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Learn Punjabi Online Gurbani Translations

Discussion in 'Language, Arts & Culture' started by spnadmin, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. spnadmin

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    I happened upon this web site accidentally. Sri Granth - a Sri Guru Granth Sahib Resource
    It tells the story of real people with real faces who have brains and ability and a lot of talent. Many different kinds of talent.

    Then came the idea: a thread about gurbani search engines might actually be interesting.

    There has been as long as I have been a member of SPN an undercurrent of criticism for translations of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The Rehat Maryada also encourages all Sikhs to learn to read Gurbani. But if you are new to Sikhi, or even born a Sikh and shaky where Gurmukhi is concerned, well, you have to depend on translations, or on transliterations, or both. Until you manage to develop a strong working knowledge of Gurmukhi. That takes a while. You don't want to sit with folded hands waiting for someone else to tell you what the Gurbani is saying. You want to read it for yourself.

    The srigranth web site has this to say: Sri Granth is a Sri Guru Granth Sahib search engine and resource. It is important to note that many individuals have contributed to the making of SriGranth.org, and that all work was completely original and done free of cost. This herculean project has required many countless hours of service and a sincere sense of dedication on the part of a number of persons.

    The article describes the support team for most of the search engines on the web. Translators, but also literary scholars, and scholars of the Gurmukhi language itself. Each search engine is drawing from a data base. There need to be scholars who are deeply schooled in every aspect of the language. They work out the fine points of the data. Data? The words of the Guru.

    This thread is something I would like to develop over time. Introducing the names and biographies of people who have contributed to the development of search engine data bases. People like Dr. Kulbir Thind. The talk could get us into some SikhTec. It could move us into history, linguistics and more.

    For now just read this biography of Sardar Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa, MD His English translation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the most commonly used on the internet and computers as it is freely available and uses contemporary language that is well suited for the western audience. His translation, in fact, has become a standard for the Internet. Dr. Khalsa's years of hard work and proficient literary ability has done wonders in providing more people access to Sri Guru Granth Sahib. His English translation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib has been used on SriGranth.org since its very inception and continues to be used as the default English translation.

    Check out the site. Contribute if you have information that will help develop the thread. Every now and then I will add more.
     
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  3. Archived_Member1

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    great thread!

    i've been researching english translations because i'd like to purchase one for my home. here are a couple of articles i found useful:

    The Sikhism Home Page: Sri Guru Granth Sahib

    Comparison of the Five Complete Translations of Sri Guru Granth Sahib
    by Singh Sahib Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa

    1. Bhai Gopal Singh Translation
    The first complete translation of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib into English was provided by Dr. Gopal Singh; this was completed around 1960. It was published in a four volume set, and has received wide distribution. The 'International Edition' published by the World Sikh University Press in 1978, has a light blue cover.
    Dr. Gopal Singh's stellar reputation for scholarly work in service of the Dharma is well deserved. In fact, the introduction to the work, in the first of the four volumes, is a remarkable work in and of itself. Especially readable and worthwhile is Section II: On the Philosophy of Sikh Religion. In this treatise on comparative religion, he traces the common threads of religious thought throughout the ages, giving one a deeper appreciation of Sikh Dharma. His brief explanation of the Kundalini and Yogic traditions is well-done.
    His grammar, however, is somewhat antiquated and distracting.
    For example:
    "Yea Manifests He in a myriad ways."
    "For several births thou wert a mere worm."
    "He, (whose way is this,) Knows his Master and Compassion comes into him, And becomes Eternal he: he dies not thereafter."

    He included excellent footnotes explaining legendary persons, Hindu mythology and local folk idioms, and these often reveal more clearly the true meaning of the Guru's Word. Often, he explains the linguistic derivation of a word or idiom. From his thorough understanding of comparative religion, he brings to light the common threads which run through Sikhism and other religions.
    Page breaks are only roughly approximated to the original, and the numbering system of the original is roughly preserved, although there are a large number of mistakes in the numbers.

    2. Manmohan Singh Translation

    A very different translation was published just a short time after Dr. Gopal Singh's work came out. Back in 1948, after Sardar Manmohan Singh, a devout Sikh, lost everything worldly in the partition of India and Pakistan, he began work on what would be a lasting legacy. He worked on this for 12 years, completing it in 1960. This is the ëeight-volume setí with the original Gurmukhi, side-by-side with translations into English and Panjabi, with nearly every word individually cross-referenced across the three languages. The S.G.P.C. published and distributed this 8-volume set in a dark blue cover, starting with the first volume in 1962, and completing the eighth in 1969, the year in which Manmohan Singh passed on.
    For the first time, Sikhs all around the world had access to a most practical resource in understanding the Word of the Guru. It has become common practice in all parts of the world to install this 8 volume set as Guru, and read out the Hukam in both Gurmukhi and English, and sometimes in Panjaabi as well. Many Gurdwaras, especially larger ones, have a single volume Bir installed, and use this 8-volume set to read out the translation.
    Page breaks appear to be precisely placed, but are not correlated to the original with any precision, and there are many typographical errors. There are also small passages of the original which are omitted in this work-again, typographical mistakes.
    Overall, this work represents a distinctly more accurate and direct translation of the Guru's Word, although it includes a large number of antiquated, idiosyncratic expressions more common to 18th and 19th century British India-words like mammon (for Maya), myrmidon, collyrium, mumpers, gnosis (for knowledge), apostates, sans (French for without), etc. Much of his grammar is so dated as to be distracting, and even confusing to the modern ear.
    For example:
    "Raising, the embankments of my mind's field, I gaze at the high sky or mansion. When Divine devotion enters bride's mind-home, the Friendly Guest pays her a visit."
    He, who slanders Thy attendant, him Thou chrusheth and destroyest".

    In spite of these difficulties, the translation has a much deeper impact, and a more obvious accuracy, than the Bhai Gopal Singh translation. It is very poetic, and conveys a sense of humility and devotion.

    3. Gurbachan Singh Talib Translation

    According to his own introduction to the book, Gurbachan Singh Talib of Panjabi University, Patiala, was assigned in 1977 the task of compiling a new translation of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. It is grammatically the least satisfying - that is, the most distracting -of the three works so far.
    For example:
    "In listening to laudation of the Name etemal find I life."
    "To whomsoever the vision of unicity does grant, propped by the holy congregation, of the Lord's love has joy"

    He does include many useful footnotes, shedding some light on the Guru's Teachings. Overall, however, it adds little to the Manmohan Singh translation, and it has not superseded either of the previous translations. (This is the translation found on the commercial CD Scriptures & the Heritage of Sikhs - ssb)

    4. Pritam Singh Chahil Translation

    More recently, in 1993, another work was printed and made available. Pritam Singh Chahil printed the Manmohan Singh Edition back in Chandigarh, in the 1960's; in 1986, he was inspired by a Gurdwara service in Berkeley, in which the '8 volume set' was installed as Guru, and 'Shabad sheets' were passed out to the Sangat. He had a vision that the entire Guru should be printed in this three-column format, and so he set about to do it. He completed it in 1990, and in 1993, it became available.
    It is in a three-column format, with Gurmukhi on the left, English translation on the right, and Romanised transliteration in the center of each page. He has made a fairly close, but not exact, approximation of page breaks, and preserved the numbering system fairly well.
    This translation is a revised version of the Manmohan Singh translation, and as thus, it is the finest complete translation of the Guru yet published; its unique format allows the Guru's Word to be approximated in pronunciation, even by those who do not yet read Gurmukhi. However, the transliteration system used is the old British-English transliteration, wherein the word for [​IMG] - KAYSH - meaning 'hair' - is transliterated as KESH. Most modern readers will pronounce KESH to rhyme with 'mesh', thereby mispronouncing this important word. This is the same transliteration system by which most of us mispronounced [​IMG] -'Nit Naym'; {We read the transliteration 'NIT NEM', and we mispronounced it.} *'NIT NAYM' and KAYSH' are the correct pronunciations.
    Also, some of the more distracting idioms and antiquated expressions of the Manmohan Singh translation are copied verbatim.
    It is distributed in two forms: a four-volume set, and also a single volume. It is eminently suitable for installation in Gurdwara. It is a large volume, 12 by 17 inches (34 inches wide when opened). It is also a very valuable tool in the process of learning to read and understand Gurmukhi, although it does not have the word -to-word notations of the Manmohan Singh edition.

    5. Khalsa Consensus Translation

    This translation is already available on CD (and now on The Sikhism Home Page -ssb). It is based on all the available translations, working primarily from the Manmohan Singh translation. The objectives are:
    [​IMG] first, to achieve an accurate translation of the Guru's Word;
    [​IMG] to present the Guru's Word in an elegant format which follows the original as much as possible;
    [​IMG] to eliminate the antiquated idioms which are so distracting to the modern ear,
    [​IMG] to preserve the word order and symmetry of the original whenever possible: and
    [​IMG] to achieve the immediacy of impact which the Guru's Word deserves in translation.

    In this version, we are preserving exact page breaks to the original, along with all of the numbers at the ends of lines.
     
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  4. Archived_Member1

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    this might be a bit more objective as it was not written by one of the translators. :)


    Panthic Weekly: Bibliography of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

    Section 2 - Interpretations and Commentaries
    C - Translations of Sri Guru Granth Sahib


    Introduction


    With the new generations of Sikhs who did not fully understand Punjabi, came the need for English translations. Before 1900, only the German scholar Ernest Trumpp had made an effort to translate Sri Guru Granth Sahib in English. In the last century, however, several complete translations of Sri Guru Granth Sahib prepared by Sikh scholars were published. Numerous successful attempts have been made to translate Sikh prayers and regularly recited portions of Gurbani. Apart from English, there are some translations in Hindi. French, Spanish, Sindhi, Urdu and recently Thai translations are also available.


    Translations


    Dr Gopal Singh was the first to prepare a complete translation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The translation in English verse was published in four volumes around 1960. Bhai Manmohan Singh 'Advocate' prepared another unique work at nearly the same time. He translated Sri Guru Granth Sahib in both English and Punjabi. Thus, the work became very useful for ordinary readers. For years to come, Bhai Manmohan Singh's translations, printed by the SGPC, were used as the 'Standard English' of Gurbani, as it included the Gurmukhi text of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, along with the two translations. In 1977, Dr Gurcharan Singh Talib was assigned the task of compiling a new translation of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib by Punjabi University, Patiala. This academic work was published in four volumes from 1984 to 1990.


    In the past decade, some more translations of Gurbani have appeared. Pritam Singh Chahil published his translations of Gurbani. This work is a revision of Bhai Manmohan Singh's English translation. Meanwhile, it was the first complete translation of Gurbani that included romanised transliteration, which helped the reader in pronouncing Gurbani. It was published in four volumes starting from 1993.


    Another important work from recent years is the English translation in prose done by Gurbachan Singh Makin. It is quite different from the other translations. Along with the translations, Makin gives an insight into the substance of each pauri. It looks as if he has attempted to compile an English commentary on Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The language used is very simple and understandable for a common reader. The work was published in five volumes in 1998.


    The translations available online and in the Gurbani-CD are the work of Sant Singh Khalsa of USA. The translation has become quite popular, however at places it differs from Punjabi commentaries. Still, there is a need for fully authentic translations and commentaries on Gurbani.
     
  5. spnadmin

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    Jasleen,

    I am so grateful for the article, Parts 1 and 2. Because this is a big question mark for me. I know that my gutka is "distracting" in its old forms of English vocabulary and grammatical expression. On the other hand, it has very informative end-notes in the book that give rich historical background. So your article will be very helpful to people who are trying to sort out which translation will work for them.
     
  6. Archived_Member1

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    i know what you mean about the gutkas... i actually have four... :) one has good transliteration and includes historical stories as well as asa di vaar and sukhmani sahib (sundar gutka). another has difficult transliteration, but the translation is better and it has great end notes that explain non-western concepts in a way that's easy to understand. the third has the translation written in the form of poetry, so that it gives the feeling and flow of the original gurbani, but the words are archaic and the translation not as accurate. the fourth is gurmukhi and roman transliteration only, with no translation, and i use this to practice my gurmukhi or when i travel because it's quite small.

    we are lucky to have so many options available to us. we should take advantage of this and read as many as we can!

    also note: www.srigranth.org has an option to read the different translations for each page... just go to the top right of the page, select either english or punjabi translation, and select which translator you prefer. there is also an option to add the teeka - extra explanation - the two most famous, professor sahib singh and farid kote are both available. i think the teekas are in punjabi only though.
     
  7. spnadmin

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    See! Choices. I didn't know you could actually select a translator.
     
  8. spnadmin

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    Respected forum members,

    This news release came out on the SIKHNET - Sikh Religion - Sikhism Information site late this afternoon on the east coast US. Some of you may find new resources available with the SikhiToTheMax release of Version 2.0 very exciting.

    See this link SikhiToTheMax Version 2 Released at MrSikhNet

    There are a number of new features (excerpted from the main article)

    • Interface has been changed to look like office 2007
    • Bhai Gurdas Jee’s Varan are now complete and corrected.
    • There is Compiled Bani option which includes Nitnem Banis and Sri Dasam Granth Banis
    • There is a Sri Dasam Granth Bani section, which includes fixes of the mistakes on online versions
    • Amrit Kirtan section has been updated
    • You can use your own Powerpoint slide
    • A Bisraam option has been added, so you know how to pause when reading Gurbani
    • Akhand Paath option has been enhanced
    • Hukamnamma option has been added and also Punjabi translations added
    • Tagging has been added
    • Creating PDF’s option is added
    • If you want to read the Bani joined up as it was originally written, you can have that option
    • When you view the Shabad you have the option to split view
    • You can save your searches
    • Several viewing options
    • Help section in English, Punjabi and PDF files to help in all areas of STTM 2
    • You can change the font size of everything in the Akhand paath mode and also other views.
    • Video tutorials and help options to show you how to use the program.
    A video tutorial

    Watch the video tutorial

    And a download site

    Download SikhiToTheMax - Version 2
     
  9. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    For Gurmukhi/Punjabi literate individuals, there are two teekas in Sri Granth :-

    [SIZE=-2]English: [/SIZE]Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa Bhai Manmohan Singh None
    [SIZE=-2]Punjabi: [/SIZE]Bhai Manmohan Singh None
    [SIZE=-2]Teeka: [/SIZE]Punjabi - Prof. Sahib Singh Punjabi - Freed Kote Wala Teeka - None



    Sri Granth: Sri Guru Granth Sahib
     
  10. spnadmin

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    I think the latest releases from SikhiToTheMax Version 2.0 are so far unbeatable in terms of added functionality for users in a lot of different contexts. Portability is one of those features. As is increased access. One can save searches and use tags for easy indexing. And on and on. A Gurbani scholar's dream.

    I will my self stick with www.searchgurbani.com because I use an iMac (the new STTM Verson 2.0 release is an .exe application which does not run in the OS - X operating system) and have become a Unicode fanatic. STTM Verson 2.0 does not use Unicode character encoding, and searchgurbani.org just switched to Unicode.
     
  11. pk70

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    aad0002 ji

    We all must first be thankful for the people who did a good service by translating Guru Granth Sahib Ji in English.( especially Dr. Thind, what a wonderful job he did!) It is a big job. Regardless who ever tried it,ended up with some thing missed out because, in reality, translation will fall short of the real message any way. They themselves agreed/agree with that.It doesnt mean we are critical of those good people. No, at all and why we should?. I have high regard for them but sorry to say I feel, I should question them if something is missed out to share with the sangat and leave it to Sangat how it takes it. Dr Sahib Singh ji did two things extra while interpretting Gurbani. He followed use of vowels in different form in Gurbani( Gurbani Grammar) to dicipher the message. Other thing, he kept the totality of Guru Sahib's views in mind while interpretting any waak( Gurbachan Singh Talib does almost the same). That was main reason, I would rather follow Dr. Sahib Singh ji than other gusses. Line by line translation narrows the scope of perfection of translation. It is our good fortune though that we have five translations available on line as stated above. One can compare and satisfy ones pursuit of Guru message.
    I shall post an article regarding why disagreement can happen. It will not be to find faults with others but to see if Scholars can miss a big point? I shall leave to Sikh Sangat to follow whatever message they feel is better. While in this pursuit, Sikhs are supposed to go more close to Guru- message, it doesnt mean we like individual interpretation. Thanks for the thread.
     
  12. spnadmin

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    Pk ji

    None of the English translations are completely accurate -- but in my mind that is why it is important to have several respectable translations to work with -- as we in fact do. By making comparisons one can make deductions that promote personal understanding. It is better than saying Professor X is the only one who knows what he is talking about. Do you agree?
     
  13. pk70

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    aad0002 ji

    I cannot agree with you more than that:star:
     

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