God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice.
John Donne (1572-1632) English poet.
I do not hesitate to read all good books in translations. What is really best in any book is translatable -- any real insight or broad human sentiment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.
A great age of literature is perhaps always a great age of translations.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972) American poet, critic and intellectual.
It were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that you might discover the formal principle of its color and odor, as seek to transfuse from one language into another the creations of a poet. The plant must spring again from its seed, or it will bear no flower -- and this is the burthen of the curse of Babel.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet.
Woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning! It is indeed by so doing that we can say the letter kills and the spirit gives life.
Voltaire (1694-1778) French writer and historian.
Humor is the first gift to perish in a foreign language.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) British novelist and essayist.
Any translation which intends to perform a transmitting function cannot transmit anything but information -- hence, something inessential. This is the hallmark of bad translations.
Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) German philosopher.