Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Mother Tongue

My various tracking software indicates that people from across the globe read TRT at one time or another. It's a bit humbling, to say the least!

The only language I speak and write well is English. (I know a bit of Spanish and German, but not THAT much of either.) However, I sincerely want anyone from any corner of this orb to feel welcome here. So, while I won't be routinely translating this blog into various other languages, I did want to lay out the welcome mat.

So, please choose the mother tongue below that is your own. (Note: I used BabelFish and Google Translator. I realize that not all the translations may be spot on.)
The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

Der Tao, der gesprochen werden kann, ist nicht der ewige Tao.
Der Name, der genannt werden kann, ist nicht der ewige Name.

Tao die kan worden gesproken is niet eeuwige Tao.
De naam die kan worden genoemd is niet de eeuwige naam.

El Tao que puede ser hablado no es el Tao eterno.
El nombre que puede ser nombrado no es el nombre eterno.

Le Tao qui peut être parlé n'est pas le Tao éternel.
Le nom qui peut être appelé n'est pas le nom éternel.

Το Tao που μπορεί να μιληθεί δεν είναι το αιώνιο Tao.
Το όνομα που μπορεί να ονομαστεί δεν είναι το αιώνιο όνομα.

Il Tao che può essere parlato non è il Tao eterno.
Il nome che può essere chiamato non è il nome eterno.

O Tao que pode ser falado não é o Tao eterno.
O nome que pode ser nomeado não é o nome eterno.

Tao который можно поговорить нет вечного Tao.
Имя которое можно назвать нет вечного имени.

Tao, että voidaan puhua ei ole ikuinen Tao.
Nimi, joka voidaan nimetä ei ole ikuinen nimeä.

Tao që mund të flitet Tao nuk është i përjetshëm.
Emri që mund të quhet nuk është emri i përjetshëm.

Ang mga Tao na maaaring ginagamit ay hindi ang walang hanggan Tao.
Ang pangalan na maaaring pinangalanan ay hindi ang walang hanggang pangalan.

Níl an TAO is féidir a labhartha an TAO eternal.
An t-ainm is féidir a bheith ainmnithe nach bhfuil an t-ainm eternal.

The Tao som kan snakkes ikke er den evige Tao.
De navn som kan nevnes er ikke det evige navnet.

Tao bu sözlü olabilir ebedi Tao değildir.
Bu ebedi adı değil adlandırılmış olabilir adı.

Nid yw'r TAO ellir ei siarad yn y TAO tragwyddol.
Mae'r enw y gellir ei enw yw nad yw'r enw tragwyddol.

The Tao ambayo yanaweza amesema si Tao milele.
Jina ambayo yanaweza jina ni jina si wa milele.

تاو التي يمكن أن تحدث ليست أبدية تاو.
الاسم الذي يمكن أن اسمه لم يرد فيه اسم الأبدية.

טאו שניתן המדוברת אינו טאו נצחי.
השם שניתן ששמו אינו שם נצחי.

Các Tao có thể nói không phải là Tao vĩnh cửu.
Tên gọi có thể được đặt theo tên không phải là tên vĩnh cửu.

Tao som kan talas är inte det eviga Tao.
Det namn som kan nämnas är inte det eviga namnet.


  1. I had worked for Japanese companies for the last four years, and have been studying the language as a hobby. One day I am hoping to be able to read the Chinese Classics in Japanese, which is as close as I can practically get.

    I suppose I could learn to read and write Chinese, but unless you've grown up with the tones, I think it would be very difficult to learn to speak well.

  2. Thank you for this heartly felt welcome. I follow TRT through the Google Reader So I only visit your own site when I want to post a comment or read the posting in it's original site context.

    In The Netherlands (Dutch) the most used translation, as far as I know, of the first two lines of the TAO runs like this:

    Het Tao dat genoemd wordt, is niet het eeuwige Tao,
    want de namen die wij noemen, zijn geen eeuwige namen.

    If you want an overview of a lot of translations you might want to visit this site:


    There is even a Klingon version. This boggles the mind: a Klingon Taoist ;-)

    Take care

  3. Rick,
    From what I've heard and read, the various Chinese languages are very difficult for almost anyone outside of Asia. In grad school, one of my best buddies was from Taiwan. He tried to teach me some Mandarin, but none of it stuck!

    Thanks so much for your comment. The link you provided is really cool. I've added it to the right sidebar.

    A Klingon Taoist boggles my mind!

  4. Muchísimas gracias por la bienvenida. Although I must thank you not for the welcome indeed but for the wonderful blog you write. You can't imagine how helpful it is. :)


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