Uttaratantraśāstra: A New French Translation from Tibetan According to ‘Jam mgon Kong sprul’s Commentary

2020-01-24T14:23:44-07:00

Christian and Patrick have recently finished a new translation of ‘Jam mgon Kong sprul’s commentary on the Uttaratantrashastra into French, Traité de la Continuité suprême du Grand Véhicule, which will be available at the symposium. Christian and Patrick will share insights from their work on this new translation.
Christian and Patrick have recently finished a new translation of ‘Jam mgon Kong sprul’s commentary on the Uttaratantrashastra into French, Traité de la Continuité suprême du Grand Véhicule, which will be available at the symposium. Christian and Patrick will share insights from their work on this new translation.
Linguistically, our main challenge has been […]

Uttaratantraśāstra: A New French Translation from Tibetan According to ‘Jam mgon Kong sprul’s Commentary2020-01-24T14:23:44-07:00

Lotsawa Translation Workshop Opening Remarks

2019-01-17T10:30:40-07:00

Conference organizers Holly Gayley (University of Colorado, Boulder) and Dominique Townsend (Bard College) welcome participants and mentors. Holly thanks Tsadra Foundation for supporting the conference, and shares her inspiration for facilitating sustained dialogue about various genres of Tibetan literature. Dominique introduces the venerable speakers for the opening keynote.

Marcus Perman, Director of Research for Tsadra Foundation, encourages translators in their work by articulating the relevance of translated publications for the Western Tibetan Buddhist audience. Ending with a moment of silence for two bright translators who recently passed away (Chris Stagg and Gen Tsering Dhundup Gongkatsang), Marcus helps start the […]

Lotsawa Translation Workshop Opening Remarks2019-01-17T10:30:40-07:00

The State of the Field

2019-01-09T04:49:56-07:00

Kurtis Schaeffer (University of Virginia) begins a reflective conversation about the State of the Field of Tibetan translation by acknowledging Janet Gyatso’s book Apparitions of the Self (1998). Kurtis notes that the work has fueled discussion about embodied engagement with literature that takes form and style in literature seriously. Since its release, it has inspired workshops and served as the basis of other significant work on the impact of thought, philosophy, and devotion on literary production.

The two scholars continue by contextualizing a major theme of current translation work: the fact that we can now focus on Tibetan literature as […]

The State of the Field2019-01-09T04:49:56-07:00

Criteria for Beauty and Readability

2019-01-12T12:13:31-07:00

When assessing the beauty and readability of a translation one might pose the following questions: does the text come alive in the target language? Is there a distinct emotional tone that comes through in the translation? Does a chosen grammatical structure have the power to convey what we are trying to convey? How do we summon that power to our work?

In this breakout group, Amelia Hall and Andrew Schelling, colleagues at Naropa University in Boulder, CO, address these questions and discuss the importance of techniques to invoke the power of the creative act of translation. They encourage the translator to […]

Criteria for Beauty and Readability2019-01-12T12:13:31-07:00

Uncontrived Elegance in Tibetan Songs

2019-01-09T04:49:58-07:00

John Canti (Padmakara, 84000) and Sarah Harding (Tsadra Foundation) explore “uncontrived elegance” in poetry and song in Tibetan literature. Compared to the purportedly spontaneous composition of the original, is a translation ever uncontrived? John draws on examples from Dudjom Lingpa and Shabkar to illustrate the possibilities of translation and the evocative dimensions that can be expressed based on the source literature. Sarah suggests that a smooth, readable translation, facilitating ease of comprehension, may be the best we can do. After a lively discussion, Sarah leads the group in translating a short line of text to illustrate their points.

Uncontrived Elegance in Tibetan Songs2019-01-09T04:49:58-07:00

An Act of Bardo: Translating Tibetan Poetry

2019-01-12T12:20:17-07:00

Lama Jabb (Oxford) delivers this ground-breaking keynote lecture at the 2018 Lotsawa Translation Workshop. He weaves the extended metaphor of liminal space (bar do) throughout and softly punctuates his illumination of the translation process with insights from highly respected poets from numerous cultures while diligently considering the challenges and opportunities presented by the de- and reconstruction of languages. As he guides the audience through his translation choices, he explains his aims of preservation of cultural identity while delivering, with kindness, artistic richness to the reader. Ultimately questioning how translators can communicate in words that which is ineffable, Lama Jabb encourages […]

An Act of Bardo: Translating Tibetan Poetry2019-01-12T12:20:17-07:00

Dynamics of Devotion

2019-01-09T04:49:59-07:00

Andrew Quintman (Wesleyan), Lara Braitstein (McGill), Heidi Nevin (Independent), Anne Klein (Rice), Holly Gayley (University of Colorado, Boulder), and Annabella Pitkin (Lehigh) take on the topic of devotion in translation. Annabella Pitkin skillfully facilitates discussion focused on three themes: literary and embodied devotion, translation as an act of devotion, and the cultural translation of devotion. Regarding the first, the group considers what terms are particularly difficult to unpack in English, posing questions like, “How does language serve to dictate devotion?”, and, “How does literature and its utterance help mediate the distance between subject and object?” While translators are positioned as […]

Dynamics of Devotion2019-01-09T04:49:59-07:00

Collections of Songs (mgur ‘bum)

2019-01-17T10:34:10-07:00

By taking a bird’s-eye view of collections of songs (mgur ‘bum), Kurtis Schaeffer (University of Virginia) and Andrew Quintman (Wesleyan) examine gaps in our knowledge based on the extant collections and their experiences both as translators and as historians of literature. They elicit an exploratory discussion by beginning with a series of key questions and positing ways in which we can think about songs as an autonomous literary form as well as how we might approach the provenance of songs and the process of their production and reproduction from the standpoint of history, in addition to other stimulating topics. What […]

Collections of Songs (mgur ‘bum)2019-01-17T10:34:10-07:00

Gender in Translating Devotional Verse

2019-01-09T22:40:16-07:00

In this collaborative discussion breakout session, Jue Liang (University of Virginia) and Natasha Mikles (Texas State) discuss the dynamics of socially constructed ideas about gender on our readings of classical texts and biographies. The group also explores devotion as a culturally constructed idea and devotional language as gendered. Jue and Natasha lead the group in developing “word banks” of terms that elicit a mood of binary gender constructs and then the discussion naturally unfolds into thoughtful exploration of the deconstruction of the binary and a consideration of the opposites of gender and devotion and the value we place on all […]

Gender in Translating Devotional Verse2019-01-09T22:40:16-07:00

Linguistic Hospitality

2019-01-09T04:50:01-07:00

Dominique Townsend (Bard) and Lucas Carmichael (University of Colorado, Boulder) present Paul Ricoeur’s essay, “On Translation“, as a starting point for discussion of linguistic hospitality. After a brief introduction to the essay, small group discussions on the ethics of translation, the dynamics of retranslation, and “resistance to the foreign” focus the conversation. The small groups then share a summary of their exploration and find that Ricoeur’s optimism in his encouragement to give up the idea of a perfect translation became the basis for small group conversation and further discussion.

Linguistic Hospitality2019-01-09T04:50:01-07:00