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 

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