“It’s entirely possible that the survival of the Buddhadharma will depend on it being translated into other languages.” —Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche at the Translating the Words of the Buddha Conference, March 2009, Bir, India
Without the great translators of the past, we would not have access to the Dharma today. The texts that we read and that our teachers rely on, the commentaries on those texts, and our daily practices are available to us thanks to the diligence and wisdom of great translators, going all the way back to the early masters such as Kumarajiva, Vairotsana, Yeshe De, and Marpa Lotsawa. To continue that tradition, it is KF’s mission to translate the Buddha’s teachings into the world’s major modern languages, thereby making them available free of charge to everyone who wishes to use them for study and practice. KF initiates, develops, and supports a number of ongoing and constantly evolving programs to carry out that mission by collaborating with other organizations and individual translators who share our aspiration. KF now funds the translation and dissemination of Buddhist texts in Polish, Ukrainian, and Mongolian, among many other languages.
KF Award for Outstanding Translation
Every year, Khyentse Foundation awards a prize to one translation to honor excellence in translations that make the Buddhist heritage universally accessible.
- Mark Blum: 2015 KF Prize for Outstanding Translation
- Mark Siderits and Shoryu Katsura: 2014 KF Prize for Outstanding Translation
- Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi: 2013 KF Prize for Outstanding Translation
- Todd Lewis and Subarna Man Tuladar: Inaugural KF Prize for Outstanding Translation
Tibetan to Chinese
Khyentse Foundation is taking another major step in translating into Chinese the texts in the Tibetan canon that are missing in the Chinese Tripitaka. According to reliable scholastic research, more than 15,000 pages of texts in the Kangyur are not found in the Chinese Tripitaka. Even more texts (more than 119,000 pages) in the Tengyur (Commentaries) are missing from the Chinese canon. Filling the gap through translation is essential to ensure that the Buddhadharma will be kept intact in one of the most important Buddhist canons for generations to come.
84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha
The Fruit that Grew Bigger than the Tree
John Wu and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
Closing the Gap: Chinese-Tibetan Canons
In May 2012, KF in partnership with Dharma Drum Institute, initiated another historic effort to cross-translate the Chinese Tripitaka and the Tibetan Kangyur, the two most important Buddhist canons. Scholars agree that important pieces are missing from both the Tibetan and Chinese canons. Neither is a complete record of the vast literature that once existed in Sanskrit, but each contains some of the major works missing in the other. Alak Zenkar Rinpoche is leading the project. “We should have done this 40 or 50 years ago. But I feel sure now that in partnership with such an established institute as Dharma Drum, we will be able to complete this vast project.” — Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche LEARN MORE >>
Mani Foundation: Polish Translation Initiative
Training the Next Generation of Translators
The most immediate obstacle to translating the words of the Buddha into many languages is the lack of qualified and knowledgeable translators. Khyentse Foundation is committed to supporting programs to train the next generation of Dharma translators through collaborations with various academic and Buddhist institutions. KF Translator Scholarship [live] also provide direct financial support for aspiring translators and Buddhist scholars. KF now partners with Dharma Drum University in Taiwan, the University of Vienna, and Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Kathmandu to develop and design programs for Buddhist translation studies to meet the urgent need for Buddhist translators in general and 84000 in particular. LEARN MORE >>
The Khyentse Foundation Prize for Outstanding Translation
With the aim of encouraging and honoring excellence in translation works that make the Buddhist heritage accessible to a broader public, the Khyentse Foundation Prize for Outstanding Translation was initiated in 2011. The prize is for translations from the main classical languages of Buddhism—Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese—into English. The original text may be a sutra, commentary, treatise, biography, history, liturgy, or practice manual, from any tradition of Buddhism, published within the preceding 2 years. LEARN MORE >>