When I tackle a translating challenge, it is not in the least because I yearn to reveal to the poor deprived non-speakers of language X the hidden structure and meaning of some intricate passage in language X — no, for me, translating is simply the sheer joy of trying to do something deeply paradoxical: namely, to carry off in medium 2, radically different from medium 1, some virtuoso stunt that someone else once carried off with great aplomb in medium 1. That's all, no more. It's just a game, an exercise in creativity, and a challenge that, if met with sufficient flair, provides a wonderful esthetic reward.

Douglas R. Hofstadter, in Le Ton Beau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language

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