mRNA translation plays an evolutionarily conserved role in homeostasis and when dysregulated contributes to various disorders including metabolic and neurological diseases and cancer. Notwithstanding that optimal and universally applicable methods are critical for understanding the complex role of translational control under physiological and pathological conditions, approaches to analyze translatomes are largely underdeveloped. To address this, we developed the anota2seq algorithm which outperforms current methods for statistical identification of changes in translation. Notably, in contrast to available analytical methods, anota2seq also allows specific identification of an underappreciated mode of gene expression regulation whereby translation acts as a buffering mechanism which maintains protein levels despite fluctuations in corresponding mRNA abundance (\translational buffering\). Thus, the universal anota2seq algorithm allows efficient and hitherto unprecedented interrogation of translatomes which is anticipated to advance knowledge regarding the role of translation in homeostasis and disease.