Monday, 15 September 2014

Linguistically Challenged Part Nine: Mario Lipinski

The Bio:

Mario K. Lipinski (born in November, 1975, in Germany) lives in Herne, Germany.
He is a spare-time author and, in "real" life, is a mathematician teaching at university level. Does it show in his books? Yes, it does.
English is not his native language, and a frequent question is why he does write in English. For more than 15 years, most of the books he has read have been in English. So, it felt natural for him to write in English, too.
He is into romance with a capital R.

The questions

-     What language do you speak most of the time?

I speak German most of the time. I’m a mathematician teaching at a German university and most of my lectures are held in German. Only one of my lectures is for an international master course and the teaching language is English. I have some friends with whom I chat in English, but only in written form.

-     What language do you think in?

I think in German. The only exception to this is when I plan my stories and develop scenes in my head. I do this in English.In my experience, it is easier in the “target” language.

-     What language do you dream in?

German again. J Sometimes fragments of English and French find their way into my dreams, but I’m aware of the fact that I’m speaking a foreign language then.

-     What language do you swear in after you’ve really hurt yourself?

German. Though I could swear I’m channelling some ancient Egyptian when doing sports… J

-     What language are you most comfortable in?

I’m more aware of orthography and grammar rules in English which gives me more security when writing. When I write something in German, I often do so by instinct… and more often than not I get it wrong. What definitely is more difficult in English is finding appropriate words and phrases. We’ve been taught a very formal style in school and it is hard to get rid of this. This e.g. leads to my high school students sounding like distinguished nobles from the late nineteenth century. J

-     How easy or difficult is it for you to switch from one language to the other?

That’s not much of a problem for me. Sometimes I’m chatting on Facebook with a German and an English speaking person simultaneously, and until now, they’ve got understandable messages in the correct language. I hope so … J

-     Does it affect you when you’re in a group where both languages are being spoken?

Speaking both languages sometimes happens in the international lecture I mentioned above when my German students don’t understand a mathematical term in English. The transition between the two languages works quite well for me.

-     Do you ever speak the ‘wrong’ language to someone?

This sometimes happens in the international lecture when a mishap occurs. I curse in German then (see above) before my English speaking audience. On the other hand, that’s a nice way of hiding the cussing. J

-     Would you translate yourself from one language into the other or ask someone else (professional) to do it?

I’m very curious to see someone else translate one of my stories into another language. Though I think, I would reserve the right to check whether the translation is accurate. The German neatness curse at work. J

-     If size of (potential) market wasn’t an issue what language would you be writing in?

I’ve never written anything in German yet, but I’m wondering whether my hourly word count would be higher in German. I’m a very slow writer and try to write draft 1.5 in the first run, often rewording and rephrasing over and over again. This could actually be easier in my mother tongue. But it’s also a very good feeling expressing yourself in another language. German sometimes feels convoluted and overly precise, while English is more straight-forward and elegant. I’ll continue writing in English, but may try a German story just out of curiosity.

Mario’s book:

Marcel Ritter is an excellent pupil at a German school, has two loyal, best friends, and caring parents.
Still, his life is far from being perfect. 
He is the bullying victim of Tim ‘Dumb’ Eschner, soccer hunk and the school’s official dimwit.
When the vice principal witnesses one of Tim’s assaults, Marcel’s problems seem to be solved at last. But his good nature and his fast tongue get him into more trouble than he would prefer.
Forced to work together, they both discover that there is more to the other one than meets the eye.
A feel-good story about change, forgiveness, and love.


“Perception: A German Love Story” is available for free on Goodreads:

There is a Facebook page for the book as well:

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