Buddhist Literary Heritage Project site

The School just noticed that the Buddhist Literary Heritage Project website is up and running over here, all bright and shiny and brand spanking new. Go on, have a look.


Via Rev. Danny Fisher, comes the news that the University of Virginia has formally launched their new Tibet Center, which according to the press release, “consolidates, integrates and significantly expands the University’s world-renowned Tibet-related resources and programs.” As Danny points out, the release has also  a brief history of Tibetan Studies at UVA, beginning with the mighty Jeffrey Hopkins. The Center’s new website features an rss feed, so you can keep up-to-date with all the goings-on at this thriving hub of Tibetan studies. The first guest speaker, following the  launch, was Lodi Gyari Rinpoche.

In this season of lotsawa conferences (Light of Berotsana‘s last September, Khyentse Foundation‘s coming up in March), there is a lot of reflection and discussion about how lotsawas do their thing, all of it tying in quite neatly with the purpose of this site. In the spirit of this atmosphere of introspection, here is a set of guidelines laid out by the excellent Padmakara Translation Group here on their burgeoning new site:

  • Starting by receiving transmission and explanation of the text from a qualified teacher
  • Careful, painstaking translation of the meaning, with extensive research and study where necessary
  • Submission of difficult points and doubts to competent teachers with a good knowledge of the text
  • Double-checking of the draft translation by at least one other translator
  • Careful editing and rewriting to produce a clear, readable style
  • Final text proof-read and approved by a person who knows the subject and has a good command of the final language

This is clearly the methodology of a group of translators–and highlights the advantages of working together, as well as the central role of the teacher(s). What also comes through from reading these points is the group’s well-known emphasis on the importance of fluent, readable translations, requiring translators and editors alike to have, as they put it, “a good command of the final language.” This latter point is worth reiterating because there seems to be a common misconception these days that anyone is capable of becoming a translator, and that little or no literary training in the target language is required, as if everyone is somehow gifted with fluency in their native tongue and the automatic ability to produce lucid prose.

I don’t know how this escaped our attention for a full six days, but here is a link to the new blog from the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC) and E. Gene Smith. Get over there and add it to your feed readers this very instant. And if you are on Facebook, here is the TBRC page and here the page for Digital Dharma, the upcoming documentary that people are calling “Gene Smith: The Movie”.

I have just added a link to the excellent Sakya Resource Guide blog, which is maintained by Jeff Watt. The School recommends that all its visitors subscribe to the feed. As a small sample, here is a note concerning the book mentioned in our very last post.

Read the news here.

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