Translatorhood

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csmorg96
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Translatorhood

Post by csmorg96 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:55 pm

How does one support themselves as a translator of Sanskrit/Tibetan?

Motova
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by Motova » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:00 pm

csmorg96 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:55 pm
How does one support themselves as a translator of Sanskrit/Tibetan?
Most likely as a professor.

I would suggest becoming an ESL teacher.
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

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Malcolm
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by Malcolm » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:03 pm

csmorg96 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:55 pm
How does one support themselves as a translator of Sanskrit/Tibetan?
Well, getting a day job helps a lot.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Motova
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by Motova » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:44 pm

I bet in 15-20 years computer translators will be better anyways.... :stirthepot:
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

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Zhen Li
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by Zhen Li » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:34 am

csmorg96 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:55 pm
How does one support themselves as a translator of Sanskrit/Tibetan?
These days, particularly in North America, having a professorship just as a scholar of language is almost impossible. You may occasionally get offered contract lecture positions, but nothing stable. I know one published and very qualified translator, who trained at Oxford, who is lucky when he can get a job teaching, and usually works as a taxi driver or doing other odd jobs.

So, it is a better strategy to train as a scholar of Buddhist Studies or something else, and translate works in relation to your research.

amanitamusc
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by amanitamusc » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:41 am

Having English speaking Masters teaching such as Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche is a boon for all .
The works he is translating are invaluable.

Motova
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by Motova » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:46 am

To be honest there is no money in anything related to Buddhism.

You'll be poor as a translator, Emchi, thangka painter, etc etc.

I suggest ESL teacher because at least that will maintain your English knowledge which you'll need for translating, and everyone wants to learn English. You can work at home or anywhere on the planet. You can teach monastics and accumulate some merit. You can lift people out of poverty. You can do a lot as an English teacher.

You can also become TESL certified no matter what university degree you have.
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

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Malcolm
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by Malcolm » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:03 am

Motova wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:46 am
To be honest there is no money in anything related to Buddhism.
If I were in it for the money, I would have picked either Yoga Hinduism or Evangelical Christianity.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

SunWuKong
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by SunWuKong » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:22 pm

csmorg96 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:55 pm
How does one support themselves as a translator of Sanskrit/Tibetan?
By being better than the others.

climb-up
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by climb-up » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:44 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:22 pm
csmorg96 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:55 pm
How does one support themselves as a translator of Sanskrit/Tibetan?
By being better than the others.
That is a sometimes necessary (...almost never) but almost never sufficient strategy in almost any field.

My guess would be to look into the publishing industry and how to make money in it. Publishing is super-competitive and it might be worth looking into to successful self-publishing strategies (in which case you'll need to learn marketing, sales and branding).

Talks, lectures and classes can be sold to the public (again; marketing, sales, branding...). Of course, if you give a talk, lecture or class you've got a good opportunity to sell your book (see above).

Selling yourself or your services is similar to being a performer and a lot of successful performers will point out that "show business" has two words. "Show" has four letters and "business" has 8, ...business being twice as important as the show(if you want to make a living doing it).

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Thomas Amundsen
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:39 pm

Motova wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:44 pm
I bet in 15-20 years computer translators will be better anyways.... :stirthepot:
I personally would never rely on a tantra translated by a computer. From what I've been taught, the snga 'gyur were primarily translated by realized Dzogchen practitioners. I wouldn't personally rely on translations from someone who isn't realized, at least to some degree. On the other hand, perhaps we will have a realized computer in 15-20 years! :shock:

Motova
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by Motova » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:07 am

Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:39 pm
Motova wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:44 pm
I bet in 15-20 years computer translators will be better anyways.... :stirthepot:
I personally would never rely on a tantra translated by a computer. From what I've been taught, the snga 'gyur were primarily translated by realized Dzogchen practitioners. I wouldn't personally rely on translations from someone who isn't realized, at least to some degree. On the other hand, perhaps we will have a realized computer in 15-20 years! :shock:
What if an enlightened being wrote the computer translating program?
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

User avatar
Thomas Amundsen
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:28 am

Motova wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:07 am
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:39 pm
Motova wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:44 pm
I bet in 15-20 years computer translators will be better anyways.... :stirthepot:
I personally would never rely on a tantra translated by a computer. From what I've been taught, the snga 'gyur were primarily translated by realized Dzogchen practitioners. I wouldn't personally rely on translations from someone who isn't realized, at least to some degree. On the other hand, perhaps we will have a realized computer in 15-20 years! :shock:
What if an enlightened being wrote the computer translating program?
OK, if that happened, I'd give it a read!

PeterC
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by PeterC » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:54 pm

Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:39 pm
Motova wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:44 pm
I bet in 15-20 years computer translators will be better anyways.... :stirthepot:
I personally would never rely on a tantra translated by a computer. From what I've been taught, the snga 'gyur were primarily translated by realized Dzogchen practitioners. I wouldn't personally rely on translations from someone who isn't realized, at least to some degree. On the other hand, perhaps we will have a realized computer in 15-20 years! :shock:
For better or worse, the way that machine translators works that is not really a possibility. They are trained initially by looking at how human translators have converted text from one language to another, and subsequently by feedback from human users of their output (gross simplification, I know, but sufficient for this discussion). So if you wanted to create a Dzogchen text translation tool now, it would have to start from the corpus of Dzogchen texts already translated. Hence the impression of realization that a computer could give would be limited by the consistency of human translators' work. I then refer you to the various discussions on this forum about the accuracy of certain translators and translations and the correct/incorrect rendering of, well, pretty much any technical term you'd care to choose.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:40 pm

Motova wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:44 pm
I bet in 15-20 years computer translators will be better anyways.... :stirthepot:
They need to learn how to think first!
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

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Thomas Amundsen
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:12 pm

PeterC wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:54 pm
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:39 pm
Motova wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:44 pm
I bet in 15-20 years computer translators will be better anyways.... :stirthepot:
I personally would never rely on a tantra translated by a computer. From what I've been taught, the snga 'gyur were primarily translated by realized Dzogchen practitioners. I wouldn't personally rely on translations from someone who isn't realized, at least to some degree. On the other hand, perhaps we will have a realized computer in 15-20 years! :shock:
For better or worse, the way that machine translators works that is not really a possibility. They are trained initially by looking at how human translators have converted text from one language to another, and subsequently by feedback from human users of their output (gross simplification, I know, but sufficient for this discussion). So if you wanted to create a Dzogchen text translation tool now, it would have to start from the corpus of Dzogchen texts already translated. Hence the impression of realization that a computer could give would be limited by the consistency of human translators' work. I then refer you to the various discussions on this forum about the accuracy of certain translators and translations and the correct/incorrect rendering of, well, pretty much any technical term you'd care to choose.
Hmmm. Unless things have changed drastically over the last decade when I studied this stuff, that's not how machine translators work. It is much, much dumber than that (although they do work surprisingly well in many cases). They use a noisy channel model where the program basically assumes that translating from, say French to English, is basically as if some French speaker/writer is speaking/writing in English, but the message just got garbled along the way. The translation program then attempts to "correct" the garbled message and produces English output. I've also worked on what they call "precision grammars" that involve deep semantic knowledge of languages, but as far as I know, this stuff is not widely used in practice, it's essentially confined to research right now.

What you're describing sounds like Case-Based Reasoning (CBR). I don't think they use that technique for translation. I agree though that ultimately any machine methods rely on existing English translations, which is certainly problematic. With precision grammars, you wouldn't need to rely on translated corpora, but you do still have to rely on a translated lexicon, which is still problematic.

PeterC
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by PeterC » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:01 am

Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:12 pm
PeterC wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:54 pm
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:39 pm


I personally would never rely on a tantra translated by a computer. From what I've been taught, the snga 'gyur were primarily translated by realized Dzogchen practitioners. I wouldn't personally rely on translations from someone who isn't realized, at least to some degree. On the other hand, perhaps we will have a realized computer in 15-20 years! :shock:
For better or worse, the way that machine translators works that is not really a possibility. They are trained initially by looking at how human translators have converted text from one language to another, and subsequently by feedback from human users of their output (gross simplification, I know, but sufficient for this discussion). So if you wanted to create a Dzogchen text translation tool now, it would have to start from the corpus of Dzogchen texts already translated. Hence the impression of realization that a computer could give would be limited by the consistency of human translators' work. I then refer you to the various discussions on this forum about the accuracy of certain translators and translations and the correct/incorrect rendering of, well, pretty much any technical term you'd care to choose.
Hmmm. Unless things have changed drastically over the last decade when I studied this stuff, that's not how machine translators work. It is much, much dumber than that (although they do work surprisingly well in many cases). They use a noisy channel model where the program basically assumes that translating from, say French to English, is basically as if some French speaker/writer is speaking/writing in English, but the message just got garbled along the way. The translation program then attempts to "correct" the garbled message and produces English output. I've also worked on what they call "precision grammars" that involve deep semantic knowledge of languages, but as far as I know, this stuff is not widely used in practice, it's essentially confined to research right now.

What you're describing sounds like Case-Based Reasoning (CBR). I don't think they use that technique for translation. I agree though that ultimately any machine methods rely on existing English translations, which is certainly problematic. With precision grammars, you wouldn't need to rely on translated corpora, but you do still have to rely on a translated lexicon, which is still problematic.
My frame of reference on this is limited - I’m familiar only with the current approach that the Chinese tech companies are taking for machine translation in and out of Chinese. I recognize that there are a lot of other models out there and from your comments you sound far more knowledgeable on this topic than am I. I think we are arriving at the same conclusion, though, on the apparent realization of machines in this regard

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Thomas Amundsen
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:08 am

PeterC wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:01 am
My frame of reference on this is limited - I’m familiar only with the current approach that the Chinese tech companies are taking for machine translation in and out of Chinese. I recognize that there are a lot of other models out there and from your comments you sound far more knowledgeable on this topic than am I. I think we are arriving at the same conclusion, though, on the apparent realization of machines in this regard
Yea, I am going to stick to human translations :)

dharmafootsteps
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by dharmafootsteps » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:43 am

PeterC wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:01 am
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:12 pm
PeterC wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:54 pm


For better or worse, the way that machine translators works that is not really a possibility. They are trained initially by looking at how human translators have converted text from one language to another, and subsequently by feedback from human users of their output (gross simplification, I know, but sufficient for this discussion). So if you wanted to create a Dzogchen text translation tool now, it would have to start from the corpus of Dzogchen texts already translated. Hence the impression of realization that a computer could give would be limited by the consistency of human translators' work. I then refer you to the various discussions on this forum about the accuracy of certain translators and translations and the correct/incorrect rendering of, well, pretty much any technical term you'd care to choose.
Hmmm. Unless things have changed drastically over the last decade when I studied this stuff, that's not how machine translators work. It is much, much dumber than that (although they do work surprisingly well in many cases). They use a noisy channel model where the program basically assumes that translating from, say French to English, is basically as if some French speaker/writer is speaking/writing in English, but the message just got garbled along the way. The translation program then attempts to "correct" the garbled message and produces English output. I've also worked on what they call "precision grammars" that involve deep semantic knowledge of languages, but as far as I know, this stuff is not widely used in practice, it's essentially confined to research right now.

What you're describing sounds like Case-Based Reasoning (CBR). I don't think they use that technique for translation. I agree though that ultimately any machine methods rely on existing English translations, which is certainly problematic. With precision grammars, you wouldn't need to rely on translated corpora, but you do still have to rely on a translated lexicon, which is still problematic.
My frame of reference on this is limited - I’m familiar only with the current approach that the Chinese tech companies are taking for machine translation in and out of Chinese. I recognize that there are a lot of other models out there and from your comments you sound far more knowledgeable on this topic than am I. I think we are arriving at the same conclusion, though, on the apparent realization of machines in this regard
Machine learning, and specifically neural networks have changed things quite a bit: https://research.google.com/pubs/pub45610.html

It's what resulted in the massive jump in the quality of google translate a little over a year ago for certain language pairs.

MiphamFan
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Re: Translatorhood

Post by MiphamFan » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:40 am

Google Translate works quite well translating between English and other modern Western European languages as far as I have seen.

It still is quite terrible with Asian languages and even Latin though.

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