I picked up a copy of Linguistics for Dummies the other day, from the librarium, because there was a chapter on learning a second language as an adult, and I thought there might be some hints that could help me. That section's material can be summarized as: It's fucking hard.
On the other hand, yesterday I had my second lesson where I listen to a recording along with my instructor and we work through translating it. This one happened to be about Gerard Depardieu and his winery. It's not so much his winery, though he does own it; it's the winery that my pal runs for me so that I can pontificate about it. Though, looking at the sheer size of this guy -- Depardieu is massive -- you get the feeling that he does know food and wine, at least from the consumer side.
When we were done, she said I'd done pretty well. Now, she always says that kind of thing -- kind of the equivilent of the good job! you give to a one year old who stacked the blocks -- so I demurred -- but, not too much. Because, just a bit, I actually did understand it.