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New English Zhuan Falun Translation Published

A new and original English translation of Zhuan Falun has been approved and officially published. The book can now be directly ordered from the publisher, Yih Chyun Corp (, and will soon be available for download in multiple formats from The book should be available in bookstores soon.

The following is a note from the translators related to the new translation.

Translator's Note

(on the English Zhuan Falun, 2003 North America translation version)

I. "Buddha Law is boundless." Great Master Li Hongzhi's Zhuan Falun, as the principal text of Falun Dafa, expounds the boundless, measureless Great Law making use of the lowest language of the cosmos, the human language, to mercifully allow the predestined ones in the human world to obtain the Law and assimilate through cultivation to the nature of the universe, achieving spiritual Perfection, or "Consummation." Its profundity, depth, and grandeur are absolutely beyond compare, and transcend all human languages and concepts.

Translating Zhuan Falun thus poses immense challenges, and is, in a sense, an impossible task: only Master's original words, in the Chinese, can encompass all of the meanings and connotations intended at the lower human level, and no other language can fully replicate them. As such, the translator can only do all in his capacity to capture the surface meaning of Master's Fa, but ultimately each cultivator and each language has limitations. For this reason, as we understand it, it is desirable to have multiple translation versions. As our Master has explained:

No version in another language can possibly be translated from the Chinese without straying a little from the original. I'd even suggest that it's actually better to have more translation versions. When people read them, they will realize, "Oh, there's this meaning... Oh, there's also that meaning... So that's the way it is." So there are actually some benefits, if you ask me. (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Switzerland, 1998)

Of course, at the same time it is good to remember that practitioners of Dafa will achieve what they are supposed to in accordance with their cultivation all the same, no matter the words of the translation. As our Master has said: can be assured that as long as Zhuan Falun is translated into your language, behind it there are countless Buddhas, Daos, and Gods who will enable you to understand the principles in those realms just the same. This isn't something contained at the surface of the words, as it can't be written--not even in Chinese. So your cultivation won't be affected. (Teaching the Fa at the European Conference, 1998)

Thus, different translations necessarily have different characteristics and qualities, reflecting the different strengths and backgrounds of different translators or their different approaches and processes. We can appreciate that this might sometimes cause confusion on the part of English-speaking readers, who notice certain discrepancies between different translations, and who are not sure how to reconcile such differences in wording or style. But we would like to suggest that this is in fact wherein the value of multiple versions lies. Within reason, different interpretations of the very same sentence or word allow us to see different shades of meaning, or different possible understandings, neither of which is "right" or "wrong" per se. And from these variations, ideally, we come to a deeper, more rich and nuanced understanding of the boundless Buddha Law. What we hold in our hands as we study is the solemn, majestic Law of the cosmos which recreates us, so we just have to try our best to study it as Dafa cultivators, setting aside all human notions and thoughts.

II. Several translators have put together a new translation of Zhuan Falun in English, which is now published. We hope that this version, along with other translation versions, may allow fellow English-speaking practitioners to see different meanings and aspects of Master's Fa.

While reading the new translation, several persons found it helpful to know the objectives and approach that steered it, and hoped that we could articulate them to some extent for others. We do so here, in general terms, for practitioners' reference.

The primary objective of the translation was, as with any Dafa translation, to achieve the highest possible degree of accuracy, remaining as faithful as possible to Master's original text. This of course meant capturing the surface meaning of the words to the greatest extent. Part of "the surface meaning," we felt, was the author's tone, and so we strove to reproduce the varied tone of the original; a tone which, in many places, is very colloquial, even making use of local dialect and slang, and markedly oral as opposed to literary. We sought to preserve the tone in all its hues, such as its light-hearted and witty shades, as well as those that were more serious, or rhetorical, or lively, etc. For the most part, we found that this meant reproducing the simple, down-to-earth, clear and plain language of the Chinese text. We tried to keep in mind a point our Master once made in Guangzhou (video lecture series, lecture 8, 1994):

You know, there's a distinguishing feature in my lectures: I'll tell you very profound principles in the plainest language, I'll do my best to have you understand. I'll tell you no ambiguities.

And we tried to remember that this held for Zhuan Falun, as we understood it, since "the form and colloquial style of my lectures on the Fa were still preserved [in Zhuan Falun]" (from the article "Awakening"). This, we felt, allowed readers to more accurately understand the surface meaning of the original text.

We also tried not to impose certain standards and limitations present in the English language on Master's book of Buddha Law. This was a process for us, in a sense, of stepping out of our own conceptual frameworks and comfort zone, "following Teacher closely" as best we could. As our great Master reminded us:

The language I used in the book, Zhuan Falun, isn't standard, since using modern, standardized language can't encompass higher levels and greater meaning. For this reason I wrote it in a colloquial style. (Lecture at the Conference in Sydney, 1996)

And also, in the early pages of Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa:

Although the superficial language of Zhuan Falun isn't fancy and doesn't even conform to modern grammar, if I were to use modern grammar to organize this book of Dafa, a serious problem would come about: the language and structure would be in keeping with norms and be beautiful, but it would lack deeper and higher meanings.

Keeping this in mind, we tried as well to preserve the style and feel of Master's writing, honoring the sometimes long and involved sentences, non-standard grammar, and so on, in order to convey to English readers the same feel and experience that a Chinese reader might have. We also tried to pay attention to the book's style within and across passages and chapters, noting differences and similarities and responding to them accordingly. We especially sought to preserve the openness and rich possibilities often contained even at the surface level of the Chinese sentences; this meant, most typically, avoiding simplification that would more likely conform to a reader's expectations.

The other two features we might note are the attempt to be consistent in handling prominent and major terms, which involved attending to distinctions among terms made by the author (e.g., the different terms he used for "student," "cultivator," "practitioner," and "disciple," or the different terms for "good/ness" (shan) and "compassion" (cibei)), and trying to achieve a certain degree of fluency in the English such that the text could believably sound like that of a native English speaker giving a lively talk, thus approximating the feel of the Chinese.

The translation group welcomes feedback, which can be directed to them at (Please note that they may not be able to answer every email, however.)

Posting date: 5/3/2003
Original article date: 5/3/2003
Category: Announcements

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