What did Socrates lose in the translation?

Having recently finished reading some of the translations of Plato’s works about Socraties last days, I am somewhat at a loss. I expected more concrete reasoning as Socraties was making his point but saw holes in his logic. I don’t have a actual example as most were very long and went into what seemed like tangents, only to tie in later (actually I really liked this part).

But is seemed like he would have his ‘student’ agree with some of his points in absolute terms when I (personally) could see exceptions to these points. Then he would use these absolute terms to make a point that couldn’t be made if the exceptions were noted.

I was wondering if the translation from old Greek to English with any intermeadate translations along the way have diluted the orginal intent of his arguments. Also I wonder if any other persons that have read these works have noticed these potential flaws - perhaps they are not flaws if I were to go in to it more.

So was he as good as people have given him credit for or was he just a jobless bum who was lucky enough to get some rich shulb to write down what he said?

Its been a few years since I read Plato. I too felt that the student “puppets” inexplicably agreed with Socrates’ assertions at key points where, even if I didn’t disagree, it seemed like someone reasonably could.

I do believe that some of these moments are, in fact, based on linguistic differences. The one that I recall specifically from college(and, as I said, it’s been a few years, so you Platoniphiles out there please feel free to correct me if I’ve gotten something garbled) had to do with an assertion by Socrates that “the purpose of man is to practice his craft.”

As our professor read classical Greek, he was able to explain that the Greek words for “purpose”, "duty, and “craft/profession” were all related. Socrates’ statement was effectively a tautology in classical Greek – like saying “Man’s duty is to do his duty” – and therefore not that strange a thing for the student to assent to.

I suspect there are many other examples of this, which classical Greek reading Dopers will hopefully soon share…