Opinionator has Hamid Dabashi on how translation matters
Consider Heidegger. Had it not been for his French translators and commentators, German philosophy of his time would have remained an obscure metaphysical thicket. And it was not until Derrida’s own take on Heidegger found an English readership in the United States and Britain that the whole Heidegger-Derridian undermining of metaphysics began to shake the foundations of the Greek philosophical heritage. One can in fact argue that much of contemporary Continental philosophy originates in German with significant French and Italian glosses before it is globalized in the dominant American English and assumes a whole new global readership and reality.
This is an interesting conjecture, but wrong. I started reading Heidegger because of Sartre's references to him, and I only understood Derrida after English-writing scholars had explained Heidegger well enough for me to make sense of différence
. But then I wasn't a lit major.