For some years I've been meaning to learn more German than I remember from my GCSE and the little I've managed to absorb from tea_cantata and others speaking it around me. I am repeatedly embarrassed by my inability to join in conversation when we visit Nattie's relatives in Germany. In fact I've made some attempts to learn from books and tapes, but with little effect. Nattie finally persuaded me to sign up for an evening AS (half an A-Level) German course starting this term. It's tough going with only one lesson (2.5 hours) per week though I believe I'm making some progress.
I don't have much of a problem with grammar, and my pronunciation seems to be as good as anyone in the class, but I continue to find myself frustrated in being unable to think of the words to express what I mean to say. I think my vocabulary may be relatively poor, but this is compounded by my difficulty in working around the lack of a word for the concept I mean to express. This also applies to English, but I have a large enough vocabulary that this is much more rarely a problem. In addition, some of the topics of conversation or question are so broad that I would have trouble formulating an intelligent comment in English, let alone one in German. Maybe I should just say something dumb that I don't really believe purely as linguistic practice, but I don't feel comfortable doing that.