Ensuring translation quality

Since the words of the Buddha are meant to inspire and bring about awakening to the truth, it is important that they are being translated in a way that conveys the original message, and are being rendered beautifully in the new language. A professional editorial system has thus been set up to ensure the quality of translations. 

In general, translations are required to fulfill the criteria of being accurate to the original language (Tibetan), and being readable and elegant in the translated language (English). The editorial policy provides clear and detailed guidelines on the standards of translation. 

The editorial standards are being developed and maintained by a dedicated team of editorial committee members. The 84000 editorial team is headed by Dr. John Canti, and supported by Dr. Tom Tillemans, Gavin Kilty, and Larry Mermelstein. 

Dr. Tom Tillemans, the 84000 Project Editor, is the main person charged with the responsibility of bringing the translations in line with our stated requirements. Dr. Tillemans regularly communicates with the translators, and, where necessary, provides expert advice and feedback to translator teams. He recently recorded the first 84000 lecture video on Sanskrit compounds and methodological issues in translation, to help translators in their work.

In addition, an external board of reviewers has been set up to provide external feedback on the translations. The expert panel of reviewers consists of both Tibetan masters/scholars and Western academics:

Tibetan masters/scholars:

  • Drubgyud Tenzin Rinpoche
  • Geshe Dorji Damdul, Tibet House
  • Geshe Lhakdor, Tibet House
  • H.E. Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche
  • Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche
  • Ringu Tulku
  • Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche
  • Tulku Pema Wangyal Rinpoche

Western academics:

  • Dr. Christian K. Wedemeyer, University of Chicago Divinity School
  • Dr. David Gray, Santa Clara University
  • Gavin Kilty, Institute of Tibetan Classics
  • Dr. Karen Lang, University of Virginia
  • Dr. Paul Harrison, Stanford University

Posted: 1 Jun 2011