Friday, June 05, 2015

Interpolations and Translations of the Daodjing by Laozi

A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes 20 different English translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 3 Spanish translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, and the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin Romanization of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter.  Each webpage for one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words and terms in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, and other resources for that Chapter.   

After each quoted version for a Chapter, I use the expression "Translated by ..."  The version of the Chapter could be a strict or free or loose "translation" of the Chapter by a qualified bilingual, Chinese-English, scholar (e.g., Ellen Chen, Thomas Cleary, Livia Kohn, Michael LaFargue, Victor Mair, Red Pine, Lin Yutang, Arthur Waley, etc.), teacher, Taoist, or expert.  It could also be an "interpolation" by a qualified or unqualified non-bilingual author who compared a dozen true translations into English and then created their own English version of the Chapter, e.g., Aleistar Crowley, Wayne Dyer, Ursula Le Guin, etc.  It could be an "interpretation" of the Chapter to suit their own tastes, ideas, or beliefs, e.g., Mabry's Christian interpretation.  I just call them all "translations," because I am not often sure as to the background, qualifications, and intentions of the author.  

Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

One Old Taoist's Final Journey 

Here is an example of some of the translations and/or interpolations for:

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Daodejing by Laozi

Chapter 12

"Color's five hues from the eyes their sight will take;
Music's five notes the ears as deaf can make;
The flavors five deprive the mouth of taste;
The chariot course, and the wild hunting waste
Make mad the mind;
And objects rare and strange,
Sought for,
Men's conduct will to evil change.
Therefore the sage seeks to satisfy the craving of the belly,
and not the insatiable longing of the eyes.
He puts from him the latter, and prefers to seek the former."
-   Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 12  

"The five colours blind the eyes of man.
The five musical notes deafen the ears of man.
The five flavours dull the taste of man.
Violent running and hunting disturb the emotions of man.
Greed for rare objects is hurtful to the actions of man.
That is why the self-controlled man occupies himself with the unseen, he does not occupy himself with the things visible, he puts away the latter and seeks the former."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 12

"The five colors make a man's eyes blind;
Horseracing and hunting make a man's mind go mad;
Goods that are hard to obtain make a man's progress falter;
The five flavors make a man's palate dull;
The five tones make a man's ears deaf.
For these reasons, In ruling, the sage attends to the stomach, not to the eye.
Therefore, He rejects the one and adopts the other."
-  Translated by Victor H. Mair, 1990, Chapter 12 

馳騁田獵, 令人心發狂.
難得之貨, 令人行妨.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 12  

wu sê ling jên mu mang.
wu yin ling jên erh lung.
wu wei ling jên k'ou shuang.
ch'ih ch'êng t'ien lieh, ling jên hsin fa k'uang.
nan tê chih huo, ling jên hsing fang.
shih yi shêng jên wei fu pu wei mu.
ku ch'ü pi ch'ü tz'u.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 12 

"The five colors can blind,
The five tones deafen,
The five tastes cloy.
The race, the hunt, can drive men mad
And their booty leave them no peace.
Therefore a sensible man
Prefers the inner to the outer eye:
He has his yes, --he has his no."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 12 

"The five colors
blind our eyes.
The five notes
deafen our ears.
The five flavors
dull our taste.

Racing, chasing, hunting,
drives people crazy.
Trying to get rich
ties people in knots.

So the wise soul
watches with the inner
not with the outward eye,
letting that go,
keeping this."
-  Translation by Ursula K. Le Guin, 2009, Chapter 12 

"The five colours blind man's eye.
The five notes deafen man's ear.
The five tastes jade man's palate.
Galloping and hunting madden man's heart.
Goods that are difficult to obtain entangle man's conduct.
That is why the Saint cares for the belly and not for the eye.
For indeed, he rejects the one and chooses the other."
-  Translated by Jan J. L. Duyvendak, 1954, Chapter 12 

"Demasiado color ciega el ojo,
Demasiado ruido ensordece el oido,
Demasiado condimento embota el paladar,
Demasiado jugar dispersa la mente,
Demasiado deseo entristece el corazón.
El sabio provee para satisfacer las necesidades, no los sentidos;
Abandona la sensación y se concentra en la sustancia."
-  Translated by Antonio Rivas Gonzálvez, 2004, Tao Te Ching, Capítulo 12  

"The five colors can make us blind.
The five sounds can make us deaf.
The five flavors can deaden our taste.
Racing, chasing, and hunting can drive us mad.
The pursuit of treasure knocks us off the path.
Therefore, the Tao–Master follows his inner vision
rather than his outer vision.
He chooses this but not that."
-  Translated by George Cronk, 1999, Chapter 12  


No comments:

Post a Comment