What are all the languages that the Early Buddhist Texts can be found in?
If one wished to learn all the languages relevant to early Buddhism, what languages would be necessary for them to learn?
Are any languages missing from this list?
Please type/copy-and-paste the full list of languages (including those already mentioned) in your response so that I can award the solution to whoever posts the complete list of languages that early buddhist texts can be found in.
The Agamas were translated to Chinese during the 4th century AD, then were lost after the disappearance of Buddhism from India. We only have fragments of the Agamas in the Indic languages that have been discovered in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Another interesting thing (to the scholars, at least): While it’s true that we have most of the Dirgha Agama put together from Indic fragments, it turns out that it’s a different version of the Dirgha than the one in Chinese. So, we have three different Digha/Dirgha collections: Theravada, Sarvastivada, and Dharmaguptaka. It quickly gets complex when we realize that there was several sectarian canons that existed. We’ve just lost most of them. The Theravada is the only complete canon left.
Yes. I don’t know how much (if any) translation the Vietnamese did in pre-modern times, but in our time all four have been translated.
As the Vietnamese translations are modern ones, I probably wouldn’t.
Not within the terms of this thread, which I take it is concerned with the languages in which early Buddhist texts were preserved in ancient times. And so the modern Vietnamese translations would be no more equivalent to the Chinese than, say, Ven. Anālayo’s English translations. We can’t really speak of “equivalence” here, but only of how faithfully the meaning of the Chinese has been preserved in these two modern target languages.
It’s not known with certainty. It wasn’t recorded at the time, but scholars have tried to come to conclusions based on the transliterations in the Chinese, which is difficult because Chinese doesn’t capture Indic syllables very well (and it’s sometimes not that clear how the Chinese was pronounced in 4th c. AD). Some early texts seem to be Gandhari while others are Prakit or Hybrid Sanskrit.