Abdu'l-Baha speaks (new translations)

Aug 2010
723
New Zealand mainly
#1
As a retirement project, I would like to translate the talks of Abdu’l-Baha from the Persian (and sometimes Arabic) notes. I have a blog for the purpose, which now has 11 talks based on authentic sources. Ten of these are my translations, which are personal and provisional. With very few exceptions, the talks of Abdu’l-Baha that are published in The Promulgation of Universal Peace, Paris Talks, Abdu’l-Baha in London and the like, are editorial reworkings of notes taken in English (sometimes in shorthand, and sometimes in French) as an interpreter provided an impromptu translation of Abdu’l-Baha’s words. The edited notes were often published in Star of the West magazine. The editors of the books that collect these talks used this magazine and other sources, usually changing the grammar and style of the first published version, and sometimes inserting their own ideas or deleting material.

As regards such reports of talks, the Guardian wrote:

… I have insistently urged the believers of the West to regard such statements as merely personal impressions of the sayings of their Master, and to quote and consider as authentic only such translations as are based upon the authenticated text of His recorded utterances in the original tongue.

(The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 4)


I have just posted the eleventh talk in my series, given at Thonon-les-Bains in France on August 27, 1911:


The oneness of humanity and of religions
 
Mar 2015
187
Bend area, Oregon
#2
Thank you Sen. Your scholarly and good work is most appreciated as I have next to no exposure to the Persian and a minimal familiarity with the Arabic language (primarily modern standard) from studies some thirty years or so ago. When I read the translated ("authoritative" or provisional) writings of the Bab, Baha'u'llah, and 'Abdul-Baha I frequently try to find the deeper meanings of some of the key words. Where more than one translation exists, I compare them and contemplate on what the deeper meanings might be. I do the same with the biblical and Quranic scriptures too. Your "Sen McGlinn's Blog" has assisted me with better understandings of some of the translations over the years.
-LR
 
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Sep 2017
303
Earth
#3
Somebody who took notes of the talk in persian or arabic vs english, am i correct in assuming the only difference would be the notes would be of the interpretor of Abdul Baha not actually of him, but the notes in persian or arabic would be directly from Abdul Baha, but nevertheless still only be notes?
 
Mar 2013
519
Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
#4
Wonderful news, thanks for your efforts! Just wondering, do you plan to post or link the Arabic or Persian original that is translated? Not that I could read it, but for those who can it could be useful.
 
Mar 2013
519
Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
#5
Wonderful news, thanks for your efforts! Just wondering, do you plan to post or link the Arabic or Persian original that is translated? Not that I could read it, but for those who can it could be useful.
The answer is yes, the original source is cited each time. Again, great work, and thanks!
 
Aug 2010
723
New Zealand mainly
#6
Somebody who took notes of the talk in persian or arabic vs english, am i correct in assuming the only difference would be the notes would be of the interpretor of Abdul Baha not actually of him, but the notes in persian or arabic would be directly from Abdul Baha, but nevertheless still only be notes?
No, the difference is more than that. The notes in Persian, or rarely in Arabic, would be checked and corrected by him, before being forwarded to Star of the East or other Bahai journals for publishing. Later Abdu'l-Baha asked Mahmud Zarqani to collect them and publish them in Khetabaat (3 volumes of Abdu'l-Baha's talks), and he wrote his approval on the title page of the first volume. It was his normal procedure to check the proofs of the Bahai books published in Cairo, and as far as I know he did this with the first volume. So this is essentially the same kind of text as Some Answered Questions and Memorials of the Faithful: it originates orally but being checked and corrected it has the same status as a tablet. My translation from that is personal and provisional
 
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