I have been learning Romanian for past three weeks. I can understand newscasts and interviews. I can even speak, although with regular pauses. Never have I progressed so quickly in a language. Of course, Romanian is related to French, Italian, and Spanish, which I already know. But then Portuguese and Italian were not this easy, and I was younger.
The reason is that I now know how to learn. Before we had Romanian at LingQ, I bought Pimsleur Basic. Three days of listening on the way to work and back. I gained a few phrases and broke the ice with the language. Then I went through Teach Yourself for Romanian.
Lately, I have been listening to two things: about 20% of the time have about 150 or so sentences that I have written in English and have translated and recorded in Romaninan via Elance. I then am able to import them into LingQ where I can study and share them. The other 80% of the time consists of listening to and reading content of interest. I have imported anticles in Romanian about Romanian history from Wikipedia into LingQ. Then I discovered Radio Romania. At first I imported a great number of articles into LingQ and listened to the radio broadcasts separately. But then I discovered the podcasts.
I have had them transcribed and study them at LingQ. I have created almost 5,000 LingQs in three weeks. I now know over 10,000 words!
Now, I am able to understand most of the interviews and radio broadcasts in Romanian. I still have a month to go before I visit Romania. The snowball is picking up speed. The more words I know, the more interesting content I can listen to. The more interesting content I listen to and read, the more I see the structures of the language in use, and the more they stick. And the more new words I know, the more I can learn.
This is the fastest I have ever learned a language. It really makes me want to learn more languages. Of course, much depends on how much common vocabulary there is with languages you already know. I may try Dutch or Polish next, or should I attempt Turkish or Arabic. But first I had better complete my Korean project.