Namo Sakyamuni Buddha
Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in the West and many countries around the world. There is an urgent need for the translation of Buddhist sutras in English and other languages. Mahayana sutras and other sacred texts have often been taken from the Chinese Tripitaka that was mainly translated from Sanskrit by Great Masters and Translators such as Kumārajīva and Xuanzang/Hsuan-Tsang. Nowadays, only a few can read and write traditional Chinese characters. Yet there are still too many sutras that have not been translated. Members of The Tuệ Quang Wisdom Light Foundation have been concerned about this issue for the last several years. Since 2006, we have access to the original texts in the Chinese Tripitaka from the Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association (CBETA) and we are committed to translate them into Vietnamese, English and other Western languages.
Based on our on-going experience with the Program for the Development of a Vietnamese Tripitaka, the English Tripitaka is divided into five stages:
1. Develop computerized techniques to transcribe and translate the Chinese Tripitaka into English,
2. Transcribe and translate by computer the Chinese Tripitaka into English,
3. Edit the computer-translated files,
4. Review and approval by the Masters, and
5. Publish through conventional printing and electronic means.
The CBETA Tripitaka is based on the Taisho Tripitaka and composed of 2372 sutras, vinayas (precepts) and sastras (commentaries) that have been organized into 56 volumes (volumes 1-55 and 85). Due to this large number of sacred texts, we have spent considerable efforts in developing computerized techniques for translating them. Please refer to Computer Translation of the Taisho Tripitaka and CBETA Taisho Index for more details. With this Website, we will provide the sutras and other sacred texts in both original Chinese and translated languages such as English and Vietnamese. Please read through the sample translations of the Amitabha Sutra and the Diamond Sutra below.
Buddhist texts are difficult to read and comprehend because there are numerous Chinese-Sanskrit terms and expressions with Buddhist-specific meanings. To assist the sutra reader, we have developed a Buddhist Multimedia Dictionary that provides explanations as well as photos and video links. These videos present Dharma talks from well-known Masters and other documentaries. Please try our new Sutra Reading with Buddhist Multimedia Dictionary
At the present time, we have completed the rough translation (Stage 3 of Program) of all sacred texts in the Chinese Tripitaka (over 70 million words in 9035 fascicles/files). All 2372 sutras in the Chinese Tripitaka have been translated by our computer software in less than 60 hours. Please read through the sample translations of the Amitabha Sutra, Medicine Buddha Sutra and the Diamond Sutra below. These short sutras have been translated in less than 20 seconds. Larger sutras such as The Flower Adornment-Avatamsaka Sutra (80 fascicles) in 20 minutes, Great Prajnaparamita Sastra (100 fascicles) in 17 minutes and Great Prajna Sutra (600 fascicles) in 100 minutes. We are currently refining these rough translations using recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), namely Neural Machine Translation (NMT). A large Chinese-English bitext is required by NMT. This bitext can be generated from texts that have already been translated. As shown in the What New section below, we are calling for help in producing this parallel corpus..
We fully realize that the translation of an English Tripitaka requires a multi-year effort from numerous experts and editors. However, we also believe that all Buddhists, lay or monastic, can participate and contribute to this important Buddha-work. In order to encourage the wide participation of all Buddhists, we are making the English computer translations of the entire CBETA Taisho Tripitaka available online. We are cooperating with other groups such as the The Compassion Network to expedite the Tripitaka translation.
Tuệ Quang Wisdom Light Foundation hopes for the development of a complete English Tripitaka in the near future. Following its development, we will distribute it widely and for free through modern electronic means such as the Internet and CD/DVD. Our efforts only represent small contributions towards the establishment of an English Tripitaka. Our computer translation files are still subjected to errors, and we hope to receive guidance, assistance, cooperation and ideas from the Masters, respected authors and other Buddhists so that this important Buddha-work will soon be successfully completed.
TUE QUANG WISDOM LIGHT FOUNDATION