Huseng wrote:College de France does not hold a monopoly on Buddhology.
Maybe not for you but it hosts the best visiting scholars in the field. So I guess the CdeF is indeed a more than pretty good reference on Buddhology.
Also, as I said above, not all Chinese translations were translations of Sanskrit, so you cannot compare them against Sanskrit texts.
Sanskrit or whatever, it does not change the fact that the chinese "method" was not that of translations but adaptations to the chinese mind. It's no wonder one cannot re-construct an original from the chinese, in particular because of their so-called editorial committees. Please read Jungnok's book, this will enlighten your week-end.
Moreover, many of the original texts which translators in China used are no longer extant.
This is not the problem. The problem is the method used in order to sinicize materials. THis is also the reason why, when one reads an original indian text (no matter its language) and its chinese translation one has the feeling of reading two different texts. This is not the case with tibetan translations though.
The basis for comparisons modern scholars use are often Sanskrit manuscripts found in Nepal, which postdate by many centuries anything the Chinese possessed (the Chinese never maintained a tradition of studying Indic languages, so most Indic manuscripts were not preserved).
This is not the case as you would know if you had attended the past ten years courses at CdeF. And this does not change anything: if you look at probable original candidates for chinese translations, these are simply "renderings" not translations faithful to the letter and the spirit. The chinese language is responsible of that, not to mention the methods of translations which are pretty weird to say the least. The best you can say is that these are "adaptations".
Tibetan translations are by far superior to anything that was translated into Chinese, Gandhari or else.
My point was that any language translated into chinese by the methods used by chinese translators will end up in something that is different from the original, be it in gandhari, sanskrit, papou, eskimo, whatever. As far as dharma is concerned Tibetan translations are by far more reliable.
No, it isn't because I am male,
I sincerly doubt it. You had to bring bullocks into the discourse, that's typically a male-threatened reaction...Mods or not...
it is because you are making gross generalizations and I feel obliged to confront you on them.
You don't confront anybody here, you just show you have bias because you feel threatened in your field. You should learn tibetan and compare translations, see which is conveying the message in its form and spirit without conditioning them to cultural limitations.
I've studied Tibetan and looked at the history of how they crafted language suitable for translations, though I don't read it.
Then you should improve your knowledge of the theory of translation and deepen your access to tibetan translations, you'll see the difference.
My issues are more with your gross generalizations of the Chinese language, which strike me as oldschool orientalist.
My issues are more with your patriotic defense of a language which most buddhologists recognized as deficient and inadequate for carrying the subtleties of buddhist thought.
Your belief in the reliability of chinese translation is not a gross generalization, it's a ridicule one.
Very literal translations that focus on reproducing the fine semantics of the source language end up unreadable with only specialists giving them high appraisals while general readers are left in the dark.
it's not a question of literal translations, it's a question of respecting the message and the words in which it was conveyed. Both these requirements are deficient in chinese translations of buddhist texts.
No, my issue is with your gross generalizations of a Chinese Buddhist canon which formed over a millennium.
It may have been formed as early or as late as you want. This is not the point. The point is that the chinese language lacks subtleties for carrying the teachings. THe method of translations are also more than arguable.
Yes, some translators made critical mistakes (Jan Nattier in her research points this out), but that does not render the whole canon inferior to what Tibetans later produced.
It definitely does when you take into account how the chinese translations were done.
The Chinese language is able to convey Dharma just as well as any other language.
Nope, that's your bias. THis is not the opinion of sanskritists and tibetologists working in the field of buddhology (especially those, probably younger than you, who know all the concerned lanugages and are in a better position than you to formulate educated opinions. Read Jungnok's book, you are probably going to have some surprises...