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Pali vs. English - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Pali vs. English

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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tobes
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby tobes » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:52 am


chownah
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby chownah » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:13 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: Pali vs. English

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chownah
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby chownah » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:26 pm


PeterB
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby PeterB » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:40 pm

You are I suspect missing an important point.. Its not simply a matter of translating individual words...it is about access to a whole world view that Pali was created in a fairly artificial way to address.
English or any other modern European language has evolved for purposes that are far removed in kind and in intent.
Ajahn Amaro has spoken of the fact that time after time Insights that arise in meditation practice have already been anticipated by the Pali terms... which have no european equivalent, and often a westerner will only discover that in retrospect. That the terms were already waiting for her/him.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:48 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: Pali vs. English

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mikenz66
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:12 pm

This is an interesting thread. It seems to me that knowledge of Pali is very useful. However, knowing a language is a lot more than simply reading a dictionary, and it seems to me that it is very difficult to appreciate the subtleties of meaning of words in different contexts (and sankhāra is an excellent example) without in-depth study. Lacking such detailed knowledge I am totally reliant on the work of translators who have read significant portions of the Canon in forming a view on such things.

:anjali:
Mike

rowyourboat
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:31 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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tiltbillings
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Re: Pali vs. English

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mikenz66
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Re: Pali vs. English

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retrofuturist
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:22 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

chownah
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby chownah » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:29 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: Pali vs. English

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tiltbillings
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:38 am


Nicro
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby Nicro » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:07 am

I think the big thing with Pali or any language is that it won't translate perfectly. Thats the reason Muslims don't consider anything the Qur'an unless it is in Arabic. Words can have implied meanings, allude to other things, plus just the natural flow of the words and sentence structure can change how you understand and view something. Language shapes the way we view the world.

Look at this for example:


PeterB
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby PeterB » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:23 am

Just to clarify one point Chownah..I hardly ever quote from books. The reference to Ajahn Amaro was from a talk he gave at which i was present, and the context was quite clear. He was saying that that which we experience in meditation has already been in fairly fine brush strokes anticipated by the Pali. That even when experiencing highly refined states in meditation we are likely to find that there is a complex technical term which describes what we are experincing. There is for example a Pali term for an involuntary drawing back from Insight due to fear of depersonalisation. There is another for drawing back from Insight due to residual lust.
Whatever the process by which Pali was formed it came into being as a result of deep realisation. It is the result of practice. of first hand seeing.
This carries no implication that a depth knowledge of the terminology can some how short circuit the arising of Insight.
It can though and does confirm that Insight. It can and does provide a means of communication of subtleties between practitioners or between retreatant and teacher, which is far more laborious and erratic in any modern European language.

PeterB
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby PeterB » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:24 am


chownah
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby chownah » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:23 am


PeterB
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Re: Pali vs. English

Postby PeterB » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:26 am

Do you actually attend retreats Chownah ? No need to answer if its too personal.


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