SuttaCentral

English Translation of Chinese Agamas


#21

Okay, no worries, that sounds excellent.

It would be handy to maintain, as a general rule, one segment for one doctrinal pericope. It’s not always easy to keep 100%, and there is a grey area between a “doctrinal pericope” and a mere list of items, but still.


#22

I’ve finally gotten back to my translation work with the Madhyama Agama. After taking a look at how AN.7.68 was segmented on GitHub, I created a basic segmentation of my translation of MA.1, but I’ve mainly broken it down into sentences. I can see ways to break it down further, but I decided may be better to get some input. Below is the segmentation I’ve arrived at as a first step:

{
“ma1.1:0.1” : “Middle-Length Discourses 1”,
“ma1.1:0.2” : “1. The Sevens”,
“ma1.1:0.3” : “1. The Good Dharma”,
“ma1.1:1.1” : “I have heard thus: One time, the Buddha traveled to the kingdom of Śrāvastī and stayed at Anāthapiṇḍada Park in Jeta Grove.”,
“ma1.1:2.1” : "At that time, the Bhagavān addressed the bhikṣus: “If a bhikṣu accomplishes seven things, then he will attain the happiness of the noble ones, and he will be rightly destined for the end of the contaminants.”,
“ma1.1:2.2” : “What are the seven?”,
“ma1.1:2.3” : “Namely, a bhikṣu knows the Dharma, knows the meaning, knows the time, knows moderation, knows himself, knows the assembly, and knows the greater likenesses of people.”,
“ma1.1:3.1” : "“How does a bhikṣu know the Dharma?”,
“ma1.1:3.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows the right sūtras (discourses), songs (geya), predictions (vyākaraṇa), gāthās (verses), histories (nidāna), stories (avadāna), past births (itivṛttaka), lectures (udāna), birth places (jātaka), extensive explanations (vaipulya), unprecedented things (adbhuta-dharma), and explanations of meaning (upadeśa).”,
“ma1.1:3.3” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows the Dharma.”,
“ma1.1:3.4” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who doesn’t know the Dharma, which is to say that he doesn’t know the right sūtras, songs, predictions, gāthās, histories, stories, past births, lectures, birth places, extensive explanations, unprecedented things, and explanations of meaning.”,
“ma1.1:3.5” : “Such a bhikṣu doesn’t know the Dharma.”,
“ma1.1:3.6” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who well knows the Dharma, which is to say that he knows the right sūtras, songs, predictions, gāthās, histories, stories, past births, lectures, birth places, extensive explanations, unprecedented things, and explanations of meaning.”,
“ma1.1:3.7” : “This is called a bhikṣu who well knows the Dharma.”,
“ma1.1:4.1” : "“How does a bhikṣu know the meaning?”,
“ma1.1:4.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows the meaning of this or that expression is this or that meaning.”,
“ma1.1:4.3” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows the meaning.”,
“ma1.1:4.4” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who doesn’t know the meaning, which is to say that he doesn’t know the meaning of this or that expression is this or that meaning.”,
“ma1.1:4.5” : “Such a bhikṣu doesn’t know the meaning.”,
“ma1.1:4.6” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who well knows the meaning, which is to say that he knows the meaning of this or that expression is this or that meaning.”,
“ma1.1:4.7” : “This is called a bhikṣu who well knows the meaning.”,
“ma1.1:5.1” : "“How does a bhikṣu know the time?”,
“ma1.1:5.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows the time to cultivate lower qualities, the time to cultivate higher qualities, and the time to cultivate qualities of indifference.”,
“ma1.1:5.3” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows the time.”,
“ma1.1:5.4” : “Suppose there a bhikṣu who doesn’t know the time, which is to say that he doesn’t know the time to cultivate lower qualities, the time to cultivate higher qualities, and the time to cultivate qualities of indifference.”,
“ma1.1:5.5” : “Such a bhikṣu doesn’t know the time.”,
“ma1.1:5.6” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who well knows the time, which is to say that he knows the time to cultivate lower qualities, the time to cultivate higher qualities, and the time to cultivate qualities of indifference.”,
“ma1.1:5.7” : “This is called the bhikṣu who well knows the time.”,
“ma1.1:6.1” : "“How does a bhikṣu know moderation?”,
“ma1.1:6.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows moderation whether he is drinking, eating, departing, standing, sitting, laying down, speaking, being silent, or relieving himself, rousing himself when drowsy and cultivating right knowledge.”,
“ma1.1:6.3” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows moderation.”,
“ma1.1:6.4” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who doesn’t know moderation, which is to say that he doesn’t know it whether he is drinking, eating, departing, standing, sitting, laying down, speaking, being silent, or relieving himself, rousing himself when drowsy and cultivating right knowledge.”,
“ma1.1:6.5” : “Such a bhikṣu doesn’t know moderation.”,
“ma1.1:6.6” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who well knows moderation, which is to say that he well knows it whether he is drinking, eating, departing, standing, sitting, laying down, speaking, being silent, relieving himself, rousing himself when drowsy and cultivating right knowledge.”,
“ma1.1:6.7” : “This is called a bhikṣu who well knows moderation.”,
“ma1.1:7:1” : "“How does a bhikṣu know himself?”,
“ma1.1:7.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows ‘Such are my attainments of belief, discipline, learning, generosity, wisdom, discernment, and the Āgamas.’”,
“ma1.1:7.3” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows himself.”,
“ma1.1:7.4” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who doesn’t know himself, which is to say that he doesn’t know ‘Such are my attainments of belief, discipline, learning, generosity, wisdom, discernment, and the Āgamas.’”,
“ma1.1:7.5” : “Such a bhikṣu doesn’t know himself.”,
“ma1.1:7.6” : “Suppose a bhikṣu well knows himself, which is to say that he knows ‘Such are my attainments of belief, discipline, learning, generosity, wisdom, discernment, and the Āgamas.’”,
“ma1.1:7.7” : “This is called a bhikṣu who well knows himself.”,
“ma1.1:8.1” : ““How does a bhikṣu know the assembly?”,
“ma1.1:8.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows ‘This is a kṣatriya assembly, this is a brāhmaṇa assembly, this is a householder assembly, and this is a śramaṇa assembly.”,
“ma1.1:8.3” : “In those assemblies, I should thus depart, thus stand, thus sit, thus speak, and thus be silent.’”,
“ma1.1:8.4” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows the assembly.”,
“ma1.1:8.5” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who doesn’t know the assembly, which is to say that he doesn’t know ‘This is a kṣatriya assembly, this is a brāhmaṇa assembly, this is a householder assembly, and this is a śramaṇa assembly.”,
“ma1.1:8.6” : “In those assemblies, I should thus go, thus stand, thus sit, thus speak, and thus be silent.’”,
“ma1.1:8.7” : “Such a bhikṣu doesn’t know the assembly.”,
“ma1.1:8.8” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who well knows the assembly, which is to say that he well knows ‘This is a kṣatriya assembly, this is a brāhmaṇa assembly, this is a householder assembly, and this is a śramaṇa assembly.”,
“ma1.1:8.9” : “In those assemblies, I should thus go, thus stand, thus sit, thus speak, and thus be silent.’”,
“ma1.1:8.10” : “This is called a bhikṣu who well knows the assembly.”,
“ma1.1:9.1” : "“How does a bhikṣu know the greater likenesses of people?”,
“ma1.1:9.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows there are two kinds of people: believers and non-believers.”,
“ma1.1:9.3” : “If someone is a believer, he is greater;”,
“ma1.1:9.4” : “a non-believer is not.”,
“ma1.1:10.1” : "“It also means that there are two kinds of faithful people:”,
“ma1.1:10.2” : “those who frequently go to see the bhikṣus and those who don’t frequently go to see the bhikṣus.”,
“ma1.1:10.3” : “If someone frequently goes to see the bhikṣus, he is greater;”,
“ma1.1:10.4” : “someone who doesn’t frequently go to see the bhikṣus is not.”,
“ma1.1:11.1” : "“It also means that there are two kinds of people who frequently go to see the bhikṣus:”,
“ma1.1:11.2” : “those who revere the bhikṣus and those who don’t revere the bhikṣus.”,
“ma1.1:11.3” : “If someone reveres the bhikṣus, he is greater;”,
“ma1.1:11.4” : “someone who doesn’t revere the bhikṣus is not.”,
“ma1.1:12.1” : "“It also means that there are two kinds of people who revere the bhikṣus:”,
“ma1.1:12.2” : “those who have questions about the sūtras and those who don’t have questions about the sūtras.”,
“ma1.1:12.3” : “If someone asks about the sūtras, he is greater;”,
“ma1.1:12.4” : “someone who doesn’t ask about the sūtras is not.”,
“ma1.1:13.1” : ""It also means that there are two kinds of people who ask about the sūtras:
",
“ma1.1:13.2” : “those who single-mindedly listen to the sūtras and those who don’t single-mindedly listen to the sūtras.”,
“ma1.1:13.3” : “If someone single-mindedly listens to the sūtras, he is greater;”,
“ma1.1:13.4” : “someone who doesn’t single-mindedly listen to the sūtras is not.”,
“ma1.1:14.1” : "“It also means that there are two kinds of people who single-mindedly listen to the sūtras:”,
“ma1.1:14.2” : “those who hear and retain the Dharma and those who hear but don’t retain the Dharma.”,
“ma1.1:14.3” : “If someone hears and retains the Dharma, he is greater;”,
“ma1.1:14.4” : “someone who hears but doesn’t retain the Dharma is not.”,
“ma1.1:15.1” : "“It also means that there are two kinds of people who hear and retain the Dharma:”,
“ma1.1:15.2” : “those who hear the Dharma and contemplate its meaning and those who hear the Dharma but don’t contemplate its meaning.”,
“ma1.1:15.3” : “If someone hears the Dharma and contemplates its meaning, he is greater;”,
“ma1.1:15.4” : “someone who hears the Dharma but doesn’t contemplate its meaning is not.”,
“ma1.1:16.1” : ""It also means that there are two kinds of people who hear the Dharma and contemplate its meaning:
",
“ma1.1:16.2” : “those who know the Dharma, know its meaning, go from one Dharma to the next Dharma, conform to the Dharma, and conduct themselves according to the Dharma; and those who don’t know the Dharma, don’t know its meaning, don’t go from one Dharma to the next Dharma, don’t conform to the Dharma, and don’t conduct themselves according to the Dharma.”,
“ma1.1:16.3” : “If someone knows the Dharma, knows its meaning, goes from one Dharma to the next Dharma, conforms to the Dharma, and conducts himself according to the Dharma, he is greater.”,
“ma1.1:16.4” : “Someone who doesn’t know the Dharma, doesn’t know its meaning, doesn’t go from one Dharma to the next Dharma, doesn’t conform to the Dharma, and doesn’t conduct himself according to the Dharma is not.”,
“ma1.1:17.1” : ""It also means that there are two kinds of people who know the Dharma, know its meaning, go from one Dharma to the next Dharma, conform to the Dharma, and conduct themselves according to the Dharma:
“,
“ma1.1:17.2” : “those who benefit themselves, benefit others, benefit many people, pity the world, seek both meaning and benefit for devas and humans, and seek peace and happiness; and those who don’t benefit themselves, don’t benefit others, don’t benefit many people, don’t pity the world, don’t seek both meaning and benefit for devas and humans, and don’t seek peace and happiness.”,
“ma1.1:17.3” : “If someone benefits himself, benefits others, benefits many people, pities the world, seeks both meaning and benefit for devas and humans, and seeks peace and happiness, this person is the very best among people. He is great, superior, exceptional, greater, honored, and wondrous.”,
“ma1.1:18.1” : ““It’s just as there is milk because of the cow, there is cream because of milk, there is butter because of cream, there is refined butter because of butter, and there is ghee because of refined butter.”,
“ma1.1:18.2” : “Ghee is the very best of those things.”,
“ma1.1:18.3” : “It is great, superior, exceptional, greater, honored, and wondrous.”,
“ma1.1:18.4” : “Thus is the person who benefits himself, benefits others, benefits many people, pities the world, seeks both meaning and benefit for devas and humans, and seeks peace and happiness. Of these pairs of people as they’ve been described, as they’ve been discerned, and as they’ve been defined, he is the best, great, superior, exceptional, greater, honored, and wondrous.”,
“ma1.1:18.5” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows the greater likenesses of people.””,
“ma1.1:19.1” : “The Buddha spoke thus.”,
“ma1.1:19.2” : “Those bhikṣus who heard what the Buddha had taught rejoiced and handed it down.”
}


#23

Charles, that looks incredible. Let’s take some time with this, make sure we get it right. On the whole, it looks like the segmenting is very much comparable to how the Pali is done, and this provides a fantastic basis for detailed comparison and cross-referencing.

  1. My first question is, what about the Chinese? Can we get that in a similar segmented fashion? Do you have an idea how to do that, or would you like us to work out a method with you?
  2. What is the basis for the segment numbering? I notice you use ma1.1:x.x. It looks to me there is an extra “1” there and it should be ma1:x.x.
  3. There’s an interesting stylistic difference between your work and mine. in translating the Pali, I made considerable effort to translate every single word so far as I could, knowing that the translation could be easily referenced back to the original Pali. But when translating Chinese, you have the option to render a word such as bhikṣu in the Indic form, which is useful in a way that it isn’t in a translation from Pali. I’m not suggesting one way or other is better, just noticing the different context.

I also had a couple of questions regarding the translation choices, specifically the 12 angas. Of course these are quite difficult to render, and I wonder how you have approached it. Are these renderings of the Chinese, or your understanding of the Indic original? (Here I refer to the BDK edition by Bingenheimer et al for comparison.)

  • In the suttas, vyākaraṇa doesn’t mean prophecy, but rather “explanation”, but perhaps the meaning “prophecy” was already current by the time of this translation? BDK edition has “expositions”.
  • I was also surprised by the choice of “past births” for itivṛttaka: was there a specific reason for this? BDK has “[what has been] ‘thus said’”, which is more standard, if clunky.
  • “Unprecedented” is an excellent choice for adbhuta, hmm, I wonder if I should adopt it!
  • You have inverted text and translation for sūtra and gāthā. Since this is consistent, I guess it’s deliberate?
  • The sequence of items seems to differ in your translation and BDK.

#24

Dear Charles,

This looks great! It would be so great to have the segmented Chinese texts on SuttaCentral too!

In addition to what Bhante Sujato mentioned regarding the Chinese and the numbering, I just want to point out a few other things about the segmenting.

So you based your segmenting on this file here: bilara-data/an7.68.json at master · suttacentral/bilara-data · GitHub, which is the segmented English translation.

There is also the pali version, with exactly the same numbers here: bilara-data/an7.68.json at master · suttacentral/bilara-data · GitHub. So we would need to have the Chinese segmented in a similar way. Bhante mentioned this in point 1.

The markup for the sutta is done here: bilara-data/an7.68.html at master · suttacentral/bilara-data · GitHub. I can help with that if you want.


#25

Hi, Sujato,

  1. I plan to segment the Chinese, yes. I was thinking that some of the English sentences could be broken down further but wasn’t sure about doing it on my own accord the first time around. The Chinese will be easy enough to segment once we have the English segmented. If it looks good as is, I’ll go ahead and get the Chinese text ready.

  2. I inserted the section number. The MA is divided into recitations and sections. If it’s better to just use the sutra numbers, I can easily change that.

  3. As I’ll explain below, I generally prefer to preserve the Chinese document’s use of transliterations and translation choices. It’s very rare that bhiksu and bhiksuni are translated into Chinese. They became loan words instead. This is not a hard-and-fast rule for my translations, though, because I’ve taken to falling back to transliterations of proper nouns translated to Chinese to match English sensibilities about names.

The twelve angas is a tough passage that in my opinion can’t be translated with complete certainty. The problem comes down to two things: The Chinese translates most of the terms with the exception of gatha, and the order of the twelve angas is not consistent from one source to the next in Indian texts. So, we end up doing a little guessing, and the Chinese translations aren’t that helpful in a couple cases. Translating these texts can be like detective work, and we don’t always come to a conclusion better than an educated guess. Very rarely, we end up completely at a loss.

Of course, some of the items in the list are clear because the Chinese terms are well known, so we can narrow it down. The confusion happens with the terms for various kinds of stories: avadanas, ittivrttakas, nidanas, etc. We have Chinese translations that could mean more than one of the angas. This is the reason I’ve added the Sanskrit terms to my translation: so the reader knows how I’m guessing the order of the original list.

Having said that:

  1. The Chinese translation is 記說. I may reconsider “prophesy” as a translation down the road. My understanding of vyākaraṇa in the Indic tradition received by the Chinese is that it became associated with assurances by buddhas of a disciple’s future attainment. The same verb is found in the MA.161 (690a04), where the term is used for relating that someone became an anagamin after they died. The verb 記 is also common in Mahayana and Avadana literature for the assurance of a bodhisattva’s future buddhahood from a buddha. This has given 記 strong connotation of “prophesy” in Chinese Buddhist literature. These texts were translated to Chinese at the same time as the Agamas.

Strictly speaking, I can see reading 記 the way BDK has done if I ignored the term’s context in Buddhist literature. The common classical meaning of 記 is of relating an account of events or making a decision one way or another, which does fit the passages in which the Buddha tells everyone how it turned out after a disciple died, for example. It’s just that it was used for this particular situation so often, it took on a particular meaning among Buddhists.

  1. The Chinese here is 本起. Literally, it means “past/legendary arising/occurrence.” The verb 起 does mean a person’s birth sometimes (“appearing” in the world). BDK has “heroic tales” instead, which I think is rather interpretative. I’m not at all certain that this item was itivṛttaka in the original list–it just seems to be the place it fits best given the other items.

BDK’s “[what has been] ‘thus said’” translates 此說, which literally without context means “these/here explanation/discourse.” My best guess is that this was a translation of udāna, so I rendered it as “lectures” (unprompted teachings).

  1. You can thank the Chinese translators: They agreed early on to translate adbuta as 未曾有, which means “never been before.” I’m not sure why BDK chose “marvels” as a translation other than to use a single word in English.

  2. That’s reflective of the Chinese. Sutra is an odd case because the Chinese chose a native term for scriptures as a translation, but it doesn’t translate to English very well. So, I treat the term like a loan word and insert sutra.

Gatha was transliterated, so I offered an English translation that fit the list that was otherwise in English.

Charlie


#26

Okay. I think since lining up the Pali with the Chinese might be desirable, I’ll see if I can follow the breaking up of sentences in the English version of the Pali. I saw that some of the sentences were divided, but mine are often still intact as whole segments. The trouble will be with the passages that don’t match the Pali at all, but I’ll give it another pass tonight or tomorrow and post it here.

Charlie


#27

So, I realized after my reply that I hadn’t compared the twelve sutra divisions in MA.1 to the Abhidharma passage in T1536 at the time that I edited my English translation, and I fell into a rabbit hole when I looked it up. T1536 doesn’t clear up the problem because it’s order for items 5-8 is different than MA.1’s–but Xuanzang’s translations are much clearer.

In the process of researching this, I realized that the confusion lies in the understanding of itivuttaka in Pali and itivrttaka in BHS. They mean different things. In Pali it’s explained to mean “so it was said” but in BHS the term is understood to derive from itivrtta, which means “event/occurrence.”

Edgerton’s BHS dictionary says:

itivrttaka, nt. (in Bbh m.; = ityukta, °taka, qq.v.,
= Pali itivuttaka, which seems clearly based on iti vuttam
= ity uktam, but in BHS has been blended formally, by
Hypersanskritism, with Skt. itivrtta, nt., see BR; Tib.,
see below, proves that at least for Tib. translators the
word was connected with vrtta rather than ukta), n. of
a canonical work or type öf literature, story of past events
(associated with jätaka): Mvy 1274 = Tib. (de lta bu)
byuñ ba (-hi sde), story, history (root hbyuñ, happen,
take place, = vrt);

And he reports that this BHS reading is confirmed in Tibetan translation, too.

The BDK translators I think may have confused themselves by insisting on thinking of MA as a translation from Pali instead of another more likely Indic language. Maybe. The whole thing is very confusing.

So, the list of items in MA.1 goes like this:
正經、歌詠、記說、偈咃、因緣、撰錄、本起、此說、生處、廣解、未曾有法及說義
In T1536 Xuanzang gives us this:
契經、應誦、記說、伽他、自說、因緣、譬喻、本事、本生、方廣、希法、論議

Items 1-4 and 9-12 agree with each other. It’s 5-8 that get jumbled from one source to the next. This must be a function of memory because I’ve seen several examples of this. We forget the middle of lists more often than the beginning or end.

Anyway, in Chinese udana is understood to mean “unprompted discourses,” which would be 自說 or 此說 in the above lists. Itivrttaka means “past events or stories,” which equals 本起 and 本事 in the above lists. Avadana usually is translated the way Xuanzang translates it: 譬喻–“parables”. In MA.1 we have 撰錄 as an apparent equivalent.

I’ve also discovered that Xuanzang in fact translated what is probably the Sarvativada version of the Itivrttaka collection of sutras (T765). He titles it the 本事經. The content is very similar to the Pali Itivuttaka collection as far as I can gather looking at existing English translations and comparing them to his Chinese. So, the texts look to be the same material–the title itivrttaka is just understood differently. His Chinese texts have the same intros that are found in Pali: 吾從世尊聞如是語 = “I heard thus sayings from the Bhagavan.”

Charlie


#28

Sorry, no, that is not what I meant. I meant that lining up the Chinese with your English translations so each line with a specific number refers to the same line in the other language. It does not have to be the same lined up as the Pali.

Like you said, it is not always possible to line up the pali with the chinese in similar segments because the suttas are obviously different in some ways.


#29

Understood. I divided a couple sentences on colons that I hadn’t, but here is what I have now for the English:

{
“ma1:0.1” : “Middle-Length Discourses 1”,
“ma1:0.2” : “1. The Sevens”,
“ma1:0.3” : “1. The Good Dharma”,
“ma1:1.1” : “I have heard thus:”,
“ma1:1.2” : “One time, the Buddha traveled to the kingdom of Śrāvastī and stayed at Anāthapiṇḍada Park in Jeta Grove.”,
“ma1:2.1” : “At that time, the Bhagavān addressed the bhikṣus:”,
“ma1:2.2” : "“If a bhikṣu accomplishes seven things, then he will attain the happiness of the noble ones, and he will be rightly destined for the end of the contaminants.”,
“ma1:2.3” : “What are the seven?”,
“ma1:2.4” : “Namely, a bhikṣu knows the Dharma, knows the meaning, knows the time, knows moderation, knows himself, knows the assembly, and knows the greater likenesses of people.”,
“ma1:3.1” : "“How does a bhikṣu know the Dharma?”,
“ma1:3.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows the right sūtras (discourses), songs (geya), predictions (vyākaraṇa), gāthās (verses), histories (nidāna), stories (avadāna), past births (itivṛttaka), lectures (udāna), birth places (jātaka), extensive explanations (vaipulya), unprecedented things (adbhuta-dharma), and explanations of meaning (upadeśa).”,
“ma1:3.3” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows the Dharma.”,
“ma1:3.4” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who doesn’t know the Dharma, which is to say that he doesn’t know the right sūtras, songs, predictions, gāthās, histories, stories, past births, lectures, birth places, extensive explanations, unprecedented things, and explanations of meaning.”,
“ma1:3.5” : “Such a bhikṣu doesn’t know the Dharma.”,
“ma1:3.6” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who well knows the Dharma, which is to say that he knows the right sūtras, songs, predictions, gāthās, histories, stories, past births, lectures, birth places, extensive explanations, unprecedented things, and explanations of meaning.”,
“ma1:3.7” : “This is called a bhikṣu who well knows the Dharma.”,
“ma1:4.1” : "“How does a bhikṣu know the meaning?”,
“ma1:4.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows the meaning of this or that expression is this or that meaning.”,
“ma1:4.3” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows the meaning.”,
“ma1:4.4” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who doesn’t know the meaning, which is to say that he doesn’t know the meaning of this or that expression is this or that meaning.”,
“ma1:4.5” : “Such a bhikṣu doesn’t know the meaning.”,
“ma1:4.6” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who well knows the meaning, which is to say that he knows the meaning of this or that expression is this or that meaning.”,
“ma1:4.7” : “This is called a bhikṣu who well knows the meaning.”,
“ma1:5.1” : "“How does a bhikṣu know the time?”,
“ma1:5.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows the time to cultivate lower qualities, the time to cultivate higher qualities, and the time to cultivate qualities of indifference.”,
“ma1:5.3” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows the time.”,
“ma1:5.4” : “Suppose there a bhikṣu who doesn’t know the time, which is to say that he doesn’t know the time to cultivate lower qualities, the time to cultivate higher qualities, and the time to cultivate qualities of indifference.”,
“ma1:5.5” : “Such a bhikṣu doesn’t know the time.”,
“ma1:5.6” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who well knows the time, which is to say that he knows the time to cultivate lower qualities, the time to cultivate higher qualities, and the time to cultivate qualities of indifference.”,
“ma1:5.7” : “This is called the bhikṣu who well knows the time.”,
“ma1:6.1” : "“How does a bhikṣu know moderation?”,
“ma1:6.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows moderation whether he is drinking, eating, departing, standing, sitting, laying down, speaking, being silent, or relieving himself, rousing himself when drowsy and cultivating right knowledge.”,
“ma1:6.3” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows moderation.”,
“ma1:6.4” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who doesn’t know moderation, which is to say that he doesn’t know it whether he is drinking, eating, departing, standing, sitting, laying down, speaking, being silent, or relieving himself, rousing himself when drowsy and cultivating right knowledge.”,
“ma1:6.5” : “Such a bhikṣu doesn’t know moderation.”,
“ma1:6.6” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who well knows moderation, which is to say that he well knows it whether he is drinking, eating, departing, standing, sitting, laying down, speaking, being silent, relieving himself, rousing himself when drowsy and cultivating right knowledge.”,
“ma1:6.7” : “This is called a bhikṣu who well knows moderation.”,
“ma1:7:1” : "“How does a bhikṣu know himself?”,
“ma1:7.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows ‘Such are my attainments of belief, discipline, learning, generosity, wisdom, discernment, and the Āgamas.’”,
“ma1:7.3” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows himself.”,
“ma1:7.4” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who doesn’t know himself, which is to say that he doesn’t know ‘Such are my attainments of belief, discipline, learning, generosity, wisdom, discernment, and the Āgamas.’”,
“ma1:7.5” : “Such a bhikṣu doesn’t know himself.”,
“ma1:7.6” : “Suppose a bhikṣu well knows himself, which is to say that he knows ‘Such are my attainments of belief, discipline, learning, generosity, wisdom, discernment, and the Āgamas.’”,
“ma1:7.7” : “This is called a bhikṣu who well knows himself.”,
“ma1:8.1” : ““How does a bhikṣu know the assembly?”,
“ma1:8.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows ‘This is a kṣatriya assembly, this is a brāhmaṇa assembly, this is a householder assembly, and this is a śramaṇa assembly.”,
“ma1:8.3” : “In those assemblies, I should thus depart, thus stand, thus sit, thus speak, and thus be silent.’”,
“ma1:8.4” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows the assembly.”,
“ma1:8.5” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who doesn’t know the assembly, which is to say that he doesn’t know ‘This is a kṣatriya assembly, this is a brāhmaṇa assembly, this is a householder assembly, and this is a śramaṇa assembly.”,
“ma1:8.6” : “In those assemblies, I should thus go, thus stand, thus sit, thus speak, and thus be silent.’”,
“ma1:8.7” : “Such a bhikṣu doesn’t know the assembly.”,
“ma1:8.8” : “Suppose there is a bhikṣu who well knows the assembly, which is to say that he well knows ‘This is a kṣatriya assembly, this is a brāhmaṇa assembly, this is a householder assembly, and this is a śramaṇa assembly.”,
“ma1:8.9” : “In those assemblies, I should thus go, thus stand, thus sit, thus speak, and thus be silent.’”,
“ma1:8.10” : “This is called a bhikṣu who well knows the assembly.”,
“ma1:9.1” : "“How does a bhikṣu know the greater likenesses of people?”,
“ma1:9.2” : “It means a bhikṣu knows there are two kinds of people: believers and non-believers.”,
“ma1:9.3” : “If someone is a believer, he is greater;”,
“ma1:9.4” : “a non-believer is not.”,
“ma1:10.1” : "“It also means that there are two kinds of faithful people:”,
“ma1:10.2” : “those who frequently go to see the bhikṣus and those who don’t frequently go to see the bhikṣus.”,
“ma1:10.3” : “If someone frequently goes to see the bhikṣus, he is greater;”,
“ma1:10.4” : “someone who doesn’t frequently go to see the bhikṣus is not.”,
“ma1:11.1” : "“It also means that there are two kinds of people who frequently go to see the bhikṣus:”,
“ma1:11.2” : “those who revere the bhikṣus and those who don’t revere the bhikṣus.”,
“ma1:11.3” : “If someone reveres the bhikṣus, he is greater;”,
“ma1:11.4” : “someone who doesn’t revere the bhikṣus is not.”,
“ma1:12.1” : "“It also means that there are two kinds of people who revere the bhikṣus:”,
“ma1:12.2” : “those who have questions about the sūtras and those who don’t have questions about the sūtras.”,
“ma1:12.3” : “If someone asks about the sūtras, he is greater;”,
“ma1:12.4” : “someone who doesn’t ask about the sūtras is not.”,
“ma1:13.1” : "“It also means that there are two kinds of people who ask about the sūtras:”,
“ma1:13.2” : “those who single-mindedly listen to the sūtras and those who don’t single-mindedly listen to the sūtras.”,
“ma1:13.3” : “If someone single-mindedly listens to the sūtras, he is greater;”,
“ma1:13.4” : “someone who doesn’t single-mindedly listen to the sūtras is not.”,
“ma1:14.1” : "“It also means that there are two kinds of people who single-mindedly listen to the sūtras:”,
“ma1:14.2” : “those who hear and retain the Dharma and those who hear but don’t retain the Dharma.”,
“ma1:14.3” : “If someone hears and retains the Dharma, he is greater;”,
“ma1:14.4” : “someone who hears but doesn’t retain the Dharma is not.”,
“ma1:15.1” : "“It also means that there are two kinds of people who hear and retain the Dharma:”,
“ma1:15.2” : “those who hear the Dharma and contemplate its meaning and those who hear the Dharma but don’t contemplate its meaning.”,
“ma1:15.3” : “If someone hears the Dharma and contemplates its meaning, he is greater;”,
“ma1:15.4” : “someone who hears the Dharma but doesn’t contemplate its meaning is not.”,
“ma1:16.1” : "“It also means that there are two kinds of people who hear the Dharma and contemplate its meaning:”,
“ma1:16.2” : “those who know the Dharma, know its meaning, go from one Dharma to the next Dharma, conform to the Dharma, and conduct themselves according to the Dharma and those who don’t know the Dharma, don’t know its meaning, don’t go from one Dharma to the next Dharma, don’t conform to the Dharma, and don’t conduct themselves according to the Dharma.”,
“ma1:16.3” : “If someone knows the Dharma, knows its meaning, goes from one Dharma to the next Dharma, conforms to the Dharma, and conducts himself according to the Dharma, he is greater.”,
“ma1:16.4” : “Someone who doesn’t know the Dharma, doesn’t know its meaning, doesn’t go from one Dharma to the next Dharma, doesn’t conform to the Dharma, and doesn’t conduct himself according to the Dharma is not.”,
“ma1:17.1” : ““It also means that there are two kinds of people who know the Dharma, know its meaning, go from one Dharma to the next Dharma, conform to the Dharma, and conduct themselves according to the Dharma:”,
“ma1:17.2” : “those who benefit themselves, benefit others, benefit many people, pity the world, seek both meaning and benefit for devas and humans, and seek peace and happiness and those who don’t benefit themselves, don’t benefit others, don’t benefit many people, don’t pity the world, don’t seek both meaning and benefit for devas and humans, and don’t seek peace and happiness.”,
“ma1:17.3” : “If someone benefits himself, benefits others, benefits many people, pities the world, seeks both meaning and benefit for devas and humans, and seeks peace and happiness, this person is the very best among people. He is great, superior, exceptional, greater, honored, and wondrous.”,
“ma1:18.1” : ““It’s just as there is milk because of the cow, there is cream because of milk, there is butter because of cream, there is refined butter because of butter, and there is ghee because of refined butter.”,
“ma1:18.2” : “Ghee is the very best of those things.”,
“ma1:18.3” : “It is great, superior, exceptional, greater, honored, and wondrous.”,
“ma1:18.4” : “Thus is the person who benefits himself, benefits others, benefits many people, pities the world, seeks both meaning and benefit for devas and humans, and seeks peace and happiness. Of these pairs of people as they’ve been described, as they’ve been discerned, and as they’ve been defined, he is the best, great, superior, exceptional, greater, honored, and wondrous.”,
“ma1:18.5” : “This is called a bhikṣu who knows the greater likenesses of people.””,
“ma1:19.1” : “The Buddha spoke thus.”,
“ma1:19.2” : “Those bhikṣus who heard what the Buddha had taught rejoiced and handed it down.”
}

And the Chinese:

{
“ma1:0.1” : “中阿含 1”,
“ma1:0.2” : “1. 七法品”,
“ma1:0.3” : “1. 善法經”,
“ma1:1.1” : “我聞如是:”,
“ma1:1.2” : “一時,佛遊舍衛國,在勝林給孤獨園。”,
“ma1:2.1” : “爾時,世尊告諸比丘:”,
“ma1:2.2” : “「若有比丘成就七法者,便於賢聖得歡喜樂,正趣漏盡。”,
“ma1:2.3” : “云何為七?”,
“ma1:2.4” : “謂比丘知法、知義、知時、知節、知己、知眾、知人勝如。”,
“ma1:3.1” : “「云何比丘為知法耶?”,
“ma1:3.2” : “謂比丘知正經、歌詠、記說、偈咃、因緣、撰錄、本起、此說、生處、廣解、未曾有法及說是義,”,
“ma1:3.3” : “是謂比丘為知法也。”,
“ma1:3.4” : “若有比丘不知法者,謂不知正經、歌詠、記說、偈咃、因緣、撰錄、本起、此說、生處、廣解、未曾有法及說義,”,
“ma1:3.5” : “如是比丘為不知法。”,
“ma1:3.6” : “若有比丘善知法者,謂知正經、歌詠、記說、偈咃、因緣、撰錄、本起、此說、生處、廣解、未曾有法及說義,”,
“ma1:3.7” : “是謂比丘善知法也。”,
“ma1:4.1” : “「云何比丘為知義耶?”,
“ma1:4.2” : “謂比丘知彼彼說義是彼義、是此義,”,
“ma1:4.3” : “是謂比丘為知義也。”,
“ma1:4.4” : “若有比丘不知義者,謂不知彼彼說義是彼義、是此義,”,
“ma1:4.5” : “如是比丘為不知義。”,
“ma1:4.6” : “若有比丘善知義者,謂知彼彼說義是彼義、是此義,”,
“ma1:4.7” : “是謂比丘善知義也。”,
“ma1:5.1” : “「云何比丘為知時耶?”,
“ma1:5.2” : “謂比丘知是時修下相,是時修高相,是時修捨相,”,
“ma1:5.3” : “是謂比丘為知時也。”,
“ma1:5.4” : “若有比丘不知時者,謂不知是時修下相,是時修高相,是時修捨相,”,
“ma1:5.5” : “如是比丘為不知時。”,
“ma1:5.6” : “若有比丘善知時者,謂知是時修下相,是時修高相,是時修捨相,”,
“ma1:5.7” : “是謂比丘善知時也。”,
“ma1:6.1” : “「云何比丘為知節耶?”,
“ma1:6.2” : “謂比丘知節,若飲若食、若去若住、若坐若臥、若語若默、若大小便,捐除睡眠,修行正智,”,
“ma1:6.3” : “是謂比丘為知節也。”,
“ma1:6.4” : “若有比丘不知節者,謂不知若飲若食、若去若住、若坐若臥、若語若默、若大小便,捐除睡眠,修行正智,”,
“ma1:6.5” : “如是比丘為不知節。”,
“ma1:6.6” : “若有比丘善知節者,謂知若飲若食,若去若住,若坐若臥、若語若默、若大小便,捐除睡眠,修行正智,”,
“ma1:6.7” : “是謂比丘善知節也。”,
“ma1:7:1” : “「云何比丘為知己耶?”,
“ma1:7.2” : “謂比丘自知我有爾所信、戒、聞、施、慧、辯、阿含及所得,”,
“ma1:7.3” : “是謂比丘為知己也。”,
“ma1:7.4” : “若有比丘不知己者,謂不自知我有爾所信、戒、聞、施、慧、辯、阿含及所得,”,
“ma1:7.5” : “如是比丘為不知己。”,
“ma1:7.6” : “若有比丘善知己者,謂自知我有爾所信、戒、聞、施、慧、辯、阿含及所得,”,
“ma1:7.7” : “是謂比丘善知己也。”,
“ma1:8.1” : “「云何比丘為知眾耶?”,
“ma1:8.2” : “謂比丘知此剎利眾、此梵志眾、此居士眾、此沙門眾,”,
“ma1:8.3” : “我於彼眾應如是去、如是住、如是坐、如是語、如是默,”,
“ma1:8.4” : “是謂比丘為知眾也。”,
“ma1:8.5” : “若有比丘不知眾者,謂不知此剎利眾、此梵志眾、此居士眾、此沙門眾,”,
“ma1:8.6” : “我於彼眾應如是去、如是住、如是坐、如是語、如是默,”,
“ma1:8.7” : “如是比丘為不知眾。”,
“ma1:8.8” : “若有比丘善知眾者,謂知此剎利眾、此梵志眾、此居士眾、此沙門眾、”,
“ma1:8.9” : “我於彼眾應如是去、如是住、如是坐、如是語、如是默,”,
“ma1:8.10” : “是謂比丘善知眾也。”,
“ma1:9.1” : “「云何比丘知人勝如?”,
“ma1:9.2” : “謂比丘知有二種人,有信、有不信;”,
“ma1:9.3” : “若信者勝,”,
“ma1:9.4” : “不信者為不如也。”,
“ma1:10.1” : “謂信人復有二種,”,
“ma1:10.2” : “有數往見比丘、有不數往見比丘;”,
“ma1:10.3” : “若數往見比丘者勝,”,
“ma1:10.4” : “不數往見比丘者為不如也。”,
“ma1:11.1” : “謂數往見比丘人復有二種,”,
“ma1:11.2” : “有禮敬比丘、有不禮敬比丘;”,
“ma1:11.3” : “若禮敬比丘者勝,”,
“ma1:11.4” : “不禮敬比丘者為不如也。”,
“ma1:12.1” : “謂禮敬比丘人復有二種,”,
“ma1:12.2” : “有問經、有不問經;”,
“ma1:12.3” : “若問經者勝,”,
“ma1:12.4” : “不問經者為不如也。”,
“ma1:13.1” : “謂問經人復有二種,”,
“ma1:13.2” : “有一心聽經、有不一心聽經;”,
“ma1:13.3” : “若一心聽經者勝,”,
“ma1:13.4” : “不一心聽經者為不如也。”,
“ma1:14.1” : “謂一心聽經人復有二種,”,
“ma1:14.2” : “有聞持法、有聞不持法;”,
“ma1:14.3” : “若聞持法者勝,”,
“ma1:14.4” : “聞不持法者為不如也。”,
“ma1:15.1” : “謂聞持法人復有二種,”,
“ma1:15.2” : “有聞法觀義、有聞法不觀義;”,
“ma1:15.3” : “若聞法觀義者勝,”,
“ma1:15.4” : “聞法不觀義者為不如也。”,
“ma1:16.1” : “謂聞法觀義人復有二種,”,
“ma1:16.2” : “有知法、知義、向法次法、隨順於法、如法行之;有不知法、不知義、不向法次法、不隨順法、不如法行。”,
“ma1:16.3” : “若知法、知義、向法次法、隨順於法、如法行者勝;”,
“ma1:16.4” : “不知法、不知義、不向法次法、不隨順法、不如法行者為不如也。”,
“ma1:17.1” : “謂知法、知義、向法次法、隨順於法、如法行人復有二種,若自饒益,亦饒益他,饒益多人,愍傷世間,為天、為人求義及饒益,”,
“ma1:17.2” : “有自饒益,亦饒益他,饒益多人,愍傷世間,為天、為人求義及饒益,求安隱快樂;有不自饒益,亦不饒益他,不饒益多人,不愍傷世間,不為天、不為人求義及饒益,求安隱快樂。”,
“ma1:17.3” : “求安隱快樂者,此人於彼人中為極第一,為大、為上、為最、為勝、為尊、為妙。”,
“ma1:18.1” : “譬如因牛有乳,因乳有酪,因酪有生酥,因生酥有熟酥,因熟酥有酥精,”,
“ma1:18.2” : “酥精者,於彼中為極第一,”,
“ma1:18.3” : “為大、為上、為最、為勝、為尊、為妙,”,
“ma1:18.4” : “如是若人自饒益,亦饒益他,饒益多人,愍傷世間,為天、為人求義及饒益,求安隱快樂。此二人如上所說,如上分別,如上施設,此為第一,為大,為上、為最、為勝、為尊、為妙,”,
“ma1:18.5” : “是謂比丘知人勝如。」”,
“ma1:19.1” : “佛說如是。”,
“ma1:19.2” : “彼諸比丘聞佛所說,歡喜奉行。”
}


#30

I ran this through AWS Polly Chinese Mandarin. Although I am Chinese, I have no knowledge of the language. Therefore I cannot evaluate how well this works:

How useful is the above voiced segment? Given its brevity, I suspect that AWS Polly might not have enough sounds to express the full semantics.


#31

It sounds like it only picked up the pronunciation for 有…法…有…法不. I.e., it’s garbled. One thing to check is if the app you used can understand traditional Chinese characters. If it only knows simplified Chinese, then that might cause that.

Charlie


#32

Yes that was the issue. :thinking:

To support traditional Chinese, Voice may need to use Google TTS services.
That would be a new thing. I’ll add that to our backlog. Thanks for the clarification!


#33

There is one further issue. Chinese Buddhist texts occasionally (and the older they are the more likely they are to do this afaik) use characters that are more or less obsolete in modern usage and aren’t even encoded for rendering by a computer at all.

When you encounter them in a digitised rendering they look like “[X+Y+Z]” with X, Y, and Z being seperate pictograms.

I will try to find an example when I am freer.


#34

Here, from the Sarvāstivāda Saṁyuktāgama, Sūtra No. 96 (SA 96 in SuttaCentral’s catelogue), T99.26b27:

爾時,世尊即說偈言:
「生子心歡喜, 為子聚財物,
亦為娉其妻, 而自捨出家。
邊鄙田舍兒, 違負於其父,
人形羅剎心, 棄捨於尊老,
老馬無復用, 則奪其[麩-夫+黃]麥,[…] 」

Notice 其[麩-夫+黃] in the last line. AFAIK this is a shorthand for an unencoded character, but I am not sure. Perhaps @cdpatton can “enlighten” us with regards to this? I have long wondered what these formations were. They seem to combine at least two operations, one denoted with - and one with +.

What is the key to the apparent algebra here?


#35

Yes, this is a mess still. It goes back to the Big5 days when we didn’t have fonts for many classical characters. Unicode cleaned it up, but there’s still many obscure characters that fonts refuse to support, or they aren’t in Unicode. This character looks like this:

php

The Algebra is usually indicating a character to start with that has the right radical, then telling us what part of that similar character to replace to arrive at the correct glyph.

SAT is a good place to go to find out for sure because they insert images for these characters.


#36

I had a hunch that was the problem because the characters the program skipped are simplified in modern mainland Chinese.

聞 = 闻 and 觀 has become 观, for example.

I would think they would have a product that caters to Taiwan or other countries that still use traditional character sets though.


#37

Thank you. Looks like Chinese is somewhat feasible for Voice, but I’ll be recommending that we tackle easier languages such as German first. Once we have mastered that, then we would be ready for the challenge of Chinese with your help, lengthy experience and discerning ear. None of us know Chinese on the Voice team. :pray:


#38

Indeed. I think it’s good to maintain a general stylistic compatibility with the Pali segmenting, and to follow it when you can, but to try to stick with it rigorously would be practically impossible.

But what you are doing with Chinese/English is fantastic.

I may have mentioned this before, but so you know, we are building a pipeline for texts based on this approach; all non-segmented texts are regarded as legacy and will not be developed further, apart from simply adding them to the site.

As well as the main site, we already have the discussion about adding them to SC Voice. Then there is the EPUB generation, which will come automatically. By the end of the year we will have PDF production via LaTeX for high-quality printing. And the texts will be made available on our translation engine Bilara for further translation into other languages, viewing the Chinese and English together. And in the future, many more things! It’s taking us time to put all this together, but little by little, we make it happen.

Ahh, okay, I feel like I should have known this!

I think in such early days of Agama translation, there is definitely room for different approaches. As you say, the BDK tends to assume a Pali perspective, which is justifiable and helps in many cases, but can also lead astray. The translators don’t assume the original is from Pali—it is well known that it is from Sanskrit—but they probably assume the idioms are the same as Pali, except where there is reason for them to be otherwise. I don’t believe they would deliberately translate according to the Pali if they knew the Sanskrit was different; more likely it’s just an oversight. With your background in Chinese Buddhism you can bring another perspective.

Huh. Do we have this on SC, I wonder?

Which would imply that this was the original form, I guess.

Re SCV for Chinese: it’s a difficult problem on many levels.

  • tl;dr: not going to happen any time soon. (Do Sanskrit instead!)

First, the Unicode. As noted, the Unicode of our Chinese texts lack many characters. We have discussed this at length elsewhere, but here’s the story.

Since creating these texts, SAT has been instrumental in getting many thousands of archaic Chinese characters added to Unicode; 2884 in the latest update alone. They have updated their texts with these, and have released a font containing them all. I am not sure whether they have already added all characters, or they still have more to do. The next revision will be " CJK Unified Ideographs Extension G" due to land with Unicode 13 in 2010, but I don’t know if this includes SAT contributions.

In any case, currently the character set from SAT is definitely superior to that of CBETA. However, SAT texts do not have any markup, so they are much harder to adapt for SC. Thus we used CBETA as our source.

Now, CBETA is planning to update their texts to the latest Unicode standard, but I am not aware of any timetable on this. Once this is done, we should refresh our Chinese texts.

Note, however, that it is far from trivial to update our Chinese texts, as they are structured semantically, based on sutra, rather than based on juan (folio). I did the SC Chinese texts myself a few years ago, armed with a text editor, plentiful coffee, and three or four months. Ideally we could automate the process, and it would be great to coordinate with CBETA on this (so they could also have metadata for semantic texts). But this is just an idea.

In any case, all this must wait for the completion of SAT’s work and of CBETA’s work.

Let us assume this has all happened, and we have fully-compliant Unicode text for ancient Chinese. There still remains the problem of pronunciation. This is a completely different kind of problem than dealing with a modern language, or even an ancient Indian language, for they have highly specified phonetics. Chinese does not. Any attempt to pronounce ancient Chinese is at best an educated guess, and further complicated by the fact that the texts were translated over a long period of time and in many different districts. So there definitely would not be a single “correct” pronunciation.

So we would have to start with a modern dialect as a basis. None of them are the same as the ancient language, but Mandarin is, on the whole, one of the most modernized. Cantonese or Teochew would be closer to what they actually sounded like. Here are some sources, mainly to show how complicated it is!

So we either use Mandarin, which is widely understood but inaccurate, or Teowchew, which is closer to the ancient pronunciation but less known.

In any case, as well as the unknown shifts in all words, there are the characters that don’t exist in later forms of Chinese. We can infer the pronunciation to some degree from the characters, as well as from other methods, but it is highly uncertain. Even if we can infer the pronunciation, we then have to build a system to actually pronounce them!

Sanskrit and other Indic languages, on the other hand, are highly specified phonetically, and pronouncing them is no more difficult than Pali. So getting Sanskrit speech-synthesis is definitely doable.


#39

:white_check_mark: Today I talked to my Taiwanese friend and he also was rather glum about the prospects of SCV and Chinese given the partial support in Unicode. I did not even know there was such a thing as simplified Chinese until today.

I’ll add Sanskrit on our backlog ahead of Chinese but after western languages readily supported by AWS Polly. If Sanskrit is anything like Pali, it will require more work than stock languages. We are currently working on Aditi Pali updates for release next week (so many many pesky exacting issues)


#40

Okay. It didn’t take too long to segment that text, so it shouldn’t be a problem to continue as I go. My own plans are to publish books or a website down the road–not sure which, but I have no problem contributing the Agama work to this project. The comparative archive you’ve developed is the sort of thing I had been interested in back before we had the technology to do it well with hypertext.

So did I. I don’t fault anyone for getting confused with that passage; I certainly was. It seems like I may have managed to guess the order right because I had the Indic biases already in place. But I learned a great deal about the Itivuttaka. I recall years ago discovering Xuanzang’s translation in the Taisho not knowing what it was. I thought, “This is interesting; it looks like Agamas but it’s in the miscellaneous sutras with early Mahayana texts?” Then I promptly forgot about it. It must have been referenced by one of his Abhidharma or Yogacara projects. He translated some of the background Agama texts that didn’t exist in Chinese yet, but not much.

Doesn’t look like it, no. It’s Taisho No. 765. Looking at just the first couple sutras, it looks like the topics are the same, and they all end with verse summaries like the Pali, but the text is more verbose.

Yes. Ancient Chinese always will be, I imagine, because there’s only a small number of people who need all the obscure characters digitized. There’s over 100,000 of them I think. Even when Unicode supports the rare characters, it’s a challenge to find cross-platform ways to present them with fonts that support them all. It’s a much more manageable situation than we had 20 years ago, and that I’m thankful for. It’s kind of amazing what’s already possible. I used to have crates of photocopies of the Taisho sitting in a den for years until CBETA released their digital canon.

Charlie.