I used to translate for a living once. The process is like shaping clay that has a life of its own or juggling objects that change their shape mid – air. And that when translating between languages of cultures that evolved on the same continent. Even then I would occasionally question that a phrase or a sentence could actually be translated. Today I smile when I think about all businessmen of the West convinced they understand their Asian partners on the basis of a translated document or contract.
Think Ancient Scripts: Have we ever considered how much had been lost in the translation of ancient Hebrew into Greek and then into Latin? Have we thought about the fact that certain meanings and concepts encased in the structure, flow and words of a given language simply cannot be transferred and we are left with the translator’s best choice in the framework of a given time in history?
Ancient Hebrew might be the closest to the ancient wisdom that we will ever get, what we are dealing with today is a deeply diluted version of an interpretation. Is that what the western traditions base their beliefs and practice on? And, regardless of what the atheists or non-believers think or say, their culture is also based on and shaped by, either in support or in opposition of, the latest version of the story. Do we ever evaluate what we believe in and realize that a lot of what we believe we take for a fact? What is our modern ‘culture’ a representation of, really?