I had an e-mail from my ex-manager in Germany today. I sent him the first few chapters of ‘The Angel’ to read and he’s told me that he took them on holiday and he really enjoyed them. He’s a pretty fluent English speaker and, as is quite common now in Europe, the artefacts that he largely works with (meetings, presentations, documents) are all in English but there’s still a lot of German spoken between colleagues. The language often marks the boundary between work and social interaction, formality and informality.
So that’s really encouraging — a native German speaking endorsement of the start of the novel — so Kim must be plausible.
He’s also helped me with a bit of German translation. The bit of German at the end of the ‘Linguaphone’ posting wasn’t exactly wrong but it was confusing as it changed the familiarity of the ‘you’ mid-sentence — so it should be ‘Ihr Englisch ist sehr flÃ¼ssig, aber Sie sprechen’ or ‘Dein Englisch ist sehr flÃ¼ssig, aber du sprecht’. And I’ve been given a choice of two phrases for another line: ‘”Kommen Sie aus Deutschland?” or may be better just “Entschuldigung, sprechen Sie deutsch?”‘