"Buddhist sutras were translated into literary Chinese, a dead language by that time."Astus wrote:Buddhist sutras were translated into literary Chinese, a dead language by that time. Same can be said about Sanskrit. Latin, of course, is not that popular now as those were in their respective cultural spheres. Still, there is some beauty in Latin. Even two volumes of Harry Potter were translated to Latin (and one volume to ancient Greek).Dharma Atma wrote:But why to translate them in the dead languages...
If you mean that literary Chinese was dead at the time the Buddhist sutras were translated, I would have to disagree with you very strongly.
Even to this day, a fair percentage of Chinese Buddhists can still read these translations without too much difficulty.
Classical Chinese is still taught at most levels of education in Taiwan, for example, and plenty of people can read and recite some classics from memory.
It's not dead today, let alone 1500 years ago.