The Kumarajiva Project

Launched in 2019, the mission of The Kumarajiva Project is to translate into Chinese Buddhist texts from all traditions that are not now available in Chinese. Despite the existence of a “complete” Chinese Buddhist canon, many Buddhist texts are not accessible to Chinese readers. The Chinese name for The Kumarajiva Project, 圓滿法藏佛典漢譯計畫, Yu’an Man Fa-Zang, loosely means “enriching the existing treasury of the dharma.” Khyentse Foundation aims to provide Chinese readers access to texts from all Buddhist traditions, including those from the Tibetan and Pali canons. 

The project is named for the Indian Buddhist monk, scholar, and prolific translator Kumarajiva (344-413), who is credited with bringing Mahayana and other Buddhist teachings from India to China by means of translation and explication. In the hope of similarly reaching as many Chinese-speaking people as possible, the project involves translating texts into both Traditional and Simplified Chinese, offering classical and modern translation styles. 

The Kumarajiva Project pilot program revealed a shortage of translators, so the project is working collaboratively to train and cultivate translators to ensure high-quality translation work. Expected to take approximately 60 years, The Kumarajiva Project is involved in every level of translation, including sourcing texts and translators, overseeing translation work, providing editorial expertise, and publishing the free-to-access texts in an online reading platform.

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