Retranslation: A Comparative Study of Two English Translations of Vimalakīrti Sutra


  • Tianyu Lei University of Arizona



retranslation, Vimalakīrti Sutra, Burton Watson, John McRae


Retranslation is a widespread phenomenon which has been discussed and studied by translators and Translation Studies scholars for years. The meaning of retranslation lies in its difference (not necessarily improvement) from the previous ones, which means retranslation would provide something new both to readers and translators. Through the prism of the theory of retranslation, the study examines two English translations of Vimalakīrti Sutra, showcasing that although Burton Watson’s rendition is recognized as one in high quality, John McRae’s retranslation still helps us to contemplate on how to keep balance between literary interest and religious interest during the process of translating sacred texts.

Author Biography

Tianyu Lei, University of Arizona

Department of East Asian Studies


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