Language-independent Principle

There have been numerous English translations of the Tao Te Ching. Most scholars attribute our difficulties to the differences between the English and the Chinese languages. As we have pointed out in the Dynamic Tao and Its Manifestations, that the fundamental difficulty is not due to the differences in languages, but is due to lack of understanding of the principle or logic of Tao philosophy.

There have been ample examples that we can successfully translate complicated principles in science and philosophy from a language to another. If we have understood a principle, the principle will likely become language-independent. Therefore, we believe that we have been hampered by lack of a philosophical principle in the historical translations of the Tao Te Ching – primarily in its native language. In other words, most Western scholars have simply carried over the difficulties imbedded in the Chinese historical commentaries.

Now, this has changed. We have a principle and our model will be language-independent. If we understand the principle of Tao in one language, we should be able to understand the same principle in any other language. The solutions should apply to all languages equally. Translation of the principle is the ultimate goal of translation. The proper rhetoric renderings are only secondary in the translation.

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