During the opening banquet, the tone of the conference was set by an intimate conversation between Professor Lopez and Geshe Jinpa discussing their love of Tibetan language and textual translation, as well as several book projects they have worked on together: Grains of Gold: Tales of a Cosmopolitan Traveler by Gendün Chöpel, The University of Chicago Press, 2014; The Treatise on Passion Dispelling the Darkness: A Jesuit’s Quest for the Soul of Tibet, Harvard University Press, 2017; and The Treatise on Passion by Gendun Chöpel, forthcoming.
On the second day of the conference, the nuts and bolts of the craft of translation became the focus and the main questions asked in this session were: What tools are in your translation workshop? What skills should one cultivate to be a good translator? How do we cultivate those skills? Elizabeth Napper begins the session by looking at the perennial issue of literal vs. aesthetic translation from a practical standpoint of needing to adjust to the intended audience of the translation. Thupten Jinpa continues this discussion of the tension between fidelity to the text and consideration of the reader […]
A craft person’s medium is one of the most essential aspects of their work. Although translators spend much of their time learning the Tibetan language, the target language is just as important when looking at the final product of a meaningful translation that reaches modern readers. Spend a session with master translators Thupten Jinpa and Wulstan Fletcher exploring the essential medium of communication in the modern world.
In this first plenary panel of the 2014 conference, Translation: Theory & Praxis, Thupten Jinpa shares a bit about what Tibetans themselves have thought about and written about translation. Roger Jackson discusses some of the projects he has worked on over the years and gives examples of the problems that translators face. Sarah Harding delves into problems of intention and layers of interpretation, as well as the importance of translation and translators.
Thupten Jinpa closes the 2014 Translation & Transmission Conference with a summary of important themes emerging from the four days of thoughtful interaction. Broadly, these include translation, transmission, and the combination of the two, and most significantly, the developing sense of community among those working diligently to present Tibetan Buddhism to the West.