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174 of 179 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A simple & accurate translation stunningly presented.
One of the best translations on the market. An attempt has been made to preserve some of the crystalline terseness of the original which is beyond deep. Also one key line from each section is given in Chinese along with a glossary so that you can make your own translation. For example the third line from Section 29 they translate as "The world is a spiritual vessel", the...
Published on 11 Oct 2004 by IrishGit

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange translation
I expected a standard translation of the Tao Te Ching, but instead found this translation to be difficult to understand and different from the other "standard" translations found online. Perhaps this translation is more accurate, but I found it quite difficult to understand.
Published 17 months ago by Sambo8


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174 of 179 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A simple & accurate translation stunningly presented., 11 Oct 2004
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This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
One of the best translations on the market. An attempt has been made to preserve some of the crystalline terseness of the original which is beyond deep. Also one key line from each section is given in Chinese along with a glossary so that you can make your own translation. For example the third line from Section 29 they translate as "The world is a spiritual vessel", the Chinese being T'ien hsia shen ch'i. On using the glossary it becomes revealed that T'ien hsia means "under heaven" or "lower heaven" - much richer that "world". It would be possible to quibble with any translation, & ideally it would be best to study two or three different translations. However this one comes closest to the spirit of the original.
This book is remarkable & indispensible though for it's presentation & the stunning ink paintings/calligraphy which perfectly compliment the text. You'd be hard pressed to find a more beautiful book anywhere. Recommended!
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a real translation, 3 Nov 2008
By 
Mike L (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
Translators Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo have done their best not to reinterpret the Tao Te Ching, but to allow it to speak for itself. This wonderful English version preserves the epigrammatic terseness of the original. The layout and illustrations strike the same note as the text.

What can I say - this is the best way to approach this work, short of translating it yourself. Warmly recommended
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FREEING, 11 Feb 2011
This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
If you a swithering as to whether you should buy this book then simply don't. Swither that is. Buy it! Trust in your self and in your ability to understand the gems held within. Then gently put these gems of wisdom and light into practice and your life will change perceptively. You will be surrounded by love or your money back. Ok, so I can't promise this in actuality. But if a sack scratching Neanderthal like me can take in its wisdom and subsequently grow in spirit then you should have no problems. Why don't you use that cash you put aside for a bottle of dodgy merlot to better use and purchase a copy of this timeless companion.

Ps: There's a good car chase at the end!........................................ Ok so I lied.... Hey, small steps................. reeeeally small steps..........
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Acute and Correct, 10 Mar 2009
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S. Crawford "lindao" (Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
Suitably sparse, elegant and mysterious. Leaves you free to embrace the uncanny poise and balance of our deepest nature. Where many translations seek to explain, they betray the spirit of the Chinese original, to speak with fewer words, to realise with fewer thoughts. Also they enable you try your hand at your own translaion of selected lines. This alone is worth the purchase. Through doing so you discover the amazing potency and fluency of the Chinese script. You can supply several different but subtely related translations of the same line which amply demonstrates how efficient and poetic it can be. In the same way synonyms elaborate and enhance a single thought, a single line can resonate and glow with related meaning.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple, yet complex, 21 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
At first reading I was startled, as this is very different to most translations of the Tao Te Ching.
This translation is fantastic because of its simplicity. It cuts to the core of many verses and avoids the wordy English translations which try to 'explain' what Lao Tzu meant. It also avoids the use of 'he' as a pronoun and in doing so recreates the genderlessness of the Chinese original. It has good clarity and retains some of the poetry and pace of the original - so it seems very 'authentic'. The Chinese-style paintings and the use of Chinese characters alongside the text make the book quite beautiful, too.

My only gripe is that sometimes this version uses a more complex vocabulary and words which have a 'western' meaning, such as in the following from Verse 18:
Addis & Lombardo "...filial piety and affection arise / the nation disordered, patriots come forth"

The use of 'patriots' in this verse sticks out for me. In my opinion a patriot is someone who wants respect for their achievements, which the Tao Te Ching warns against, therefore I do not feel this word is the best choice. Although the concept of 'filial piety' is a Chinese concept, many people might not know what this means.

Perhaps the brevity of this translation, which is its best asset, is also its downfall, as it somestimes comes across as a little heartless.

I would contrast this with Red Pine's translation (which for me is more easily understood):
"...we meet obedience and love / when the country is in chaos, we meet upright officials"

The Addis and Lombardo translation is an excellent work, but better suited as a refreshing text for someone who has already read other 'explanatory' versions of the Tao.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Translation I've found, 14 Mar 2010
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P. Hogan "Peter" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
After trawling through several translations on-line and at my local libraries I decided to buy this version. With a mini dictionary at the end and beautiful drawings scattered in-between verses this is a simply wonderful book. The translation is sensible and precise and it features a forward from Burton Watson, who has translated many ancient Chinese books, and a short history with a pronunciation guide as well.
As for the Tao Te Ching itself, I advise anyone who's interested in life outside the normal scope to read this through and through, slowly and taking time in your day to reflect and make it part of your life, A pleasure to own.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master work, 1 April 2011
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This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
The Tao is one of the world's masterworks. So attractive that there are more than 100 contemporary translations. The twenty that I have studied vary between the baffled and interpretative, with 'scholarly' footnotes, to the honest and clear minded attempt to reach back through the old Chinese text to as near exact a meaning as possible. The three wise old professors in this attempt very nearly suceed in the impossible. I shall use this edition as a gift to others with no Chinese who love Master Lao Tzu.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great translation. Actually, the best I had seen till now!, 21 Dec 2010
By 
K. Gulias "K.A.G." (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
Concise and very good translation of one of the most wise texts of ancient Chinese literature. It is a very poetical and imagetical translation-work, as I believe in the original Chinese is. It is worth buying if you want to read wisdom and poetry, but not if you want a ego-oriented and self-help intentional, and tendential literature/translation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightfull, 25 Oct 2010
By 
Marshbbad (Kidderminster, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
Just a fabulously insightful book. If you're in the right frame of mind and need to find your own answers, flick through this and contemplate.
Brilliant.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most accurate translation - the NIV of Taoism, 31 July 2010
By 
Magic Lemur (Somewhere in Madagascar) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
One amazing thing you discover with the Tao (after reading 2 or 3 versions) is that each version is different. A subtle change in how a charactor is translated can utterly change its meaning & whole verses that once had one slant can have a radically different meaning with a different translator.

In the Bible you will find this when you compare a paraphrase like the The Message with literal translations like New International Version (NIV), but the differences are often only slight & the meaning is only a little different.
As the Tao is translated from a completely different language to English, it can vary wildly with its translations.
Couple this with the fact that it can often be more profound in its teachings, so the differences between versions will often the reader amazed.

So it is that even the first verse ('Tao called Tao is not Tao') is wildly different in meaning to the paraphrased 'The Name that can be named is not the eternal name'. And, looking through this version, I found many differences in meaning to the paraphrased versions I've been reading.
For Instance, Verse 15: '...Because they do not wish to be full, they can fade away without further effort'
(compared with: '...Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.')
Verse 50: '...The tiger's claws find nothing to flay, Weapons find nothing to pierce. Why is this? They have no mortal spot'
(compared with: '...This is the fulfilled person of the the Tao who leaves no space in life for premature death.')

Some of these translations are better, some more awkward, but often they are enlightening & new. If it can be described, it is like this version has a far stronger Chinese flavor than the other versions & seems more true to what Lao Tzu intended.

Added to this, this particular edition is filled with Chinese symbols next to the verses. Like the strangeness of the text itself, these have the effect of taking your mind back to the time when Lao Tzu wrote the text & of making you feel some of the 'mysterious powers' that Confucius claimed he had.

So, if you've read just one version of the Tao Te Ching, then I would recommend this one as a way of completely & radically altering your perspective on the meaning of Lao Tzu's words.
That said, I would not recommend it for beginners (just as I wouldn't recommend the King James Bible to first-time Bible readers).
If you have just read Million Little Pieces or have just started on your Taoist Odyssey, then I recommend this pocket version: Tao Te Ching & this: Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life to get you started.

Once you're on the path though, then get this version & prepare to have your mind stretched in ways you can't even begin to imagine...
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Tao Te Ching
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (Paperback - 1 Nov 1993)
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