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On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 10:16 AM, <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of MacLeod Dave
>
>
> > >  > I don't know why worldlangers don't get it (and I should
> > apologize
> > >  > ahead of time for being grumpy but my computer is broken so
> I'm
> > >  using
> > >  > somebody else's), but
> > >  >
> > >  > LEARNING VOCABULARY IS NOT THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF
> LEARNING A
> > >  LANGUAGE.
> > >
> > >  Actually it is.  Grammar is generally pretty easy except for
> > >  learning all the irregularities and exceptions.
> > Vocabulary consists
> > >  of many hours of memorizing words, and knowing just how to use
> them
> > >  properly.
> >
> > Actually it's not. Grammar, collocation and word order take the
> > longest. That's why German is harder for English speakers than
> > Indonesian. Knowing that the word neu is like the English word new
> is
> > no help when you have to remember to turn it into neue, neues,
> neuer
> > and all the rest. With Japanese you just remember the word
> atarashii,
> > put it before the noun and you're done.
>
> German is the language I've had the easiet time with.  Yes, things
> like adjective-noun agreement are a hassle but I would assume that
> nobody would design that into any good auxlang especially after
> seeing all the criticisms of this in Esperanto. There is so much
> cognate vocabulary that at least it's easy to memorize the
> vocabulary, and German's extensive use of compounding helps greatly.
> Even if someone speaks a pidginized form of a language like German,
> they can still get their point across.  Knowing how to put a
> sentence together doesn't mean a thing without any words to use.  I
> know enough Esperanto to put together a grammatically correct
> sentence.  It only took a few days to grasp that much, but building
> a vocabulary takes time, so I don't have a functional ability in the
> language because I haven't been able to put the time into memorizing
> the few thousand words needed to effectively use it.
>

What that actually means is that you don't know German (from what
you've written above), you just have a lot of cognate vocabulary that
allows you to somehow get by. That's very different from knowing the
language. Korean people often make the same mistakes when they claim
that their Japanese is quite good because it's 'just like Korean'. A
minute of conversation with them in Japanese generally shows that all
they know are a few basics. The ones that actually spend time in Japan
are fluent of course, but there is a very large group of people that
seem to think that Japanese is just modified Korean, and those are the
ones that can't speak Japanese to save their life.

In the same way a bit of cognate vocabulary doesn't help you at all
with something like Den hund seht der Mann.

-- 
http://mithridates.blogspot.com