Monday, August 8, 2016

Translation Comparison as Pedagogy

For the first day of my Classical Indian Philosophy of Language class, I am introducing the students to the challenges and rewards of reading Indian philosophy in translation. One of these challenges is that students often worry that the translation they have is an obstacle to the "true" text.

We're going to take this challenge head-on by looking at four English translations of Nyāyasūtra 1.1.1. Two of these translations are by the same person, which is intentional--I want them to consider why a translator might make different choices at different times and contexts. I thought it would be fun to post the versions here, just to see how they vary. Below I've also provided the Sanskrit text, though I don't for students.