Friday, June 26, 2015

Tao Te Ching: Selected English Translations

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.   

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  

Chapter Chart Index for the Daodejing

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

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Daodejing by Laozi

Chapter 9

"It is advisable to refrain from continual reaching after wealth.
Continual handling and sharpening wears away the most durable thing.
If the house be full of jewels, who shall protect it?
Wealth and glory bring care along with pride.
To stop when good work is done and honour advancing is the way of Heaven."
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 9 

"Let Heavenly Love fill you and overflow in you,
Not according to your measure of fullness.
Prove it, probe deeply into it,
It shall not long withstand you.
You may fill a place with gold and precious stones,
You will not be able to guard them.
You may be weighted with honors and become proud.
Misfortune then will come to your Self.
You may accomplish great deeds and acquire fame,
Retire yourself;
This is Heavenly Tao."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 9  

"Stretch a bow to the very full,
And you will wish you had stopped in time.
Temper a sword-edge to its very sharpest,
And the edge will not last long.
When gold and jade fill your hall,
You will not be able to keep them safe.
To be proud with wealth and honor
Is to sow seeds of one's own downfall.
Retire when your work is done,
Such is Heaven's way."
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 9 

"Holding and keeping a thing to the very full - it is better to leave it alone;
Handling and sharpening a blade - it cannot be long sustained;
When gold and jade fill the hall, no one can protect them;
Wealth and honour with pride bring with them destruction;
To have accomplished merit and acquired fame, then to retire -
This is the Tao of heaven."
-  Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 9  

持而盈之, 不如其已.
揣而銳之, 不可長保.
金玉滿堂莫之能守富貴而驕, 自遺其咎.
-  Chinese characters, Chapter 9, Tao Te Ching

ch'ih erh ying chih, pu ju ch'i yi.
ch'uai erh cho chih, pu k'o ch'ang pao.
chin yü man t'ang mo chih nêng shou fu kuei erh chiao, tsu yi ch'i chiu.
kung sui shên t'ui t'ien chih tao. 
-  Wade-Giles (1892) Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 9  

"Is it better to hold fast to filling, and fill when fullness is gained?
You may handle the point that is sharpened till all the sharpness is gone,
You may fill your halls with gold and gems, but thieving is not restrained,
And wealth and place, when linked with pride, will only bring ruin on;
When the work is done, and reputation advancing, then, I say,
Is the time to withdraw and disappear, and that is Heaven' s Way."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 9 
"Keep stretching a bow
You repent of the pull,
A 'whetted saw
Goes thin and dull,
Surrounded with treasure
You lie ill at ease,
Proud beyond measure
You come to your knees:
Do enough, without vying,
Be living, not dying."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 9  

"Tensa un arco hasta su límite y pronto se romperá;
Afila una espada al máximo y pronto estará mellada;
Amasa el mayor tesoro y pronto lo robarán;
Exige créditos y honores y pronto caerás;
Retirarse una vez la meta ha sido alcanzada es el camino de la Naturaleza."
-  Translated by Antonio Rivas Gonzálvez, 1998, Capitulo 9

"Going to extremes is never best.
For if you make a blade too sharp, it will become dull too quickly
And if you hoard all the wealth, you are bound to be attacked.
If you become proud and arrogant regarding your good fortune, you will naturally beget enemies who jealously despise you.
The way to success is this: having achieved your goal, be satisfied not to go further. For this is the way Nature operates."
-  Translated by Archie J. Balm, 1958, Chapter 9 

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