Joseph wrote that he had an "intimate acquaintance with those of different denominations." He also once said that the Restoration began about the time he had leg surgery at age 6 or 7. I think his three years of recuperation enabled him to read Christian publications at a young age, a practice he continued throughout his life. The text of the Book of Mormon reflects his "intimate acquaintance" with these writers. The narrative of Joseph as an ignorant, illiterate "blank slate" was created after the fact to bolster they supernatural origin of the Book of Mormon.
His history reports that "By this timely aid was I enabled to reach the place of my destination in Pennsylvania; and immediately after my arrival there I commenced copying the characters off the plates. I copied a considerable number of them, and by means of the Urim and Thummim I translated some of them, which I did between the time I arrived at the house of my wife’s father, in the month of December, and the February following." (Joseph Smith—History 1:62)
The specifics in that statement lend credibility and reliability to its veracity. By contrast, those who spoke or wrote about SITH (the stone-in-the-hat) were usually vague or ambiguous, except for David Whitmer's description of the demonstration in the Whitmer family room downstairs.
Joseph said the Title Page was a literal translation from the last leaf of the plates, but he never said the rest of the text was a literal translation. That leads me to infer that the bulk of the translation was not literal, nor was it word-for-word.
Anyone who has studied ancient languages knows there are lots of ways to translate any given passage. Experts have translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into numerous different English editions, even when they use early English translations as a guide for some degree of consistency and continuity.
I have studied Latin and Greek, as well as modern languages. The older the language, the more primitive it is. By that I mean, older languages have smaller vocabularies so they are less descriptive. They communicate by suggesting information rather than by explaining things in detail. This requires active readers who must infer what the text means from the context.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21)
The link below shows the Rosetta stone in detail. It has just the type of primitive, vague language that I think the plates had, where you have to make a lot of inferences to convey it in English.