此篇序(Preface)刊登於前巴利聖典協會(Pali Text Society)會長諾曼 K. R. Norman 在1997年出版的英譯《法句經》，作為對諾曼氏 K. R. Norman 的崇敬，在此將原文與漢譯登錄於此，文中有兩件事頗令人詫異，
一是 John Brough 《犍陀羅語法句經》的作者，居然推辭替巴利《法句經》翻譯為英文，理由是：「那太難了！ It is too difficult!」。
在佛教經典當中，《法句經》也許是最常被翻譯成英文的一部典籍。在 1994 年Oskar von Hinüber 和我由巴利聖典協會出版了此書的英譯之後(1995 年訂正再版)，雖然或許有人會懷疑是否需要再來一本嶄新的《法句經》英譯；在 1931年 Rhys Davids 女士的註解版 PTS 《法句經》之後，看起來現在是出版取代此書的新註解本的恰當時機。
多年來，我讀過多本《法句經》英譯，有些讀完全書，有些只讀了部分。因為我認為有些很好的譯文，沒有理由因為別人用過了就棄之不用。有意或無意之間，我的翻譯或多或少歸功於前人。他們的名字多得無法完全列舉，但是，我特別要感謝 Radhakrishnan，在我還是學生的時候，他的翻譯是第一本介紹《法句經》給我的書。我也要感謝 Max Müller ，當時我以他的翻譯與前書比對著閱讀。我也感謝 Carter and Palihawadana 與 Kalupahana，在評論時，我讀 Carter and Palihawadana and to Kalupahana 的翻譯讀得十分仔細。我感謝 John Brough 《犍陀羅語法句經》，與多年來一起閱讀《犍陀羅語法句經》的學生們；特別是對 Dr. Margaret Cone ，感謝她準備博士論文《波特那法句經》(Patna Dharmapada) 的諸多討論，與此博士論文所作的許許多多的建議。
據說，當 John Brough 被要求進行《法句經》的新譯本時，他拒絕了，理由是：「那太難了！」相當遺憾地我必須說，他說得太正確了。我此書的註解透露出我有多少偈頌不是完全確定該偈頌的確實意義。
我代表巴利聖典協會感謝 Kyung-Jun Lee 與 Sub-Kyong Lee 對此書出版費用的慷慨支助。
The Dhammapada is perhaps the Buddhist text which has been translated into English more often than any other, and some may doubt the need for yet another translation, but the publication by the Pali Text Society of a new edition by Oskar von Hinüber and myself in 1994 (reprinted with corrections in 1995), seemed to be an appropriate time to produce a new annotated translation replacing that made for the PTS in 1931 by Mrs. Rhys Davids.
In making the edition, great attention was paid to metre, and the results of the analysis which was made are categorised in the section of the introduction entitled "Metres of the Dhammapada", and are included in the Notes. I have also included there, in as much detail as seemed necessary, the grammatical, syntactical, and lexicongraphical information which I found of help when making the translation.
Over the years I have read many translations of the Dhammapada, in whole or in part, and since I see no sense in rejecting a good translation simply because someone else has already used it, my translation owes much, consciously or unconsciously, to my predecessors. They are too many to name, but I acknowledge a special debt to Radhakrishnan, whose edition and translation first introduced me, as a student, to the Dhammapada, and to Max Müller whose translation I compared with Radhakrishnan's at that time; to Carter and Palihawadana and to Kalupahana, whose translations I read attentively when I reviewed them; to John Brough's edition of the Gāndhārī Dhammapada; to students over the years with whom I have read the Gāndhārī Dhammapada; but most especially to Dr. Margaret Cone for many discussions while she was working on her dissertation on the Patna Dharmapada and for the numerous suggestions she has made in the dissertation itself.
John Brough is reported as saying, when asked if he would produce a new translation of the Dhammapada for the PTS, that he could not, because "it was too difficult". I regret to say that I must agree with him. My notes reveal how often I was quite unsure about the meaning of a verse.
On behalf of the Pali Text Society I should like to express thanks to Kyung-Jun Lee and Sub-Kyong Lee for their very generous contribution to the costs of publishing this translation.