Universal Translator

“In the era when it is proposed that computers translating machines will soon be able to perform most translating tasks, what we call literary translation perpetuates the traditional sense of what translation entails. The new view is that translation is the finding of equivalents; or, to vary the metaphor, that a translation is a problem, for which solutions can be devised. In contrast, the old understanding is that translation is the making of choices, conscious choices, choices not simply between the stark dichotomies of good and bad, correct and incorrect, but among a more complex dispersion of alternatives, such as good versus better and better versus best, not to mention such impure alternatives as old-fashioned versus trendy, vulgar versus pretentious, and abbreviated versus wordy.”