The Tao Te Ching (alt. spelling: Dao De Jing) originated in China over 2000 years ago, although the exact date it was written isn't known. It is said to have been written by a man named Lao Tzu (Laozi) - for further information about him, look in the Taoist section of this directory under Lao Tzu. The Tao Te Ching is comprised of 81 chapters (or verses). It has been translated into different languages more than any other book in the world except the Bible, and the English translations can vary quite a bit depending on the person doing the translation. That's because Classic Chinese (in which the TTC was written) is very difficult to understand, and there is little punctuation or grammar. Basically, the Tao Te Ching is a philosophical text in which Lao Tzu tried to explain Tao (Dao). It is steeped in mystery and ambiguosity, but the common thread throughout is a reflection on Nature and the ways in which people can attain a more fulfilling life by being like Tao and Nature. Since there are so many different translations of the Tao Te Ching, it's a good idea to explore a variety of the versions available in English. For those who want a deeper understanding, it can be advantageous to do your own translation from Chinese.
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Translation and commentary by Carl Abbott.
Comments on the Tao Te Ching
Translational information and comparison, based on D. C. Lau's translation.
Dao De Jing - Chinese Text Project
Chinese version by Wang Bi with James Legge's English translation. Each paragraph has links to the Wang Bi commentary, dictionary, parallel passage data and other information.
Dao De Jing Way Power Book
By Sanderson Beck, as included in the Wisdom Bible.
Dao Is Open
Translations with commentaries by Nina Correa. Site also includes the Seal Script characters used in the Guodian Laozi with English definitions, and a Taoist discussion forum.
Introduction to the Dao De Jing
Provides three side-by-side translations by J. Legge, D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel. Also included is the Chinese text, each character with a drop-down menu with English definitions.
Lao Tse Tao Te Ching
Edition by Dr. Vladimir Antonov.
Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching
Translation by A. S. Kline.
Lao Zi Dao De Jing
Online personal translation by Bradford Hatcher.
A 1998 article in Archeology magazine by Spencer P.M. Harrington on the discovery of the Guodian text of the Dao De Jing.
Tao in You
Providing short explanations on the key concepts and a free video tutorial.
The Tao Te Ching
A work in progress including short introductory notes on various English translations.
Tao Te Ching
A translation by J.H. McDonald, with hyperlinked table of contents.
Tao Te Ching
Readers can post different chapters by different translators and comment upon them.
Tao Te Ching
A modern interpretation perpetrated by Ron Hogan - PDF download.
Tao Te Ching - Book of Wisdom
Hilmar Klaus provides translations of the Dao De Jing in German and English. He also includes the Chinese characters for the Guodian, Mawangdui and Wang Bi versions as well as the PinYin spellings.
Tao Te Ching - Tattered Tree Trunk
Translation by David Lindauer.
Tao Te Ching Interpreted Succinctly
A 9-fold pattern of 81 insights presented as phrases.
Tao Te Ching Meaning
Providing teachings on Tao Te Ching and a guide for beginners (PDF).
Tao Teh Ching - The Classic Words of Tao & Virtue
Translated by John Louis Albert Trottier.
The Taoistic Source
Each chapter explained by Stefan Stenudd.
Terebess Asia Online
Over 30 translations, including some well-known authors and some new ones.
What is Tao
Explains several key concepts and their application.
Rick Harbaugh's Chinese text of the Tao Te Ching, hyperlinked to definitions of Chinese characters and to an English translation.