Translators have an incredible amount of responsibility in representing literary excerpts and works as accurately as possible. I’m curious what safeguards exist to prevent mistranslation, or even more dangerous, translation designed to resemble the source but that differs in small but potentially consequential ways. It seems to me that the majority of translations are attributed to a single person. Are institutions or other individuals keeping that person accountable for their work? One example of translation that has extraordinary consequences is the Bible. There are 450 unique translations in the English language alone. The methodology of translation varies from version to version: some are seeking objective and precise translation while some are focused more intently on preserving the tone and “spirit of the law” in the writing. A prominent example of the latter is The Message, translated by Eugene H. Peterson, which seeks to bring the Bible into contemporary language. Another prominent translation, the King James Version, was translated by 47 different men. While this may provide more accountability, does this risk sacrificing continuity throughout the work? Reading these two texts, The Message and KJV, it is hard to imagine that they stem from the same source. Are such divergences controversial in the translating world, and is it possible to have such different interpretations without a loss of precision on either end? (Since publication, both versions have been subject to widespread praise and criticism alike).
While I do believe the Allegory of the Cave is a useful demonstration on blind belief and contentedly ignorant rationale, there is one glaring problem that stands out to me. According to AotC, the prisoners assume that the shadows do not merely represent reality, or are a product of it, but that they are reality itself. However, I believe this wouldn’t be the case. They are not living in complete darkness, meaning that there would be concrete examples of other shadows as a mere representation or product of reality. The wall that they lean against would cast a shadow, and they themselves would produce moving shadows much like those on the wall in front of them. Would they then not be able to reason that, much like their own, the shadows of the wall have a cause behind it? We make assumptions of the macro world based on our micro experiences. Therefore, I believe they would understand the shadows on the wall as an extension of something from the external world based on their observations that align with this understanding of shadows in their immediate experience.