"Recent readings in translations of T'ang quatrains have left us immersed in deep sadness in the face of the lack of philological acumen, the critical shallowness, and the self-centered irreverence towards great poetry exhibited by would-be competent writers seeming unable to resist the lures of precocious publication." Peter A. Boodberg, 1954. Little has changed in the sixty-one years since. And the reason may be the same now as then: it takes a lot of time to comprehend and then express in English, even one short poem.
As I put the finishing touches to the first volume of my translation of the Large Sutra on Perfect Wisdom, I cannot help remembering that most of the translators of Buddhist texts into Chinese worked with a large staff and sometimes the support of a king. The computer may replace a little of this. But it is unlikely to be of much help in polishing the English, for example, or in explaining what a passage in Chinese means. For that I can rely only on my own teachers, my own understanding, and my own insight, however feeble.
'Real China' & Environs