Tao Te Ching in Plain English: An Accurate Translation of The Sacred Ancient Chinese Book, Written in Simple & Easy to Read Modern Englishby Jing Han
People have taken to living their lives after this text, and have thrived upon its valuable advice. For centuries, this famous book has inspired, enlightened, and also taught
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The Tao Te Ching (or Dao De Jing), written around the early 6th century BC, became a cornerstone in the philosophical view known as Taoism, as well as the ancient religion of Dao.
People have taken to living their lives after this text, and have thrived upon its valuable advice. For centuries, this famous book has inspired, enlightened, and also taught generations the importance of philosophy.
Both legal and educational scholars throughout Chinese history have called this book their favorite, and it seems as if a new section of society realizes the Tao Te Ching's beauty every decade.
Written by Lao Tzu, also known as the “Old Master,” the Tao Te Ching is known for being both a permanent part of Chinese culture, as well as one of the most famous books of all time in the field of philosophy.
You will find that no less than a dozen sayings and idioms that Chinese people use in their daily life were originated from this book.
Translations of the Tao Te Ching are often accomplished after a lot of difficulties are overcome in the actual act of translating it. The original text was written in Ancient Chinese, a language that is filled with different connotations, meanings, and nuances to each word.
Even modern Chinese speakers have problems translating the original Tao Te Ching; being able to translate it while keeping its rich meaning intact has been a feat that isn't easily accomplished.
The biggest problems found in other English versions of the Tao Te Ching are that in many cases extras were added by the translators based on their own understanding; while in other cases words were lost or omitted from original Chinese text. Some translations were gibberish and difficult to understand.
Great care has been taken in this version to give a precise translation without adding the translator’s own interpretation. You will find that this new translation is easy to understand, yet virtually unchanged from the original Tao. This new English translation of the Tao Te Ching will enlighten and entertain people for years to come.
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Whether this is an academically accurate interpretation of Tao Te Ching or not, I have no idea. What I do know is that this book spoke to me in a voice I can relate too. I thought Jing Han's translation was pretty good as far as I can tell. This was a wonderful book and I really enjoyed reading it. I would highly recommend this book.
I have been interested in reading the Tao Te Ching for some time now, but have always been intimidated by the large annotated versions sold as textbooks. I think one of the reasons I appreciate this book is the author's comment in the introduction regarding other copies and translations--they are often tainted by the each translators' interpretation. This author has clearly made great efforts to remain unbiased in his translation and present as literal a translation as possible. This is helpful because you are provided with an unpolluted version of the text and able to make your own assumptions. Sometimes you get to a chapter with text that is difficult to interpret or hard to make a connection with, and I think that is the value of philosophy--to study, think critically, and arrive at your own interpretation in how philosophy and your ethics allow you to perceive a situation. I very much appreciate the simplicity of this book, and I found it to be more rewarding of an experience than had it told me how to think.
Very helpful! I needed a book that could help me with an important project and this book was extremely helpful. The project was going to be very tough but this translation made it easy and worry free. I needed a translation that I could understand that was true to the language and did not stray from the original text. This book did a great job of staying true to the initial text and still made it very comprehensible for me to read as an American. It is oftentimes difficult to understand meaning when words are translated but I did not have this issue with this book. I was surprised at some of the negative feedback because I found the book to be exactly what I needed and it assisted me properly through the project with great results. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in this subject or if they need more information and an English translation. It was a fast read and provided the information that I needed to complete my project. Kudos to the author! It was a great book on this topic.
I enjoy reading old manuscripts, but much of the time I find English translations destroy some of the beauty of the original texts. That is not true with this modern translation. I was pleased to find the deep, simple wisdom of these old sayings was not lost in the translation to easy to read English. I love how the author was able to maintain the beauty of the principles without making them too complicated to understand.
I always thought I would never be able to enjoy the wisdom of Tao Te Ching because I simply can’t understand most Chinese translations. But I found out this translation truly is in “plain English”, and I will continue to enjoy studying Tao in a translation I can actually understand! At the moment, my favorite quote is from Chapter 26, “Quietness is the master of the unrest.” I know I am going to have many “favorite” quotes each time I re-read its clear simplicity.
This version of the Tao Te Ching was great. I’ve never read another translation of the Tao all of the way through but I loved reading this one. It was very colloquial for a translation which was nice. Other translations I’ve read use awkward language to try to retain aspects of the original text, but this one was very readable in English. There was also a short intro about Lao Tzu and the history of Taoism that provided a helpful background for approaching the text.
I have always wondered about the writing of Tao Te Ching, but must admit I was afraid to try and read it because I had heard others say how hard it was to understand. When I saw this book I knew I had to give it a chance. I graduated from college many years ago, but figured if not now, when. I am so glad I took the challenge. I will be the first to admit that it took me some time to understand many of the chapters, but the introduction made me feel at ease and it was written in such easy to read language. I would recommend “Tao Te Ching in plain English” to anyone who is wanting to learn more, but feels a little, (or a lot) intimidated by the original writings. My recommendation also comes with a suggestion, go slow, study and enjoy.
This book is a great read for those interested in philosophy. Lao Tzu is a very well-known scholar, but for those who don’t read Chinese it can be a bit tough to get through his work, especially since it is written in ancient Chinese which is hard for even fluent Chinese speakers to translate. Tao Te Ching in Plain English makes the work of Lao Tzu easily accessible for those with an interest in philosophy that would like to read the work in English. As mentioned in the forward, the Tao Te Ching advocates for balance, peace and understanding, and those values remain intact in this translation. As a college student I thoroughly enjoyed how easy this book was to read and understand compared to the work of some other philosophers that I’ve studied.