> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of MacLeod Dave > 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. No, I'm not fluent but I'm also not totally lost in the grammar either. It's just that someone could say words they know and eventually get someone to figure them out just as a baby learning to speak starts with words then later works into grammatically complete sentences. > In the same way a bit of cognate vocabulary doesn't help you at all > with something like Den hund seht der Mann. No, a beginner is likely to get those confused if reading or hearing it but I'd also guess that most people would be inclined to form a sentence with the subject before the object due to most languages having a basic word order that does so. You also have to figure that when someone is speaking to someone that doesn't know their language too well, they do tend to use simpler constructions that the other person is more likely to understand.