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Not trying to embrace the unembraceable, our agency has been specializing in translation from / into the main European languages (including translation of documents for notarial certification) since 1998. To save your time, we are not going to speak about our professional credo at great length- you can read about it in detail on the websites of our colleagues.
To our mind, to illustrate the translator’s responsibility, it is sufficient to give one example when a loose translation played a crucial role in the relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, and thus had an impact on the course of world history.
This refers to a different interpretation of the Orthodox and the Catholic dogma of Filioque (Latin word filioque - "and (from) the Son”). According to Catholic teaching, the Holy Spirit proceeds "from the Father and the Son" (i.e. the much-talked-about "filioque"). Beginning from the 6th century, a lot of lances were broken by theologians in discussions apropos of this, which resulted in the permanent alienation between the churches in 1054.
Meanwhile, in Greece’s modern Catholic churches the Creed is read without "Filioque" and this is done not for the ecumenical reasons. As explained by the Greeks, the problem of "filioque" arose because in the Latin translation of the document instead of the original Greek word έκπόρευσις – “procession" (i.e., the Holy Spirit proceeds from the God the Father alone) the translator used (not entirely rightfully) the word processio (origin), which made it possible to assume the Son’s participation in the emanation of the divine consubstantiality.
So, thanks to the unknown translator of the Epichristian era, just on the philological basis there developed a conflict which in the course of time accumulated numerous encumbrances and led to the fact that the paths of the two major branches of Christianity in Europe have diverged for ages.
Therefore, knowing what problems an incorrect translation can cause, we treat every word with special care and attention.