Learning a foreign language can be a real challenge, but it can also be fun! We are studying the Hungarian language, which is the official language of Hungary. It is also spoken by 4-5 million people in the neighboring countries of Ukraine, Romania, Slovakia and Serbia. It is one of the 5 most difficult languages for English speaking people to learn! We are finding it a challenge, but we are making progress!
We began by using the Pimseleur method and Transparent Language's BYKI (Before You Know It) software. Pimseleur is mainly an audio program where you listen to a native speaker and repeat the words and phrases. It integrates grammar throughout the lessons naturally and this makes it a great program for beginning. We bought the CD's and used them in the car while traveling, and we also used them at home each morning when we studied language during our first few months in Hungary.
BYKI software provides you with lists of words and phrases that you can see, hear and repeat. You also learn to write the words and phrases, and the program keeps track of your progress. It can become a little bit like a game, which I believe is one of the strengths of this method. It is great for individual learning and improving your vocabulary.
Self-study is a great way to be introduced to any language, but since we want to really master Hungarian, we are also attending a formal language school in addition to our self-study. Language school is more expensive than self-study, but it provides the classroom interaction and personal coaching that we believe is truly necessary for the level of language acquisition that we want to achieve.