Learn Romanian with Duolingo and eTeatru  

Thrown (Ţâpat) in , ,

Recently, a friend asked me to provide Romanian lessons. I directed her to Duolingo and, as I occasionally listen to Romanian eTeatru (or “teatru radiofonic”), it occurred to me that this is something worth sharing with the rest of the world.

imageA few years back, I’ve made the fateful decision to uninstall most of my games (“all” wouldn’t be entirely accurate) and use only language learning programs whenever I feel like playing. Of the ones I tried, only Duolingo and Memrise survived on my phone, and that’s mostly because Duolingo did not offer at the time Chinese and Japanese. But it does now, so Memrise had to go.

I started with Spanish, and when, after a few weeks of playing on my phone, I got to “36% fluency”, I thought It was so cool, I had to share it with my friends.

In short, Duolingo offers you the possibility to go OCD on a language, using an ad-supported free app on your phone or their website (it wasn’t ad-supported when I first started, but now that there are ads, the habit has been formed already). Learning a foreign language is now a MMORPG for me and millions others around the world.

I’m not the only one though. Much like OK Cupid, Duolingo publishes some very interesting data, such as the most popular language being learned in each country of the world.

I figured I learned as much Spanish as I could and I was ready to read a book and, as if they read my thoughts, they started offering a podcast. Immersing yourself in a foreign language is the best way to learn, and consuming its culture is probably the next best thing to travelling there.

As I travel around the world, I always make the effort to speak the local languages, and thanks to Duolingo, I now easily can. And often, people whose first language I [more or less] speak, want to learn my own maternal language. For a long time, there hadn’t been a free and easily accessible resource, and I even considered publishing my own little guide. Fortunately, not long ago, Duolingo added Romanian for English Speakers to its older Engleza pentru Romani offer.

I thusly created a Romanian Club in the app: Dracula I-Scream Truck (all blood types welcome; code SUXJY4)! Unfortunately, clubs are only available in the app, but you can use “discussion forums” on the website.

My Romanian club is currently quite empty, but my other clubs are far more popular.
  • de Night Watch Swiss Guard: Protectors of the realm. Learning German to trash talk Night King while stabbing him with Dragon Glass. 52 members
  • ru for CIA/NSA black OPvs..: ..preparing for covert deployment under the guise of NGOs to destabilize great nation 15 members
  • fr Menage a quinze: petite 15, vous n’avez pas a ceder (Depeche Mode LOL). 14 members
  • jp Shotokan (waving pines): Seemingly effortless focus and dedication (karate lessons were for many an intro to Japanese culture) 14 members
  • cn my GO Kung Fu Mahjongg: ..brings all the boys (and girls) to the yard & they’re like “it’s better than yours”; Duolingo can teach U, but I have to charge 13 members
  • es Los Reyes de Wachu-Wachu: Revival of a fun band from Santiago de Compostella. Saw their good-bye concert a decade+ ago. Highlight of Eurotrip! 12 members
  • se Smorgasbord Meatballers: bork! bork! bork! :D .

Despite my efforts, I can no longer be the highest achiever in my own German club – every week there’s someone else beating me to the first place.

Going back to Romanian, depending on your level, you might want to consume some Romanian culture. For me, the best such source is theatre on the radio, which has its own eTeatru.ro website and station. If you are interested in learning Romanian, audio theatre provides access to a wide array of accents. Some of the plays may be Romanian, but they also have famous plays you might have had some previous familiarity with.

imageI do remember mentioning Audials, the free Internet radio app with recording capabilities not only for Windows, but also Android and iPhone. That’s how I discovered the clip I recorded and posted above, in the link behind the first image. And interestingly, here’s their story:

The company was originally founded in 1998 under the name of RapidSolution Software. The strong business growth led to increased capitalization and the conversion into an AG in 2002. Since 2003, the business has maintained a 100%-owned subsidiary in Temeschburg, Romania[‘s westernmost city aka Timisoara,] that serves as the company’s technology development center.

The fragment is from “Pâinea cea de-a pururi”, a radio play adapted after a book about the Soviet-induced famine in Basarabia or Bessarabia (named “Moldova Republic”), which was a part of the Soviet Empire (URSS) from 1945 and to the 90s. Someone in the distribution is a relative of mine, and my own grandma was born in a part of Romania that is no longer a part of Romania.

If you want to learn more on this theatre piece, see the link in Sources, while for more Romanian theatre (teatru), be sure to click the corresponding pre-defined search in the “Tags” at the bottom.

Another little bit of Romanian history refers to Romania’s budget in 1929. Barbu Mateescu has a nice little comparison on his Sociollogica blog: apparently, the same budget deficit in 2018, but vastly different expenses: while in 1929 most expenditures were swallowed by the army, service of foreign debt and education, today it’s entitlements. Education takes a lower chunk.

Sources / More info: agoraMD

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Thursday, April 12, 2018 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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