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Re: [Pali] DN 31 Translation - part 3

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  • DC Wijeratna
    Dear Dave, wouldn t gahapati-putta.m mean householder s son rather than young householder... I agree with you. The Pali word for a young man is maanava or
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 10, 2007
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      Dear Dave,

      "wouldn't "gahapati-putta.m" mean householder's son rather than young
      householder..."

      I agree with you. The Pali word for a young man is maanava or maanavaka.

      I think this error is most probably caused not because the translator didn't know the meaning. I think he elsewhere gives the meaning as householder's son. So what I surmise is that he did it in order to translate it to "idiomatic English".

      But I think it is a grave error in translating ancient text to a modern language. Words have a meaning only within a context. And that cannot be reproduced today, especially in a different tongue.

      Take this example, gahapati, is a generic term by the Buddha to indicate what we might call head of a household, not even a householder. Gahapatiputta really seem to distinguish between a monks and lay people. It really means only that he is a lay person who is not a head of a household. It is same as 'gihii'. In any case, there is no way to bring the word 'young'; puttas also become old!!!

      These are some of my thoughts. I think the solution is to use an agreed term. See Ara.na Vibhanga sutta.

      With mettaa,


      D. G. D. C. Wijeratna



      ____________________________________________________________________________________
      Pinpoint customers who are looking for what you sell.
      http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • P G Dave
      Dear *DC Wijeratna,* very true. I agree that a free translation makes better reading than a literal translation keeping in mind the fact that every language
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 11, 2007
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        Dear *DC Wijeratna,*

        very true. I agree that a free translation makes better reading than a
        literal translation keeping in mind the fact that every language has its own
        flavour and peculiarities. but, as you rightly point out, here it becomes
        misleading.

        I searched the net for the "Ara.na <http://ara.na/> Vibhanga sutta".
        couldn't find anything.
        If it's not too inconvenient, would u kindly send me an attaced file
        containing the text with an available translation if possible.

        thanks.
        with metta,
        _________________________________________________

        On 10/10/07, DC Wijeratna <dcwijeratna@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Dave,
        >
        > "wouldn't "gahapati-putta.m" mean householder's son rather than young
        > householder..."
        >
        > I agree with you. The Pali word for a young man is maanava or maanavaka.
        >
        > I think this error is most probably caused not because the translator
        > didn't know the meaning. I think he elsewhere gives the meaning as
        > householder's son. So what I surmise is that he did it in order to translate
        > it to "idiomatic English".
        >
        > But I think it is a grave error in translating ancient text to a modern
        > language. Words have a meaning only within a context. And that cannot be
        > reproduced today, especially in a different tongue.
        >
        > Take this example, gahapati, is a generic term by the Buddha to indicate
        > what we might call head of a household, not even a householder.
        > Gahapatiputta really seem to distinguish between a monks and lay people. It
        > really means only that he is a lay person who is not a head of a household.
        > It is same as 'gihii'. In any case, there is no way to bring the word
        > 'young'; puttas also become old!!!
        >
        > These are some of my thoughts. I think the solution is to use an agreed
        > term. See Ara.na <http://ara.na/> Vibhanga sutta.
        >
        > With mettaa,
        >
        > D. G. D. C. Wijeratna
        >
        > __________________________________________________________
        > Pinpoint customers who are looking for what you sell.
        > http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • D C Wijeratna
        Dear Dave, Many thanks for the prompt reply. I am sorry about the slip, not giving the English Name of the Sutta or the reference. There is an English
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 11, 2007
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          Dear Dave,



          Many thanks for the prompt reply.



          I am sorry about the slip, not giving the English Name of the Sutta or the
          reference.



          There is an English translation by the name: �The Exposition of
          Non-conflict� by Bhikkhu ~Naanamoli, BPS publication. You can download that
          from their site. Wheel No. 169. The Sutta is MN 139. Here is the exact
          passage from the Sutta. I am sure you can get hold of the Pali version
          without trouble. VRI CD.



          12. �He should not insist on local languageHYPERLINK \l
          "BM__ftn1"[1][4]. He should not override normal usage.� So it was said. And
          with reference to what was this said?

          And how does there come to be insistence on local language and overriding of
          normal usage?

          Here, bhikkhus, in different localities they call the same thing a �dish�
          (paati) or they call it a �bowl� (patta) or they call it a �vessel� (vittha)
          or they call it a �saucer (sarava) or they call it a �pan� (dhaaropa) or
          they call it a �pot� (po.na) or they call it a �mug� (hana) or they call it
          a �basin� (pisiila). So whatever they call it in such and such a locality,
          he speaks accordingly, firmly adhering to and insisting on that, �Only this
          is true, anything else is wrong.� This is how there comes to be insistence
          on local language and overriding of normal usage.

          And how does there come to be non-insistence on local language and
          non-overriding of normal usage?

          Here, bhikkhus, in different localities � they call it a �basin� (pisiila).
          So whatever they call it in such and such a locality, he speaks accordingly
          without adhering, (thus): �These Venerable Ones, it seems, are speaking with
          reference to this.� This is how there comes to be non-insistence on local
          language and non-overriding of normal usage.

          So it was with reference to this that it was said, �He should not insist on
          local language. He should not override normal usage.�



          By the way, this passage has a very deep meaning.



          If you can�t get hold the thing please send me an e-m direct. My e-mail is
          HYPERLINK "mailto:dcwijeratna@..."dcwijeratna@.... I wouldn�t
          want to copy that file and send it to all the Pali group. Most of whom will
          not even look at it.



          By the way, when you said you would translate the Singaalovaada sutta, I
          sent you a letter of appreciation. I haven�t changed my mind. The e-m I sent
          was purely technical.



          If there is anything else, I can do please let me know.



          With mettaa,



          D. C. Wijeratna



          P. S. My friends call me DC


          _____

          HYPERLINK \l "BM__ftnref1"


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        • John Kelly
          Dear Dave and DC, Thanks very much for your comments/feedback on the translation and grammatical analysis of DN 31 that I am sending to the group in small
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 16, 2007
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            Dear Dave and DC,

            Thanks very much for your comments/feedback on the translation and
            grammatical analysis of DN 31 that I am sending to the group in small
            pieces.

            In the detailed word-by-word grammatical analysis we (a group of 3 of
            us) aimed for literal accuracy, whereas in the final translation our
            goal was for idiomatic, readable, modern English. And bear in mind
            that the final translation result was always a consensus by committee
            and not necessarily how I would have rendered the final version myself.

            Clearly "gahapati-putta" literally means "householder's son", but that
            is not how someone would be addressed in modern English, and we chose
            the more colloquial "young man" in the vocative, and "young
            householder" for other cases. I would note too that Bhikkhu Bodhi
            translates "devaputta" as "young deva" rather than "son of a deva", so
            we have a solid precedent.

            All comments are appreciated.

            With metta,
            John
            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "P G Dave" <pgd2507@...> wrote:
            >
            > Dear *DC Wijeratna,*
            >
            > very true. I agree that a free translation makes better reading than a
            > literal translation keeping in mind the fact that every language has
            its own
            > flavour and peculiarities. but, as you rightly point out, here it
            becomes
            > misleading.
            >
            > I searched the net for the "Ara.na <http://ara.na/> Vibhanga sutta".
            > couldn't find anything.
            > If it's not too inconvenient, would u kindly send me an attaced file
            > containing the text with an available translation if possible.
            >
            > thanks.
            > with metta,
            > _________________________________________________
            >
            > On 10/10/07, DC Wijeratna <dcwijeratna@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Dear Dave,
            > >
            > > "wouldn't "gahapati-putta.m" mean householder's son rather than young
            > > householder..."
            > >
            > > I agree with you. The Pali word for a young man is maanava or
            maanavaka.
            > >
            > > I think this error is most probably caused not because the translator
            > > didn't know the meaning. I think he elsewhere gives the meaning as
            > > householder's son. So what I surmise is that he did it in order to
            translate
            > > it to "idiomatic English".
            > >
            > > But I think it is a grave error in translating ancient text to a
            modern
            > > language. Words have a meaning only within a context. And that
            cannot be
            > > reproduced today, especially in a different tongue.
            > >
            > > Take this example, gahapati, is a generic term by the Buddha to
            indicate
            > > what we might call head of a household, not even a householder.
            > > Gahapatiputta really seem to distinguish between a monks and lay
            people. It
            > > really means only that he is a lay person who is not a head of a
            household.
            > > It is same as 'gihii'. In any case, there is no way to bring the word
            > > 'young'; puttas also become old!!!
            > >
            > > These are some of my thoughts. I think the solution is to use an
            agreed
            > > term. See Ara.na <http://ara.na/> Vibhanga sutta.
            > >
            > > With mettaa,
            > >
            > > D. G. D. C. Wijeratna
            > >
            > > __________________________________________________________
            > > Pinpoint customers who are looking for what you sell.
            > > http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • Piya Tan
            Dear John, Also in my own translation (http://dharmafarer.googlepages.com), I made a note that by the time the Buddha speaks to Sigala, he is the head of the
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 16, 2007
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              Dear John,

              Also in my own translation (http://dharmafarer.googlepages.com), I made
              a note that by the time the Buddha speaks to Sigala, he is the head of the
              house. Sigalapita has already passed away.

              Thanks for your efforts again,

              Metta,

              Piya Tan


              On 10/17/07, John Kelly <palistudent@...> wrote:
              >
              > Dear Dave and DC,
              >
              > Thanks very much for your comments/feedback on the translation and
              > grammatical analysis of DN 31 that I am sending to the group in small
              > pieces.
              >
              > In the detailed word-by-word grammatical analysis we (a group of 3 of
              > us) aimed for literal accuracy, whereas in the final translation our
              > goal was for idiomatic, readable, modern English. And bear in mind
              > that the final translation result was always a consensus by committee
              > and not necessarily how I would have rendered the final version myself.
              >
              > Clearly "gahapati-putta" literally means "householder's son", but that
              > is not how someone would be addressed in modern English, and we chose
              > the more colloquial "young man" in the vocative, and "young
              > householder" for other cases. I would note too that Bhikkhu Bodhi
              > translates "devaputta" as "young deva" rather than "son of a deva", so
              > we have a solid precedent.
              >
              > All comments are appreciated.
              >
              > With metta,
              > John
              > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com <Pali%40yahoogroups.com>, "P G Dave"
              > <pgd2507@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Dear *DC Wijeratna,*
              > >
              > > very true. I agree that a free translation makes better reading than a
              > > literal translation keeping in mind the fact that every language has
              > its own
              > > flavour and peculiarities. but, as you rightly point out, here it
              > becomes
              > > misleading.
              > >
              > > I searched the net for the "Ara.na <http://ara.na/> Vibhanga sutta".
              > > couldn't find anything.
              > > If it's not too inconvenient, would u kindly send me an attaced file
              > > containing the text with an available translation if possible.
              > >
              > > thanks.
              > > with metta,
              > > _________________________________________________
              > >
              > > On 10/10/07, DC Wijeratna <dcwijeratna@...> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Dear Dave,
              > > >
              > > > "wouldn't "gahapati-putta.m" mean householder's son rather than young
              > > > householder..."
              > > >
              > > > I agree with you. The Pali word for a young man is maanava or
              > maanavaka.
              > > >
              > > > I think this error is most probably caused not because the translator
              > > > didn't know the meaning. I think he elsewhere gives the meaning as
              > > > householder's son. So what I surmise is that he did it in order to
              > translate
              > > > it to "idiomatic English".
              > > >
              > > > But I think it is a grave error in translating ancient text to a
              > modern
              > > > language. Words have a meaning only within a context. And that
              > cannot be
              > > > reproduced today, especially in a different tongue.
              > > >
              > > > Take this example, gahapati, is a generic term by the Buddha to
              > indicate
              > > > what we might call head of a household, not even a householder.
              > > > Gahapatiputta really seem to distinguish between a monks and lay
              > people. It
              > > > really means only that he is a lay person who is not a head of a
              > household.
              > > > It is same as 'gihii'. In any case, there is no way to bring the word
              > > > 'young'; puttas also become old!!!
              > > >
              > > > These are some of my thoughts. I think the solution is to use an
              > agreed
              > > > term. See Ara.na <http://ara.na/> Vibhanga sutta.
              > > >
              > > > With mettaa,
              > > >
              > > > D. G. D. C. Wijeratna
              > > >
              > > > __________________________________________________________
              > > > Pinpoint customers who are looking for what you sell.
              > > > http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/
              > > >
              > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > >
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              >
              >
              >



              --
              The Minding Centre
              Blk 644 Bukit Batok Central #01-68 (2nd flr)
              Singapore 650644
              Website: dharmafarer.googlepages.com


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