Latin Translation Group

Latin translation of Triratna Texts

On Mon, 16 September, 2013 - 17:09
lokabandhu's picture

Perhaps our most unusual translation yet - the Latin version of three key Triratna Texts! We’re delighted to present the Three-fold Puja, the Dedication Ceremony, and the Refuges and Precepts - all translated, perhaps somewhat inaccurately, by Google. Suggestions for improvements are welcome, please email us at translations [at]!  Seriously though, we are in touch with volunteers from the ‘Make Mars Speak Latin’ project, and may have some results to publish soon.  

Nos respice ad procedit ex te!

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Bo Shim's picture
Here is a revised version of the opening reverence:

Buddham reveremur, omnino illuminatum, qui viam monstrat.
Dharmam reveremur, doctrinam Buddhae, quae ex tenebris ad lucem ducit.
Sangham reveremur, communitatem discipulorum Buddhae, quae inspirat ducitque.

Opening Reverence
We reverence the Buddha, the Perfectly Enlightened One, the Shower of the Way.
We reverence the Dharma, the Teaching of the Buddha, which leads from darkness to Light.
We reverence the Sangha, the fellowship of the Buddha’s disciples, that inspires and guides
lokabandhu's picture
Hi Bo Shim,

Many thanks for that, I’m struck by how different your translation was to Google’s.
Bo Shim's picture
The Latin form of key names/terms like “Buddha” needs to be decided. I just went with “Buddha” and made it a first declension masculine noun (like poeta, –ae). Just for fun I looked at some early references to Buddha in Latin and found that St. Jerome used “Budda” (in the Greek of Clement of Alexandria it is “Boutta”).

Just for fun, I’ll share the passage below. It’s an English translation of St. Jerome (5th cent. CE) explaining that he has heard that Buddha, like Jesus, was said to be born of a virgin.

2. To come to the Gymnosophists of India, the opinion is authoritatively handed down that Budda, the founder of their religion, had his birth through the side of a virgin. And we need not wonder at this in the case of Barbarians when cultured Greece supposed that Minerva at her birth sprang from the head of Jove, and Father Bacchus from his thigh. Speusippus also, Plato’s nephew, and “Clearchus in his eulogy of Plato, and Anaxelides in the second book of his philosophy, relates that Perictione, the mother of Plato, was violated by an apparition of Apollo, and they agree in thinking that the prince of wisdom was born of a virgin. Timus writes that the virgin daughter of Pythagoras was at the head of a band of virgins, and instructed them in chastity. Diodorus, the disciple of Socrates, is said to have had five daughters skilled in dialectics and distinguished for chastity, of whom a full account is given by Philo the master of Carneades. And mighty Rome cannot taunt us as though we had invented the story of the birth of our Lord and Savior from a virgin; for the Romans believe that the founders of their city and race were the offspring of the virgin Ilia and of Mars.…