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Chinese and Comparative Philosophy 中國哲學與比較哲學

French translations of Daodejing and Zhuangzi?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Nathan Westbrook 3 years ago.

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  • #32539 Reply

    Nathan Westbrook

    Are there any Warp, Weft, Way readers who can help me identify good French translations of the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi?

    #32548 Reply

    Paul R. Goldin

    There’s less than you’d think, and I’d have to recommend Jean Levi:

    LEVI, Jean, tr. Les Œuvres de Maître Tchouang. Paris: L’Encyclopédie des Nuisances, 2006.

    LEVI, Jean, tr. Le Lao tseu suivi des Quatre Canons de l’empereur Jaune. Paris: Albin Michel, 2009.

    The most frequently used texts are the Gallimard Philosophes taoïstes volumes, but frankly they’re old and questionable (based on Liou Kia-hway, if I remember correctly). There are also translations of both Laozi and Zhuangzi by Claude Larre.

    #32553 Reply

    Dan Anchun

    Dear Nathan Westbrook,

    There is also the ancient translation of Laozi, Liezi and Zhuangzi by Leon Wieger:

    Les pères du système taoïste

    I. LAO-TZEU II. LIE-TZEU III. TCHOANG-TZEU
    par Léon Wieger S.J (1856-1933)
    Les Humanités d’Extrême-Orient, Cathasia, série culturelle des Hautes Études
    de Tien-Tsin, LES BELLES LETTRES, Paris, 1950, 522 pages.

    This translation is freely available from the Universite de Quebec a Chicoutimi.

    Jean Francois Billeter has a book about Zhuangzi, Etudes sur Tchouang-tseu, but no complete translation.

    Best regards,

    Dan Anchun

    #32659 Reply

    Nathan Westbrook

    Paul, thanks for the Jean Levi recommendations. I think I will start with them. (By the way, I use your Confucianism in my classes and like it very much.)

    Dan, thanks for the UQAC pointer. I was able to download it to my phone, which is especially useful. The translation of the Daodejing, pre-dates the Mawangdui and Guodian discoveries of course.

    Via the French Wikipedia page, I found these newer translations of the Daodejing–any opinions about them? (I’m linking to Amazon because it’s convenient; this is the first time I’ve been on the forums here–if this counts as spam or commercial posting, I am happy to edit away the Amazon links.)

    Remi Mathieu: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/2908606593/

    Marcel Conche: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/2130538177/

    Alain Castets: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/2840584360/

    #32741 Reply

    Albert

    Dear Nathan,

    Among the three French translations of the Laozi that you mention in your last post, only that by Rémi Mathieu is a serious contribution from a sinological (philological) point of view. If I am not mistaken, Marcel Conche is a philosopher and Alain Castets a novel writer without any specific academic training in classical Chinese… Hope it helps.
    Best regards,

    Albert

    #32940 Reply

    Nathan Westbrook

    Albert, that is very helpful. Thanks.

    I’m also trying to vet the translation by Claire Sachsé Fontaine (which looks like it might be promising):
    http://www.cgjung.net/publications/tao_te_king.htm
    http://www.20minutes.fr/livres/1219707-20130908-tao-king-lao-tseu-chez-fontaine-pierre-paris-france

    I haven’t been able to figure out much about the translation (of the Daodejing) by Francois and Pierre Leyris–if anyone has any leads or opinions about it, I’d appreciate them, too.

    I’ve found a few more online resources that may be useful:
    Stanislas Julien’s (19th C) translation: http://taoteking.free.fr/index.html

    This site juxtaposes the Chinese and the Stanislas (French), Waley (English), Wilhelm (German), and Lau (English) translations: http://wengu.tartarie.com/wg/wengu.php?1=Daodejing&l=Daodejing&lang=fr

    This is a French translation by Conradin Von Lauer: http://midier.net/tao/tao.htm

    It seems there are fewer translations of the Zhuangzi.

    I take it that Chinese philosophy and philology are smaller academic specializations in the Francophone world than in the Anglophone world.

    #32941 Reply

    Nathan Westbrook

    Albert, that is very helpful. Thanks.

    I’m also trying to vet the translation by Claire Sachsé Fontaine (which looks like it might be promising):
    http://www.cgjung.net/publications/tao_te_king.htm
    http://www.20minutes.fr/livres/1219707-20130908-tao-king-lao-tseu-chez-fontaine-pierre-paris-france

    I haven’t been able to figure out much about the translation (of the Daodejing) by Francois and Pierre Leyris–if anyone has any leads or opinions about it, I’d appreciate them, too.

    I’ve found a few more online resources that may be useful:
    Stanislas Julien’s (19th C) translation: http://taoteking.free.fr/index.html

    This site juxtaposes the Chinese and the Stanislas (French), Waley (English), Wilhelm (German), and Lau (English) translations: http://wengu.tartarie.com/wg/wengu.php?1=Daodejing&l=Daodejing&lang=fr

    This is a French translation by Conradin Von Lauer: http://midier.net/tao/tao.htm

    It seems there are fewer translations of the Zhuangzi.

    I take it that Chinese philosophy and philology are smaller academic specializations in the Francophone world than in the Anglophone world.

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