Listed below are three translations of Akkosa Sutta provided in access to in access to insight
Which translation has the correct meaning?
The third translation is not far from the common ethics i.e., the virtue of temperance found in most major religions of the world, but what is presented in the first two translations goes beyond that.
Accommodating an angry man sheepishly, I mean responding to him/her kindly to calm them, does no good to the angry man because they will think that they were in the right when they are angry. The short story leading to the sutta's stanza does indicate that too.
As I understand it Bhikkhu Thanissaro's translation is missing the key part which is present in the two other translations "He who repays an angry man in kind Is worse than the angry man"...But I may be wrong.
Acharya Buddharakkhita translation
He who repays an angry man in kind Is worse than the angry man; Who does not repay anger in kind, He alone wins the battle hard to win.
Maurice O'Connell Walshe translations
If a man's abused and answers back, Of the two he shows himself the worse. He who does not answer back in kind, Celebrates a double victory.
Thanissaro Bhikkhu translations
You make things worse when you flare up at someone who's angry. Whoever doesn't flare up at someone who's angry wins a battle hard to win.