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Translating Buddhism From Tibetan: An Introduction To The Tibetan Literary Language And The Translation Of Buddhist Texts From Tibetan Hardcover – Jan 1 1992


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Translating Buddhism From Tibetan: An Introduction To The Tibetan Literary Language And The Translation Of Buddhist Texts From Tibetan + A Classical Tibetan Reader: Selections from Renowned Works with Custom Glossaries
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Snow Lion (Jan. 1 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937938343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937938348
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 4.9 x 24.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #519,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mauricio Salinas on July 7 2003
Format: Hardcover
The first 5 or 6 Chapters are very useful for the Beginner but afterwards it becames increasingly difficult. It hard to understand the explanations on more advance grammar. I think that unnecesarilly tries to explain many concepts instead of teaching the howto of the language as in the first part. I think I should be reworked (at least the last part) in order to make the student to be able to use the grammar at least for some basic reading. I think I should include more practical examples of reading and interpreting texts. Vocabulary alone is not enough. So I guess that considering the few book about this subject this is a good one after all despite the shortcomings.
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Format: Hardcover
I have very mixed feelings about this book, but feel compelled to give it 4 stars nonetheless. Why? Because what you can get here, you simply can't get anywhere else. The only other decent introduction to Classical Tibetan that exists (so far as I know) is that by Stephen Hodge, and it is much smaller and will simply not give you the depth of grammatical knowledge of vocabulary that this book can. Some reviewers have complained about the "Tenglish" approach, but I can't really think of any other way to present Tibetan grammar in a comprehensible way. Goldstein does the same thing, though less explicitly, in his "Essentials of Modern Literary Tibetan" (in all the transliterations) and it works for me.

Another reviewer commented that the book is overly pedantic in its detailed explanations and grammatical quibbling - well, what does one expect from a 700-page tome on archaic (more or less) philosophical grammar and vocabulary? You didn't think Classical Tibetan was going to be a walk in the park did you? In any case you can simply skip over the details when Wilson gets a little too in depth.

The major problem with this book as I see it is that it is fairly unbalanced. Meaning, in the first 7 chapters or so there are essentially no sentence/vocabulary exercises, leaving you to somehow (by rote, was my method) memorize some 150-200 terms that are introduced (and not easy ones - 'non-associated compositional factors' comes up, e.g.). This improves though, with quite a few exercises in the later chapters. This added context and required practice/effort really helps you to memorize the vocab and understand the grammar better.
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Format: Hardcover
Joe Wilson's book is an outstanding achievement. Any serious student of literary Tibetan should own a copy, along with Goldstein's Modern Literary Tibetan, Beyer's Classical Tibetan Language, and Erik Schmidt's Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary.
Wilson has achieved an effective (though in some respects unusual, and debatable) synthesis of grammatical approaches based on Latinate, English-language and traditional Tibetan grammars. Though expert readers will find much of this information redundant, students in the first three or four years of formal study -- and especially teachers of Tibetan language -- stand to gain much from this book.
Translating Buddhism from Tibetan will be particularly useful for students who wish to read Buddhist scriptures or study Tibetan scholastic commentaries. Most of the examples in the book are drawn from one of these two genres. Students interested contemporary and secular Tibetan literature should consult Goldstein's book mentioned above; those interested in a more deeply researched, scholarly discussion of Tibetan syntax and morphology, or in archaic forms of Tibetan language, should have a look at Beyer.
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Format: Hardcover
Joe Wilson's book is an outstanding achievement. Any serious student of literary Tibetan should own a copy, along with Goldstein's Modern Literary Tibetan, Beyer's Classical Tibetan Language, and Erik Schmidt's Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary.
Wilson has achieved an effective (though in some respects unusual, and debatable) synthesis of grammatical approaches based on Latinate, English-language and traditional Tibetan grammars. Though expert readers will find much of this information redundant, students in the first three or four years of formal study stand to gain much from this book.
Translating Buddhism from Tibetan will be particularly useful for students who wish to read Buddhist scriptures or study Tibetan scholastic commentaries. Most of the examples in the book are drawn from one of these two genres. Students interested contemporary and secular Tibetan literature should consult Goldstein's book mentioned above; those interested in a more deeply researched, scholarly discussion of Tibetan syntax and morphology, or in archaic forms of Tibetan language, should have a look at Beyer.
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