The Analects of Confucius Book 3 number 5:
D.C. Lau's translation:
"The Master said, 'Barbarian tribes with their rulers are inferior to Chinese states without them.'"
Arthur Waley's translation of the same passage:
"The Master said, 'The barbarians of the East and North have retained their princes. They are not in such a state of decay as we in China.'"
So which is it--is China better or are the barbarians? We don't need to feel bad. Looking at commentaries from the Han Dynasty onward, we can see Chinese people of different eras were just as lost as we are, and also needed a "translation." They had to explain the text in more understandable language.
Many commentators read 亡 (Waley's "decay") as being 無 (Lau's "without"), and then there's the matter of what you want to do with the 不如, "not like." Both Lau- and Waley-style interpretations can be found.
Many commentators also read the Analects not as isolated fragments of conversations, but almost as if there were a narrative running through each book. Book 3 is about sumptuary laws and conducting appropriate rituals (Confucius keeps harping about upper-class people putting on airs and doing stuff only the Emperor should be allowed to do), so people have raised the question why there'd be an empty potshot at the barbarians in the middle of all that. The context, they say, points to China's decline after all. Others say it means even if ritual was being misused, China was still the land of ritual and therefore still superior despite its lack of rulers.
I never realized the ways the Analects could be read (or, indeed, was read over history), and as a consequence I thought it was a pretty dull text. It's not--it's fascinating. It is too bad that the English translations leave out the good stuff that has arisen around the text over the years. It's clear the translators used it. What does the "original" text mean? Nobody's known that since Confucius' time, and it's a good thing, too. The openness of the text has created space for all sorts of readings.