Arrival of Ramadan usually intensifies the religiosity and spirituality of a Muslim. Fasting plays a leading role, but many of us often indulge in additional worship such as the optional Taraweeh prayers and recitation of the Quran. For me, Ramadan is also a time to enhance my relationship with God for the coming year, and boost it via prayer and Quran. Of course, many other acts (such as zakat) also contribute to it. Here is how one can attempt enhancing their relationship with the Almighty using the two mechanisms I mentioned above.
Prayer: Prayer is a dialogue and a virtual contact with God. In sura Fatihah, we praise and thank God, and ask Him to show us the right path, and then recite a few verses of Quran as a response from Him. Memorizing the meaning of the verses and bringing them to mind when one offers prayers develops an active dialog with God. Not only the words, but actions, especially bowing and prostration, with the recitation of the supplications augment the relationship. It is a physical manifestation of a slave's subservience to his lord after having understood His response to his ask. Although, this can be practiced all year round, but in this month, the special emphasis on worship and additional time that one is able to devote act as boosters.
Quran: Many of us make a pledge to read Quran or at least a portion thereof. The importance of understanding the Quran cannot be overemphasized, and therefore, if unable to read both its Arabic text and translation, one can (and probably should) resort to studying the translation only. Appreciating the fact that Quran is an address from God makes one grateful to Him for having sent guidance to lead His creation aright, acting upon which would make one successful in His eyes and lead to eternal bliss. It makes one understand the traits He would like to see in His slave, and what one should avoid. Fasting helps further by reminding the need to act upon what Quran has taught us.
However I would add to read as many and different translations as possible to get the comprehensive and wider view of the actual text.
In any case, needless to say, some knowledge of Arabic language goes a long way in better understanding, for example your explanation about wiping or washing the feet.
Thank you and may God reward you for your efforts.
Since his childhood, a Muslim reads his holy book many a times in Arabic language. With due course of time, he develops a strong desire to learn the meaning of what he recites. Thats the point where he needs someone to translate the Arabic script into the language he can understand. Having a translated version of Quran, even if it is pure and perfect, he still can't deny the importance of Arabic verses i.e. purely divine words.
On the other hand, if someone is a new convert or in process to embrace Islam, he might not be able to comprehend Arabic verses. Instead of inferring something wrong from them, he must look for a widely acceptable, authentic and unbiased translation (source) of Quran. As he gets stronger in his faith, he should leave no stone unturned in learning to read Quran in Arabic. As far as I know, Arabic words are really easy to learn and pronounce. Although people might have minor differences in accent yet reciting a verse is not difficult on the whole.
For all other justifiable cases, I would suggest listening to the recitation of Quran besides reading its translations. Listening to recitation is as good as reading Quran itself. Let me remind that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was fond of listening to the recitation of the divine book. Like a machine language instruction, there is no duality of meaning in a (pure) word of Quran. Thats why the Almighty called it 'mubeen'. Translations lack this feature.
In short, let me say that one should not always resort to translations only. Quran (in Arabic) and its interpretation (or translation) are complements of each other. Adopting one and leaving the other is not advisable.
P.S. I have spoken my mind out honestly. I might be wrong to say so. Therefore, I should welcome comments on my point of view.