Tao Te Ching

Twenty-eight Interactive Translations


Introduction

These linked documents were assembled as a study guide. Being able to see 28 translations of each sentence on one page solves the problem of being able to have only five or six books open in front of you at one time, unless you are blessed with more hands than am I.

The Chapter files were the primary objective. The Author files were created first, then numbered, then merged into the tables of the Chapter files. The process of typing most of the versions from hard copy took nearly three years; it also energized me and fixed many chapters firmly into my being far beyond that dream I had 35 years ago; to read it over and over until I "grokked" it fully!

The 28 versions were culled from more than 50 available to me, books I own (about 30), over the Internet (about 10), and photocopies (blush) of books I don't own (about 15). There are also a few bonus versions culled from the Internet and presented "as is". Each version was chosen because it uses unique phraseology or mannerism. Hopefully, after experiencing the different versions a reader will have a deeper, more thorough understanding of the intent and meaning of the original Chinese. Being functionally uni-lingual, other than English versions are not included, although some were translated to German or French before re-translation to English.

The texts are arranged in sentences rather arbitrarily. As many versions affect a "blank verse" style when two or more lines are concatenated to a single sentence some capitalization oddities occur; in some cases words are capitalized for no other reason than to lend them a "proper noun" enhancement. English/American spelling variants abound, especially in the "or"/"our" and "ill"/"il" forms (e.g. flavour/flavor and skillful/skilful).

As I have done this collection and assembly without thought of gain or profit, other than for those insubstantial profits accruing through learning and practicing the Tao, I beg most humbly the forgiveness of those who feel they own the words of Lao Tzu, their publishers, their estates, their friends, and relatives. Furthermore, I encourage everyone to go out and buy a book, a thousand books, on the Tao; to hold, to feel, to throw away (to quote R.G.H. Siu).


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