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Use the Kaufmann translation instead
on August 18, 2000
This is a great book, written originally in German. The German language has two second person singular pronouns: "dich", and "du". "Du" is reserved for intimate friends. RG Smith, in the 30's, translated Buber's book "Ich und Du", rendering "du" as "Thou". In 1969, after Buber died, his son asked Walter Kaufmann, himself a well-known philosopher and translater, to retranslate the text. Kaufmann renders "du" as "You". I think this makes all the difference in the world, whether you think of "Thou" as aloof and transcendent, or as "You", intimate and immanent. I recommend the Kaufmann translation over the Smith.