Top positive review
27 people found this helpful
Very nice translation
on January 1, 2014
I heard that the Tao is a must-read book for the seeker, and purchased this book on Kindle some months ago. This was my first introduction to the Tao Te Ching and I found that Dennis Waller's translation reads beautifully, like a poem - with very clear messages. The messages were exactly what I needed to learn at the time, and I am very grateful to the man who recommended the Tao to me.
I was wondering how authentic this particular translation was, so I purchased another translation, by a Chinese authority on the Tao – Hua Ching Ni. I found the Hua Ching Ni book to have essentially the same message, though the words are very different. In some cases, the Waller translation elaborates a bit more, I believe to clarify items that the native Chinese might understand more intuitively.
Here is a randomly chosen example, from Verse 62:
If someone is lost, offer fine words to awaken him, offer good deeds to him, repay his unkindness with kindness. Do not discard the man but do discard his evil wayward ways. Let your gift to him be living in the way of the Tao.
Therefore on the day a leader is elected, do not offer your expertise or wealth to him. Rather help him by staying in the way of the Tao and teach him the way of the Tao. Let your way serve as an example for him to follow.
Hua Ching Ni:
Good words will find their market. Good deeds may be presented as a gift to another. Though a person has strayed from the right path, the all-encompassing subtle essence of the universe will never abandon him.
Thus, at the enthronement of an emperor, or the appointment of the three highest ministers of the empire, rather than present them with discs of jade and teams of fine horses, show them the priceless subtle way of the universe.
Summary: I highly recommend the Dennis Waller translation for native English readers. Easy to understand for the Western world, and the message, though not the words, is pure Tao.
*That said, I will also give the Hua Ching Ni translation 5 stars.