How I Am Learning Romanian


Yesterday I wrote about why I am learning Romanian. Now let me explain how I’m going about doing it.

First, I downloaded the Mondly Languages app and tried it out. I liked the Romanian course, so I paid the one-time fee of $9.99 for full, premium access. I have no regrets about it. There is a daily lesson as well as a complete course each for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Sometimes, infrequently, the audio does not match the text entirely. Other than that it is serving me well, offering complete conjugation tables and word lists to those who want to do a bit extra. At some later date I’ll likely do a full review of the app, but not today.

Second, I bought a dictionary, a grammar, and a basic reader through Amazon. When I was a kid back in the 80s and 90s it would have been practically impossible for me to get my hands on texts like these, and even now you won’t find them stocked in any bookstore. At least, I haven’t found any in the greater NYC area. I highly recommend these:

Third, YouTube offers access to Romanian language content, including news reports, documentaries, and tourist videos. This gives me an opportunity to see the language used in context, and to take advantage of that context to piece together what is being said. 

Fourth, using the TuneIn and Spotify apps, I located contemporary Romanian music and started listening to it exclusively. There has been a lot of debate over whether passive listening can make any difference to language learning, and recently a couple of studies added weight to the ‘pro’ side of the argument. Since listening to Romanian music got me into checking out lyrics, I guess it might be helping. It certainly doesn’t hurt. 

Fifth, in addition to listening to  switched over to Romanian on the Bible App and found a version that offers audio. I know that the Bible is the last thing many people will be interested in, but it works for me because I’m so familiar with it. Listening during my commute I’m able to keep up with what’s going on generally in what I’m hearing.

Sixth, I’m buying books. There are Romanian books available via Amazon. Click here to go directly to a list. Other foreign language books can be found there as well, of course. Look to the left hand side of that latter page and you’ll see a full list of available languages.

After looking through Amazon and similar sites for a Bible in Romanian and only finding pricey options, I finally tried the LDS store online. Not only was I able to order a Romanian Bible for only $9, I also bought a copy of the Book of Mormon in Romanian ($3!). Standard shipping was only $3, so to me that looks like a pretty good deal. Multiple other languages are available for both books. By the way, I am definitely not Mormon! These texts are useful and interesting to me, though, given my background in theology and ministry.

Finally, a future goal of mine is to begin visiting Romania, starting with a couple of weeks in Bucharest where I can take some classes through Rolang School. After that I aim to begin visiting different parts of the country, and possibly also Moldova, in separate trips.

Of course I’ll always be updating on my progress through this blog.