Buddhism Translation

Interview of Philippe Cornu, Dharma translator, writer and teacher

November 16, 2020. During the second European lockdown Your are well-known in the French world of Tibetan Buddhism, but maybe not abroad. Could you introduce yourself?  Philippe Cornu. I have been a Buddhist, in fact, for forty years, more than forty years. I met the sixteenth Karmapa in 1978, and then Sogyal Rinpoche and Dudjom Rinpoche i1980. Soon, we were introduced also to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and other masters. So I was very quickly introduced to the most important masters of the time, but it was with Sogyal Rinpoche that I really continue, at Rigpa. But in the beginning Rigpa didn’t exist, so it was when Rigpa was founded, a year or two later.   And in 1983 I also met Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, who was my second master, and I followed some of his retreats as well, at certain times, quite assiduously. So I had always several affiliations, Rigpa being my root-centre, basically.  And why is that? Sogyal Rinpoche stayed in […]

Dharma Translation

My Dream to be a Translator

I learned the Tibetan alphabet years ago but I had never learned the language itself until I came to RYI. What did actually inspire me to follow my dream to be a translator? Seeing many translators translating Rinpoche’s teaching directly from Tibetan to English and other languages. Won’t it be incredible to be able to […]

Translating Translation


There is the generalized belief that a translated text will never be able to capture the greatness of its original—in other words, it will always imply per se a loss of sumptuosity.  The semiotician and novelist Umberto Eco[1] (1932) epitomizes this pessimistic understanding when he states that “translation is the art of failure”[2]. Taking into […]