I suggest that conscience in its original meaning of consciousness is very close etymologically to both rig pa and vidyā. Vid- rig- and -science all three mean knowledge. So that one might find that consciousness can be slightly better than awareness for translating rig pa.
As i was writing and researching this intervention i realized that in French conscience is quite definitely a good simple translation for rigpa. It might have been too obvious to be seen... -We don't have another equivalent of awareness. Conscience also has a moral weight, but psychology, and philosophy, have almost steered the word back to cognition.
And then nescience would be marigpa and avidyā
en.wikipedia.org has a discussion of the history of the words coscientia and conscius.
...Vajrallan 05:51, 10 October 2009 (UTC)