Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

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Grigoris
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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by Grigoris » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:17 am

Malcolm wrote:Then there is the issue of "helping" the text. It is the habit of some translators to embed their understanding in their translations by fleshing them out, sometimes by as much as 40 percent, with extraneous material either derived from commentaries or from information provided in the course of hearing a text being taught.
I disagree with this method. This sort of activity is best left for footnotes where it is made clear that it is an addition of the translator.
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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by Fortyeightvows » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:37 am

Do we have any fans of the "naropa" "university" translation style?
Naropa.jpg
Naropa.jpg (57.04 KiB) Viewed 1024 times

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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by Lingpupa » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:53 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:37 am
Do we have any fans of the "naropa" "university" translation style?
Nope. IMHO any translator should precisely NOT try to bring their own personal slant to their translation. Precision, clarity, faithfulness to the original should surely be the goal, even if they are "counsels of perfection".

I'd never heard of him before, but I must say that a quick Google returns "has been studying yoga for ten years and teaching for nine" a number of times on the first page. Smacks of superficiality. Ten years study ain't huge anyway, but he was teaching after ONE YEAR!!! Some kind of yoga that must be.
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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by Malcolm » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:04 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:17 am
Malcolm wrote:Then there is the issue of "helping" the text. It is the habit of some translators to embed their understanding in their translations by fleshing them out, sometimes by as much as 40 percent, with extraneous material either derived from commentaries or from information provided in the course of hearing a text being taught.
I disagree with this method. This sort of activity is best left for footnotes where it is made clear that it is an addition of the translator.
I am not advocating for this, just mentioned that this is the practice of some translators. I personally think it is the wrong way to go.
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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by Mantrik » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:56 pm

Translation of the text is, obviously, Translation.
Selection and Emphasis are Editing.
Expansion, Elaboration and Explanation are Authorship.

However, if a translation makes no sense in the context of the recipient culture then I guess the task is to make sense with minimal tweaking. I do agree, though, that footnotes are preferable.
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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by amanitamusc » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:15 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:37 am
Do we have any fans of the "naropa" "university" translation style?

Naropa.jpg
This seems odd in a queer way.

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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by Brunelleschi » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:31 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:37 am
Do we have any fans of the "naropa" "university" translation style?

Naropa.jpg
So does he mean "queer" as in strange/odd or "queer" as in Queer Theory derived from figures such as Judith Butler or Leo Bersani?

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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:25 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:37 am
Do we have any fans of the "naropa" "university" translation style?

Naropa.jpg
SMH

Of course the issue of translation is a nuanced one, but we really cannot underestimate its importance.

As Dzongsar khyentse rinpoche has said below.

"If we assess honestly exactly where we are now, we will see how urgent and precarious the situation has become. This may sound like an exaggeration, I may be entirely wrong ,but I do feel the survival of Tibetan Buddhism depends on whether or not we translate our transmission of the Words of the Buddha into modern languages." http://84000.co/rinpoches-speech-during ... an-9-2011/

While there are some formidable challenges, it's clear that the merit of translation, if done with a positive motivation, is surely vast.

I do think Orgyen tobgyal rinpoche raises some very good points here.



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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by XXIlluminatingVoid72 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:37 pm

Brunelleschi wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:31 am
Fortyeightvows wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:37 am
Do we have any fans of the "naropa" "university" translation style?

Naropa.jpg
So does he mean "queer" as in strange/odd or "queer" as in Queer Theory derived from figures such as Judith Butler or Leo Bersani?
Pretty sure he means he is putting an LGBTQ spin on his translations. It's nice someone is willing to take the principle of putting your own interpretations into translations to such an exaggerated extent, to make it patently obvious that it's not the right direction. Honestly, I don't know what it could possibly look like.

"THUS HAVE I HEARD. Upon a memorable pride rally, the Lord Buddha sojourned in the non-gendered monarchy of Shravasti. As the hour for the morning meal approached, Lord Buddha, put on a rainbow flag, and looking totally fabulous, walked towards the city of equality of rights which he entered to beg for food"

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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:42 pm

Possibly of interest:

There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by XXIlluminatingVoid72 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:32 pm

Filling out a text with a guru's explanations is one thing, or trying to accentuate the subtle meaning that is there. But mixing it with modern and trendy theories, trying to water down what the texts are saying so they aren't "patriarchal", mixing it with your own personality and biases (queer theory) which have nothing to do with a root text, are completely different. That's a good way to destroy the actual dharma. If you want to write about those theories then you are free to, but to try to pretend that that is what Buddha or others were saying is fraud.

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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by Brunelleschi » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:42 pm

XXIlluminatingVoid72 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:37 pm
Brunelleschi wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:31 am
Fortyeightvows wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:37 am
Do we have any fans of the "naropa" "university" translation style?

Naropa.jpg
So does he mean "queer" as in strange/odd or "queer" as in Queer Theory derived from figures such as Judith Butler or Leo Bersani?
Pretty sure he means he is putting an LGBTQ spin on his translations. It's nice someone is willing to take the principle of putting your own interpretations into translations to such an exaggerated extent, to make it patently obvious that it's not the right direction. Honestly, I don't know what it could possibly look like.

"THUS HAVE I HEARD. Upon a memorable pride rally, the Lord Buddha sojourned in the non-gendered monarchy of Shravasti. As the hour for the morning meal approached, Lord Buddha, put on a rainbow flag, and looking totally fabulous, walked towards the city of equality of rights which he entered to beg for food"
Well, I don't really have a problem with Queer Theory I just thought it was an odd thing to say. As to your comment I'd say it is actually homophobic and there's no need for that. :rules:

There's going to be a new generation of translators so at least he's open with his views. We all have our biases.


Furthermore, he seems to be more into translating texts related to Hindu practice and not Buddhadharma. :shrug:

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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by XXIlluminatingVoid72 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:48 pm

It’s not queer theory that I’m singling out, I am questioning what it has to do with buddhadharma. Are we going to have conservative translators, liberal translators, communist, capitalist all translating texts differently? Everyone has opinions or biases but why would I need to write my opinions into the texts? If we are putting value on the words of these masters, we want their message to be portrayed truthfully. There’s a difference between being open with your biases and saying that you are intentionally writing them into translations.

Translating is a unique art because it is less about the translator themselves, and more about how they are able to comprehend and transmit the message they are working with.

Again, my comment that was quoted was for the purpose of humour not degradation, because I can’t imagine what would be meant by putting a “queer slant” on translations. I admit I haven’t read any of his texts, but talking about the principle behind it still stands I believe.

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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by TharpaChodron » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:15 am

I think that comment was hilarious and not really homophobic. You might check out RuPaul's Drag Race, there's a helluva lot of ironic gay humor out there.

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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by Grigoris » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:52 am

XXIlluminatingVoid72 wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:48 pm
It’s not queer theory that I’m singling out, I am questioning what it has to do with buddhadharma. Are we going to have conservative translators, liberal translators, communist, capitalist all translating texts differently? Everyone has opinions or biases but why would I need to write my opinions into the texts? If we are putting value on the words of these masters, we want their message to be portrayed truthfully. There’s a difference between being open with your biases and saying that you are intentionally writing them into translations.
Post-Modernism is such a drag (no pun intended).
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Keith Dowman's argument for his "interpretive free" translation style

Post by Fa Dao » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:29 pm

:twothumbsup:
XXIlluminatingVoid72 wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:48 pm
It’s not queer theory that I’m singling out, I am questioning what it has to do with buddhadharma. Are we going to have conservative translators, liberal translators, communist, capitalist all translating texts differently? Everyone has opinions or biases but why would I need to write my opinions into the texts? If we are putting value on the words of these masters, we want their message to be portrayed truthfully. There’s a difference between being open with your biases and saying that you are intentionally writing them into translations.

Translating is a unique art because it is less about the translator themselves, and more about how they are able to comprehend and transmit the message they are working with.

Again, my comment that was quoted was for the purpose of humour not degradation, because I can’t imagine what would be meant by putting a “queer slant” on translations. I admit I haven’t read any of his texts, but talking about the principle behind it still stands I believe.
:twothumbsup:
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