an3.15: Now that I am a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha, I am a skilled in the crooks, flaws, and defects of actions by body, speech, and mind.
Should say “I am skilled”.
mn8: Truly, Cunda, if you’re sinking down in the mud you can’t pull out someone else who is also sinking down in the mud.
Recommend changing “can’t” to “cannot” throughout the English translations. Although semantically distinct while reading, it is likely to introduce errors of transmission and/or understanding when spoken since it is not readily distinguished from “can” without the trailing vowel in “cannot”
Hmm, I’ll consider this, the clarity depends on context. It’s also, I think, an accent thing: in British or Australian English “can” rhymes with “man” while “can’t” rhymes with “aren’t”, so it’s more distinct.
On a side note, in climbing, we shout commands to each other distinguished by number of syllables, not vowel intonations. For example, “up rope!” vs. “slack!” are opposite and should never be confused. Confusing climbing commands can lead to suffering.
Indeed it should. This goes back to my more innocent days when I wasn’t very familiar with Pali or Sanskrit (or any other sort of Indic language). I’ll be getting to updating this translation completely in a couple months.
Sometimes one refers to oneself in the third person as emphasis for non-particular reference. I.e., third person self-reference can be used to clarify that “this particular sentient being talking is an example of a class of beings”. This is what Karl does sometimes.
AN8.23:4.2: Atha kho so bhikkhu pacchābhattaṃ piṇḍapātapaṭikkanto yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā bhagavantaṃ abhivādetvā ekamantaṃ nisīdi. Ekamantaṃ nisinno kho so bhikkhu bhagavantaṃ etadavoca: AN8.23:4.2: Then after the meal, on his return from alms-round, he went to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and told him of what he had discussed with the householder Hatthaka. The Buddha said:
The text in-between, i.e. what the mendicant says, is not repeated in the translation. Ekamantaṃ nisinno kho so bhikkhu bhagavantaṃ etadavoca is translated as "and told him … ". And “The Buddha said” already refers to the Buddha’s reply afterwards.
That’s how I understand it, at least. The dukkha of abbreviation!
Here it’s the dukkha of finding a sentence in the translated paragraph missing, and another sentence inserted there that is later implied but doesn’t actually appear anywhere in the Pali. (When I began to read the next untranslated paragraph in Pali it was confusing.) Wouldn’t it be better if the inserted sentence were moved below the material left out in English and given parentheses to indicate that it doesn’t appear in the original text?
Or are Bhante’s other translations loose that way, giving the gist instead of a sentence by sentence translation? (I don’t read Pali well enough to know, this text just happened to be simple enough to discern the discrepancy.)
Edit: Correction, I see now that nothing was left out. So my issue here is just the insertion of “The Buddha said,” which is premature and does not appear anywhere in the original.
Yes, this is not in the Pali. I guess Bhante @sujato added it in order to make the context clear after leaving out everything that is repeated from the previous conversation in the Pali. But maybe we should rather leave the question to him to answer.
The discrepancy is that the degree of abbreviation is different in the root text and the translation. This is more obvious when viewing English/Pali line by line.
Just a general comment on this thread, we are still transitioning to our new translation platform, so I am waiting until that is ready, hopefully by the end of the year, before doing all these corrections. So please keep them coming!
So yes, you end up resorting to some such strategies when you do anything that isn’t a purely literal word-for-word translation.
The approach I take with such passages is this.
The Pali has a passage that generally deals with the “situation” of the discussion. In the Pali, this says that the mendicant came to the Buddha, sat down, and spoke to him. It then follows on by repeating the whole passage in full.
Now, as a rule, I try to avoid repeating passages within suttas more than necessary. In this case the repetition seems unnecessary, so I leave it out. But the reader needs to know that the passage was repeated, so I say that. In many suttas, it will identify the speaker’s response, but in this case it is implied. Perhaps this is because the response (“Sādhu sādhu, bhikkhu”) is a common one. But I felt that the English was confusing without identifying the speaker, so I inserted that.
The question then becomes, where do you insert it? It could be in the last segment of the previous speaker’s utterance; or at the beginning of the Buddha’s response; or as part of the “situational” description. I choose to include it as part of the situational description, as it is semantically in the same ballpark as the Pali text: it’s a short phrase clarifying who is speaking to whom.
One of the things with our segmented translations is that generally speaking any translated text must correspond with something in the Pali. Usually the translation simply renders the Pali, but there are many exceptions, as there always must be when dealing with natural language. It is technically possible to insert extra segments in the translation that are not in the Pali, but this is complex and we try to reserve it for headings only.
On the use of parentheses:
Right. And this is why we give the Pali so you can always see.