Praise be to Allah.
You have hit the nail on the head: your guess is correct. A translation is not like the Mus-haf (Arabic text of the Quraan) and the same rules do not apply. A translation is like a tafseer (commentary), and so a menstruating woman is allowed to touch it. Your analysis of this matter demonstrates astute reasoning and excellent thinking skills, which makes us feel that you will soon embrace Islam; may Allaah guide you to all good.
Note: this question was published on 13 October 1998, then on 2 February 1999 we received the following message:
Assalamu Alaikum, I sent you questions 3100 and 3313 a while a go and I would just like to tell you that I embraced Islam recently, alhamdulillah! I just wanted to share this with you and thank you for responding to my questions. May Allah reward you. Sincerely, .....
We congratulate our sister for this great blessing. Praise be to Allah first and foremost, for all blessings and favours come from Him and all praise is due to Him.