Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
In my last post, I was not particularly interested in the ways that John Stevens' translations of the douka did or did not make the grade. I was more interested in seeing how any translation could or could not take account of the issues you raised in this thread.
Sorry, Peter, I didn't realize that you were speaking that generally and I assumed we were still discussing the possibility of Stevens "missing the point" on a particular issue.
In answer to your particular point (although I'm possibly not seeing your question clearly, again), I dunno.... in a way, any translator is to some extent responsible for the accuracy of his translations, wouldn't you say? Take the classic example of how "jin" was translated as "energy" by so many translators, giving us the New Age "energy" syndrome. In actuality, in the vast, vast majority of cases, "jin" should probably have been translated as "trained force skill/vector" or something like that. Translating between the qi-paradigm and the western-science-paradigm is tricky...it is NOT a matter of one-to-one. Regardless, the translators did not justify why they chose the word "energy" as a translation other than it was a legitimate one-of-many definitions in the dictionary. They didn't have the physical skills in "jin" to justify their translations, so it became a matter of choice. Should the translators have given their reasoning (i.e., "code-breaking" assistance) in an appendix... in most cases, I would say yes. Most of the better-written translations (including Stevens') include annotations to that effect, as you're doubtless aware. Yes, I feel it is the responsibility of a translator, particularly in obscure and "new" fields, to provide that sort of information. But that is just my personal opinion.