|the Dao of Atheism :||: the Shaman Atheist 82/81|
Why a new translation of the Dao de jing, and why from the english?|
Every translation tells a story about the translator, no matter how much the person wishes to distance their own personality from the text.
An accurate literal translation is as much a personal ambition and distinct a version as one that tries to render a text poetically or for a specific utilitarian purpose. Each is based upon the known vocabulary of the translator and the feeling that they want to transmit to the reader. Each of these three methods have been used by prior translators of the Dao de jing, and each serves a different audience. This translation is made for people looking for a different path to explore between theism and anti-theism: the Dao that is a middle way.
Borges wrote a story about a man who had never read the Quijote but wanted, nonetheless, to write it. So he did. Verbatim, exactly as Cervantes had. Yet, according to Borges' story, it was better.
How can this be? Translations are like that.
Each of us translates the text, whether we do it on paper for others to read or mentally as we read along, matching the feeling we get from the words with our own experiences. English is my first language, spanish my second, and others distant thirds. I have been reading the Dao de jing in different versions, english and spanish, for twenty years now, and now i would like one with the purpose of drawing in people who would not approach it by the other ways. The other translations in english are very good, but the purpose of their translators is not my purpose. So i use them to get to where i want to go. Here.