Translations of great works are commonplace. We can go the bookstore and pick up a translation of anything, from Plato’s Republic to The Brothers Karamazov, but we rarely think about the moral and practical difficulties of translation.
We generally purchase translations because we cannot read the work in the original language. We therefore put our faith in the translator, trusting that they know both the original and translation language well enough to communicate accurately the meaning of the original text.
We are implicitly trusting in both a translator’s skill and sense of moral obligation or reverence towards a text.
This had never occurred to me until one of my Latin professors brought it up. Continue reading