old/new translations

Sat Dec 9 14:35:46 UTC 1995

Let`s refocus, from the politically incorrect to:the grammatically incorrect.

Now that the two discussions on translations have petered out, some 
questions remain unanswered or untouched:

Scholarship is a dialectic process. In the case of Ms. O'Flaherty/Doniger's 
Rgveda, Jaiminiya Brahmana and Manu translations I pointed out :

1 - wrong grammnar 

2 - lack of philological procedure

3 - lack in checking with predecessors/contemporaries

4 - occasionally even lack of common sense (the  last "straw")

Especially point 1 has not been addressed.

Grammatically incorrect is grammatically incorrect is grammatically incorect.

Grammatically correct popular translations *do* exist.

Nobody would dare to publish a popular math book where pi = 3.41 or 2.9. 
Why is this (GI) procedure possible in Indology? 

However, if someone takes viira as nom. sing., or, in the same spirit,  
recites first year reading as "aasiid raajo nala naamo" on American Public 
Radio (a few months ago, as reported by an attentive student) then 
how to call this?  See Max Nihom's recent characterization of 
such procedure. If one has such obvious problems with first year, no: 
first lesson Sanskrit, what to say? Become a maunavratin?

Scholarship is a dialectic process:
If readers feel that I was materially wrong, they should point out where
my criticism was *factually* wrong and not try to deflect it to popular
editions, language boundaries, local scholarly climate ("discourse") etc. 
I will be glad to correct and admit publicly any mistake I made in
this process. Most my detailed ("pedantic"?) criticisms have not been 

So far I stand uncorrected and remain unconvinced.

RE: new translations: 

Unfortunately the discussion has ground to a halt. We should discuss
not only the use of parantheses and brackets but also the translation of 
"difficult" words such as dharma, rta, even adjectives such as hari or 
niila. In my O'Fl./D. contributions (where this *is* a problem) I 
intentionally mentioned the problem only in passing as this is a whole new 
line of discussion.

Any takers?

For the rest:
not to waste any more bandwidth, most of it privately and only some generally
interesting/pedantic details around Xmas.


Did anyone notice that the cover of O'Fl.'s RV translation does not show "a 
seventeenth century birch bark manuscript from Kashmir of The Rig Veda"
but, small philological detail, an unpublished commentary (as far as I 
see!) of the RV.
Since this has been a graduate class joke for many years, finally, more in 
the next volume of EJVS (www.shore.net/~india/ejvs) or (ejvs-list at shore.net).



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