Probably every translator at some point had to ask for more context and knows that it is not rare to receive a bewildered look in answer to this question. Translators’ obsession with context even became an Internet meme. However, is it so weird to ask for more context? A couple of days I go a came across a vivid illustration of the importance of having more context.
Allusion to chemistry, and even to the ancient and almost forgotten alchemy, implied by this site’s name is no coincidence. What does this exact science, and even more so the enigmatic alchemy, have in common with seemingly trivial task of translation?, you will ask. First of all, ideal translation is as hard to elaborate and persistently sought for as the mystic philosopher's stone, a quest for which occupied minds of alchemists during centuries and gave birth to multiple legends and novels.