What a difference a word makes!
It was Dr. Samuel Johnson's dictionary - which he wrote singlehandedly, bar a few scrawny Scottish helpers, over a period of nine years - which laid the foundation of the English dictionaries that we have today.
Johnson's was not the first English dictionary, and earlier dictionaries were unsatisfactory because they tried to define what a word means, and not how a word has been used or is being used today. An unsatisfactory dictionary tries to fossilise a word in its historical usage, whereas a proper dictionary should try to demonstrate how a word is being used today - which may be very different from the way it was used before.
For me, the one word that has changed drastically in usage is this lovely simple word "gay." I like this word a lot. It tells of a condition in a person that is light and happy, not quite exuberant or just contented. Today, the word "gay" has a heavy sexual connotation.
Johnson's dictionary was significant because it tried to give example of how a word had been used or was being used. Words which had been used before was quite easy for him to discover, by borrowing books from friends and marking them so that his clerks could copy out. Words which were being used could be found out from current publications, and if he could not find one example, he simply gave his own version of the word. The most famous example was the word "Oats: a grain which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people"
The greatness of Johnson's dictionary is to present for posterity the right to use words in the way as we so choose, which then make words living words rather than dead words, as opposed to giving the right over the usage of words to grammaritarians and some external linguistic authority.
So, if one were to do translation, how would one translate. Does one merely refer to the dictionary on the meaning of the word (as one would think of the nature of a poor dictionary) or does one try to understand how the word has been used or is being used and how it now can be used.
At the end of the day, the meaning of a word can be discovered only within the context that it is being used. The word does not define the context; but the context, the word.
It is only by opening words out for variations that we encourage creativity and innovation in the way we think. We can create new words for new ideas but we usually find that what we think is new is not really that new and that it could be the same old thing that now has taken a more modern facade.
If we are not allowed to think freely and express ourselves freely, then we may not be using words to master our thoughts; instead, we may find our thoughts being enslaved by words.
The way we use words betray our hidden innermost feelings about ourselves and how we see life.