When it comes to translation, there are some choices. One can simply go word for word, including idioms, and let the viewer fend for himself. Engarde! Cafe au lait! Creme Brulee. Etc. Etc. Or one can find suitable alternatives (I'm still looking for an alternative to 'sussusudio'). Or one can do whatever the Bjork one wants making a sort of stylized version. 'Mille fois merde.' Literally, 'a thousand times shit.' De-idiomized, it becomes 'holy shit' or just 'fuck.' Stylized, it becomes 'fiznatch.' Left to evolve over thousands of years, it becomes 'each actuation delivers 55 mcg triamcinolone acetonide from the nasal actuator.' I think every important film should suffer a choice of subtitles in each language. No method is wrong, except perhaps the stylized one. That one is probably wrong. Shakespeare in the motherfuckin' house just stoopid. But between the 'literal' and 'common language' one, it's really a toss up, a lob up, throw up, shake it up. Heave ho. Ain't nuttin' but a fling.
Why? Because if you think about it, the literal translation may not be any more in sync with the actual perception of the native speaker. When someone says 'a thousand times shit,' it creates a weird, poetic wording which becomes its own distinct experience. It's peculiarity could even be seen as a distraction. Whereas just saying 'holy shit' wouldn't make you think twice. A Frenchman doesn't think twice when he hears 'mille fois merde.' Why should you? On the other hand, there seems to be something special about the literal transformation. It's as if it offers a glimpse into the workings of another language, another people, who put mustard on french fries. Crazy people. Of course, there are idioms that are so random that a literal translation would make not one drop of honey in a thousand summers. Those could probably be neutered without giving up too much. Whereas others are sort of interpretable within the context. They're really not so bad once you get to know them. Ta geuele. 'Shut up' or 'shut your dog mouth.' My movie, my choice.