History of project
The work on translation of unique and sacred Tibetan texts has always been an important task of the Shang Shung Institute. The crucial point of this work is to guarantee qualified translations of the ancient wisdom, knowledge and experience of Tibetan culture into western languages. But good and experienced translators are very rare, because it is really extremely difficult to become a qualified translator as one has to put so much diligence, devotion and dedication into his studies and work for many years. In the last fifteen years several translation projects were set off in the Dzogchen Community and many texts were translated, most of them by Adriano Clemente. Also Jim Valby has spent many years on the translation of Dzogchen Tantras.
To train people to develop their skills to translate correctly from Tibetan has been a long-lasting idea and hope of Ch?gyal Namkhai Norbu. In 2002 Rinpoche suggested that the Shang Shung Institute Austria could take over the task of raising the funds and organizing this project and finally the preparations started. Rinpoche appointed the Tibetologist Elio Guarisco to be the instructor of the Training for Translators.
In summer 2004 Rinpoche enlarged the tasks regarding translations and initiated the Ka-ter Translation Project :
He suggested that a small team of three qualified translators - Adriano Clemente, Elio Guarisco and Jim Valby - should take over the responsibility for the translation of the Dzogchen Tantras, that Elio Guarisco should continue to be responsible for the Training for Translators and that the Shang Shung Institute Austria should collaborate with the Shang Shung Institute of America regarding the preservation of the unique collection of the Tantras of Changchub Dorje, the master of Ch?gyal Namkhai Norbu. Further on Rinpoche proposed a collaboration with universities that have an Orientalistic section attached to them.
In summer 2006 the first translation of the Ka-ter Translation Project was published. It is the book of Ch?gyal Namkhai Norbu on Tibetan Medicine called "On Birth, Life and Death".