Fidelity (or "faithfulness") and fluency are two qualities that, for millennia, have been regarded as ideals to be striven for in translation, particularly literary translation. Sometimes, especially in inexperienced hands, the two ideals are at odds. Thus a 17th-century French critic quipped about "les belles infidèles" to suggest that translations, like women, could be either beautiful or faithful, but not both at the same time.[16]

                          "Fidelity" pertains to the extent to which a translation accurately renders the meaning of the source text, without adding to or subtracting from it, without emphasizing or de-emphasizing any part of the meaning, and otherwise without distorting it.

                          "Fluency" pertains to the extent to which a translation appears to a native speaker of the target language to have originally been written in that language, and conforms to the language's grammatical, syntactic and idiomatic conventions.

                          A translation that meets the first criterion is said to be a "faithful translation"; a translation that meets the second criterion, an "idiomatic translation". In the hands of an expert translator, the two qualities need not be mutually exclusive.

                          The criteria used to judge the faithfulness of a translation vary according to the subject, the precision of the original contents, the type, function and use of the text, its literary qualities, its social or historical context, and so forth.

                          The criteria for judging the fluency of a translation appear more straightforward: an unidiomatic translation "sounds wrong", and in the extreme case of word-for-word translations generated by many machine-translation systems, often results in patent nonsense with only a humorous value (see Round-trip translation).

                          Nevertheless, in certain contexts a translator may consciously strive to produce a literal translation. Literary translators and translators of religious or historic texts often adhere as closely as possible to the source text. In doing so, they often deliberately stretch the boundaries of the target language to produce an unidiomatic text. Similarly, a literary translator may wish to adopt words or expressions from the source language in order to provide "local color" in the translation.

                          In recent decades, prominent advocates of such "non-fluent" translation have included the French scholar Antoine Berman, who identified twelve deforming tendencies inherent in most prose translations,[17] and the American theorist Lawrence Venuti, who has called upon translators to apply "foreignizing" translation strategies instead of domesticating ones.[18]

                          Many non-fluent-translation theories draw on concepts from German Romanticism, the most obvious influence on latter-day theories of "foreignization" being the German theologian and philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher. In his seminal lecture "On the Different Methods of Translation" (1813) he distinguished between translation methods that move "the writer toward [the reader]", i.e., fluency, and those that move the "reader toward [the author]", i.e., an extreme fidelity to the foreignness of the source text. Schleiermacher clearly favored the latter approach. His preference was motivated, however, not so much by a desire to embrace the foreign, as by a nationalist desire to oppose France's cultural domination and to promote German literature.

                          For the most part, current Western practices in translation are dominated by the concepts of "fidelity" and "fluency". This has not always been the case. There have been periods, especially in pre-Classical Rome and in the 18th century, when many translators stepped beyond the bounds of translation proper into the realm of "adaptation".

                          Adapted translation retains currency in some non-Western traditions. Thus the Indian epic, the Ramayana, appears in many versions in the various Indian languages, and the stories are different in each. Anyone considering the words used for translating into the Indian languages, whether those be Aryan or Dravidian languages, will be struck by the freedom that is granted to the translators.[dubious – discuss] This may relate to a devotion to prophetic passages that strike a deep religious chord, or to a vocation to instruct unbelievers.

                          Similar examples are to be found in medieval Christian literature, which adjusted the text to the customs and values of the audience.


                          The question of fidelity vs. transparency has also been formulated in terms of, respectively, "formal equivalence" and "dynamic equivalence". The latter two expressions are associated with the translator Eugene Nida and were originally coined to describe ways of translating the Bible, but the two approaches are applicable to any translation.

                          "Formal equivalence" corresponds to "metaphrase", and "dynamic equivalence" to "paraphrase".

                          "Dynamic equivalence" (or "functional equivalence") conveys the essential thought expressed in a source text — if necessary, at the expense of literality, original sememe and word order, the source text's active vs. passive voice, etc.

                          By contrast, "formal equivalence" (sought via "literal" translation) attempts to render the text literally, or "word for word" (the latter expression being itself a word-for-word rendering of the classical Latin verbum pro verbo) — if necessary, at the expense of features natural to the target language.

                          There is, however, no sharp boundary between dynamic and formal equivalence. On the contrary, they represent a spectrum of translation approaches. Each is used at various times and in various contexts by the same translator, and at various points within the same text — sometimes simultaneously. Competent translation entails the judicious blending of dynamic and formal equivalents.[19]

                          Common pitfalls in translation, especially when practiced by inexperienced translators, involve false equivalents such as "false friends" and false cognates.


                          A "back-translation" is a translation of a translated text back into the language of the original text, made without reference to the original text. Back-translation is analogous to reversing (or inverting) a mathematical operation; but even in mathematics such a reversal frequently does not produce a value that is precisely identical with the original. In the context of machine translation, a back-translation is also called a "round-trip translation."

                          Comparison of a back-translation to the original text is sometimes used as a quality check on the original translation. But while useful as an approximate check, it is far from infallible.[20] Humorously telling evidence for this was provided by Mark Twain when he issued his own back-translation of a French version of his famous short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"; he published his back-translation in a single 1903 volume together with his English-language original, the French translation, and a "Private History of the 'Jumping Frog' Story," the latter including a synopsized adaptation that Twain tells us had appeared, without attribution to him, in a Professor Sidgwick's Greek Prose Composition (p. 116) under the title, "The Athenian and the Frog," and which for a time, Twain tells us, was taken for an independent ancient Greek precursor of Twain's "Jumping Frog" story.[21]

                          In cases when a historic document survives only in translation, the original having been lost, researchers sometimes undertake back-translation in an effort to reconstruct the original text. An example involves the novel The Saragossa Manuscript by the Polish aristocrat Jan Potocki (1761–1815). The polymath polyglot composed the book entirely in French and published fragments anonymously in 1804 and 1813–14. Portions of the original French-language manuscripts were subsequently lost; the missing fragments survived, however, in a Polish translation that was made by Edmund Chojecki in 1847 from a complete French copy, now lost. French-language versions of the complete Saragossa Manuscript have since been produced, based on extant French-language fragments and on French-language versions that have been back-translated from Chojecki's Polish version.[22]

                          Similarly, when historians suspect that a document is actually a translation from another language, back-translation into that hypothetical original language can provide supporting evidence by showing that such characteristics as idioms, puns, peculiar grammatical structures, etc., are in fact derived from the original language.

                          For example, the known text of the Till Eulenspiegel folk tales is in High German but contains many puns which only work if back-translated into Low German. This seems clear evidence that these tales (or at least large portions of them) were originally composed in Low German and rendered into High German by an over-metaphrastic translator.

                          Similarly, supporters of Aramaic primacy—i.e., of the view that the Christian New Testament or its sources were originally written in the Aramaic language—seek to prove their case by showing that difficult passages in the existing Greek text of the New Testament make much better sense if back-translated into Aramaic—that, for example, some incomprehensible references are in fact Aramaic puns which do not work in Greek.

                          Literary translation

                          Translation of literary works (novels, short stories, plays, poems, etc.) is considered a literary pursuit in its own right. Notable in Canadian literature specifically as translators are figures such as Sheila Fischman, Robert Dickson and Linda Gaboriau, and the Governor General's Awards annually present prizes for the best English-to-French and French-to-English literary translations.

                          Other writers, among many who have made a name for themselves as literary translators, include Vasily Zhukovsky, Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński, Vladimir Nabokov, Jorge Luis Borges, Robert Stiller and Haruki Murakami.


                          The first important translation in the West was that of the Septuagint,[23] a collection of Jewish Scriptures translated into Koine Greek in Alexandria between the 3rd and 1st centuries BCE. The dispersed Jews had forgotten their ancestral language and needed Greek versions (translations) of their Scriptures.

                          Throughout the Middle Ages, Latin was the lingua franca of the western learned world. The 9th-century Alfred the Great, king of Wessex in England, was far ahead of his time in commissioning vernacular Anglo-Saxon translations of Bede's Ecclesiastical History and Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy. Meanwhile the Christian Church frowned on even partial adaptations of the standard Latin Bible, St. Jerome's Vulgate of ca. 384 CE.[24]

                          In Asia, the spread of Buddhism led to large-scale ongoing translation efforts spanning well over a thousand years. The Tangut Empire was especially efficient in such efforts; exploiting the then newly-invented block printing, and with the full support of the government (contemporary sources describe the Emperor and his mother personally contributing to the translation effort, alongside sages of various nationalities), the Tanguts took mere decades to translate volumes that had taken the Chinese centuries to render.

                          Large-scale efforts at translation were undertaken by the Arabs. Having conquered the Greek world, they made Arabic versions of its philosophical and scientific works. During the Middle Ages, some translations of these Arabic versions were made into Latin, chiefly at Córdoba in Spain.[25] Such Latin translations of Greek and original Arab works of scholarship and science helped advance the development of European Scholasticism.

                          The broad historic trends in Western translation practice may be illustrated on the example of translation into the English language.

                          The first fine translations into English were made in the 14th century by Geoffrey Chaucer, who adapted from the Italian of Giovanni Boccaccio in his own Knight's Tale and Troilus and Criseyde; began a translation of the French-language Roman de la Rose; and completed a translation of Boethius from the Latin. Chaucer founded an English poetic tradition on adaptations and translations from those earlier-established literary languages.[25]

                          The first great English translation was the Wycliffe Bible (ca. 1382), which showed the weaknesses of an underdeveloped English prose. Only at the end of the 15th century did the great age of English prose translation begin with Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur—an adaptation of Arthurian romances so free that it can, in fact, hardly be called a true translation. The first great Tudor translations are, accordingly, the Tyndale New Testament (1525), which influenced the Authorized Version (1611), and Lord Berners' version of Jean Froissart's Chronicles (1523–25).[25]

                          Meanwhile, in Renaissance Italy, a new period in the history of translation had opened in Florence with the arrival, at the court of Cosimo de' Medici, of the Byzantine scholar Georgius Gemistus Pletho shortly before the fall of Constantinople to the Turks (1453). A Latin translation of Plato's works was undertaken by Marsilio Ficino. This and Erasmus' Latin edition of the New Testament led to a new attitude to translation. For the first time, readers demanded rigor of rendering, as philosophical and religious beliefs depended on the exact words of Plato, Aristotle and Jesus.[25]

                          Non-scholarly literature, however, continued to rely on adaptation. France's Pléiade, England's Tudor poets, and the Elizabethan translators adapted themes by Horace, Ovid, Petrarch and modern Latin writers, forming a new poetic style on those models. The English poets and translators sought to supply a new public, created by the rise of a middle class and the development of printing, with works such as the original authors would have written, had they been writing in England in that day.[25]

                          The Elizabethan period of translation saw considerable progress beyond mere paraphrase toward an ideal of stylistic equivalence, but even to the end of this period—which actually reached to the middle of the 17th century—there was no concern for verbal accuracy.[26]

                          In the second half of the 17th century, the poet John Dryden sought to make Virgil speak "in words such as he would probably have written if he were living and an Englishman". Dryden, however, discerned no need to emulate the Roman poet's subtlety and concision. Similarly, Homer suffered from Alexander Pope's endeavor to reduce the Greek poet's "wild paradise" to order.[26]

                          Throughout the 18th century, the watchword of translators was ease of reading. Whatever they did not understand in a text, or thought might bore readers, they omitted. They cheerfully assumed that their own style of expression was the best, and that texts should be made to conform to it in translation. For scholarship they cared no more than had their predecessors, and they did not shrink from making translations from translations in third languages, or from languages that they hardly knew, or—as in the case of James Macpherson's "translations" of Ossian—from texts that were actually of the "translator's" own composition.[26]

                          The 19th century brought new standards of accuracy and style. In regard to accuracy, observes J.M. Cohen, the policy became "the text, the whole text, and nothing but the text", except for any bawdy passages and the addition of copious explanatory footnotes.[27] In regard to style, the Victorians' aim, achieved through far-reaching metaphrase (literality) or pseudo-metaphrase, was to constantly remind readers that they were reading a foreign classic. An exception was the outstanding translation in this period, Edward FitzGerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1859), which achieved its Oriental flavor largely by using Persian names and discreet Biblical echoes and actually drew little of its material from the Persian original.[26]

                          In advance of the 20th century, a new pattern was set in 1871 by Benjamin Jowett, who translated Plato into simple, straightforward language. Jowett's example was not followed, however, until well into the new century, when accuracy rather than style became the principal criterion.[26]


                          Poetry presents special challenges to translators, given the importance of a text's formal aspects, in addition to its content. In his influential 1959 paper "On Linguistic Aspects of Translation", the Russian-born linguist and semiotician Roman Jakobson went so far as to declare that "poetry by definition [is] untranslatable".

                          In 1974 the American poet James Merrill wrote a poem, "Lost in Translation", which in part explores this idea. The question was also discussed in Douglas Hofstadter's 1997 book, Le Ton beau de Marot; he argues that a good translation of a poem must convey as much as possible not only of its literal meaning, but of its form and structure (meter, rhyme or alliteration scheme, etc.).[28]

                          Sung texts

                          Translation of a text that is sung in vocal music for the purpose of singing in another language — sometimes called "singing translation" — is closely linked to translation of poetry because most vocal music, at least in the Western tradition, is set to verse, especially verse in regular patterns with rhyme. (Since the late 19th century, musical setting of prose and free verse has also been practiced in some art music, though popular music tends to remain conservative in its retention of stanzaic forms with or without refrains.) A rudimentary example of translating poetry for singing is church hymns, such as the German chorales translated into English by Catherine Winkworth.[29]

                          Translation of sung texts is generally much more restrictive than translation of poetry, because in the former there is little or no freedom to choose between a versified translation and a translation that dispenses with verse structure. One might modify or omit rhyme in a singing translation, but the assignment of syllables to specific notes in the original musical setting places great challenges on the translator. There is the option in prose sung texts, less so in verse, of adding or deleting a syllable here and there by subdividing or combining notes, respectively, but even with prose the process is almost like strict verse translation because of the need to stick as closely as possible to the original prosody of the sung melodic line.

                          Other considerations in writing a singing translation include repetition of words and phrases, the placement of rests and/or punctuation, the quality of vowels sung on high notes, and rhythmic features of the vocal line that may be more natural to the original language than to the target language. A sung translation may be considerably or completely different from the original, thus resulting in a contrafactum.

                          Translations of sung texts — whether of the above type meant to be sung or of a more or less literal type meant to be read — are also used as aids to audiences, singers and conductors, when a work is being sung in a language not known to them. The most familiar types are translations presented as subtitles projected during opera performances, those inserted into concert programs, and those that accompany commercial audio CDs of vocal music. In addition, professional and amateur singers often sing works in languages they do not know (or do not know well), and translations are then used to enable them to understand the meaning of the words they are singing.



                          A competent translator has the following qualities:

                          • familiarity with the subject matter of the text being translated;
                          • a very good knowledge of the language, written and spoken, from which he is translating (the source language);
                          • an excellent command of the language into which he is translating (the target language);
                          • a profound understanding of the etymological and idiomatic correlates between the two languages; and
                          • a finely tuned sense of when to metaphrase ("translate literally") and when to paraphrase, so as to assure true rather than spurious equivalents between the source- and target-language texts.[30]


                          A common misconception is that anyone who can speak a second language will make a good translator. In the translation community, it is generally accepted that the best translations are produced by persons who are translating into their own native languages,[14] as it is rare for someone who has learned a second language to have total fluency in that language. A good translator understands the source language well, has specific experience in the subject matter of the text, and is a good writer in the target language. Moreover, he is not only bilingual but bicultural.

                          As with other human activities, the distinction between art and craft may be largely a matter of degree.[31] Even a document which appears simple, e.g. a product brochure, requires a certain level of linguistic skill that goes beyond mere technical terminology. Any material used for marketing purposes reflects on the company that produces the product and the brochure. The best translations are obtained through the combined application of good technical-terminology skills and good writing skills.

                          Translation has served as a writing school for many prominent writers. Translators, including monks who spread Buddhist texts in East Asia and the early modern European translators of the Bible, in the course of their work have shaped the very languages into which they have translated. They have acted as bridges for conveying knowledge and ideas between cultures and civilizations. Along with ideas, they have imported, into their own languages, loanwords and calques of grammatical structures, idioms and vocabulary from the source languages.


                          Main article: Interpreting

                          Interpreting, or "interpretation," is the intellectual activity that consists of facilitating oral or sign-language communication, either simultaneously or consecutively, between two or among three or more speakers who are not speaking, or signing, the same language.

                          The words "interpreting" and "interpretation" both can be used to refer to this activity; the word "interpreting" is commonly used in the profession and in the translation-studies field to avoid confusion with other meanings of the word "interpretation."

                          Not all languages employ, as English does, two separate words to denote the activities of written and live-communication (oral or sign-language) translators.[32] Even English does not always make the distinction, frequently using "translation" as a synonym of "interpreting."

                          Machine translation

                          Machine translation (MT) is a procedure whereby a computer program analyzes a source text and produces a target text without further human intervention. In reality, however, machine translation typically does involve human intervention, in the form of pre-editing and post-editing. An exception to that rule might be, e.g., the translation of technical specifications (strings of technical terms and adjectives), using a dictionary-based machine-translation system.

                          To date, machine translation—a major goal of natural-language processing—has met with limited success. A November 6, 2007, example illustrates the hazards of uncritical reliance on machine translation.[33]

                          Machine translation has been brought to a large public by tools available on the Internet, such as Yahoo!'s Babel Fish, Babylon, and StarDict. These tools produce a "gisting translation" — a rough translation that, with luck, "gives the gist" of the source text.

                          With proper terminology work, with preparation of the source text for machine translation (pre-editing), and with re-working of the machine translation by a professional human translator (post-editing), commercial machine-translation tools can produce useful results, especially if the machine-translation system is integrated with a translation-memory or globalization-management system.[34]

                          In regard to texts with limited ranges of vocabulary and simple sentence structure (e.g., weather reports), machine translation can deliver results that do not require much human intervention to be useful. Also, the use of a controlled language, combined with a machine-translation tool, will typically generate largely comprehensible translations.

                          Relying exclusively on unedited machine translation ignores the fact that communication in human language is context-embedded and that it takes a person to comprehend the context of the original text with a reasonable degree of probability. It is certainly true that even purely human-generated translations are prone to error. Therefore, to ensure that a machine-generated translation will be useful to a human being and that publishable-quality translation is achieved, such translations must be reviewed and edited by a human.[35] Claude Piron wrote that machine translation, at its best, automates the easier part of a translator's job; the harder and more time-consuming part usually involves doing extensive research to resolve ambiguities in the source text, which the grammatical and lexical exigencies of the target language require to be resolved.[36] Such research is a necessary prelude to the pre-editing necessary in order to provide input for machine-translation software such that the output will not be meaningless.[37]


                          Computer-assisted translation (CAT), also called "computer-aided translation," "machine-aided human translation" (MAHT) and "interactive translation," is a form of translation wherein a human translator creates a target text with the assistance of a computer program. The machine supports a human translator.

                          Computer-assisted translation can include standard dictionary and grammar software. The term, however, normally refers to a range of specialized programs available to the translator, including translation-memory, terminology-management, concordance, and alignment programs.

                          With the internet, translation software can help non-native-speaking individuals understand web pages published in other languages. Whole-page-translation tools are of limited utility, however, since they offer only a limited potential understanding of the original author's intent and context; translated pages tend to be more humorous and confusing than enlightening.

                          Interactive translations with pop-up windows are becoming more popular. These tools show one or more possible equivalents for each word or phrase. Human operators merely need to select the likeliest equivalent as the mouse glides over the foreign-language text. Possible equivalents can be grouped by pronunciation.


                          1. ^ Christopher Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", The Polish Review, vol. XXVIII, no. 2, 1983, pp. 84-87.
                          2. ^ J.M. Cohen, "Translation", Encyclopedia Americana, 1986, vol. 27, p. 12.
                          3. ^ Andrew Wilson. Translators on Translating: Inside the Invisible Art. CCSP Press: Vancouver, 2009.
                          4. ^ Snell-Hornby, M. (2006). The turns of translation studies: new paradigms or shifting viewpoints? Philadelphia: John Benjamins, p. 133
                          5. ^ Hutchins, W. J. (2000). Early years in machine translation: memoirs and biographies of pioneers. Amsterdam: John Benjamins
                          6. ^ a b Christopher Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", p. 83.
                          7. ^ Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", p. 83.
                          8. ^ a b c d e f Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", p. 84.
                          9. ^ Typically, analytic languages.
                          10. ^ Typically, synthetic languages.
                          11. ^ a b Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", p. 85.
                          12. ^ Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", pp. 85-86.
                          13. ^ L.G. Kelly, cited in Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", p. 86.
                          14. ^ a b Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", p. 86.
                          15. ^ Cited by Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", p. 87, from Ignacy Krasicki, "O tłumaczeniu ksiąg" ("On Translating Books"), in Dzieła wierszem i prozą (Works in Verse and Prose), 1803, reprinted in Edward Balcerzan, ed., Pisarze polscy o sztuce przekładu, 1440–1974: Antologia (Polish Writers on the Art of Translation, 1440–1974: an Anthology), p. 79.
                          16. ^ The comparison was first used by the French philosopher and writer Gilles Ménage (1613-1692), who commented on the translations of the humanist Perrot Nicolas d'Ablancourt (1606-1664) and stated, "Elles me rappellent une femme que j'ai beaucoup aimé à Tours, et qui était belle mais infidèle". Quoted in Amparo Hurtado Albir, La notion de fidélité en traduction, Paris, Didier Érudition, 1990, p. 231.
                          17. ^ Antoine Berman, L'épreuve de l'étranger, 1984.
                          18. ^ Lawrence Venuti, "Call to Action", in The Translator's Invisibility, 1994.
                          19. ^ Christopher Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", pp. 83-87.
                          20. ^ Crystal, Scott. "Back Translation: Same questions – different continent" (PDF). Communicate (London: Association of Translation Companies) (Winter 2004): 5. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
                          21. ^ Mark Twain, The Jumping Frog: In English, Then in French, and Then Clawed Back into a Civilized Language Once More by Patient, Unremunerated Toil, illustrated by F. Strothman, New York and London, Harper & Brothers, Publishers, MCMIII [1903].
                          22. ^ Czesław Miłosz, The History of Polish Literature, pp. 193–94.
                          23. ^ J.M. Cohen, p. 12.
                          24. ^ J.M Cohen, pp. 12-13.
                          25. ^ a b c d e J.M. Cohen, p. 13.
                          26. ^ a b c d e J.M. Cohen, p. 14.
                          27. ^ For instance, Henry Benedict Mackey's translation of St. Francis de Sales's "Treatise on the Love of God" consistently omits the saint's analogies comparing God to a nursing mother, references to Bible stories such as the rape of Tamar, and so forth.
                          28. ^ A discussion of Hofstadter's otherwise latitudinarian views on translation is found in Tony Dokoupil, "Translation: Pardon My French: You Suck at This," Newsweek, May 18, 2009, p. 10.
                          29. ^ For another example of poetry translation, including translation of sung texts, see Rhymes from Russia.
                          30. ^ *Christopher Kasparek, "Prus' Pharaoh and Curtin's Translation," The Polish Review, vol. XXXI, nos. 2–3 (1986), p. 135.
                          31. ^ At the dawn of European thought about art, such a distinction would have been thought ludicrous. The word art derives from the Latin ars, which was a translation of the Greek τέχνη (technē). Technē in Greece—ars in Rome and in the Middle Ages, and even as late as the Renaissance—meant skill. It was the skill to make an object, a house, a statue, a ship, but also the skill to command an army, measure a field, sway an audience. All these skills were called arts: the art of the architect, the geometrician, the rhetorician. A skill rests upon a knowledge of rules; there was no art without rules: the architect's art has its rules, which are different from those of the sculptor, the general, the geometrician, the rhetorician. Doing anything without rules, merely from inspiration or fantasy, was not, to the ancients or to the Scholastics, art: it was the antithesis of art. When, in earlier centuries, the Greeks had thought that poetry sprang from inspiration by Muses, they had not reckoned it with the arts. Władysław Tatarkiewicz, A History of Six Ideas, pp. 11-13.
                          32. ^ For example, in Polish, a "translation" is "przekład" or "tłumaczenie." Both "translator" and "interpreter" are "tłumacz." For a time in the 18th century, however, for "translator," some writers used a word, "przekładowca," that is no longer in use. Edward Balcerzan, Pisarze polscy o sztuce przekładu, 1440–1974: Antologia (Polish Writers on the Art of Translation, 1440–1974: an Anthology), 1977, passim.
                          33. ^ Journalists' junket to the Netherlands gets lost in translation Jerusalem Post
                          34. ^ Vashee, Kirti (2007). "Statistical machine translation and translation memory: An integration made in heaven!". ClientSide News Magazine 7 (6): 18–20.
                          35. ^ J.M. Cohen observes (p.14): "Scientific translation is the aim of an age that would reduce all activities to techniques. It is impossible however to imagine a literary-translation machine less complex than the human brain itself, with all its knowledge, reading, and discrimination."
                          36. ^ Claude Piron, Le défi des langues (The Language Challenge), Paris, L'Harmattan, 1994.
                          37. ^ See the annually performed NIST tests since 2001 and Bilingual Evaluation Understudy


                            The truth of the matter is that as far as academic accreditation of translation skills, HGL couldn't hold Burton Watson's jockstrap. This is a fact that is objectively indisputable.

                            Burton Watson

                            From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                            Burton Watson (born 1925) is an accomplished translator of Chinese and Japanese literature and poetry. He has received awards including the Gold Medal Award of the Translation Center at Columbia University in 1979, the PEN Translation Prize in 1981 for his translation with Hiroaki Sato of From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry, and again in 1995 for Selected Poems of Su Tung-p'o.

                            Watson was born in New Rochelle, New York. He dropped out of high school at age 17 to join the Navy in 1943 and was stationed on repair vessels in the South Pacific. His first experiences in Japan came of weekly shore leaves when he was stationed on a ship at Yokosuka Harbor in 1945. Subsequently, he majored in Chinese and Japanese studies at Columbia University. In 1951 he returned to Kyoto, this time as a Ford Foundation Overseas Fellow. In 1956 he completed a dissertation on Sima Qian, earning a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He worked as an English teacher at Doshisha University in Kyoto, as a research assistant to Yoshikawa Kōjirō, who was Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at Kyoto University, and as a member of Ruth Fuller Sasaki's team translating Buddhist texts into English. He has also taught at Stanford and Columbia as a professor of Chinese. He moved to Japan in 1973, where he remains to this day, and has devoted much of his time to translation.

                            Notable translations include:

                            Late Poems of Lu You, Ahadada Books, 2007.
                            Analects of Confucius , 2007
                            The Tale of the Heike, 2006
                            For All My Walking: Free-Verse Haiku of Taneda Santōka with Excerpts from His Diaries, 2004
                            The Selected Poems of Du Fu, 2002
                            The Wild Geese (Gan, by Mori Ōgai), 1995
                            Selected Poems of Su Tung-Po, (Copper Canyon Press, 1994)
                            The Lotus Sutra, 1993
                            Records of the Grand Historian: Han Dynasty, 1992
                            Saigyō: Poems of a Mountain Home, 1991
                            The Tso Chuan: Selections from China’s Oldest Narrative History, 1989
                            The Flower of Chinese Buddhism (Zoku Watakushi no Bukkyō-kan, by Ikeda Daisaku), 1984
                            Grass Hill: Poems and Prose by the Japanese Monk Gensei, 1983
                            Ryōkan: Zen Monk-Poet of Japan, 1977
                            Buddhism: The First Millennium (Watakushi no Bukkyō-kan, by Ikeda Daisaku), 1977
                            The Living Buddha (Watakushi no Shakuson-kan, by Ikeda Daisaku), 1976
                            Cold Mountain: 100 Poems by the T’ang Poet Han-Shan, 1970
                            The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu, 1968
                            Records of the Grand Historian of China, 1961

                            Much of Burton Watson's translations have been published through the Columbia University Press.

                            He and colleague Professor Donald Keene frequently attend and participate in the seminars of William Theodore de Bary given to students at Columbia University.


                              "And yet, though one might point at the earth and miss it, though one might bind up the sky, though the tides might cease to ebb and flow and the sun rise in the west, it could never come about that the prayers of the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra would go unanswered."

                              (On Prayer - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol.1, page 345) Selection source: "Kyo no Hosshin", Seikyo Shimbun, February 17th, 2010


                                "Having a noble purpose in life causes limitless strength to arise from within."

                                SGI Newsletter No. 7934, The New Human Revolution--Vol. 23: Chap. 1, The Future 45, translated Feb. 16th, 2010