Chinese Buddhist scripture translated to Vietnamese in one day

by Giao Huong, translated by Hoang Bao, Thanh Nien Daily, July 19, 2006

Ho Chi Minh City , Vietnam -- A Buddhist scripture comprising over 2,000 texts preserved in nearly 70 million Chinese characters has been translated into Vietnamese in just one day using a new computer program developed in the US.

The Chinese Buddhist Canon, which contains texts or sutras from Nikaya and Mahayana schools has been translated into Vietnamese within only 28 hours, though the rendition is somewhat crude.

On Tuesday, the Center for Vietnamese National Studies and the Vietnam’s Buddhist Research Institue held a press conference in Ho Chi Minh City to introduce the translation program.

At the conference, Doctor Tran Tien Khanh, a Vietnamese-American said he and the US-based Tue Quang foundation – a group of Vietnamese-Americans dedicated to Buddhist research and translation – has developed and perfected the computer program during the last two years.

Khanh said though the Chinese Buddhist Canon has already been translated in principle, another two years is needed for around 50 Vietnamese monks and experts to edit and proofread the translation.

Khanh said the software only took 10 seconds to translate short sutras like the Amita, Bhaisajyaguru or Vajra, which all compose the Chinese Buddhist Canon.

The scripture was translated from the electronic texts developed over the years by the Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association which donated the Tue Quang foundation a copy in 2002.

The Chinese Buddhist Canon was translated into Chinese scripts from the original Sanskrit language for over a thousand years between the later Han and the Yuan dynasty in China.

The scripture contains guidance on secular and philosophical matters attributed to Siddhartha Gautama himself – the Buddhism founder – or his disciples, just as the Holy Bible is attributed to Jesus Christ and his followers.