What is meant by translation compromise?

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wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
It is usually thought that translating a work could comprise it's integrity. When you translate something into another language, it is difficult to keep the subtle nuances of its original language. Often, there are words which do not have an equal in the second language. Or, there might be a cultural understanding about certain words that does not cross over with the translation. For instance, in a modern work, someone might say that something is "cool"; obviously this doesn't mean it's literally cold, but it might be difficult to find a similar alternative in the translated language. The translator must compromise and select the best option. This might work just fine but it might cause that part of the work to have a different sound or feel. In every work, there will be something that doesn't translate well and that can lead to translation compromise.