Tom Cruise "speaking" German

Tom Cruise is advertising his film and claims he speaks German fluently. Skip to around 6:30 to listen to what Stephen Fry says and see Tom’s reaction.


His voice is nice but I prefer Sophie’s English.
Sophie Marceau Interview - YouTube!

Vonk, I don’t consider that to be ‘speaking’ the language. Instead that’s low level imitation and you haven’t developed to the point of actually being creative with the language.

When you get to the stage where you make more sentences that you’ve never heard/read than copying ones you have, then I think that’s the point where you’re validly speaking a language.

I think that it could include at least some conscious translation. I have no problem with that. Naturally, it’s a spectrum of ability and not one set level.

Vonk, if he couldn’t understand such a simple phrase as “a bit”, then he’s not really understanding at all.

He might simply not have caught what Stephen said.

Seriously? He turns round to look at him and asks “was that French?”.

Yeah, that is pretty bad.

I felt sorry for him. He clearly didn’t want to look too stupid so he said he speaks a little German, hoping it would just slip by, and they’d move to another subject.