Ven. Master: In the future, we will meet every third Sunday of the month at 1:30 p.m. The books we publish should all be formatted with alternate pages of Chinese and English, facing each other. This kind of sagely work will last for thousands of generations. We are common people doing the work of sages. This work is done on a volunteer basis and it is something meaningful to us. We can establish merit and virtue and benefit people, not only make a living to support ourselves. We want to use the spare time in our busy lives to do something worthwhile.
D. M. Sure: We will also accept translations from any country, too.
D. M. Lai: We really need people with true skill to do layout work. So I hope that people skilled in this area will contribute their efforts.
D. M. Lyu: Communication and organization are extremely important. Even if you don't know how to translate, you still can help with the task of organizing and communicating.
D. M. Gwei: We also need to train people who are interested in translation but have no experience.
D. M. Ming: Some of the English translation which was done by listening to the tape didn't match the Chinese text.
Darwin Hu: Our original idea was to finalize the Chinese draft in the first step, so that the translators could save time and not have to go back and listen to the tape again.
Master: In the past, some people, wanting to act special and be in the spotlight, inserted their own opinions in the published Chinese sutra text, and left out my original explanation.
For instance, for the sake of beginners I had originally spoken "the Simple Explanation of the Shurangama Sutra," which I call 'the Kindergarten Shurangama Sutra.' But Fang Gwo Wu used Dharma Master Yuan Ying's explanation to alter the original meaning, so much of it is not my own explanation. So, you need to take a look and see if these books match what's on the tape.
Hu Gwo Hu: Some of the very old tapes are already ruined. Some of the tapes have a lot of background noise covering up the Master's voice. Could the Ven. Master lecture them again?
Master: It takes a lot of concentration for me to give a lecture. To have even one copy is not so easy and I have to use a lot of energy. If you didn't know how to take care of them, that is your responsibility; I won't do it again. If I did again and you didn't protect them any better this time, then what would be the use?
Liu Gwo Ming: I found that some parts of the sutra are missing some sentences of the sutra explanation. Can the Master just give a few sentences for the sutra explanation?
Master: If there's a part missing from the tape, just go ahead and add it in according to the meaning of the text.
Liu Gwo Ming: We then read it to the Master for approval?
Master: If it is just a little bit, that's okay! If the tapes have been destroyed, it is because of your irresponsibility. Basically I have no opinion about my tapes. Whether you people want to spread them far or bury them in the ground, it doesn't matter to me, for I don't pay any attention to my own affairs. If I told you to do this, it would be like I was praising myself. If you like to do it, I can't stop you and ask you not to do so. I'm not like other people who advertise their own things, the more the better.
I've been teaching you for so many years and not a single person understands my vows and my heart. You stare at me, wondering as you scratch your head, what's he doing, what's he doing? You have no clue at all.
Speaker: We can form groups to carry out the different steps of the translation work, and figure out who will do the primary translation, who will do editing, proofreading, layout, and so on. But we should first organize it properly.
D. M. Sure: There are also some retired seniors--everyone's parents and relatives. If their Chinese is good, you can also tell them about this work, and I believe they will be willing to help.
Master: The people who listen to and transcribe the tapes must have good Chinese, and not write incorrect words. If those seniors don't smoke or drink, and are in good health, that's fine. If they smoke and drink, they will have problems.
Chen Shr Jung: With today's advanced technology, we can restore damaged tapes and get rid of background noise. Recently, there have also been some automatic language translation programs, which are not too expensive. Can we try out these sorts of things?
Master: Certainly! If the computer can do it all, we won't need to use people anymore, and we can save some labor. We people will do the work that computers cannot do, and let the computers do what they can do.
Gwo Jye: I had tried to get rid of background noise. It worked really well. I will investigate and see if we can use it. Following the flowchart, are we going to proceed one step at a time, or will we work on it part by part?
Master: This time around we will definitely go step by step to completely finish the translation. We cannot publish if we are still missing a bit, or just stop after translating only half of it.
Chen Gwo Wen: We need to decide what Sutras and tapes we should start work on first. At present we have different computer and software configurations. Can we increase our usage of computers in order to reduce the human workload? During our meetings, we should post the meeting timetable and organizational chart, and have a system for contacting people and making reports.
Master: In the future, we can meet until 3:30. We cannot prolong the time past that, meeting for several hours. Today we don't have time to select people.
Next time, everyone should first check their own area, and see who can do what work. It's best to have people good in both Chinese and English. If they are good in just one, that's OK too.
If you eat too much food at once, you will feel as though your stomach will burst. In the past, some people had meetings that lasted five or six hours. They met during the day and at nighttime as well. That is not right.
Chang Syun Kwang: It's very important to attract talented people. I suggest we print this volunteer data sheet in the newsletter and magazine. Then all those who are interested can help, too.
Master: In the future, the newsletter and magazine will both be bilingual. Currently, very few magazines have this kind of format with the Chinese and English on facing pages. Who hasn't spoken yet? Speak out one by one.
Lu Da Ren: The three things I have thought about have been mentioned by others already. First, how do we begin from the progress chart? Second, which sutra shall we translate first, and how do we coordinate among ourselves?
Syun Jr Yang: About the translation flow chart. I feel that it will be very similar to the flow charts used by business managers. For example, we can write simple instructions on the side, making it easier for people to understand and make choices about the work.
Darwin Hu: We can use a kind of software which will monitor progress, duties, deadlines, and inspection times. It is designed to take care of these specialized jobs.
Wang Hung Yi: We should not forget about the hard work done in the past. For special terms in Buddhism, we can refer back to our past translations, so we won't have to do it over.
Master: People in the past did work hard and earn merit. Although they didn't fully understand translation then, they are forced it. They didn't know how to do it, but they did it anyway. Those who knew Chinese didn't understand English, and those who knew English didn't understand Chinese. Now, people's talents are up to standard, and they know both Chinese and English.
Darwin Hu: We can scan the English Sutra texts we've already published into the computer, so we don't have to type them in by hand.
Master: We will try to use what's new and improved. We can't stubbornly stick to old ways.
Chang Gwo Rung: There are some Buddhist terms which are difficult to translate.
Master: We can look them up in the dictionary.
D. M. Sure: We can come to an agreement first on what terms we should use in common.
Master: There were no computers in the past but they still did such good translations. Now that we have computers, why are we falling behind? People know only to use the computer, and don't know how to use their own brain. You've got to liven up your brain, and not be so old-fashioned.
Jyang Syau Ming: The use of scanners and noise eliminating machines was mentioned. Can we afford them?
Syun Jr Yang: We need many people to type things in the computer. I will see what computers we have. At present, we have a fund of three thousand dollars, and several computers. If we organize well, every computer will have a timetable, and there will be enough computers to go around.
Master: How many people have learned to use the computer? Those who haven't should learn too.
D. M. Yi: Somebody said that we could make corrections from the text, but the text differs much from the Master's original talk. Since it takes more time to do correction, it would be better for us to just transcribe the tape again.
D. M. Shr: We need to plan the translation work both for the present and the future. For example, looking to the future, we need to start training and gathering talented people now. We need to have a detailed and concrete plan. This will help people focus on their work.
D. M. Fa: Currently, the sutras we publish in our magazine are taken directly from the book. But, since we found out that they differ so much from the Master's original talk, we have to transcribe it again from the tape. Furthermore, the Master has given many instructional talks recently. We need people to transcribe the talks and publish them as soon as possible.
D. M. You: At present, many sutras have already been translated into Vietnamese. Were they translated directly from the Master's words or from others' English translations?
Master: What's important is to get the translation work correct. It can't differ from the original text. If you like to use my "kindergarten explanation", that's fine. But since we are just beginning now,we must get our foundation solid first. We don't want to grab from the left and from the right, from here and there. If you eat too much, you will not be able to chew it.
D. M. Jung: If the translation work needs tapes from the CTTB tape room, we must prepare for it. As we discussed just now, we can use a machine to get rid of the noise in the tape. Is there anybody who can come to the City to teach us about it? Other than that, some of the tapes already out are not good in quality. Had they been approved before being published? I received a document about people from San Jose and San Francisco who wanted to play the Master's lecture on All Star Radio Station. Did they receive permission from ITI? Somebody said that the tapes which they play in Los Angeles have background noise and it is difficult to hear the Master's instruction. Next time if anybody wants to play the Master's tape, please contact us, so we can give you a good copy.
Wei Gwo Chen: I hope in the last minute, we can decide which sutra to do first.
Master: The Shurangama Sutra, the Dharma Flower Sutra and the Flower Adornment Sutra.
Marion Robertson: If you would like to volunteer, please hurry and fill out the form and lend your helping hand.