How To Find The Best Translation Of Lao Tzu’s Tao The Ching - Translation by James Legge
Over the years there have been many translations into English of Lao Tze’s Tao The Ching or Way of Virtue classic Taoist text. I am student of the Tao and a student of a Tao-Confucius Master who is an expert on the Tao The Ching and who has studied how Chinese characters originated. For two and a half years we went through the chapters of the Tao The Ching character by character. He showed me how the characters came to have their meaning and because of this, I was able to understand obscure and profound teachings of Lao Tzu.
I have read many translations of the Tao The Ching and brought each version to my teacher. It was his opinion that the most accurate rendering of the Tao The Ching is translated by the English Chinese scholar James Legge. I must point out however, that Mr. Legge’s commentary was not received with the same appreciation as his translation. Still, if you are looking to understand Lao Tzu, it would be wise to study Mr. Legge’s book in order to at least have an accurate translation.
I should warn the reader that the Tao The Ching is shrouded in parables and can be understood on many levels, some mundane, others profound.