Primum non nocere, czyli uwagi warsztatowe

Piotr Blumczyński


This article provides a detailed analysis of the Polish translation of a manual of
homiletics against the background of the broader question regarding the translator’s
workshop. The various translational solutions are subsequently discussed in sections
devoted to grammatical and lexical errors, metaphorical and terminological incoherence,
and collocational and stylistic errors. It is suggested that the deficient workshop of the
translator manifested in numerous errors, chiefly attributable to insufficient understanding
of the source language by the translator, may correspond to the quasitheological
conviction according to which the crucial characteristic of the translator is
his or her passion rather than linguistic competence. The article ends with the appeal
to translators of various texts – not just theological ones – to observe the ancient
principle of primum non nocere in order to ensure the acceptable quality of their

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