The more you resort to translations, the further you get from becoming even a good sanskritist. Translations retard progress in the mastery of both text and language.
Of course, he agrees that translations are useful for academic purposes ("it is impossible to be an academic indologist without using translations, since very few non-pandits are capable of reading in the original the breath of texts required for writing academic papers"). More important, he also admits that they are useful for one to acquire the broader context one always needs in order to read each text ("Even if your ultimate goal is the deepest possible relation with a text, you'll need translations to get you to the point where that becomes possible, and you can kick the ladder away behind you"). Still, the main point remains: if one uses translations, one is bound to be kept far away from the text.
I suppose that part of the problem lies in one's approach to research. Probably I am in favour of the usage of translations —just like I am in favour of each kind of tools (even electronic dictionaries, at least at the beginning)— since I am a gradualist and believe in slow progress. Filippo seems, by contrast, to be an "instantaneist". To put it metaphorically, I would teach one to swim through long sessions in the swimming pool, Filippo would throw one in the water, expecting that she will learn to swim if she must.
I imagine that he might object that the longer one remains close to a "substitute" of the original text, the more difficult it becomes to get rid of it and dare "jump" into the Sanskrit. This might be true, but it is true also of commentaries. Would he get rid of them, too? And what is then the limit between directness and arrogance?
As for a sub-point, namely the need for translations, I tend to think that they are often useful (just like Sanskrit or Hindi commentaries are) even for Sanskritists while dealing with texts outside their competence. Dharmakīrti seems to be one of these examples, but the same holds true for technical texts on Grammar, alaṅkāras, astronomy, etc.
What do readers think about it? What is your experience with translations? Did they ever bring you closer to the text?
The discussion started on this post. I dedicated far too many posts to translations, a list of the main ones can be found below this post.