Translation of Vietnamese, ideas/help?

Translation of Vietnamese, ideas/help?

Postby Hickersonia » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:02 pm

Well, I've been going to this Vietnamese temple for about half a year now and I've managed to pick up a number of phrases in Vietnamese, but I guess I just haven't been able to find the resources to do a lot of accurate translating "in bulk."

I've acquired a book that appears to be a sutra collection, but I can't really get a grasp on what is written. Google Translate is not particularly helpful in this case, and I think the people at the temple are far too busy to help me translate it page by page (and I really would feel bad asking).

Just to demonstrate what I'm getting from Google Translate (selected at random):

Nam mô a rị da, bà lô kiết đế, thước bàn ra dạ, ta bà ha.

Turns into:
Male model a ri, three fetters lot to the table size stomach, she ha.


The above is not even necessarily the strangest result I've gotten from a similar sample size... for instance, the word for Dharma (Pháp) will nearly always translate as "France" unless I put the word for Buddha (Phât) immediately prior to it. *confused* Oddly, this is almost never how I see it used in the book I have, but I sincerely doubt we're chanting about France for an hour. LOL

Clearly I'm missing a lot of context on how the words are used in Vietnamese...

Is a printed Vietnamese to English dictionary going to be any more accurate, or is that exactly the sort of material that Google Translate is pulling it's results from?

Oddly, resources in Pali / English translation are far more easy to come by than Vietnamese / English, so there really isn't any particular shortage of teachings I'm able to read, but I'd really love to get more out of my time at temple, even if it is only through private study afterward.

Any ideas are welcome. Thanks in advance, friends. :)
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throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

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Re: Translation of Vietnamese, ideas/help?

Postby vinodh » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:16 pm

Hickersonia wrote:
Nam mô a rị da, bà lô kiết đế, thước bàn ra dạ, ta bà ha.

Turns into:
Male model a ri, three fetters lot to the table size stomach, she ha.



The above is not actually Vietnamese. But Sanskrit transliterated into Vietnamese characters.

The original Sanskrit (possibly) is: Namo Arya Avalokiteshvaraaya Svaha (Homage to the Noble Avalokitesvara, Svaha !)

You should back-transliterate the Vietnamese into Sanskrit and then attempt to find the meaning.

I am not sure, why you are attempting to translate Mantras though !

V
http://www.virtualvinodh.com

yo dharmaṁ paśyati, sa buddhaṁ paśyati

One who sees the Dharma, sees the Buddha
śālistamba sūtra

na pudgalo na ca skandhā buddho jñānamanāsravam
sadāśāntiṁ vibhāvitvā gacchāmi śaraṇaṁ hyaham

Neither a person nor the aggregates, the Buddha, is knowledge free from [evil] outflows
Clearly perceiving [him] to be eternally serene, I go for refuge [in him]
saddharma-laṅkāvatāra-sūtra
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Re: Translation of Vietnamese, ideas/help?

Postby Seishin » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:41 pm

Google translate isn't great especially for transliterated words. Although I can't speak, read nor understand Vietnamese, the first part looks like the start of a mantra, so after a little bit of Google search I found it;- The Shurangama Mantra http://fofaseng.org/index.php?pr=Mantras
http://www.dharmasite.net/bdh40/ChuDaiBi.html

Nam mo = Namo in sanskrit (Praise/homage/take refuge)
a ri da = Arya in sanskrit (noble)
bà lô kiết đế = I think is Avalokite but I might be wrong!
thước bàn ra dạ = not sure possibly "fully enlightened"
Ta ba ha = svaha in sanskrit

Hope that helps
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Re: Translation of Vietnamese, ideas/help?

Postby Hickersonia » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:41 pm

Awesome! :)

I suppose that is a huge part of the problem for me, as I had no idea they were "porting" Sanskrit into the mix (I have studied no Sanskrit, only Pali, so I have no frame of reference to even start to realize that on my own).

Without knowing that, I would have had no idea that this was likely part of a mantra.

I suppose I'll have to start learning a little Sanskrit! Ha! :)

Thank you both very much for your insights!
Hickersonia
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"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

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Re: Translation of Vietnamese, ideas/help?

Postby plwk » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:48 pm

In case you have future matters on language/translation, there's a subforum for language where any language/translation expert can assist you further there. As the subforum states on the main page: This is a space for inquiries about various languages, translations, or anything else related to language.
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Re: Translation of Vietnamese, ideas/help?

Postby Hickersonia » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:17 pm

plwk wrote:In case you have future matters on language/translation, there's a subforum for language where any language/translation expert can assist you further there. As the subforum states on the main page: This is a space for inquiries about various languages, translations, or anything else related to language.

Thanks. I think I put it here because the temple is associated with Pure Land, but I suppose that would have been more appropriate.
Hickersonia
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"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

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