In an effort to simplify things, Lotsawa School has been transformed into a blog, as you can see. This means most of the content from the old site has disappeared. You will find much of it over on the Rigpa Shedra Wiki, and some of it will slowly appear elsewhere. Meanwhile, the new look Lotsawa House should come online very soon. I hope you enjoy the new site.
The School is immensely grateful to long term collaborator and all round superhero Dominik Schloesser for making available his wonderful TibetDict, a Tibetan dictionary tool for Windows based on the Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary compiled by Erik Pema Kunsang. It is absolutely free and can be downloaded here on DigitalTibetan.org.
For those on Mac OS X, there is a version available here. Spread the word.
Over at Flammschild’s jālasthāna there is a useful update on some Sanskrit resources available online, including a database of dictionaries being put together by the Gāndhārī Dictionary Project. It is also good to see that Whitney’s Sanskrit Grammar is being made available in Wiki format on Wikisource.
Here’s one for fellow Tibeto-bibliophiles. Gene Smith of TBRC was recently asked for his pick of the ‘must have’ Tibetan dictionaries. These, I am told, were his ‘top three’:
1) brda dkrol gser gyi me long / btsan lha ngag dbang tshul khrims kyis rtsom sgrig byas pa. — pe cin : mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1997. isbn 71050223377. 1063 p.
2) mdo sngags kyi gzhung chen mo’i tshig mdzod ris med mkhas pa’i zhal lung / rtsom sgrig pa sgom sde lha rams pa dge bshes thub bstan bsam grub. — delhi : shes rig par khang, 2005. 785 p. (W00EGS1016962)
3) chos rnam kun btus (gangs can rig brgya’i chos kyi rnam grangs mthong tshad kun las btus pa ngo mtshar ‘phrul gyi lde mig chen mo) / nor brang o rgyan gyis bsgrigs. — pe cin : krung go’i bod rig pa dpe skrun khang, 2008. 3 v. 9787802530454.
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.
1760 pages of references to scholarly articles on Tibet. Read more about it and download it from here. And make sure you get the 2008 version of Dan Martin’s awesome Tibskrit too.
The latest version of our Compendium of Quotations (version 6.0) in English and Tibetan is now available here. In 134 pages, it includes many of the most popular citations from the Words of the Buddha, both sutra and tantra, and the major treatises composed by the great Indian and Tibetan commentators.