The Task of the Buddhist Translator: A Four-decade Journey with Zhiyi

Celebrating over four decades of dedication to translating Chinese and Japanese Buddhist texts into English, Paul Swanson (Emeritus, Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture) brings a wealth of experience to our upcoming event. Join us as he shares his insights into the "art" of translation and its challenges.

Swanson will offer initial reflections on the creative process of translation. He will delve into the complexities of preparing two distinct translations of the same text - a fully annotated technical version for specialists, and a non-annotated straight translation for a broader audience. Swanson will also discuss the unique challenges associated with each type of translation.

In addition, he will present specific examples from two pivotal works by the Tiantai patriarch Zhiyi (538-597) - the Mohe zhiguan 摩訶止観 and the Fahua xuanyi 法華玄義. These examples will showcase how Swanson has tackled various translation problems.

Date: January 19, 2024
Time: 4:30 - 6 p.m.
Venue: Tohoku University Kawauchi Campus, Graduate School of International Cultural Studies, Rm 101 (map)

This English language event is open to anyone who is interested. Registration is not required. For more information, please visit the homepage here:



Orion Klautau
Graduate School of International Cultural Studies

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