It takes a vocabulary of about 100 words — which is about what’s left of my college German. All you need to do is nod and smile at the right times and ever so rarely throw in one word, like “bestimmt” (definitely). The people you’re talking to might think you’re the deep, quiet kind. The hard part is trying to follow the conversation well enough so that you don’t really screw up your one word. In trying to say I liked the restaurant in this neighborhood (die Naehe), I think I said I like my toe (die Zehe).