A CRITICAL LOOK AT BUDDHIST RELIGIOUS TEXTS TRANSLATION METHODS THROUGH THE VIETNAMESE VERSION OF THERAVADA MAJJHIMA NIKAYA (MIDDLE-LENGTH DISCOURSES)

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Liem Huy Do

Abstract

Translation of Buddha’s discourses (suttas) is one of the most challenging yet less researched areas in Translation Studies. The question of ‘a faithful translated version’ gains most importance in the translation process. The main focus of this research is to foreground the Buddhist theory of interpretation and translation and to look into the Vietnamese translated version of Majjhima Nikaya (MN) of Theravada Buddhism’s Pali Sutta Collection semantically and etymologically. The study found out that, just like translated works in any other language, the Vietnamese translations of the suttas are still not satisfactory versions for readers- both monks and laypeople, as the translators determined the meanings of Buddhist texts from their own cultural and religious experience, outlook, and interpretative traditions. Han (Chinese) language influence of the Mahayana tradition suttas was also commonly found on both semantic and etymological features of the translations. Therefore, there is a crucial need to envisage and define proper methods of translation that would help translators of Buddhist religious texts to convey the real meaning of Buddha’s teaching to the learners. This is very crucial in the Asian contexts, especially in Vietnam, because Asian conceptions of language, interpretation, translation, literature, aesthetics are very different from that of the West, and even vary by country. Future translators should have a professional attitude towards the translation of such religious texts, should possess both language proficiency and wide knowledge in religious matters. Most important, they should put their heart  into every of their religious translation works.

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How to Cite
Do, L. (2021) “A CRITICAL LOOK AT BUDDHIST RELIGIOUS TEXTS TRANSLATION METHODS THROUGH THE VIETNAMESE VERSION OF THERAVADA MAJJHIMA NIKAYA (MIDDLE-LENGTH DISCOURSES)”, TRA VINH UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF SCIENCE; ISSN: 2815-6072; E-ISSN: 2815-6099, 1(45), pp. 48-53. doi: 10.35382/18594816.1.45.2021.783.
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