After today's class, I became intrigued by translations of literature, particularly for The Tin Drum. So, once again I began looking around on the internet and found this video of Gunter Grass and Breon Mitchell:
It's a bit hard to understand Grass in the beginning, but if you listen carefully you can hear him comment on the problems of translating the Danzig slang he uses in the novel. For example, later in the video Mitchell begins speaking about how he had a lot of trouble trying to place his finger on a synonym for the Danzig word "girl" other then "girl," because it didn't sound quite right.
I think this really poses the question of how true translated literature can really be compared to its original form. We can't possibly learn every language of the world so translations will just have to do. A citation regarding the novel says, "Mitchell makes us aware that even good work, such as Ralph Manheim's respected earlier translation, bears improvement..."(http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/16691.html) This just goes to show that translations can never be one hundred percent like the original.