Filed in Theravada

Found in Translation

How do you take an ancient text written in a dead language and reveal its wisdom to the English-speaking world? Pali Scholar Dr. Peter Masefield discusses the toil and exhilaration of translating the Buddha's words with Stephen A. Evans.

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© Stephen A. EvansYour specialty has been translating the commentaries. How many commentaries have you translated? Four. However, I should also add that it is normal when translating a commentary that the sutta upon which it is commenting also needs to be translated afresh, since any existing English translation of the sutta may not have taken its commentary into consideration.

If the canonical text was translated without the commentary, then the translation may not be perfect?
Because only a handful out of the commentaries have so far been translated into English, it may be that many of the translations that we take for granted may not always fully accord with the explanations found in the commentaries.

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