Dear All,
Thanks again for your input! Now my student has something to choose from. As expected, it is mostly secondary literature, however, it might point towards some unexpected Sanskrit sources – we'll see. 

Answering to Matthew Kapstein, here is a very short bibliography of what I have received off-list:
Speziale, F. (2019). Rasāyana and Rasaśāstra in the Persian Medical Culture of South Asia. History of Science in South Asia, 7, 1-41.
Garzilli, E. (1996) (ed.), Translating, Translations, Translators from India to the West (Harvard Oriental Series; Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ.), XVIII,
Doniger O'Flaherty, Wendy. (1987) On Translating Sanskrit myths. In: Radice W. and Barbara Reynolds, eds. The translator's art. Essays in honour of Betty Radice. 121-128.
Sarukkai, S. (2016), Translation As Method: Implications for History of Science, Indian Journal of History of Science, 51/1: 105–17.

The rest was sent via the list.
Thanks again and best wishes,

On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 1:08 PM Hartmut Buescher <> wrote:

Dear Nataliya (and her student),


not yet mentioned by the contributors on this topic, there is quite a substantial

book not directly thematizing the practice of translation, but the hermeneutical

presuppositions for semantic understanding, hence translating. Benefitting one’s

so-called ‘prestructure of understanding’ (in Gadamer’s terminology), i.e., what

Dominic has pointed out as “presuppositions [which] too often remain unexamined”

(right at the beginning of his remarks “On translation”), it investigates some of the

underlying classical Indian principles of hermeneutics:


Eivind Kahrs, Indian Semantic Analysis. The nirvacana Tradition, Cambridge 1998.


Best wishes, Hartmut


P.S.: My mind somehow getting drawn into reflections on this subject, fingers

finding their way to the keyboard, I noted down some ad hoc reflections; following

Dominic’s example, I send them along with this mail to the list as an attachment.



On Mon, Jan 6, 2020 at 8:13 PM Eric Gurevitch via INDOLOGY <> wrote:
In addition to the articles already mentioned, the following recent (except for one) essays and books all contain useful analyses on how translation was conceptualized both to and from Sanskrit — although not in free-standing texts. 

Cort, John E., ‘Making It Vernacular in Agra: The Practice of Translation by Seventeenth-Century Jains’, in Tellings and Texts, ed. by Francesca Orsini and Katherine Butler Schofield, Music, Literature and Performance in North India, 1st edn. (Open Book Publishers, 2015), pp. 61–106


Fisher, Elaine. “Multiregional and Multi-Linguistic Vīraśaivism: Change and Continuity in an Early Devotional Tradition.” In Modern Hinduism in Text and Context, edited by Lavanya Vemsani, 9–22. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.


Obrock, Luther. “Muslim Mahākāvyas: Sanskrit and Translation in the Sultanates.” In Text and Tradition in Early Modern North India, edited by Tyler Williams, Anshu Malhotra, and John Stratton Hawley, 58–76. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2018.


Patel, Deven M., ‘Source, Exegesis, and Translation: Sanskrit Commentary and Regional Language Translation in South Asia’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 131 (2011), 245–66


Pingree, David, ‘Islamic Astronomy in Sanskrit’, Journal for the History of Arabic Science, 2 (1978), 315–30


Truschke, Audrey. Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court. South Asia across the Disciplines. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.    


Williams, Tyler, ‘Commentary as Translation: The Vairāgya Vṛnd of Bhagvandas Niranjani’, in Text and Tradition in Early Modern North India, ed. by Tyler Walker Williams, Anshu Malhotra, and John Stratton Hawley, 2018, pp. 99–125

All the best,





On Sat, Jan 4, 2020 at 2:13 PM Valerie Roebuck via INDOLOGY <> wrote:
Dear Nataliya

Has anyone mentioned mentioned the Buddhist tale, based on mistranslation between Middle Indian languages and/or Sanskrit, retold by John Brough, Gāndhārī Dharmapada, pp. 45-6? It hinges on a misunderstanding of a Middle Indian form from the dvandva udaya-vyaya, ‘arising and passing away’, as being from a tatpuruṣa *udaka-baka, ‘heron of the water’.

"This curious tale concerns the last days of Ananda, and tells how he chanced to overhear a certain monk reciting a Dharmapada-verse in the following manner (according to the Chinese versions):

If a man were to live for a hundred years, and not see a water-heron, it were better that he live only for one day, and see a water-heron.

‘My son’, said Ānanda, 'the Buddha did not say this. What he said was:

If a man were to live for a hundred years, and not see the principle of coming into existence and passing away, it were better . . . (and so forth).

The monk thereupon reported the matter to his teacher, who replied, ‘Ānanda is an old fool. Go on reciting as before’. On hearing once more the same faulty recitation, Ānanda realized that it was futile to attempt to convince the monk of the error, since ail his seniors, to whom he might have appealed, had already entered Nirvāṇa. Being thus unable to do anything further to protect the Buddha’s words from corruption, he considered that there was no reason to delay his own Nirvāṇa”

Valerie J Roebuck
Manchester, UK

On 3 Jan 2020, at 22:13, Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <> wrote:

Dear Nataliya,

I recently wrote some remarks on this subject in another context.  I've extracted and lightly edited them here. (Attached)

Professor Dominik Wujastyk

Singhmar Chair in Classical Indian Society and Polity

University of Alberta, Canada

South Asia at the U of A:

On Wed, 1 Jan 2020 at 23:42, Nataliya Yanchevskaya via INDOLOGY <> wrote:
Dear Colleagues,
Happy New Year!
A student of mine wants to study Sanskrit texts about translation and translators. She also asked me if I knew any short poems or jokes – again, in Sanskrit – about translators. Could you please kindly suggest anything? Frankly, I know nothing about this topic – have never encountered such texts!
Many thanks and best wishes,
Nataliya Yanchevskaya
Lecturer in Sanskrit
PIIRS, Princeton University
INDOLOGY mailing list (messages to the list's managing committee) (where you can change your list options or unsubscribe)
INDOLOGY mailing list (messages to the list's managing committee) (where you can change your list options or unsubscribe)

INDOLOGY mailing list (messages to the list's managing committee) (where you can change your list options or unsubscribe)


Eric Gurevitch

PhD Candidate, South Asian Languages and Civilizations and

Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science

University of Chicago

INDOLOGY mailing list (messages to the list's managing committee) (where you can change your list options or unsubscribe)