Chi mentioned in her last post that she feels uncomfortable about translating Korean poems into English because the original feeling or meaning is “lost in translation.” I often feel the same way when I translate something or read a translated work.
Although I study translation, I believe that no translated work can surpass the original, especially when the languages involved are not closely connected. I think there is a merit in reading Shakespeare in English or Lady Murasaki in Japanese. The best a translator can do is to imagine, “How would the author say this if he/she knew English/Japanese?”
A translator can spend hours coming up with a good translation for a very short phrase or even a word. Because of all the efforts, some translators can get personal when someone criticizes their work. I can just imagine the fury of a translator when a copyeditor who doesn’t know the source language criticizes and alters the translation. But such an emotional reaction indicates a lack of professionalism.
Does a copyeditor work with a different frame of mind when working with a translated piece? Does a copyeditor take into consideration the fact that the piece he/she is dealing with came from another language through a translator?