Mike Sigman wrote:
Over and over again, in my experience, I've seen fluent translators and historians make enormous basic errors because they don't understand the context or functional usage some of the apocryphal comments in martial arts refer to. And I've yet to see any well-known western translartor really admit that problem; although the bright native-speaking translators will often admit that the idiom, ancient usage, etc., of the subject matter may make their translations incorrect.
I too, occasionally find Stevens' views problematially peeping through translations. It is unavoidable, but it should be noted as a universal problem.
A good comparative source on a number of the Doka Stevens translates (e.g. -- "Essence of AIkido") may be found in "Budo Training in Aikido. " The translators of "Budo Training in AIkido" use both a translation that attempts to leave the waka form of the Japanese verse intact in very spare, nearly literal word for word transcription, and a parallel translation into more idiomatic English versiform.
Also great pictures and techinques descriptions drawn directly from O-Sensei's own class presentations. Much worth having.
The comparisons betwen the parallel verses and Stevens versions are instructive and the differences are interesting.