Impressions from the Buddhist Translation Workshop 2014, ISTB

Poster for the workshop on Buddhist translationIn a recent post, I informed readers about the Workshop on Buddhist Translation called "Translating and Transferring Buddhist Literature" at the University of Vienna, May 21st 2014.

This workshop was organized by the CIRDIS doctoral college (IK) "Cultural Transfers and Cross-Contacts in the Himalayan Borderlands" and the Khyentse Foundation Buddhist Translation Studies Program, University of Vienna. Convened by Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Mathes and Mag. Gregory Forgues, it aimed at exploring practical  concerns  of  Buddhist  Translation  Studies, particularly in  relation  to the latest methodological trends on issues  of transference and translation of Buddhist literature.

Prof. Klaus-Dieter Mathes welcoming the participants of the workshop on Buddhist Translation
Klaus-Dieter Mathes
On May 21st 2014, Prof. Klaus-Dieter Mathes welcomed a body of international scholars for the workshop at the Institute of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (ISTB), University of Vienna. It forms a part of the recently initiated Buddhist Translation Studies Program at the University of Vienna funded by the Khyentse Foundation. 

Prof. Martin Gaenszle during his presentation at the Buddhist Translation workshop.
Martin Gaenszle on Cultural Transfer
Prof. Martin Gaenszle and Gregory Forgues opened the workshop with presentations on the research theme followed in the doctoral college "Cultural Transfers and Cross-Contacts in the Himalayan Borderlands". Thus focusing on an introduction to Cultural Transfer Theory and its relation to Translation Studies, Gregory Forgues suggested a methodological approach for a corpus-based discourse analysis of large corpora of Buddhist literature. Prof. Martin Gaenszle's paper further aimed at clarifying  the  utility  of  the  idea  of  “cultural translation” and also gauged its limits.


Upcoming visits of Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, Dupsing Rinpoche and Drubpon Tsering Rinpoche to Vienna

Presently, a lot of work is going on as I am preparing my presentation for the upcoming workshop "Translating and Transferring Buddhist Literature - From Theory to Practice" next week about which I reported some time ago on this blog. Even though I therefore can't offer you any new post, I would still like to inform about a few wonderful upcoming events in Vienna:

- Dupsing Rinpoche, retreat master of the Karma Kagyu tradition, May 27th 2014 

- Exceptional visit of Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, head of the Drikung Kagyu tradition, May 29th 2014.

- Drubpon Tsering Rinpoche, retreat master of the Drikung Kagyu tradition, June 7th-9th 2014.

Dupsing Rinpoche in Vienna, May 27th 2014

Flyer for a public talk by Dupsing Rinpoche on the Purpose of Life
The experienced Buddhist master Dupsing Rinpoche will give a public talk about the "Purpose of Life in Buddhism" at the Federal Institute for the Blind (Bundes-Blindenerziehungsinstitut, BBI). Rinpoche is a reincarnate Lama of the Karma Kagyu tradition and received a thorough traditional Tibetan Buddhist education. Following extensive studies in Buddhist philosophy, Rinpoche earned a degree in Theology from the University of Cambridge. Later on, he also underwent a traditional retreat of three years and three months.

The talk begins at 7 p.m. Venue: BBI, 1020 Vienna, Wittelsbachstraße 5

Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche in Vienna, May 29th 2014

On May 29th, 2014, H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, 37th throne holder of the Drikung Kagyu tradition, will visit Vienna together with H.E. Nubpa Rinpoche and Khenchen Nyima Gyaltsen. During his short stay, H.H.will offer the following two teachings:


Vesakh 2014

On the occasion of Vesakh 2014, I am wishing everyone a wonderful day full of love and happiness!

A picture of the Mahabodhi temple, Bodhgaya
Mahabodhi temple, Bodhgaya
Vesakh day, also known as Buddha Purnima, is probably the most important Buddhist holiday. It is usually celebrated on the first full moon in May to commemorate the Buddha's birth, awakening and Parinirvana (or passing). There are of course different rituals and ceremonies conducted by different traditions. Still, a common feature is that of reciting praises about the Buddha and his life, such as for example praises about the twelve deeds of the Buddha. These twelve deeds, which are mainly commemorated in the Mahayana tradition, are:
1) descent from Tushita heaven
2) entering the mother's womb
3) taking birth in this world
4) developing skills in various arts
5) taking delight in his royal consort
6) leaving the household and ordination
7) the practice of austerities during six years
8) taking seat under the Bodhi tree
9) overcoming Mara and his hords
10) full awakening
11) turning the wheel of Dharma
12) passing into parinirvana
In addition, it is also customary to practice meritorious deeds on this day such as reciting sutras, refraining from eating meat, drinking alcohol, observing the one day vows, visiting temples, making offerings, engaging in the practice of freeing lives and so on.

A short way to remember the Buddha and his teaching is through reading and thinking about the famous four seals of Dharma which have for example been formulated in the Sāgaranāgarājaparipṛcchā:
1) All compounded phenomena are impermanent 
2) All contaminated phenomena are suffering 
3) All phenomena are without self 
4) Nirvana is peace

So, wherever you are, have a nice Vesakh celebration!

The only remedy for the suffering of beings,
The source of every happiness to come -
May the teaching [of the Buddha] be available, respected,
And abide for a long period of time! 
Shantideva, Bodhicaryavatara, Ch. X, 57:

Please let me know - How do you celebrate Vesakh day? Leave a comment below!

Like to read more? 
Please be so kind and support Buddhism and More by sharing, linking, and liking!
Follow me on Google+


Translating and Transferring Buddhist Literature - Workshop

Workshop: "Translating and Transferring Buddhist Literature - From Theory to Practice"


A workshop organized by the CIRDIS doctoral college (IK) "Cultural Transfers and Cross-Contacts in the Himalayan Borderlands" and the Khyentse Foundation Buddhist Translation Studies Program, University of Vienna

Update: since the announced event took place already, you might prefer to read the report with impressions from the Buddhist Translation Workshop at the University of Vienna.

The announcement comes a bit on short notice, but I would like to draw your attention to this upcoming workshop. It should be highly interesting for anyone interested in Buddhist Studies and/or Buddhist translation.

The workshop will take place on the 21st of May at the University of Vienna, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Seminary Room 1 of the Institute of Tibetology, ISTB, Spitalgasse 2, Courtyard 2.7.

It is convened by Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Mathes and Mag. Gregory Forgues. 

This workshop will address practical concerns of Buddhist translation studies in relation to the methodological approach being developed within the IK Cultural Transfers program on issues of transference and translation of Buddhist literature.

New approaches to cultural history emphasize the importance of the process of translation in the transmission and reception of texts between source and target cultures. ?Cultural translation? focuses on the practice of translation as a medium to transfer key ideas between cultures. In this context, translation is not merely a one-to-one linguistic rendering of concepts and representations. It is understood as a cross-cultural production process of meaning through which the original text is interpreted, reinterpreted, altered, or distorted.

In the case of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist translation studies, the complexity of translating texts into modern languages is compounded by the fact that this process is the result of a double cultural transfer between Sanskrit and Tibetan, as well as source languages and modern languages.

This workshop will provide an opportunity for in-house scholars and academics from abroad who have been working on related projects to collaborate and discuss Buddhist translation as a mode of transference. Issues related to textual and philological analysis as well as methods of translation with regard to equivalence at and above word level, textual and pragmatic equivalence, semantic and lexical aspects, transposition, word order, and stylistics will be addressed by the participants.

This workshop will explore and map relevant translation issues with the aim to define a methodology for training professional translators of Buddhist literature.


21st May 2014, 9:00-18:00
University of Vienna, Institute of Tibetology, Hof 2.7, Seminar room 1
Chair: Klaus-Dieter Mathes

9:00 Towards Mapping Translation Issues and Methods in Buddhist Studies
Mag. Gregory Forgues

9:20 Cultural Transfer and Translation
Prof. Martin Gaenszle

9:40 Mindfulness in Translation
Dr. Martina Draszczyk

10:10 Task of the Tibetan Translators: Navigating Semantic Change
Dr. David Higgins

10:40 Coffee Break

Chair: Gregory Forgues

11:00 Translations that Make Sense
Dr. Pascale Hugon

11:30 Translated, Transferred or Transcreated? Remarks on a Dohakosa attributed to Kanha
Prof. Matthew Kapstein

12:00 Translating Prakasa and Prabhasvara: Standardizing Buddhist Terminology in Translation
Casey Alexandra Kemp MPhil.

12:30 Lunch Break
Chair: Casey Kemp

14:00 Translating Tibetan Translations: Considerations and Questions
Dr. Anne MacDonald

14:30 Textual Criticism and Translation: A Complex Passage in 'Gos Lo tsa ba gZhon nu dpal's Commentary on the Dharmadharmatavibhaga
Prof. Klaus-Dieter Mathes

15:00 How Can Buddhist Thought Be Brought Back to Life?: Buddhist Scriptures, Terms, and Translation
Prof. Akira Saito

15:30 Translating the Dharma(s): Some Notes on the Translation of the Four Dharmas of Sgam po pa
Mag. Rolf Scheuermann

16:00 Coffee Break
Chair: Akira Saito

16:30 Chinese Whispers: Transferring - Translating - Transferring
Translations of Buddhist Literature
Prof. Helmut Tauscher

17:00 Between Deciphering and Translating
Prof. Tom Tillemans

17:30 When Textual Problems Become Translation Problems: Some Reflections on the Historical-Philological Study of Himalayan Buddhist Texts
Prof. Dorji Wangchuk

18:00 Discussion

Don't miss it!

Like to
Impressions from the Buddhist Translation Workshop at the University of Vienna
Eight Good Reasons for Engaging in Buddhist Studies at the University of Vienna 
Summer School on Buddhist Canon Translation at the University of Vienna
Why Buddhist studies - Buddhist Studies Part 1 
Buddhist Studies at the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute (KIBI), New Delhi 

Please be so kind and support Buddhism and More by sharing, linking, and liking!
Follow me on Google+