[INDOLOGY] Brackets in modern sanskrit translations

Alex Watson alex.watson at ashoka.edu.in
Tue Jun 5 18:16:26 UTC 2018

I found Dominik's list of reasons for using brackets incomplete / one-sided.
I would include at least the two following positive reasons.

1. While brackets may disrupt the flow for readers who are not also looking
at the Sanskrit, they are helpful for those who are comparing your
translation with the Sanskrit.  (Since translations of most Sanskrit
philosophical texts, especially the more technical ones, are extremely
difficult to understand without simultaneously looking at the Sanskrit, I
find the use of brackets in the translation of philosophical texts more
desirable than undesirable.)

2. Intellectual honesty.  Use of brackets signals what follows
straightforwardly from the Sanskrit, and what is the result of addition or
interpretation on your part – which English etc. words correspond to
Sanskrit words, and what you have chosen to add in to complete the sense,
to disambiguate, or to make explicit to the reader what would have remained
obscure if you had just stuck to rendering the Sanskrit words.


Alex Watson
Professor of Indian Philosophy
Head of Philosophy Department
Ashoka University

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>
> To: Harry Spier <hspier.muktabodha at gmail.com>
> Cc: Indology <indology at list.indology.info>
> Bcc:
> Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2018 20:23:19 -0600
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Brackets in modern sanskrit translations
> Your question presses a big red button for me :-)  My thoughts are here
> <https://cikitsa.blogspot.com/2016/04/on-use-of-parentheses-in-translation.html>
> .
> --
> Professor Dominik Wujastyk <http://ualberta.academia.edu/DominikWujastyk>
> ​,​
> Singhmar Chair in Classical Indian Society and Polity
> ​,​
> Department of History and Classics
> <http://historyandclassics.ualberta.ca/>
> ​,​
> University of Alberta, Canada
> ​.​
> South Asia at the U of A:
> ​sas.ualberta.ca​
> ​​

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