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Re: [Pali] Questions on PP - Lesson 10

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  • Kumaara Bhikkhu
    ... I must first confess that I m no expert, but I m learning from my teacher who seem to be quite an expert. So, I thought I could share what I ve learnt and
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 18, 2001
      At 01:19 PM 17-10-01 -0700, John Kelly wrote:
      >Greetings all,
      >I have some comments and questions on some of the
      >(translate to English) exercises in the Pali Primer -
      >Lesson 10.

      I must first confess that I'm no expert, but I'm learning from my teacher
      who seem to be quite an expert. So, I thought I could share what I've
      learnt and discovered.


      >First, #4.
      >Yaacako maatulassa kuddaalena aavaa.ta.m kha.nitu.m
      >icchati.
      >Ans: The beggar wishes to dig a pit with his uncle's
      >hoe.
      >
      >However, since maatulassa is an alternative form of
      >the dative, couldn't this also be translated as:
      >The beggar wishes to dig a pit with a hoe for his
      >uncle.
      >
      >I think the first translaton (and the one given by
      >Yong Peng and the PP Key) is the most logical, but I
      >just wanted to note the ambiguity.

      I think you've answered you question.


      >Then on #12
      >Udaka.m otaritvaa vatthaani dhovitu.m rajako putta.m
      >pakkosati.
      >Ans: The washerman calls his son to step into the
      >water and wash clothes.
      >Why not alternatively?: Having stepped into the water
      >to wash clothes, the washerman calls his son.
      >
      >This is really a question of does the absolutive
      >(otaritvaa) apply to the subject (rajako) or the
      >object (putta.m) of the sentence? Is there any
      >quiding rule in Pali, or is it just a matter of
      >interpretation?

      I made a similar mistake in my exercise book. My version was
      Having got down to the water, the washerman calls his son to wash
      the cloths.
      Wrong, says my teacher. Why? My teacher's most common answer to something
      like that is "That's how it is in Pali." If I recall correctly, he didn't
      explain much. I suppose he I'll be able to figure it out myself -- for this
      case at least.

      Well, I didn't manage then. But now that you brought it up, I've made
      another attempt; this time I'm better equipped as I've finished the book.
      Here's what I've come out with:
      [Note: This may spoil your fun of doing the same yourself.]

      First of all,
      Udaka.m otaritvaa vatthaani dhovitu.m...
      is not
      Having stepped into the water to wash clothes...
      The meaning is actually something like
      To step into the water then wash clothes...
      Of course it would sound more English to say
      To step into the water and wash clothes...

      The notion of the infinitive "tu.m" applies not only to "dhovati" but also
      "otarati". If there were to be more "tvaa" verbs before that, the "tu.m"
      covers all them as well.

      Although we learn from the book that "tvaa" is translated as "having...",
      in many cases it cannot be applied that way. It's function is just to
      indicate sequence of actions (in most cases, at least). A direct
      translation may well be "then". [To those who know Chinese, I think it can
      be directly translated as liao3 (in Mandarin hanyu pinyin)]

      E.g.
      bhuñjitvaa pivitvaa sayitu.m
      will have to be translated as
      to eat, drink and sleep
      and certainly not
      having eaten and drunk to sleep (!)

      Actually, the following question (#13) gives us an idea of this as well.
      Tathaagata.m passitvaa vanditu.m upaasako vihaara.m pavisati.
      is translated as
      The lay devotee enters the monastery to see the Buddha and worship
      him.
      It would certainly wouldn't be right to translate it as:
      Having seen the Tathaagata (Buddha) to pay respect (worship), the
      lay devotee enters the vihaara (monastery).

      Back to #12, a somewhat literal translation would be:
      To step into the water and wash clothes, the washerman calls his son.
      This of course sound pretty strange in English. A better translation would
      be that given in the answer key, which is just an inversion of the above:
      The washerman calls his son to step into the water and wash clothes.


      Like to add that, in my opinion, your alternative answer:
      Having stepped into the water to wash clothes, the washerman calls
      his son.
      would be possible if the Pali were:
      Vatthaani dhovitu.m udaka.m otaritvaa rajako putta.m pakkosati.
      That nonetheless, in Pali, poses an ambiguity. To tie that first portion to
      'rajako', it would be safer to say:
      Vatthaani dhovitu.m udaka.m otaranto rajako putta.m pakkosati.


      >Similarly, on #22.
      >Pupphaani sa.mharitvaa udakena aasi~ncitu.m upaasako
      >kumaare ovadati.
      >Ans: The lay devotee advises the boys to collect
      >flowers and sprinkle them with water.
      >Why not alternatively?: The lay devotee, having
      >collected flowers, advises the boys to sprinkle them
      >with water.
      >
      >Same question as above - does the absolutive
      >(sa.mharitvaa) apply to the subject (upaasako) or the
      >object( kumaare)?

      As above, the given answer is a more accurate translation.


      >I would appreciate some thoughts on this from those
      >more knowledgable in Pali.

      Again, I must make it clear that I'm still very much in the primary stage
      of learning Pali. Therefore, I would greatly appreciate corrections if any.
      I must also thank John Kelly for bringing it up. I've certainly learnt.

      peace

      Ven. Kumaara
    • John Kelly
      Dear Ven. Kumaara, Your explanations and analysis below are extremely helpful, and they fit very well with what I ve been discovering working through later
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 18, 2001
        Dear Ven. Kumaara,
        Your explanations and analysis below are extremely
        helpful, and they fit very well with what I've been
        discovering working through later chapters of the book
        (I'm currently up to lesson 19). It all makes a lot
        more sense to me now.
        Thank you!
        Metta,
        John

        P.S. How do you say Thank you in Paali?
        --- Kumaara Bhikkhu <venkumara@...> wrote:
        > At 01:19 PM 17-10-01 -0700, John Kelly wrote:
        > >Greetings all,
        > >I have some comments and questions on some of the
        > >(translate to English) exercises in the Pali Primer
        > -
        > >Lesson 10.
        >
        > I must first confess that I'm no expert, but I'm
        > learning from my teacher
        > who seem to be quite an expert. So, I thought I
        > could share what I've
        > learnt and discovered.
        >
        >
        > >First, #4.
        > >Yaacako maatulassa kuddaalena aavaa.ta.m kha.nitu.m
        > >icchati.
        > >Ans: The beggar wishes to dig a pit with his
        > uncle's
        > >hoe.
        > >
        > >However, since maatulassa is an alternative form of
        > >the dative, couldn't this also be translated as:
        > >The beggar wishes to dig a pit with a hoe for his
        > >uncle.
        > >
        > >I think the first translaton (and the one given by
        > >Yong Peng and the PP Key) is the most logical, but
        > I
        > >just wanted to note the ambiguity.
        >
        > I think you've answered you question.
        >
        >
        > >Then on #12
        > >Udaka.m otaritvaa vatthaani dhovitu.m rajako
        > putta.m
        > >pakkosati.
        > >Ans: The washerman calls his son to step into the
        > >water and wash clothes.
        > >Why not alternatively?: Having stepped into the
        > water
        > >to wash clothes, the washerman calls his son.
        > >
        > >This is really a question of does the absolutive
        > >(otaritvaa) apply to the subject (rajako) or the
        > >object (putta.m) of the sentence? Is there any
        > >quiding rule in Pali, or is it just a matter of
        > >interpretation?
        >
        > I made a similar mistake in my exercise book. My
        > version was
        > Having got down to the water, the washerman
        > calls his son to wash
        > the cloths.
        > Wrong, says my teacher. Why? My teacher's most
        > common answer to something
        > like that is "That's how it is in Pali." If I recall
        > correctly, he didn't
        > explain much. I suppose he I'll be able to figure it
        > out myself -- for this
        > case at least.
        >
        > Well, I didn't manage then. But now that you brought
        > it up, I've made
        > another attempt; this time I'm better equipped as
        > I've finished the book.
        > Here's what I've come out with:
        > [Note: This may spoil your fun of doing the same
        > yourself.]
        >
        > First of all,
        > Udaka.m otaritvaa vatthaani dhovitu.m...
        > is not
        > Having stepped into the water to wash
        > clothes...
        > The meaning is actually something like
        > To step into the water then wash clothes...
        > Of course it would sound more English to say
        > To step into the water and wash clothes...
        >
        > The notion of the infinitive "tu.m" applies not only
        > to "dhovati" but also
        > "otarati". If there were to be more "tvaa" verbs
        > before that, the "tu.m"
        > covers all them as well.
        >
        > Although we learn from the book that "tvaa" is
        > translated as "having...",
        > in many cases it cannot be applied that way. It's
        > function is just to
        > indicate sequence of actions (in most cases, at
        > least). A direct
        > translation may well be "then". [To those who know
        > Chinese, I think it can
        > be directly translated as liao3 (in Mandarin hanyu
        > pinyin)]
        >
        > E.g.
        > bhu�jitvaa pivitvaa sayitu.m
        > will have to be translated as
        > to eat, drink and sleep
        > and certainly not
        > having eaten and drunk to sleep (!)
        >
        > Actually, the following question (#13) gives us an
        > idea of this as well.
        > Tathaagata.m passitvaa vanditu.m upaasako
        > vihaara.m pavisati.
        > is translated as
        > The lay devotee enters the monastery to see
        > the Buddha and worship
        > him.
        > It would certainly wouldn't be right to translate it
        > as:
        > Having seen the Tathaagata (Buddha) to pay
        > respect (worship), the
        > lay devotee enters the vihaara (monastery).
        >
        > Back to #12, a somewhat literal translation would
        > be:
        > To step into the water and wash clothes,
        > the washerman calls his son.
        > This of course sound pretty strange in English. A
        > better translation would
        > be that given in the answer key, which is just an
        > inversion of the above:
        > The washerman calls his son to step into
        > the water and wash clothes.
        >
        >
        > Like to add that, in my opinion, your alternative
        > answer:
        > Having stepped into the water to wash
        > clothes, the washerman calls
        > his son.
        > would be possible if the Pali were:
        > Vatthaani dhovitu.m udaka.m otaritvaa
        > rajako putta.m pakkosati.
        > That nonetheless, in Pali, poses an ambiguity. To
        > tie that first portion to
        > 'rajako', it would be safer to say:
        > Vatthaani dhovitu.m udaka.m otaranto rajako
        > putta.m pakkosati.
        >
        >
        > >Similarly, on #22.
        > >Pupphaani sa.mharitvaa udakena aasi~ncitu.m
        > upaasako
        > >kumaare ovadati.
        > >Ans: The lay devotee advises the boys to collect
        > >flowers and sprinkle them with water.
        > >Why not alternatively?: The lay devotee, having
        > >collected flowers, advises the boys to sprinkle
        > them
        > >with water.
        > >
        > >Same question as above - does the absolutive
        > >(sa.mharitvaa) apply to the subject (upaasako) or
        > the
        > >object( kumaare)?
        >
        > As above, the given answer is a more accurate
        > translation.
        >
        >
        > >I would appreciate some thoughts on this from those
        > >more knowledgable in Pali.
        >
        > Again, I must make it clear that I'm still very much
        > in the primary stage
        > of learning Pali. Therefore, I would greatly
        > appreciate corrections if any.
        > I must also thank John Kelly for bringing it up.
        > I've certainly learnt.
        >
        > peace
        >
        > Ven. Kumaara
        >
        >


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