I was the first guinea pig for SRS Collector, and as of today I've been using it for 30 days. In this time, I've seen nearly 450 new cards in SRS Collector, using sentences from four books and various websites. I've spent approximately 8 hours doing Anki reviews:
All in all, it's been a pleasant experience: Reading books, adding definitions with SRS Collector afterwards, and reviewing interesting snippets in Anki.
What I didn't expect: the results
At my level, I don't expect learning new vocabulary to make a big difference. After my first 10,000 pages, I read French books with better than 99.5% comprehension. So any given new word is going to be pretty rare, and I shouldn't expect to encounter it all that often. Right?
Well, I spent the last two days in Quebec, and I'm finding my new vocabulary everywhere. For example, here's one of my cards from this past month:
une souche =
Here, souche means "stump", and de la souche literally means "of the stump." But idiomatically, it means somebody who's lived somewhere so long that they no longer know when their ancestors arrived. This seems like a rather obscure idiom, but when I was driving into Montreal, I saw the following billboard:
So that's pretty cool: Thanks to SRS Collector, I'm understanding random billboards even before I get out of the car!
On Satuday, unfortunately, I had to visit the hospital after a nasty electric shock (don't worry; I'm fine). And the doctor, speaking with a thick Quebec accent, said Je vais vous ausculter, "I'm going to examine you." Now, ausculter is not an especially common word, and it doesn't get any easier to understand with the lovely Quebecois dipthongs.
But I remembered this cloze card in my queue, which had ausculter as a secondary bit of vocabulary:
(Figuré) Examiner avec soin.
SRS Collector: Making hospital visits in foreign countries less stressful since yesterday.
And while I was waiting to be seen, I read my ebook of La main gauche de la nuit, and I found well over a dozen words I'd learned using SRS Collector this month. And there have been plenty more of my new words in conversations all weekend.
This experience has convinced me that SRS Collector is genuinely useful even for relatively advanced students. So it's time to fix a few more annoying bugs, and roll this out to a larger group of testers.