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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 27 January 2001
It is not easy to translate an ancient Indian language (Pali) to flowing English and retain the original meanings and senses. This is a meticulous translation and it is clear the authors have spent time and effort to try and get it right. One of the authors being Sinhalese (which is also a language close to Pali)would have better understood the meanings and senses of terms more than most Western scholars, and the joint authorship suggests a polished and balanced approach to attain near perfection.
No translation could articulate the experiential meanings behind the verses or hope to equal the ancient material, but this one gets close representing an honest attempt at a challenging goal. The English may appear somewhat academic but the work represents a thoroughly modern translation and OUP have done their homework in bestowing authorship.
The publisher is to be congratulated and this book deserves the shelf of any good library...
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on 15 December 2002
I have previously read classic Max Muller's version, Mascaros poetic version and some translations foud at numerous web-pages. I think this is clearly the best of them. Carter and Palihawadana have retained texts lyric style but still their ambition is to bring autentic text as such to us. Hence reader have to use glossary where most importánt words and referensees are. I may be a bit annoying but
If you really want know exactly what what is in original dhammapada you has to use such method. Some at web "intreprete"
too much, then the text may look easier but It may go also wrong.
Only negative comment is that people to which english is not native language, text may have too mamy many fine but unfamiliar words. I recommend this book. It is one of the classics of Worlds religious teachings.
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on 6 September 2011
The reviews of these authors' version of the Dhammapada on Amazon have got very jumbled up.

The Amazon review provided under 'Product Information' at the beginning of the page about the short Oxford World's Classics edition is very misleading. It states:

"Carter and Palihawadana have not only proivde [sic] a fresh English translation of the Pali but a transliteration of the Dhammapada"

This is NOT true - there is no transliteration of the Pali text in that particular edition.

The fuller edition, of over 500 pages, does have a transliteration of the Pali text.

To add to the confusion, my review, which you are reading now, has been attached by Amazon to the shorter OUP edition AND the full edition with transliteration.
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on 18 October 2007
All the teachings of all the introductions to Buddhism are in here, and more, but instead of academic sentences, you get memorable stansas. Its directness and conciseness make it a much more effective tool. Read together with the helpful notes, a complete novice to Buddhism would have a very good idea what it was all about from reading this text alone.
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on 7 January 2013
I bought the Dhammapada, having encountered passages from it as aphorisms, and wanting to read it as a whole.

I do not like this translation: the beauty of the Dhammapada (to me) is its extreme simplicity and clarity of expression, and I think that this translation obscures these characteristics, and sometimes also obscures the meaning of the text.

I am not qualified to comment on the 'authenticity' of the various translations of the Pali original, or whether this is somehow more true to the Pali, but my preferred versions are the Penguin Classics version and (my favorite) Gil Fronsdal's translation, published by Shambhala Publicatons.

I recommend using the Amazon 'look inside' feature to read some of the text and see which best speaks to you; if you are particularly keen to explore the finer nuances of meaning, reading more than one translation highlights how different translators translate different Pali words/meanings into English.
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on 2 April 2009
I purchased this as I'm studying Yoga and I had an assignment to write a book review on it. I was confused as to which copy to buy so I went by the star ratings. However my tutor was not impressed when I showed him the book, he explained there were better and easier translations on the market. Hence why I have recently purchased the Penguin Classics version. I just wish I could get my money back on this copy.
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