I thought I would share two very wonderful texts that are highly relevant to exploring the English translations hosted on SuttaCentral of the 別譯雜阿含經 (Bié Yì Zá Ā Hán Jīng), named SA-2 here.
These translations are by Marcus Bingenheimer, whose work I am just now becoming familiar with, and in addition to being a translator, he also publishes academic articles about his field.
His paper, Studies in Āgama Literature: with Special Reference to the Shorter Chinese Saṃyuktāgama, is available for free on the internet (hopefully with the authors consent!) and I can confirm that it is a very engaging text that is rather accessible for being about textual criticism. It is also a good resource for Dhamma explorers taking advantage of the functionality of this site in particular because it deals directly with the specific translations of the 別譯雜阿含經 which are hosted on this very site currently.
There is another paper, that might be interesting for SuttaCentral staff and programmers to look at. It is his freely available paper entitled Collaborative Edition and Translation Projects in the Era of Digital Text which contains some very compelling ideas for how to present translations of Buddhist scripture in a entirely digital context. I will include a small excerpt here, from page 23:[quote]Imagine now that these text are part of a database. The presentation of the text is mediated through an interface that the user can manipulate in certain ways, but is nevertheless always limited- the interface might for example allow a maximum of two texts to be viewed at the same time. This would make it difficult to assess the merits of the two English versions against the Chinese. On the other hand the interface might provide us with additional information on individual terms. Hovering over the word gatha we would learn when the word was first translated as 偈, be shown a list of synonyms, or perhaps the interface might tell us if the term- in this context- appears in any Sanskrit fragments.[/quote]
EDIT: I forgot to add that in order to find the copy of Collaborative Edition and Translation Projects in the Era of Digital Text that is hosted online one has to search first for the collection that it is the first article in, this collection is called Translating Buddhist Chinese by Marcus Bingenheimer.
The editor of the collection, Konrad Meisig, has this interesting section of his opening preface: [quote]Competent research on the early history of the Buddhist canon can no longer afford to neglect the Chinese tradition which stands more often than not independent from the lndic sources. The comparison of these Chinese parallels with their Indian counterparts is an indispensable, if not the only possible way to reliably reconstruct the beginnings of Buddhist religion and literature. [/quote]