At any given time, our translation institute oversees multiple projects. Here is one glimpse of what is currently in progress. After the publication of the Vimalakīrti Sūtra in 2022, several groups started to work on translating the text from English into other European languages. A Norwegian team is working on the primary translation. A Spanish translation is ready to be reviewed. Meanwhile, French and German translations are being edited.
Here are some comments from translators on their experience working with the text:
A layman giving lessons to the Buddha’s chief disciples? Indeed. This sutra takes away the exclusivity of enlightenment from the monks; awakening ceases to be limited to an elite of men with an ascetic life and becomes a reality within the reach of anyone, monk or layman, man or woman, who sincerely seeks the unconditional true nature of reality. This sutra democratizes Buddhism in a style that has something of a novel not devoid of humor. A delight for the translator, both for the depth of its teachings and for its style. I only hope to have captured those dimensions and subtleties in Spanish.
–José Vega (completed the primary translation from English to Spanish)
We are working on the translation of the Vimalakīrti Sūtra into our mother tongue, Norwegian, relying on the work already done on the translation into English. As we slowly move on, we dive deeper into the text and uncover its subtle aspects, its wonderful meanings, and its lyric qualities. When in doubt about what term to choose in Norwegian, we go back to the Chinese version, other English versions, and translations into other languages, like German and French, to be as sure as possible that we are in accord with the original intent. This is great; this is fun; this is meaningful; and the text comes alive. Every word is a carrier, every choice asks for clarity. We strive to capture the subtlest meanings and give it a form in Norwegian, and its complexity challenges us greatly.
–Petter (part of the team working on the primary translation into Norwegian)