This post needs very little text, but it carries a lot of weight with us. Behold:
We caved. On Friday we found a package deal with Agricola, Farmers of the Moor, and the animeeples for only 50 EUR (~$70). We're feeling so much more at home now.
FYI, the 2-player version is different from the 4-player one, but it's still fun. And Sara and I are tied, both having won one game, but Sara's margin of victory is greater than my own.
Oh, and so you can understand why setup, in particular reviewing our cards, takes a little while longer than it used to...
We really do require about 20 minutes to understand our cards. The good news is at least we understand them (with the context gleaned from over 200 games played in English). We're so happy.