“Cameralism” is the English term for Kameralwissenschaft, knowledge of various kinds and levels related to the administration of eighteenth-century northern European states. As a generic term it includes both “practical” knowledge and academic discourse, and this paper argues that while the latter is easier to demarcate and analyse by virtue of its systematic aspirations, the relation to the former highlights the inherent diversity of discourses that stand in no definite hierarchy one with another. This problem is illustrated by examining claims made by Ernest Lluch to the effect that “cameralism” had a significant impact in mid eighteenth-century Spain chiefly through the impact of translations. It is argued here that these claims are nullified by Lluch’s failure to examine the few sources he cites, to take account of discrepancies between source texts and translation, differences in use of source text and translation, and differences in readership of both. It is argued that examining the diffusion of ideas and practices through translation is a complex task that cannot be addressed simply by identifying the existence of published translations.