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gwern comments on The Optimizer's Curse and How to Beat It - Less Wrong

44 Post author: lukeprog 16 September 2011 02:46AM

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Comment author: gwern 21 September 2011 01:15:57AM 7 points [-]

I find it interesting that everyone here is focusing on status; couldn't it just be that crediting translations is absolutely necessary for the basic scholarly purpose of judging the authority and trustworthiness of the translation and even the original text? And that failing to provide attribution demonstrates a lack of academic expertise, general ignorance of the slipperiness of translation ('hey, how important could it be?'), and other such problems.

I know I find such information indispensable for my anime Evangelion research (I treat translations coming from ADV very differently from translations by Olivier Hague and that different from translations by Bochan_bird, and so on, to give a few examples), so how much more so for real scholarship?

Comment author: [deleted] 21 September 2011 01:53:25AM *  6 points [-]

Well, what I originally [see edit] wrote was "It's wrong (deprives the translator of rightful credit) -- and, FWIW, it's also low-status." I think people found the "low-status" part of my claim more interesting, but it wasn't the primary reason I reacted badly to seeing a translation uncredited as such.

Edit: on reflection, this wasn't my original justification. I simply reacted with gut-level intuition, knowing it was wrong. Every other explanation is after-the-fact, and therefore suspect.

Comment author: JoshuaZ 21 September 2011 01:59:10AM 2 points [-]

Upvoting for realizing that a rational wasn't your actual reason.

Comment author: JoshuaZ 21 September 2011 01:26:01AM 1 point [-]

Yes, agreed. I did note above that including the translation details with the original was optimal for conveying information but I didn't emphasize it. I think that part of why people have been emphasizing status issues over serious research in this context is that the start of the discussion was about what to do with epigraphs. Since they really are just for rhetorical impact, the status issue matters more for them.