Particular challenges arise in the translation of slang or colloquial phrases and swear words, as many of these idiomatic expressions cannot be directly translated into any other language. Therefore, it becomes impossible to literally translate a text or script without alienating the target language audience, and equally impossible to create a fluid translation in the target language while maintaining the exact meaning of the original text. This dilemma is compounded by the cultural differences between countries, which serves as a barrier of sorts when it comes to translation, as certain references or jokes that would be topical within the original country of the work are missed when taken out of context by foreign audiences.
For me, being able to appreciate a foreign film or novel more fully is one of the reasons that I love doing a languages degree: it gives you the opportunity to apply what you learn and expand your knowledge of the language and culture whilst relaxing in front of a film or curled up with a great book. Therefore, translation, in my eyes, is more of a blessing than a curse, opening us up to new cultural experiences from across the globe, despite its shortcomings. That said, nothing can replace the original language in terms of really understanding the writer’s original intentions (even if you do need subtitles!).