Lin Shu, who translated many European novels—La Dame Aux Camelias, David Copperfield, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Joan Haste and Robinson Crusoe, to name a few—without knowing any European language. The way he succeeded in translated these novels (by Word of God) practically enforced this trope:
I know no foreign languages. I cannot pass for a translator without the aid of several gentlemen, who interpret the texts for me. They interpret, and I write down what they interpret. They stop, and I put down my pen. 6,000 words can be produced after a mere four hours' labour.