In another Linguistics.SE question, an answer makes this claim:
The difference between French and German is so much larger than between Mandarin/Cantonese that one would be hard pressed to say they are of similar distance.
This however contradicts what I find with some very brief googling of the phrase 'lexical similarity':
Wikipedia states that the 'lexical similarity' between French and German is 29%.
While someone else claims that:
According to lexical statistical data of any two languages within the Sinitic branch (for example Wu and Mandarin), the data will always reveal that there is less intelligibility between them than any two Romance languages in Europe. For example, French has lexical similarity of about 75% to several other Romance languages. In comparison, Mandarin has 31% lexical similarity with Wu (Shanghainese) and 19% with Yue (Cantonese). Source
My question is therefore this:
Is it obvious that the difference between French/German is much larger than between Mandarin/Cantonese?
(Indeed, if the numbers in the above sources are to be believed, English is more similar to Russian [24%] than Mandarin is to Cantonese [19%]. Is this possible?)