"If we think about language as our most basic technology, I think it’s our responsibility to be clear. This is our craft: building understanding, starting in ourselves."
Of course, all translations are ultimately only approaches. One can never recapture an original in a new language. For some, adhering to a facile interpretation of the Italian cliché traduttore traditore (translator-traitor), the impossibility of perfect translation only shows the futility of trying. My own view is that translation—never complete, always only an approach—is an essential element of human existence. Even among those who speak our own language, we often find we have interpreted a word in a way other than it was intended. We can fully never capture or seize the perfected meaning. If we could grasp or seize it, we would soon find that the meaning has lost its magic in captivity.
“When I’m not writing I feel an awareness that something’s missing. If I go a long time, it becomes worse. I become depressed. There’s something vital that’s not happening. A certain slow damage starts to occur. I can coast along awhile without it, but then my limbs go numb. Something bad is happening to me, and I know it. The longer I wait, the harder it is to start again.
When I’m writing, especially if it’s going well, I’m living in two different dimensions: this life I’m living now, which I enjoy very much, and this completely other world I’m inhabiting that no one else knows about.” - Jennifer Egan