It Appears To Be Working!
Just a quick post to say I've been working the flashcards diligently! The new words that Anki is presenting to me are just around the 700 mark of the 5000 words in the deck. That it NOT to say that I don't still regularly miss words I've apparently known on previous days. I guess that's what Anki is trying to do: move the words from short term memory into long term by making words disappear for a few days, then attack when I least suspect it.
The big question is, is it working? By that I mean, do I feel I'm making progress with the language?
Unequivocally yes. In the last couple of weeks, each night before turning out the light, I take a crack at the transcription of the most recent Journal en Français Facile broadcast. I don't know what I'm more amazed by, that I can read it with incredibly high comprehension or that so many of the words used are ones I've been learning. It's almost like having the answer key for the test.
A long time ago when I was first studying German, I noticed how similar some of the words were to English. This led me to research the English language family tree and... well I actually have forgotten most of what I learned but one sentence sticks in my mind, "English is a Germanic language, but borrows heavily from French." I hope I'm remembering that right.
That, is no doubt why I've made so much progress so quickly. It seems like 1/2 the words I've been learning in Anki look similar to their English equivalents. And the same is true for 1/2 the words I haven't yet learned but encounter in Journal en Français Facile. Mix in my being able to clarify with my wife the difference between second and deuxième, trouver and retrouver, chercher and rechercher... Result: feeling pretty fluent after only 2 months of very part time study!
But I know not to trust it...
Speaking of my wife, this project has taken on a heightened sense of purpose if you remember why I'm doing this. We've just learned that she has a mass in one of her kidneys that looks "worrisome for malignancy".