gad rgyangs wrote:
only if its a bad translation, or if the word in untranslatable, in which case it is usually left in the source language.
Not true. This is why the explanation of any translated Dharma text requires special skills.
One has to strike a balance between readability and over-glossing a term. In many cases, it is better to select a simple translation that indicates to the explainer a broader range of meaning, which then can act as a hook to remind the person who has received the explanation of the text in question of the broader explanation.
Take a term like mngon sum. It means completely different things depending on how it is used -- but in general, always refers to actually witnessing an event. Sometimes, as in logic, direct perception is better. Sometimes, like when discussing a visionary experience, "personally saw guru rinpoche" meaning that Guru P actually showed up and you saw him in person, as opposed to a dream. Or in Dzogchen, when discussing the first of the four visions, here it means having a personal experience of vidyā as a visual phenomena, seeing a thigle.
In the latter case, if you translate chose nyid mgon sum as direct perception of dharmatā, someone who has no idea about Dzogchen will understand this to be a reference the path of seeing (which it is not). For that matter, even the meaning of dharmatā is different, which is why in so many dzogchen texts, when discussing dharmatā ala sutra style, the term stong pa nyid is always appended i.e. chos nyid stung pa nyid, to make the distinction between dharmatā as ye shes or rig pa in the visions.
Ideally of course you would want everything to be easily understood, but in practice this is far more difficult than you imagine. Something simple have to be explained beyond the translation equivalent you select.