Would anyone be interested in forming/joining a lifelong team of translators devoted to the task of periodically and suitably refining, honing, and polishing a complete, accurate English translation of the Dhamma-Vinaya taught by Buddha as suitably as we are able to over the course this lifetime (and into future lives - if we aren’t been able to attain Aharahatship, of course)?
I was able to form an organization in 2017. While the organization itself will likely evolve over time, we wish for it to be based squarely on the Dhamma-Vinaya taught by the Buddha as its “foundation” and well as it’s “head/ultimate authority” because the Buddha appointed this as his successor just prior to his passing away into Parinibbana (DN 16). In short, the Dhamma-Vinaya is considered the sole “boss” of the organization.
In order to clearly and explicitly define this foundation and convey it others, we wish to learn Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, and Dhamma-Vinaya as suitably as we are able to in order to build on the existing English translations available today.
The impersonal principle we wish to use to recruit potential collaborators is:
To the degree that any translation/translators (individuals/groups)
inaccurately misrepresents the Dhamma-Vinaya, we try to suitably reject it/dissociate from them.
accurately represents the Dhamma-Vinaya, we try to suitably accept it/associate with them.
(how we can disassociate from ourselves each time we ourselves make mistakes in translation is a logistic we yet to figure out).
- Try to undertake the translations not contrary to and in accordance with Dhamma-Vinaya.
- Try to translate “early” Buddhist texts ONLY, thus narrow the scope considerably.
- Try to collaborate with both internal and external translators (no need to join organization).
- Try to fairly credit each translator based on contribution.
- Try to fairly credit translators whose translation that ours is built upon.
- Try to distribute translations completely for free.
- Try to share everything freely with all other translators (such as SuttaCentral).
- Try to emphasize the most suitable translations possible (not all translations are equal).
- Try to emphasize translational accuracy, precision, and rigor.
- Try to revise/update the entire translation annually by Vesak Day as a concrete deadline.
The same way we wish to find suitable colleagues to work with us in our organization (currently has only 3 members), we wish to form a synergistic team (currently has only 2 members) with the most suitable group of translators for us to collaborate with gradually over time.
Full disclosure: we/I have barely begun learning any of the three languages at all. Perhaps we can learn alongside those who also have not yet begun learning languages either, but are committed?