Translators have to make words work. Why else did we get the call in the first place if not to change the world the way our client wants it changed?
But the function of words can be diminished by factors other than too little fluency.
If you say or hear a word too many times it can lose it’s meaning altogether. If we think about it we know what it means, but meaning does not normally require reflection. Instead we start to hear it as a sound only, much the same way it must appear to people who do not speak that language.
Then there is desensitization. For example it is common for news broadcasts to slip in a value judgement when reporting an instance of cruelty or violence by reporting it - smoothly, with no pause or sign that the announcer is personally experiencing these emotions – as a “sickening attack” or “vile assault”. You can search for the terms to see. Bashing pensioners, kicking quokkas. The news organizations think we need to be told how bad these events are. We wouldn’t know otherwise I guess.
copyright © Chris Poole Translation