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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 December 2009
The colophons of the Mongol Ganjur contain a large number of terms and expressions having to do with ‘writing’, ‘translation’, ‘revising’, ‘correcting’, ‘copying’, etc.; but, with these expressions appearing in almost numberless varieties of combinations with each other and with other words, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to assign a precise meaning to each particular one as distinct from the others. Some of these terms are synonyms and are used either together, or as substitutes one for the other, duplicating and repeating each other. The taste of the writers may very well have dictated the choice of one term in one place, and a different one, with roughly the same meaning, in another passage. The various ways in which these terms are combined and strung together, themselves strongly suggest that the Mongol translators, or the authors of the colophons, maintained no sharp distinction between the various terms: where is the precise line between ‘correcting’ and ‘revising’, ‘editing’, and ‘compiling’? Nevertheless, it should be possible to classify those expressions or terms into a few categories, even if there exists no clear line of demarcation between the various notions shading off into each other. I do not intend to trace such neat lines of separation, but I do believe that it is possible to define, if only in broad terms, the general meaning of the expressions concerned. And if carefully analysed and compared, these very words may tell us something about the manner in which the translation of the Buddhist sūtras was achieved.
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2 Das, S. C., Tibetan-English Dictionary (p. 1072)Google Scholar: shu-wa: ‘to ask, to petition’; and under shu-dag: ‘improvement, correction, etc.’, he lists the expression shu-chen-gyi lo-tsa-wa ‘great reviser or commentator (of Sanskrit writings)’. Jäschke, , Tibetan–English Dictionary, 476Google Scholar. For lo-tsā-ba (= kelemürči) see below.
3 Peking, 1957, p. 326.
4 Brunnert, H. S. and Hagelstrom, V. V., Present day political organization of China (repr. 1962), 73, § 200AGoogle Scholar.
5 Wu-t'i Ch'ing-wen chien, loc. cit.
6 Brunnert-Hagelstrom, loc. cit.
8 Sagaster, K., ‘Hat Č'os-kyi'od-zer die Pancaraksâ ins Mongolische übersetzt?’ in Olon ulusyn Mongolč erdemlnii II ix xural, vol. 2, Ulaanbaatar, 1973, 90 fGoogle Scholar.
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12 Sigülge- is the causative of sigü-; the nomen actoris in -či is usually formed with a noun, but can occasionally also be built from a verbal root. Cf. Mostaert, A. and Cleaves, Fr. W., ‘Trois documents mongols des archives secrètes vaticanes’, HJAS, XV, 1952, 461Google Scholar.
13 p. 771.
15 Secret history of the Mongols, § 56.
17 Wu-t'i Ch'ing-wen chien, 326.
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