Monday, December 3, 2012

Sad-dharma-pundarika sutra



On 法華経: Professor Ueki Masatoshi pointed out that Sad-dharma-pundarika sutra means "white-lotus-like-most-splendid-and-right-teaching 白蓮華のように最も素晴らしい正しい教え" and not "Right teaching white lotus 正しい教えの白蓮" which was translated by the most authoritative paperback and Tokyo University scholars by Iwanami publisher.

He elaborated the grammar and usages, analyzed and fixed the problems, and I agreed he was right about it. But what is our reality?

Most books, even the books I like and consider pretty good contain errors and often very serious kinds. That goes to both E to J, and J to E. And I'm talking about major books like Shakespeare translation and so on.

I know this post does not help you right away, but I just want you to be aware
.

Below is translated by Rosetta Savelli in Italian.


MoKeiko Amano
Il法華経: Professore Ueki Masatoshi ha sottolineato che Sad-dharma-pundarika sutra significa "bianco-loto-come-più o maggiore -splendido-e-diritto-insegnamento 白 蓮華 の よう に 最も 素晴らしい 正しい 教え" e non "Destra insegnamento loto bianco 正しい 教え の 白蓮 ", così come è stato tradotto dal vocabolario tascabile degli autorevoli studiosi dell'Università di Tokyo per editore Iwanami.

Esso ha a elaborato la grammatica e gli utilizzi, analizzato e risolto i problemi, ed ha accertato la propria ragione. Ma qual è la nostra realtà?

La maggior parte dei libri, anche i libri che mi piacciono, possono contenere degli errori, alcuni poco gravi, mentre altri molto gravi e di vario genere. Questo vale sia per E a J, e J per E. E sto parlando di libri importanti come la traduzione di Shakespeare.

So che questo non ti sarà di grande aiuto, ma ti aggiungerà consapevolezza.

Traduzione in Lingua Italiana di Rosetta Savelli

9 comments:

Vincent said...

Keiko, I'm a little confused. Did Rosetta translate from your English into Italian? Or the other way round?

In English the sutra is well-known as the Lotus Sutra (i.e. right-teaching white lotus, though we don't bother with the "white"). Whoever translated it so simply did right in my opinion, for it is simply a label for the content, and to call it the most excellent splendid and correct and reminiscent-of-the-white-lotus sutra seems a kind of excess, what we call a "puff", that is, "an extravagantly laudatory advertisement or review". However I imagine that within Buddhism the title is intended to express an extreme reverence for the text it contains.

There are many schools of thought on what constitutes good translation, when there is a big chronological and cultural gap between the original text and the later reader. A more literal translation may suit scholars, but other readers may look for something more poetic or accessible, even where there's a price to pay in literal accuracy.

An excellent book on translation, especially of poetry, is Douglas Hofstadter's Le Ton Beau De Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language

rosetta savelli said...

MoKeiko Amano
Il法華経: Professore Ueki Masatoshi ha sottolineato che Sad-dharma-pundarika sutra significa "bianco-loto-come-più o maggiore -splendido-e-diritto-insegnamento 白 蓮華 の よう に 最も 素晴らしい 正しい 教え" e non "Destra insegnamento loto bianco 正しい 教え の 白蓮 ", così come è stato tradotto dal vocabolario tascabile degli autorevoli studiosi dell'Università di Tokyo per editore Iwanami.

Esso ha a elaborato la grammatica e gli utilizzi, analizzato e risolto i problemi, ed ha accertato la propria ragione. Ma qual è la nostra realtà?

La maggior parte dei libri, anche i libri che mi piacciono, possono contenere degli errori, alcuni poco gravi, mentre altri molto gravi e di vario genere. Questo vale sia per E a J, e J per E. E sto parlando di libri importanti come la traduzione di Shakespeare.

So che questo non ti sarà di grande aiuto, ma ti aggiungerà consapevolezza.

Traduzione in Lingua Italiana di Rosetta Savelli

rosetta savelli said...

Vincent very well! Really enjoyed it. So I translated for fun and without the precise and exact volntà to translate. Keiko then put my translation on his blog and for that I thank you.
From here I rewrote the same translation in the proper order.
I repeat, I just translated for the event, but I like this your observation:

'
There are many schools of thought on what constitutes good translation, When there is a big cultural gap between chronological and the original text and the reader later. A more literal translation may suit scholars, but other readers may look for something more December poetic or accessible, even where there's a price to pay in literal accuracy. '
Thank you for your attention, hello Rosetta Savelli

keiko amano said...

Vincent,

I’m sorry for your confusion. I wrote this in rush for posting to FB, and later, I decided to add it to my blog also. In the meantime, Rosette has translated it for me and because I added it to my blog, she kindly edited it further. I should have explained a bit.

Vincent, I agree with you 100%! I was reading the part that the professor was arguing about the meaning behind the name against the translation done by other scholars. Both of them are not trying to change the name. The professor was trying to make a mechanical point in grammar. We were not arguing about what would be the best poetic title to the sutra. That’s a different subject.

I love “The Lotus Sutra.” It’s simple and poetic. In Japanese, 法華経 (hoke-kyo) is also a simplest term we use to describe the sutra although the formal name is 妙法蓮華経.

The chapter I was talking about covers 20 pages or so, and it is detailed. But I just wanted to show a common problem behind Japanese translation.

keiko amano said...

Rosetta,

Thank you for editing your translation of my blog. I have updated it accordingly.

The professor has looked at the blog and wrote back to me saying “this is how it spreads to the world.” I think he likes it because he has written to me that in our next class, he will bring me his book about gender equality in Buddhism, his doctoral dissertation. I’m excited.

FYI, Vincent is fluent in Italian, so I'm glad you have edited it! He has translated a work of Camus to English.

Also, I love your hello at the end so much, so I made a poem about it.


Ciao

C begins a half circle
I am here
A stands with feet apart
O comes back full circle.

keiko amano said...

Vincent,

The problem is: "rose of a girl" was translated as "a girl's rose," so to speak, if I can make it as clear as possible.

I know this is so simple to you, but to Japanese, it's hard to grasp the concept once we see "of."

Vincent said...

Fluente non piu, forse mai, perfino nel 1962 (l'ultima volta volta ci sono andato)!

Believe it or not, I am still unclear about the progress of various translations referred to in this blog.

The Professor gave a lecture about translating the Lotus Sutra, right? From Sanskrit to Japanese?

You wrote about the Professor's talk in English for Facebook, and Rosetta then roughly translated it into Italian, am I right? Or was it that Rosetta also attended the event as an interpreter, translating the Professor's Japanese into Italian for those members of the audience who did not speak Japanese?

And then Rosetta revised her written translation into Italian and you updated your blog?

Never mind, it doesn't matter. I do understand what you mean about a mistranslation of the English "rose of a girl" into "a girl's rose". That was one hell of a mistake, or should I say a mistake's single hell.

keiko amano said...

Vincent,

You wrote about the Professor's talk in English for Facebook, and Rosetta then roughly translated it into Italian, am I right?

Right.

"Or was it that Rosetta also attended the event as an interpreter, translating the Professor's Japanese into Italian for those members of the audience who did not speak Japanese?"

No, Rosetta wasn't there. She lives in Italy and we're FB friends. I'm in Yokohama right now until close to Xmas as I've been for seven or eight years.

"And then Rosetta revised her written translation into Italian and you updated your blog?"

Right. I just updated my blog with her edited version of translation before I added my comment to Rosetta.

"Never mind, it doesn't matter. I do understand what you mean about a mistranslation of the English "rose of a girl" into "a girl's rose". That was one hell of a mistake, or should I say a mistake's single hell."

I love it! "one hell of a mistake" or "a mistake's single hell"
Vincent, thank you for your crystal-clear down-to-earth clarification!

keiko amano said...

My new translation on the 19th section:

Being always told that we aren’t treated lightly, but always feel that we are taken lightly, therefore end up taken lightly. But all finality, we become the kind of person who is never taken lightly.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions.