Translations of Tao Te Ching

Three Translations At A Glance

Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu is so profound we can’t rely on only one translation to appreciate its depth. In order to get the most from the book, a compromise is to read more than one of them — if reading it in Chinese is not an option for you. For this reason, we have put together three well-received translations side-by-side for your convenience. They include the translations by:

  • James Legge (1815 – 1897), a Scottish Sinologist and the first Professor of Chinese at Oxford University (1876–1897). In association with Max Müller he prepared the monumental Sacred Books of the East series, published in 50 volumes between 1879 and 1891, and the translation of Tao Te Ching is found in Volume 39.
  • J.H. McDonald. We have no knowledge about the translator, but his translation for the public domain done in 1996 is quite a good one.
  • Lin Yutang (1895 – 1976), a highly respected writer, translator, linguist and inventor. Upon graduation from Saint John’s University in Shanghai, he received a half-scholarship to continue study for a doctoral degree at Harvard University.

If you are looking for some ready quotes, click here.

Chapter Index

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45
46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54
55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63
64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72
73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81
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