Isn't Ch'an and Zen the same thing ? One in China, second in Japan ?Taw
- Yes and no. I'd guess they're enough alike to be on the same Wikipedia page for now, but IMHO there was some change over the centuries and kilometers. (I am not an expert on this.)
- Ch'an and Zen are just two different pronunciations of the same Han character, (U+79AA in Unicode). How the Chinese and Japanese version of the two religions diverged is out of my league. But if the name writes the same way, at least they are from the same origin even though they may have evolved differently. A look up in a Chinese dictionary entry at (http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/cgi-bin/agrep-lindict?query=%c1%49&category=wholerecord) shows that the word is from a Sanskrit term "Channa" . Another search of all the Sankris based Chinese terms (http://www.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/cgi-bin/agrep-lindict?query=Sanskr.&category=full&boo=no&ignore=on&substr=on&order=all) reveals many Chinese Buddhaism terminologies and their explanation.
The Chinese word Ch'an (in Mandarin) is pronounced as Zim(3) in Cantonese. Who know how it is pronounced in other Chinese dialects? And who know where the Japanese learned the pronounciation of this Han character? Though obviously not from Mandarin. However, Zen and Zim are more closely related than Zen vs Ch'an. Apparently, the Sanskrit word Channa was transliterated into a Chinese word phonetically. Then the Chinese word spreaded to different dialects which each has its own pronunciation for the same word. When the Japanese picked up the word, it no longer sounded like the Sanskrit original.
Could some examples of koans go up here, or are they ineffective in translation? - Stuart Presnell
They are perfectly effective in translations. I don't know of any good sources off the top of my head, other than in Hofstadter's "Godel Escher Bach" book Mark Jeays