yuuichi

Why aren’t important Daoist texts being translated into english?

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Posted (edited)

I know about 100 daoist texts in the public domain that i’m interested in and it’s likely they will never be translated into english.

 

This is because the cheapest rate of translation from chinese to english (cheapest doesn’t mean quality) would mean I would have to pay about 3,000 dollars to have all 100 daoist texts translated. I can afford to pay only about 5% of that because I’m quite poor. The 100 daoist texts contain about 300,000 characters, and the cheapest rate of translating that many characters would equal 3,000 dollars.

 

Seriously, there are thousands of daoist texts out there, and barely none of them have been translated into english, except very few (zhuangzi, daodejing, etc). 

Edited by yuuichi

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On 4/7/2019 at 3:41 AM, yuuichi said:

The 100 daoist texts contain about 300,000 characters, and the cheapest rate of translating that many characters would equal 3,000 dollars.

Thats just 30 ppl and only $100 each. just saying

On 4/7/2019 at 3:41 AM, yuuichi said:

 

Seriously, there are thousands of daoist texts out there, and barely none of them have been translated into english, except very few (zhuangzi, daodejing, etc)

That could have been the case 50 years ago, but the academic publications are so chock full of translations by now that i cant keep up reading them

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On 4/6/2019 at 4:41 PM, yuuichi said:

Seriously, there are thousands of daoist texts out there, and barely none of them have been translated into english, except very few (zhuangzi, daodejing, etc). 

 

Why not learn Chinese?

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1 hour ago, windwalker said:

Why not learn Chinese?

because it would be about as much help as learning English to read Latin

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5 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

because it would be about as much help as learning English to read Latin

 

small mind.

 

why not learn what ever language its written in.. 

any translation is a translation

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Indeed, we have a lot of resources. Tons of academic translations out there. Do you not know how to use LibGen or Torrents? I'm currently learning how to read traditional Hanzi because I've encountered some very BAD translations. That stated, learning to read the traditional is not how modern people communicate but they should understand you in written language at least. 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, GreytoWhite said:

That stated, learning to read the traditional is not how modern people communicate but they should understand you in written language at least. 

 

 

Even with native speakers its not always clear, they've been indoctrinated into the modern usage of their own language just as those of English might not be able to read  and get the meaning of old text in old English...My own work "taiji"  is interesting as after 40 or so yrs of practice I've arrived at a place where much of the translations make sense to the point where for some of them one can understand what is meant but not necessarily written.  

 

Often work with a lot of  native speakers who when some of the classical sayings are illustrated,  they often wonder why they didn't get it sooner,,but now its very clear...

Edited by windwalker
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Posted (edited)

My teacher, 99yrs of age this year, once remarked regarding what are called taiji classics.

 

"Don't read them, they're often wrong they will make you crazy.  The best way to reach understanding is through practice"

https://journeytoemptiness.com/2017/01/13/master-zhang-yongliang/

 

Often a meaning will change as ones understanding deepens through experience. 

 

Edited by windwalker
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To clarify, I already speak and read Chinese. But to understand Daoist texts, you need to be a native speaker at least. 

 

 

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On 2019-04-08 at 3:28 PM, Taoist Texts said:

Thats just 30 ppl and only $100 each.

 

I think we could round up a few Bums more and see how far that would get us...

 

Lets not forget that it’ll take quite some time and lets also remember to hire someone who isn’t going by the cheapest rate, i think translation from classical chinese is one of those ”you get what you pay for”-things.

 

On 2019-04-08 at 2:29 PM, rideforever said:

Crowdfund and campaign then

 

I’d jump on that.

 

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2 minutes ago, yuuichi said:

To clarify, I already speak and read Chinese. But to understand Daoist texts, you need to be a native speaker at least. 

 

 

 

What? I don’t think @Taoist Texts is that hard to get, usually writes quite clearly.

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38 minutes ago, yuuichi said:

But to understand Daoist texts, you need to be a native speaker at least. 

i would venture that these two abilities do not have much in common). I understand those texts for a living, being not native. 

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On 2019-04-08 at 3:28 PM, Taoist Texts said:

 

That could have been the case 50 years ago, but the academic publications are so chock full of translations by now that i cant keep up reading them

Can you give examples of your favourite journal? 

 

I know I found stuff while searching Google Scholar, can't remember where I ended up though. 

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On 08.04.2019 at 6:59 PM, windwalker said:

why not learn what ever language its written in.. 

 

Because you can spend same time on  better things to do.

 

On 08.04.2019 at 6:59 PM, windwalker said:

any translation is a translation

 

And any words are just words, it is not a good way to record anything related to esoteric / internal knowledge.

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On 4/12/2019 at 4:42 AM, Taoist Texts said:

this one is ok https://uhpress.hawaii.edu/title/jds/

however i dont use journals per se because they are behind the paywall. but their articles end up here https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Chinese_Religions

 

Also, for all:  check out Sino-Platonic Papers

 

http://www.sino-platonic.org/

 

although usually not full translations it offers a good reading of items of interest to look up further.. and no paywall :)

 

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6 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

i would venture that these two abilities do not have much in common). I understand those texts for a living, being not native. 

 

How did you learn chinese? I’ve always had trouble with grammar.

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30 minutes ago, yuuichi said:

 

How did you learn chinese? I’ve always had trouble with grammar.

Oh i was just translating ancient texts day in and day out for 20 years)

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some interesting texts will never be translated to any language other than Chinese--

some interesting teachings are never written down at all , even in Chinese--

 

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On 09/04/2019 at 7:06 PM, windwalker said:

Often a meaning will change as ones understanding deepens through experience. 

 

 

This is a great point.

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Where are these texts if they are publically available?  You could also find translators on Fiverr that would do it for less but I would like to see the docs anyway :)

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1 hour ago, Wayfarer said:

Where are these texts if they are publically available?  You could also find translators on Fiverr that would do it for less but I would like to see the docs anyway :)

 

That’s where I originally looked.The cheapest I found was 500 characters for 5 dollars. Which would mean about 3,000 dollars for 300,000 characters.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Wayfarer said:

Where are these texts if they are publically available?  You could also find translators on Fiverr that would do it for less but I would like to see the docs anyway :)

 

You can easily find lists or catalogues of daoist literature through the centuries by searching for daoist books on chinese daoist websites.

 

The vast majority of the titles are not freely available in english, nor have they been translated.

Edited by yuuichi
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Posted (edited)

Done well, 500 characters of modern Chinese would probably cost you $60 US, maybe $50 if you get lucky. Five bucks for 500 characters is slave wages (and nobody so unlucky as to be working in a translation farm or cranking out bit rate gigs online will be able to give you anything of quality) or some asshole who you're paying to use Google Translator on your behalf. And we're still talking standard fees for modern Chinese.

 

There are probably only a handful of people on earth who can honestly claim to be qualified to understand most of the Daoist Canon (I sincerely doubt anybody understands it all). To employ even a modestly qualified translator would (and, given the bitter such a person had to eat to become that versed in arcane language, should) cost a very pretty penny. This person would have to understand grammar from multiple dynastic periods, hundreds of obscure characters, and have the ability to "read between the lines," which is only possible for a very learned person who likely has been taught by Daoists directly. Then this person has to be able to put that into legible English for you!

 

If anybody tells you s/he can render Daoist writings (or anything in any foreign language, really) into English for you for $0.01 a character, either you've found a saint with a lot of spare time, or somebody with a wall in Mexico to sell you!

Edited by Walker
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