Dharma Wheel

A Buddhist discussion forum on Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism
It is currently Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:13 am

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 2327
Location: the Netherlands and India
From time to time I get PMs from people interested in my job as a translator(I still very much consider myself a translator in the formation period!), why I felt attracted to this type of work, and how I went about training myself. I decided to post a few links about this for people who are interested.

An interview with the translator of Garchen Rinpoche who also is working on written translations from certain portions of the Kangyur as part of the 84000 project. She is a graduate of the same translator school as I am. She talks about the challenge presented in translating the Kangyur, and why she decided to start studying Sanskrit in order to more successfully present translations of the more difficult sutras. She mentions about how she supports herself in this work.
http://84000.co/up-close-with-a-translator-ina-bieler/


Alex Berzin talks about his experiences a little bit here.
http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ab ... dhism.html

_________________
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:31 am 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Posts: 5986
Location: Taiwan
Interesting interview. Thanks for sharing.

While I don't know much Tibetan (in the future I plan to study it intensely when the conditions allow), I translate Chinese and have found that above all else when translating anything related to Buddhism you need to know the vocabulary and jargon. The grammar in Classical Buddhist Chinese texts is normally rather simple with the word order being primary (this in contrast to Indic languages where conjugation, declensions and cases are key), though all the technical vocabulary needs to be understood both in its Indic and Chinese contexts (in the latter this often varies according to the time period as well). In the treatises by natives you see vague allusions to the Chinese classics which for educated native readers is readily understood, but for someone like me I found I had to read many of the Confucian classics to firmly understand the meaning.

Translating is a highly educational experience. You really get into the meat of texts and come to understand every little feature about them.

It is also a humbling experience when you see all your past silly mistakes, or when others point them out. :smile:

_________________
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog) Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog) Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog) Dharma Depository (Site)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 2327
Location: the Netherlands and India
Yes understanding the vocabulary and jargon is extremely important, especially when translating texts.

I have to admit that in the year and a half since I have graduated I have focused on oral translation and have not yet tried my hand at translating texts, with the exception of some Vinaya outlines that weren't available in English and were required for a course Geshe Sonam was teaching.

From that limited experience it seems to me that oral and written translation require different sets of skills. Certainly written translation requires precision in terms of vocabulary and grammar that is not required as much in oral interpreting, except when dealing with the more technical topics. Also, one has more time to really polish the translation whereas in oral interpreting you are a bit on the spot. I try to stay as accurate to the Geshe's words as possible,while at the same time being aware of the meaning he is trying to convey.

I agree that translation can be very humbling. It is good for a poke at your self-cherishing. I have had both the geshe and the audience laugh at me at different points, and it is amazing how one gets used to it. I am now at the point where I even find such instances funny myself, rather than terrifying as I did in the beginning.

The role of "teacher" was never something I was never comfortable with as I am not able to embody the example of the teachings. So in this way translation is perfect for a flawed person like me to be able to contribute to the dharma in at least some way.

_________________
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group