I am a little over a quarter of the way through my German year and I have made a considerable leap in my ability to express myself in the last couple of weeks. I had a similar thing occur in French last year, where all of sudden the language began to flow from me with a lot less hindrance. There are obviously still holes in my vocabulary, however I have discovered that I can now carry on conversations beyond mere greetings and niceties. I'm not exactly sure what the turning point was for me and I wish I had kept a better catalog of hours spent working in the language so that I could possibly start to formulate a theory on the relationship between time and achievement. My estimate is about five hours of Michel Thomas, eight hours of Assimil and 10 hours on LingQ. So that is really only about 23 hours, not including time spent talking to myself and others, time spent watching movies and listening to the radio. Truthfully though, this is a very small amount of time and I wish I had more time to devote to learning the language. If I could devote this much time into my week instead of over the last three and a half months I can only imagine how strong my German would be come December 31, 2012! Unfortunately I do not have four hours a day to devote to language learning so I have to do the best I can with the time I have. I imagine that I will be able to add German to my list of spoken languages by August; then I would like to amp up my workload to really achieve fluency by the end of the year.
I have been having some struggles lately with my voice. These challenges are things of my own doing, but they are very annoying nonetheless. It is especially frustrating because I had such a great lesson a couple of months ago and I feel like I have done the two steps forward, one step back thing in the last couple of weeks. I am beginning to pull myself out of these issues, but it appears that it is going to take me longer to recover from than it did to fall into. There are some positives though, I still have built my strength up some as I am now able to sing a fairly consistent A4 ever without warming up (I don't do this often). Overall it is important to continue to look at the positive movements that are happening and use those to get through the troublesome times.