Are Translators Indeed Traitors?

Dear WORDLIX community,

According to the famous saying of an illustrious Italian philosopher and translator, Benedetto Croce – the translator is a traitor (it’s a pun in Italian original – traduttore traditore). Is it really the case? Is translation always inferior to the original?

We are thrilled to introduce you to our new blog, where some of our users will share with you their translation experiences. They will try to show how right or how wrong Croce actually was.

Ivan Ivashchenko will share his user experiences with the WORDLIX app on this blog. He is one of the WORDLIX-cofounders, who is currently working on the first translation into Ukrainian of Arthur Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and as Representation (Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung). His experiences should make explicit how WORDLIX facilitates the translation of creative non-fiction such as classics of philosophy.

Moreover, Ivan has already translated several books by using WORDLIX that should be published soon. For instance, Giorgio Agamben’s Homo sacer. Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Homo sacer. Il potere sovrano e la nuda vita) from Italian into Ukrainian and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht’s Production of Presence. What Meaning Cannot Convey from English into Ukrainian. So, his blog will be dealing with various examples of problems a translator may face and experiences Ivan has made so far by using WORDLIX.

Vjacheslav Tsyba, as the very first signed up user of WORDLIX, is currently working on the first translation into Ukrainian of George Berkeley’s works (An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, etc.). He will also contribute to our blog, sharing his experiences of using WORDLIX.

One of the essential features of WORDLIX on its current stage is the possibility of building up terminological patterns that occur (must occur!) in every work of creative non-fiction. It is crucial to keep in mind that a translation of non-fiction doesn’t have to puzzle readers when the same terms used by an author are translated differently. It is, however, quite often the case. How can we understand, for example, Schopenhauer’s argument if the same term which has the same meaning and plays the same role in the unfolding of his argument was translated differently? Or what kind of challenge a translator of Berkeley’s Treatise may face if the same word could have both a terminological and everyday meaning (“spirit,” for instance)?

All these issues and challenges we will share with you very soon!

However, if you are a translator of creative non-fiction and want to tell your own story to the WORDLIX community, do not hesitate and send it to us (info [at] We will gladly share it on our blog.

Your WORDLIX team

Ukrainian version