Does anyone know of a decent English translation of the Tao Te Ching?

on

|

views

and

comments

I recently picked one up at a used book store, but it’s based on a translation from 1891, with tons of unnecessary commentary in the footnotes. It’s a really crappy translation (it was only a dollar though).
I’ve had Stephen Mitchell’s translation recommended, but was wondering if there might be a better or different as well one out there.
Thanks!

9 Comments

  1. *wax on, wax off*
    Wat u say, big eyes?
    Wow, people really can’t take a joke, huh? My first son was part Chinese and I’m sure he would have laughed at this. Some people….

  2. There are about a gazillion translations and editions. Browse in a biggish bookstore, and get one that pleases your senses. Some are beautifully illustrated, some beautifully bound.
    It’s a subtle work in any language, and I think different people have used their translations to push one attitude or another.

  3. Tao Te Ching
    The Tao Te Ching, (Pinyin Dà o Dé JÄ«ng ) is a Chinese classic text. Its name comes from the opening words of its two sections: 道 dà o “way,” Chapter 1, and å¾· dé “virtue,” Chapter 38, plus 經 jÄ«ng “classic.” According to tradition, it was written around 6th century BCE by the Taoist sage Laozi (or Lao Tzu, “Old Master”), a record-keeper at the Zhou Dynasty court, by whose name the text is known in China. The text’s true authorship and date of composition or compilation are still debated.
    Rev. TomCat – Computer translation

  4. My current copy was translated by D. C. Lau and I am quite pleased with his translation. It is not translated to the point of dumbing it down.

  5. The Stephen Mitchell version is one of my favorites but it does tend on your personal preferences. A lot of people object to the Stephen Mitchell version because it’s not a strict translation, he doesn’t even speak or read Chinese. His focus is on in conveying the spiritual meaning within the text rather then the literal words. If you’re a stickler for such things then I would go with Thomas Cleary instead, he’s one of my favorite translators of Taoist texts. Shambhala publishing carries a lot of his work and you can order directly from them and they are highly respected.
    http://www.shambhala.com

  6. I think they even have Taoism for Dummies or the Idiots Guide to Taoism. I don’t know what I have, I loaned it out.

  7. imho, mitchell takes too many liberties with the original text in an attempt to be contemporary. my favorites are by d.c. lau and lin yutang.
    i made a chart of 5 different translations and the literal chinese in order to construct a translation for the book of baddite, and lau and yutang were the ones i used most often to interpolate difficult phrases. arthur waley’s is pretty good, too, but a little archaic.
    i’m guessing you got edmund arnold’s translation? i got his bhagavad gita before i realized it was the same goofball whose tao i deleted. florid and pretentious doesn’t begin to describe his style.
    if you want me to narrow it down to one, go for the yutang.

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share this
Tags

Must-read

Third Eye Meditation

Often lots of people's third eye are not open because they are blocked. The third eye is a sixth chakra but connected to the first, second and third chakra's and blockages in this lower chakra's will also cause a blockage in the sixth. Oftentimes, the cause of blockages are fear and disbelief, though Tibetans and Indian yogis believe third eye is blocked for past life karma . Some people refuse to believe that they are blessed with a sixth sense while others are anxious of the images they might see once they have opened theirs.

Achieve Psychic Intuition By Clairvoyant Meditation

You do not have to go to a professional psychic to receive spiritual messages for yourself. You can do it on your own. You possess a powerful tool within yourself that can significantly improve your daily living. Clairvoyance allows us to see things on a spiritual level. With it, we can vividly see our past, present and future. Many of us has already experienced clairvoyance at some point in our lives.

Enhancing Your Attention

Attention is a powerful tool in our spiritual journey. To reach higher levels of consciousness, we should master being attentive to everything; to ourselves,...

Recent articles

More like this