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Showing its age
on May 18, 2000
In the days when the only available English translations of the Changes were Wilhelm/Baynes and Legge, Wilhelm/Baynes was the gold standard.
It remains, however, an English translation of a German translation of an ancient Chinese manuscript. Undoubtedly, Richard Wilhelm, as a Christian missionary in China many decades ago, added a particular color to this book, which may not be wholly appropriate to say the least. This translation is far from being flawless, particularly when compared to some of the better ones which have become available.
The Wilhelm/Baynes translation is still worthy of examination, and many of us have a certain fondness for it, since it was our first, but the serious student should also refer to other sources. Richard John Lynn's and Greg Whincup's translations spring to mind. Even Kwok's edition has something to offer, since it includes an untranslated Chinese text. Even a casual perusal of that text with a Chinese-English dictionary casts doubt on many portions of the Wilhelm/Baynes.
Treasure this work if it has sentimental value for you, but be advised that beneath its tidy appearance is an ideal case study of translation difficulties.