Graduate Certificate in Buddhist Translation

Graduate Certificate Program

Program Description

Course Descriptions

Certificate in Buddhist Translation

The Graduate Certificate in Buddhist Translation provides an understanding and appreciation of Buddhist texts through close reading and translation practice.

For over two thousand years, translation has been an indispensable part of the history and transmission of Buddhism. For instance, when Buddhism first came to China from India, one of the most important tasks was the translation of the Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit into Chinese. This work was often conducted in large assemblies: National Master Kumarajiva, for example, led an assembly of over 800 people for more than a decade in translating dozens of texts in hundreds of scrolls. Emulating the translation assemblies of ancient times, the Certificate Program in Buddhist Translation brings together talented individuals in a collaborative endeavor to study and translate Buddhist texts. 

The Buddhist canon presents itself as a vehicle to wisdom and liberation, a set of tools for self-transformation. Approaching the texts in this spirit, the Graduate Certificate in Buddhist Translation regards translating them as an opportunity to delve deeply into their meaning and develop understanding in an engaged, interactive way.

The two-semester certificate program integrates translation of Buddhist texts with study, practice, and service in a monastic setting. Its curriculum consists of four courses: an introduction to translation theory and practice past and present; methods and theories of interpretation; a seminar focusing on appreciation of Buddhist, Chinese, and Western classics; and a hands-on translation workshop.