"We are not going through in front of the car, in which American policemen are sitting."
Translation:Az előtt az autó előtt nem megyünk át, amelyikben amerikai rendőrök ülnek.
"Elé" is literally "to in front of". Where to? (To) in front of. It happens when a car is coming and you step in front of it. You can't do that with crossing the street. It does not answer to "Where to?". It answers to "Where? At what location?" In front of the car. "Az autó előtt".
Well what if I go across or through something ("át") to end up in front of the car? Wouldn't I be moving towards ("elé") in front of the car?
Or even, taking your scenario, I could walk through or across a wall to end up on the street where a car would be coming towards me, in which case "elé" would be correct.
I'm not suggesting this should be the standard translation but I don't think the English base lets you rule out such scenarios, so it should be accepted as a second possibility.
Or let's take the ordinary scenario of a common wormhole from an alternate universe opening up right in front of a police car. The aliens, if they are cautious enough, may choose not to come through...
Sure, why not. Hungarian has no problem with it, you can use "elé". But I think English would word it differently. Like "We are not going through to meet, or end up in front of, a police car." Etc.
Btw, "elé" is used in that sense, as well, to go meet and greet or pick up someone, for example, at the airport.
"Kimegyek a barátom elé a repülőtérre." - I am going to the airport to meet my friend.
Well thanks for your answers and your insights! I guess I just got a different picture in my head when I read the English sentence than most people do...
May I ask: are you a native Hungarian speaker? Because you clearly have a clear and thorough understanding of the Hungarian place postpositions.