Modi’s temple message confuses monks

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-5-17 19:58:01

A message written by PM Narendra Modi in his native language during a visit to a Chinese temple went through three rounds of translation before it could be understood by monks, local media reported on Sunday.

In his message to the Daxingshan Temple in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province during his three-day visit to China on Thursday, the PM praised a monk for his contributions to Buddhism and spoke of man's search for world peace.

However his insights were lost on the monks; the message was in Modi's native Gujarati, a West Indian language spoken by 46 million people that has few speakers in China, said Li Li'an, a professor from Xi'an's Northwest University.

Li was first approached by the temple's abbot to decipher the dedication. Li then sent it to his doctoral student Guan Xiujie, a native of India.

Recognizing it as Gujarati, Guan sent the text to an Indian friend who translated it to Hindi. Guan then translated it into English, which Li finally presented in Chinese.

Li said that Modi wrote in Gujarati to honor Dharmagupta, a fellow Gujarati who lived at the temple during the Sui Dynasty (581-618).

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