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Re: [Pali] Pali Primer - Lesson 12

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  • Kumaara Bhikkhu
    Thank you, Yong Peng, for your regular answer key. Like to comment on a few things. Hope you won t mind.At 10:04 PM 30-10-01, you wrote: 20. Tva.m giita.m
    Message 1 of 46 , Nov 1, 2001
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      Thank you, Yong Peng, for your regular answer key. Like to comment on a few things. Hope you won't mind.


      At 10:04 PM 30-10-01, you wrote:
      >20. Tva.m giita.m gaayanto rodanta.m daaraka.m rakkhasi.
      >Ans: You (sing.), singing a song, protect the crying child.

      Rakkhati is translated by Ven. Buddhadatta as:
      protects; guards; observes; preserves.

      But in the context of the above, I think a better English translation would be "look after".


      >22. So paaniiya.m pivitvaa patta.m bhinditvaa maatulamhaa bhaayati.
      >Ans: He, having drunk water and broken the bowl, fears the uncle.

      This translation is a bit strange. In fact, the Pali sentence itself is strange in the first place. (You have to tolerate quite a number of such strangeness in the book.) Nonetheless, I think it would sound a bit better to translate it as:
      After drinking the water, he breaks the bowl and is afraid of his uncle. (Yes, that it still sounds strange. Perhaps it needs a "therefore".)

      Again, I'd like to say that the "tvaa" simply gives the idea of something happening before the next (most of the time, at least). So don't feel tied down by the "having (perfect tense)" model. You're free translate it in a way that sounds right.

      As many Pali teachers would say:
      Translate sentences, not words.


      >25. Khetta.m rakkhanto so aavaa.te kha.nante varaahe disvaa
      >paasaa.nehi paharati.
      >Ans: Protecting the field, he, having seen pigs digging pits, hits
      >them with stones.

      It would sound better this way:
      While looking after (or taking care of) the field, he sees pigs digging pits and hits them with stones.
      [This was my teacher's answer.]


      >3. Sitting in the park you (plur.) eat fruits with friends.
      >Ans: Uyyaanasmi.m nisiidantaa tumhe mittehi saha phalaani bhu~njatha.

      Tumhe na "phalaani bhu~njatha".
      Tumhe "phalaani khaadatha".

      "Khaadati" is for hard (perhaps on the crunchy side) food stuff, such as fruits, nuts, root-food, stem-food, vegetables, flowers, and pastry. (Traditional Indian pastry are usually on the hard side.)

      "Bhu~njati" is for solid by not crunchy stuff. In the Vinaya Pitaka, the "bhojana"s are classed the as rice (odana), parched flour (sattu), junket (kummaasa), fish (maccha), meat (ma.msa). These are some of the things that we "bhu~njaama".


      >5. Maya.m vane gantvaa carante mige passitu.m gehasmaa nikkhamaama.

      From how I see it, this answer is a bit problematic. "Vane gantvaa" is "having gone to the forest", but no where in the English sentence is this idea found. (We set out from home to go and see the deer roaming in the forest.)

      Perhaps it's a typo error, and the two words are meant be inverted:
      Maya.m gantvaa vane carante mige passitu.m gehasmaa nikkhamaama.

      Still it poses an ambiguity. It may be taken as:
      We set out from home to see the deer which, having gone, and roam in the forest.

      A safer Pali equivalent of the English sentence may be:
      Maya.m vane carante mige passitu.m gehasmaa nikkhamitvaa gacchaama.
      though they may not be technically parallel.


      >6. Aha.m dhamma.m adhigantu.m icchaami.
      >7. Pabbatasmi.m .thatvaa maya.m samuddamhi patanta.m candassa
      >aaloka.m passaama.

      New learners would most probably put the answer as "Pabbatasmi.m ti.t.thantaa..." (English: "Standing on the mountain..."), which is fine.

      Based on how the absolutive is used in the Pali scriptures, "Pabbatasmi.m .thatvaa" is also possible. In such a case, it carries the meaning of "while" or "as". (I know; it's not fair. The book doesn't teach that. Wait till you go to the next lesson.)


      >16. Sappurisaa paapakammaani bhaayantaa sagge uppajjanti.

      The answer given in the key is:
      Paaapakammaani (paapaani kaatu.m) bhaayantaa sappurisaa sagge uppajjanti.

      Using "paaapakammaani" here is incorrect. It should be "paaapakammehi" as the verb "bhaayantaa" (from "bhaayati") takes the absolutive. "Paapaani kaatu.m" however fits in fine, though is not technically the same.


      It's unfortunate that "Key to Paali Primer" contains quite a few mistakes. Perhaps the author should do something about it. This should nonetheless not deter anyone from using the book. To my knowledge, it's the best "first book" available.

      That's all for now, everybody. Appamaadena sampaadetha!


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    • Kumaara Bhikkhu
      Dear all,I ve been absent since November as I was somewhat busy then for our Kathina day (18 Nov) and after that on some other matters, including a much
      Message 46 of 46 , Feb 22, 2002
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        Dear all,

        I've been absent since November as I was somewhat busy then for our Kathina day (18 Nov) and after that on some other matters, including a much needed meditation retreat. I've also been spending much time in learning and memorizing the Patimokkha under the guidance of my acariya, Ven. Aggacitta Bhikkhu. I'm at the end of Sanghadisesa now. The Pali does appear rather different from what I've learnt in "Pali Primer".

        Anyway, here's my very, very belated comments on Yong Peng's notes.

        As mentioned earlier, Lesson 14 is (relatively) a breeze. This chapter however give us some interesting Pali food for thought.

        At 10:20 PM 13-11-01, Ong Yong Peng wrote:
        >Translate into English:
        >
        >7. Pu~n~na.m kaatu.m icchantaa tumhe sappurisaa paapamitte
        >ovadissatha.
        >pu~n~na.m = merit (acc.)
        >kaatu.m = to do
        >icchantaa = wishing
        >tumhe = you
        >sappurisaa = good men (nom.)
        >paapamitte = evil friends (acc.)
        >ovadissatha = will advise
        >Ans: Wishing to do merit, you good men will advise evil/wicked
        >friends.

        My teacher's answer:
        You good/virtuous men who wish to do merit shall advise evil/wicked friends.

        I think there's an important difference in meaning. If the Pali sentence were to have been
        Tumhe
        pu~n~na.m kaatu.m icchantaa
        sappurisaa paapamitte ovadissatha.
        then the English translation would be as given, i.e.,
        Wishing to do merit, you good men will advise evil/wicked friends.
        or, to put it in a different way,
        You good men, wishing to do merit, will advise evil/wicked friends.


        >14. Buddhe pasiiditvaa upaasako devaputto hutvaa saggaloke uppajjati.
        >....
        >devaputto = deity (acc.)

        Literally, "devaputta" means a deity's son or god's son (Jesus Christ?!). But it's actually just something like saying "Sakyaputta", which means "Sakyan son". I get the idea that it connote something like an "offspring of the Sakyan clan". In the same way, I think "devaputta" carries the idea of "a son of the deva community", and not the literal "son of a deity". Would appreciate any differing opinions.

        Also, I don't think this can be rightly taken as an accusative, since it's obviously in the nominative form. In the sense of English grammar, it's an "object". But in terms of Pali grammar, I don't know what it can be called. My teacher calls it a "transferred subject". This is just grammar talk, of course, but if anyone knows of another term for it, I'll be happy to know.


        >20. Paapa.m parivajjetvaa kusala.m karonte sappurise devaa
        >puujessanti.
        >Ans: Deities will honour virtuous men avoiding evil and doing good.

        I prefer to think that "vajjeti" by itself already mean "avoid".
        The prefix "pari" carries the meaning of
        "thorough", e.g.
        "parisuddhi": thorough purity;
        "parinibbana": complete release;
        "paripucchati": interrogate (lit. ask thoroughly),
        or "around", e.g.
        "paribbajati": wander about;
        "paribbaajaka": wondering ascetic;
        "parisiñcati": sprinkle all over.

        So, I think "parivajjeti" is better translated as "completely avoid" or "shun" (which I think carries a stronger connotation than just "avoid").


        >21. Sacca.m bhaasantaa asappurise anusaasantaa pa.n.ditaa upaasakaa
        >bhavissanti.
        >Ans: Wise people who speak the truth and admonish evil men will
        >become lay devotees.

        Don't you find something funny in the meaning of the sentence?

        My teacher says a suitable English translation of that should be:
        The wise people who speak the truth and instruct evil men are probably lay devotees.

        [Note: upaasakaa here probably refers to "lay followers of the Buddha", making the sentence: The wise people who speak the truth and instruct evil men are probably lay followers of the Buddha.]

        Here, the "ssa" future tense is used to convey probability.

        Some of you may have read or heard about a conversation between the Buddha and Do.na the brahmin (AN IV 36):

        “Devo no bhava.m bhavissatii”ti?
        “Na kho aha.m, braahma.na, devo bhavissaamii”ti.
        “Gandhabbo no bhava.m bhavissatii”ti?
        “Na kho aha.m, braahma.na, gandhabbo bhavissaamii”ti.
        “Yakkho no bhava.m bhavissatii”ti?
        “Na kho aha.m, braahma.na, yakkho bhavissaamii”ti.
        “Manusso no bhava.m bhavissatii”ti?
        “Na kho aha.m, braahma.na, manusso bhavissaamii”ti.

        A literal translation:
        'Will you, sir, be a deva?'
        'No, braahmin, I will not be a deva.'
        'Will you, sir, be a gandhabba?'
        'No, braahmin, I will not be a gandhabba.'
        'Will you, sir, be a yakkha?'
        'No, braahmin, I will not be a yakkha.'
        'Will you, sir, be a human?'
        'No, braahmin, I will not be a human.'

        You may find that the above translation does not fit well in the context. A better English rendering of what Do.na the brahmin was saying may be:
        'Would you, sir, be a deva... gandhabba... yakkha... human?'
        or
        'Could you, sir, be a deva... gandhabba... yakkha... human?'

        From the context, we could see that the Buddha purposely answered in the same "ssa" form, so that He could tell the brahmin that he will not become any of those things as He had freed himself from rebirth.

        Passasi, aavuso?


        >Translate into Paali:
        >
        >2. I will advise the king to rule the island righteously with his
        >ministers.
        >Ans: Aha.m amaccehi saha dhammena diipa.m paaletu.m bhuupala.m
        >ovadissaami.

        This answer may give the impression that:
        "I together with the ministers will advise the king to rule the island righteously."

        Would be better to put the "bhuupala.m" after "Aha.m":
        "Aha.m bhuupala.m amaccehi saha dhammena diipa.m paaletu.m ovadissaami."


        >13. Paaniiyena patta.m puuretvaa daarako odana.m bhu~njantaaya
        >yaacakaaya dassati.

        What the book tells us in Chapter 5 gives us the impression that "aaya" and "assa" are interchangeable as singular dative case endings for "-a" masculine nouns. However, from what my teacher told me, "aaya" has a more specific usage, that is "for the sake of", e.g.: Naro puttaaya kamma.m karoti.

        Therefore, it would be better to substitute "bhu~njantaaya yaacakaaya" with "bhu~njantassa yaacakassa".


        >23. Dhammena vasanto/jiivanto tva.m sappuriso hosi.

        "Jiivanto" would be a better choice. "Vasati" means something like "stay, abide, reside (somewhere)".


        As always, I'd appreciate any sharing of differing views.

        vkb


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