Transcription or New Creation?

In Germany, almost one of two fiction books are trans­la­tions from another language. Given this, people working in this field provide for a vast body of public­a­tions and bear a lot of respons­ib­ility. But what’s the nature of trans­lating? Is it a detailed transcription –– word by word –– or is it the creation of something completely new?

While trans­lators in liter­ature are generally seen as creative authors, technical and academic trans­lators supposedly aim for precision and clarity. Yet, even those have to select between alternate wordings and make choices following their individual exper­i­ences and their own grasp on language.