Was it that i lost something valuable?
Yes, it was somehow. It was the truth sometime.
Robert Frost, one of Americas Greatest poets, ever said, “Poetry is what gets lost in translation.“ i extremly agree to it. And i reckon that what may get lost in translation is not only poetry.
i do not claim that all the translations could be trash. i only claim to tell the discrepancy between originals and translations. Every now and then we got to read a translation for acquiring information in unknown languages. As we knew, the process of translating was too personal an affair. Since the individualism, we read books with affection of translators most. Nobody knows what we gonna get in translation. Again, as i claimed, it was not that i put all the translators down. The fact is most of them did a good job, even though it probably ain’t perfect.
In my perspective, unlike literatures, philosophy works are most unsuitable to be translated. “It’s killing me that you’re making a study of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel with little Germanic.” said Dr. Yao, one of my college lecturer. Sort of a situation, the translating of a philosophy work could make a significant mistake in history. The best study case should be the miserable misunderstanding of well-known motto “i think, therefore i am”, which was translated from French to Latin first, then other languages.
The Frenchman René Descartes (1596-1650) is one of the most important Western philosophers of the past few centuries. During his lifetime, he was just as famous as an original physicist, physiologist and mathematician. The best-known philosophical statement “i think, therefore i am” is originate from his French work “Discours de la méthode“, and the original French text of this statement is “je pense, donc je suis”, which actually means “through my thinking, i do know the fact i am”. In the Renaissance, Latin was the offical language of philosophy. Unfortunately, the French statement was mistakenly translated into “cogito ergo sum” in Latin, which means “i think, therefore i exist”. From then on, the Latin phrase was wide-spreading inherited, while the real meaning of Descartes in French was lost for centuries.
History is unfair. Translation is hazardous.
That’s all what i wanna indicate.
Before you gonna believe certain words of a translation, try to read the original copy as possible as you could.
No more. No lost.