Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Studying Existing Translations

A lot about learning a language is to examine patterns and get used to them. Looking at existing translations, side by side with the originals and English, is a good way to get to see the patterns over and over, and internalize them over time. It's Ok if you only even recognize a single pa or ma here and there, and yes, there's a yin and yod, and OK, that's a stong pa nyid (emptiness), and so on.

Here are some suggestions about books and online material I've seen that has Tibetan and English listed on the same pages, or side by side.

One book with the Tibetan on the left side and English on the right is Cyrus Stearns translation of an important Lamdre text, the book in English is called Luminous Lives. This is about the lineage masters of Lamdre, an important system in the Sakya tradition. Going through this you get a good grasp of the Sakya style literature. The other nice thing with this book is that the annotations (that many commentaries have) are listed in both Tibetan and English with a lighter font, so you get a feeling how comments are interspersed with the original text.

As for online texts, there are many, but you could spend a long time going through the Asian Classics Institute translated text materials, the readings, for example the Lo Jong material with a full translation of the Wheel of Sharp Weapons, both Tibetan and English is provided. Or as we are going through the introduction of chapter 4, you could take a look at the readings for ACI course V, karma, that has parts of the Abhidharma-kosha as well as Gendun Drup's commentary listed.

Anyway, pick something you are really interested in, and try to follow along the Tibetan text and see how it was translated. Even small words here and there will build up the vocabulary. And as usually, it's the long term that counts, every day a little bit is much better than a massive attempt every six months for a short time.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

hi kent

you november 22 2005 post about translations has a broken link. the lojong material and other aci stuff is here now: http://www.acidharma.org/aci/index.html