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Re: Problems translating a sentence from the Jaataka

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  • flrobert2000
    Dear Mahinda and Jim, Thank you very much for the very interesting discussions that followed my question about this sentence from the Jaataka. I do agree in
    Message 1 of 25 , Mar 24, 2008
      Dear Mahinda and Jim,

      Thank you very much for the very interesting discussions that
      followed my question about this sentence from the Jaataka.

      I do agree in the end that it doesn't make much difference in the
      translation and that it mostly matters to grammarians. I am not sure
      I mentioned it, but this sentence was actually cited in the last
      exercise of Ven. Buddhadatta's New Pali Course Part II. I must say
      that I have found some of the sentences very challenging to
      translate, especially when the context is not very clear. Trying to
      solve Buddhadatta's exercises, have been sometimes quite valuable
      because of the grammatical research and discussions to which they
      lead. Putting back the sentences into context has also helped me to
      discover some inspiring stories, especially from the Dhammapada
      Commentaries.

      My teacher keeps on reminding me that I should try at this stage to
      directly read the suttas (as Bhikkhu Bodhi recommends it in his very
      inspiring pali lectures) in order to gain some fluency, and without
      paying too much attention to some grammatical difficulties. However,
      I still get "frightened" by the complexity of this language and I
      feel sometimes completely hopeless in front of some constructions,
      especially when reading the commentaries. I wonder how many more
      years of studies it will take before I can approach the fluency of my
      teachers, who have been studying it since they were children!

      Regards,

      Florent

      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Anderson" <jimanderson.on@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Dear Mahinda,
      >
      > You wrote:
      > << The late O.H. de A. Wijesekaera,Sri Lankan scholar (incidentally
      my
      > Skt teacher) describes it in his Syntax of the Cases in the Pali
      > Nikayas, (Post Graduate Inst. of Pali & Buddh. Studies, Colombo
      > 1993) p. 70 f. Just this morning I found that he alludes to this
      > very passage on p.240. He translates, "When worshipped by the Ven.
      > MK .. the funeral pyre of Bl One blazed forth by itself" and adds,"
      > (here) .. the loc. vandite canot be strictly regarded as as
      > absolute, for the construction can stand even if it were the nom
      > vandito." >>
      >
      > I have not seen Wijesekaera's book but have been hearing about it
      on my list
      > over the past few years. I will see if I can get a copy. Thank-you
      for all
      > the points you've made about "vandite". I'm not ruling out the
      possibility
      > of a locative absolute construction especially in view of the
      Suddhodana
      > passage at Sp V 1006 with "bhagavati" I can also see the merits of
      > taking "vandite".as an accusative plural in agreement with "paade"
      > especially in the passage at D II 164. Either way, I don't think it
      makes
      > much of a difference in a translation. It's mostly a matter of
      concern to
      > grammarians.
      >
      > Best wishes,
      > Jim
      >
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