Published: June 23, 2017
Tsadra 1

The Tibet Himalaya Initiative had the honor of serving as a co-sponsor of the second Tsadra "Translation and Transmission" Conference. This international gathering of 250 scholars and translators meets every three years around a shared interest in the translation and transmission of Buddhist texts from Tibetan to English. While the 2014 conference was held in Keystone, Colorado, this year the conference came to the University of Colorado Boulder, May 31 to June 3, 2017. The opening dinner featured a dialogue between Thupten Jinpa and Donald Lopez on their translation collaborations in the Glenn Miller Ballroom, and the rest of the conference took place at Wolf Law. The Tsadra team transformed the Wittemyer Courtroom with Tibetan Buddhist iconography, creating a sense of intimacy despite the 250 seats filled almost to capacity for each plenary session.

The conference was a vibrant combination of keynote speakers, plenary panels, discussions, and sessions on the translator's craft. Keynote speakers included translation theorist Susan Bassnett as well as Buddhologists Jan Nattier and José Cabezón. The plenary panels followed an arc from the translator to the act of translating and the translations themselves, covering topics such as the translator's intention and tookkit, as well as the role of translation in transmission. Other sessions tackled a rich diversity of topics including Specialized Terminology in Sanskrit and Tibetan, Fidelity vs. Innovation in Translating Buddhist Texts, Oddities and Curiousities in Tibetan Translation, and Priorities for the Next 20 Years in Translation and Transmission.

Below are a few photos of the conference by Marv Ross, courtesy of the Tsadra Foundation...