Thursday, April 2, 2015

Gita Foreign Language Issues

[PADA: This is another big problem, the original vs edited books becomes an issue when we are dealing with translations of these various editions:]

(From Holland) -- YES: also when studying a particular BG verse, with the translated versions of both BG A IS editions side-by side, you end up with same advice: better stick to edition (1).

E.g. in case of the DUTCH translations of both BG A IS editions:
- Edition (1), in a old-fashioned (but very poetic) translation of Hayesvara dasa adhikari (1bis),
- edition (2), in a strict (but more dry) translation of Rupa Sanatana (2bis).
No doubt about it: both dutch-native devotee translators have done a remarkable job … but as a BG student, you end up with the same philosophical dilemmas.
Just one EXAMPLE:
The SampradayaSun of this week wonders how to translate „ahaṅkāra” in BG 17.5-6 (0): as "egotism” (1), or as „egoism” (2)?
In the dutch editions, this becomes „geldingsdrang” (1) versus „egoïsme” (2).
The dutch word „geldingsdrang” (1) implies that „you feel the need to be regarded, by others, as an important person”.
The other word, „egoïsme” (2), simply means that "whatever you do, you’re only doing it for your own interests & benefits”. I.e. you don’t care whether others speak highly of you or not.
Given the context of BG 17.5-6 - it's about people who like to „show off” their austerities - the word „geldingsdrang” of dutch edition(1) is more accurate.
Too bad: nowadays, our Sunday Gita classes use dutch edition (2)... so the deeper meanings are getting lost to the new audience

(1) unfortunately, nowhere online available

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