Last night I was watching Pride and Glory with my wife and something with the Dutch subtitles disturbed me: Whenever they were talking about the 911 (emergency number for police in USA) the subtitles read 112 (emergency number for police in Netherlands, and many EU countries as well).
After I raised my concern, my wife, being the translator she is, claimed that for cultural reasons and a smooth experience it was fine to translate 911 as 112. I, on the other hand, demanded the right to know what number those cops in USA were talking about. By ‘translating’ that 911 to 112 the translators prevented me from learning that US citizens dial 911 to reach the police in emergency. If translators simply left it as 911 in the subtitles, it wouldn’t be a disaster, it was easy to understand that the number was somehow connected to calling the police force in that context.
We still don’t agree on that matter 😉 Who is right, that I don’t know but I insist on my argument. And I refer to Eco’s Mouse or Rat?: Translation as Negotiation along with Hofstadter’s Le Ton Beau De Marot: In Praise Of The Music Of Language.
What is your opinion?