Buddhism has influenced numerous cultures throughout its history, and its expansion, and thus its translation, has not impeded the continuity of values, which have remained intact despite the cultural diversity with which it has been in contact. This is why we believe the best way to facilitate transmission and understanding of Buddhism in the West is, on the one hand, to bear in mind its adaptability and, on the other, by applying concepts from social and cultural anthropology to the translation of its terminology, to avoid any ethnocentrism or multiculturalism and instead use a transcultural approach.

The goal of the transcultural approach is to go beyond cultural concerns and seek balance through universal understanding, and, in a way, to create new cultural realities (Mancini 1999). In translating terminology, this approach comes about through a methodological option that we call transculturation,[1] i.e., a rational give-and-take between concepts and terms in the two languages/cultures in contact, allowing decisions on a case-by-case basis about which translation technique – from equivalence to loan terms – is most appropriate. The point is to strike a balance in order to convey a message that contains the essence of the original, and create something new which is, in our case, Buddhism in two Romance languages: Spanish and Catalan. 

[1]. As previously noted, with this third methodological option our approach goes beyond the traditional dichotomy in translation, which involves either reducing the original cultural elements to the reader’s culture, or transporting the reader into the source culture.