True or False? Or Something in Between?

 

At first, I thought this statement could actually be my perfect motto. As translators and interpreters, we agree that so much of the meaning can be lost in our work. Of course, Nietzsche’s point of view is a deep philosophical statement and does not lend itself to a superficial, short and precipitous examination.

As a court interpreter, however, I would readily disagree. Legal proceedings are based on facts and my interpretations would lose their objectivity if I overlooked the facts in favor of renditions.

Still as an interpreter, I am very mindful of how true this statement may sound. For example, trying to translate some of the best poems of Rumi or Hafez seems impossible. Even the best poetic translations that currently exist fall short of capturing their true and deepest messages.

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