Beyond free and literal: Translating a Buddhist text (Bodhicaryavatarapanjika) from Sanskrit

Barbara Nelson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Translators appear to face a dilemma: do they aim for a 'literal' or 'free' translation of their source text (ST). Munday observes that translators of both literary and non-literary texts face a bind: translators who stray too far from the original text are open to criticism, yet readers prefer that the target text (TT) read as if written in the target language. Translation theorists have developed a range of approaches to thinking about translation that move beyond a simple literal/free dichotomy. This apparent dilemma was the starting point for a reflection on the aims and strategies I used for translating the kṣantiparamita chapter of Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara (eighth century) with the eleventh-century commentary of Prajnakaramati (Bodhicaryavatarapanjika), a Buddhist text in Sanskrit, for my PhD thesis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-102
    JournalJournal of the Oriental Society of Australia
    Issue numberAustralasian Sanskrit Conference
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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