Several years back, Alasdair MacIntyre was on some panel at the Modernity: Yearing for the Infinite conference at Notre Dame. I entirely forget what the discussion was about, but remember well a remark he interjected, or at least its essential content. So, in Thucydidian reformulation (having the characters in one's narrative say not what they really said but what they ought to have said, given their ethos) :
When I was a boy, we were beaten if we did not learn Greek irregular verbs well. I am not defending beating children. In fact that is a very bad thing to do, both for the children and for those beating them. It was painful, and produced anxiety. But now . . . I can read Sophocles and you can't.A fellow philosopher Dave O'Hara and I started a conversation on Twitter about languages and translations in philosophy, one which I am certain just as much on his side as on mine, reverberates with countless conversations he carried out with other people down the years. When students in class, other professors, parishioners in study groups, fellow travelers passing the time with talk, and the host of other seemingly chance interlocutors find out that you can read a text in its original language, a language they do not know, there are some standard lines in which the discussion typically develops. Guiding, understandable, but mistaken assumptions come to light. Sometimes I point them out. nowadays, I usually just pass over them and allow the conversation to go as the other person seemingly needs it to proceed.