The Way that can be told of is not an unvarying way;
The names that can be named are not unvarying names.
It was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang;
The named is but the mother that rears the ten thousand creatures, each after its kind.
"The Way that can be spoken of
Is not the constant way."
The Tao Te Ching begins with a pun: "Way" and "spoken of" ("said") are the same character (Dào).
So the first line says:
"The Tao that can be tao-ed is not the constant Tao." "The name that can be named..."
Here the pun can be maintained in English, where "name" can be both noun and verb.
The quality of a translation of the Tao Te Ching can usually be determined from the rendering of these lines.
Those determined to unpack the meaning of Taoism in the translation, according to their own interpretation of Taoist doctrine, will often render these terse sentences into a paragraph, sometimes with irrecognizable renderings of the key words.
The affection of a translator for Taoism cannot excuse a method that only obscures the nature of the text itself.