Tao Te Ching

 R (@Fleshbeck) 7 years, 10 months ago

Hello all,

There’s this book I want to read, which some of you may have heard of, called Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu. But I found there are many versions and translations.

Does anyone know which one is the “best”? The most faithful translation or the definite version?

Thanks.

December 5, 2013 at 9:47 am
josephm (772) (@josephm) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

@fleshbeck, that rhino though.

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who (557) (@season) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

@fleshbeck, I’ve seen a couple, yeah some are more close to the dialect and some are more adaptations to english. Grab whatever feels good though.

:)

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Azbjornarr (5) (@Azbjornarr) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

@fleshbeck, Unless you learn to read Chinese it will be hard to find an English translation that you feel is perfect. Every translator will interpret things somewhat different. I would say read the first page of your different choices and just go with the one you feel you can read easiest or that speaks to you. As for me, I picked up this copy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tao-te-ching-lao-tzu/1100425177?ean=9781593082567

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R (3) (@Fleshbeck) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

@azbjornarr, @season,

Yeah, I found this one that seems to be good: http://www.amazon.com/Tao-Te-Ching-Lao-Tzu/dp/1590305469/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1386299693&sr=8-4&keywords=tao+te+ching

But I guess I’ll take a look in more than one.

Thanks!

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R (3) (@Fleshbeck) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

@josephm, Sakke Soini! :)

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LVX (297) (@Vovinawol) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

Too much lost in translation. As most writings are.

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KoMaCarpe (92) (@KoMaCarpe) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

@josephm, Sure its not just a fat unicorn?

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R (3) (@Fleshbeck) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

@vovinawol, guess I’ll just have to learn chinese then.

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Anonymous (21) (@) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

@fleshbeck,

Here’s a link to my favorite version:

http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/taote-v3.html

Truly, the Tao is one of the most enlightened texts ever written.

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Jordan (0) (@jajajajordan) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

@fleshbeck, I have this version:
http://www.amazon.com/Tao-Te-Ching-New-Translation/dp/1590303873/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1386347200&sr=8-3&keywords=sam+hamill

I feel its way more complicated than it has to be…so don’t get this one haha

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badphish (2) (@badphish) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

@fleshbeck, I really love the translation by Stephen Mitchell. The book was introductory to my philosophy/religion/conciousness quest, and I still go back to read passages over and over.

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Anonymous (21) (@) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

@badphish, Just a bit of props for Stephen Mitchell. The guy is a prophet in the sense that he learns the source language of the original texts he translates and then writes them in really readable form that isn’t a word-for-word translation, but one that incorporates the essence of the language in which they were written. I’m blown away by everything of his that I read and he made me really appreciate the art of translating. Good stuff!

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LVX (297) (@Vovinawol) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

If interested in Taoism at all, check out some books by Mantak Chia. Very practical lessons in his writings.

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Brendan Barstow (182)C (@eyesopen) 7 years, 10 months ago ago

I read Mitchell’s translation, but that’s only because it was hosted for free on the CUNY website. I loved it and found the writing very clear (in a linguistic sense, obviously the message is very interpretive and nuanced) – although I have no point of reference for comparison. Don’t put too much thought into it – the translations are quite similar AFAIK and the importance is in the messages, not the individual words.

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