1. 10

    The original is unfaithful to the translation.

  2. 9

    The link between ideas and action is rarely direct. There is almost always an intermediate step in which the idea is overcome. De Tocqueville points out that it is at times when passions start to govern human affairs that ideas are most obviously translated into political action. The translation of ideas into action is usually in the hands of people least likely to follow rational motives. Hence, it is that action is often the nemesis of ideas, and sometimes of the men who formulate them. One of the marks of the truly vigorous society is the ability to dispense with passion as a midwife of action the ability to pass directly from thought to action.

  3. 8

    For what is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into act?

  4. 7

    Translation is the art of failure.

  5. 6

    As far as modern writing is concerned, it is rarely rewarding to translate it, although it might be easy. Translation is very much like copying paintings.

  6. 5

    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.

  7. 4

    Humor is the first gift to perish in a foreign language.

  8. 3

    All language is but a poor translation.

  9. 2

    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.

  10. 1

    Poetry is what gets lost in translation.