Learn Romanian Online

with

Sorin Roman

Go to the TRANSLATIONS section


I know, you've been searching so hard until you came across this page!...

But now, here you are, you have just found exactly what you were looking for!
A nice presentation of a competent online course in Romanian.

Please read the information posted here and let's get started, don't waste any more time!

Contact Sorin: s o r e i n @gmail.com - This formatting is meant to avoid address cropping by the spam robots. The real address doesn't contain any spaces (blanks) between the 6 characters before the @ sign.

See also: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Learn-Romanian-Online/

Fairly
Approached
Questions ;-)

GENERAL
What do you mean "an online course"?
What about the teaching method?
What materials can you offer?
Do you know a good dictionary?
Do I need to learn anything before I start out?
Do I have to know grammar?

ENVIRONMENT
Which is the contact language?
How much English do I have to know?
Do you have a course in Romanian for French (speaking) people?
(Avez-vous un cours de roumain pour les francophones?)

How long does a session last?
How frequent will my sessions be?
How much time do I have to study a week?
What times are you available?

 

 

 


TECHNOLOGY
Is this technically possible?
Do I have to be a computer geek to handle an online course?
What "technology" do I need?

PRICE
Is it free?
How much is it?
Why does it cost so much?
Why does it cost so little?
Are there cancellation penalties?
What are the payment options?
Is there a bonus for referrals?

WHIMS
I cannot start out immediately. Will this be available later?
Can we do a language exchange?
Can I learn Romanian without a teacher?
How can I find a local Romanian tutor (in my town)?
Can I learn Romanian from those online resources?
I want to have conversations, to talk to people in Romanian. Do you offer a Romanian conversation course?
Are there any language pills that one can take in the evening before going to bed and by the next day have learnt a couple of lessons?
Are you offering group courses too?

 

 

 


EXTRA
Are there any TESTIMONIALS about this online course?
Why are the materials for the study of Romanian so poor quality?
Are you a mean teacher?
Do you offer services of translator, interpreter or tourist guide?
Can you do video subtitles?

Who is your favourite actress?
Do you like O-Zone?

 

Contact Sorin: s o r e i n @gmail.com
This formatting is meant to avoid address cropping by the spam robots. The real address doesn't contain any spaces (blanks) between the 6 characters before the @ sign.

 

 

 

Outsourcing, IT outsourcing, and Offshore Outsource Company.
Outsourcing


What do you mean "an online course"?

This course is taught online, interactively. It is going to be just like the usual tutoring sessions (if you did that before), except the 2 persons are not in the same room, but connected via Internet, namely by a voice conference application.
Don't be terrified! A lot of school children can cope with that in many places of the world.
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What about the teaching method?

It's both classical and modern.
Maybe the most important thing when you learn a foreign language is to understand how it functions. That is called grammar and it is the main objective of the course. However, this is not meant for you to become a grammar expert. Also, we'll insist on vocabulary building, tests, conversation. We'll combine theory and practice.
Usually, the first part of the session is reserved for a homework discussion and the latter part for the new lesson.
You will not find here the present course format so common for EFL teachers, where amateur teachers transform a language course into a phrase book fiasco, and almost all of them cannot even connect to the students' mother tongue!
We shall mainly use material in computer format. Also, the homework and tests will be submitted in DOC files and we'll exchange files by transferring them via Internet.
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What materials can you offer?

The course material is designed by myself and it is only available to my students. Unfortunately, it doesn't have coloured pictures, in fact it has no picture at all! Yet.
I can also offer a good dictionary.
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Do you know a good dictionary?

I've just said that, haven't I?
Romanian-English and English-Romanian dictionaries are of very low quality, even some have nice shiny covers and are published by "prestigious" houses. I happen to know the best one (that's what specialists are for!). I can provide it to you for either 11.95 €* (inside Europe) or 18.95 €* (outside Europe), postage included.

*The actual cost will vary slightly with the currency exchange rates.
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Do I need to learn anything before I start out?

No! This course starts form the zero level. However, you will have to remember the bases of the  grammar you learnt in school. I will assist you with that, anyway.
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Do I have to know grammar?

Yes, to a reasonable extent. Do not let yourself be fooled by "modern", more "digestible" language-teaching methods that try to avoid grammar and rules. Grammar is the backbone of a language, its "user's guide". Learning about grammar and rules offers you a valuable shortcut. There are no other shortcuts, unless you only want to acquire a number of common phrases and to learn how to count to ten. Initially, you must have a fair idea about the basic grammar of your mother tongue language (be it English or not), so you don't have to be a proficient. Anyway, assistance on grammar issues (explanations) will be offered continuously.
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Which is the contact language?

The language used to lecture the course is English. A version of the course, in French, may be developed later, but French speakers get extra assistance in French.
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How much English do I have to know?

If you are not a native English speaker, your English must be good enough to understand what is taught. An intermediate level of English will do.
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Do you have a course in Romanian for French (speaking) people?
(Avez-vous un cours de roumain pour les francophones?)

Not yet. The design of this course, intended for English speakers, is consuming a lot of time. It can be taken by people from any country, including French speaking countries. Maybe in the future, if there is a special interest of French speakers for the study of Romanian, there will be a course especially designed for them. However, I speak French too, so I can teach partly in French, even if the written material is in English.
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How long does a session last?

Typically, 2 hours. But some objective or subjective circumstances can make it last 1h or 1h30'.
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How frequent will my sessions be?

Actually, it's up to you. Considering the time zone differences and the common busy schedule of the students, one session per week is the most popular choice. Two sessions per week are possible, but three would be too much. This is an intensive course and you need enough time between session to settle the newly learnt information.
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How much time do I have to study a week?

It depends a lot on the student's personal abilities. Some students learn on the spot. For most students, the personal study takes about double the number of session hours. If you have one 2-hour session per week, you'll have to reserve about 3-4 hours between sessions for personal study.

What times are you available?

In principle, I'd be available between 07:00-23:00 Romanian time. That is 05:00-21:00 GMT(UT) Nov to Mar, and 04:00-20:00 GMT(UT) Apr to Oct.
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Is this technically possible?

Yes, people have been doing online teaching/learning for years.
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Do I have to be a computer geek to handle an online course?

Not really. However, you must have some basic knowledge about computers and computer files. You'll type on DOC files, you'll use the audio capabilities of your computer, you'll transfer files.
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What "technology" do I need?

Nothing too fancy for these days.
Even a second-hand computer will do. Windows, Mac... it makes no difference.
A decent Internet connection. A cable connection is a comfortable minimum, but sometimes even a phone modem connection works well enough.
A sound board, a headset (microphone plus headphones), or separate speakers. The headset is strongly preferred, because the speakers may cause an annoying echo effect.
If you don't have those at your house, you can go to an Internet cafe.
You also need Microsoft Word (any version) and Skype (a piece of software especially designed for voice conference over the Internet).
There also are big chances for us to use the Yahoo Instant Messenger (YIM) as a backup audio communication tool.
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Is it free?

Obviously, not.
So many people actually believe that they can have tutoring for free! If only they could explain why would a teacher spend many long hours tutoring, consuming Internet traffic, providing professional materials, preparing lessons, correcting homework and tests, all for free? Misunderstanding? Naiveté?
How can someone believe that such a professional effort would come gratis! You can't even get a loaf of bread for free, let alone such a rare service!
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How much is it?

The current average fee is 17.25 €/hour.
This average results from the two price levels:

    18.50 €/hour for the first half of the course;
    16.00 €/hour for the second half of the course.

HOWEVER, because of the bonus hours, the average price may go as low as 16.00 €/hour, meaning the bonus hours will possibly cover the price difference between the first-half fee and the second-half fee.

Warning 1: The price is likely to be more and more "European Union", meaning going up.
(Students who have already started will keep their current price deals. This prerogative is cancelled in case the student takes a break of more than 4 months during tuition.)
Warning 2: In the likely event of the severe fall of the EURO or the disappearance of it during the course, the students will have to agree on a new price reasonably expressed in a currency that will be stable at that time.
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Why does it cost so much?

The person who would ask such a question obviously is not familiar with tutoring prices. They can vary between 20 - 65  €/hour.
When assessing the fair price of a tutoring hour, you must consider some factors, among which: the tutor's competence (Is that an experienced teacher or a needy student? Is that a professional or an amateur?), the rarity of the specialists (tutors) in that field, the teacher's ability to handle modern technology and provide online tutoring, the tutor's supplementary expenses (such as Internet traffic), the time zone differences leading to unusual teaching times for the tutor.
By all these factors, the "fair price" would break the upper barrier!
For an easier calculation of a fair price, consider the average salary of a teacher in EU or N America, of about 1500 - 2000 €/month, and the average number of working hours per month, about 80 - 100. The average "fair" wages a teacher would get is about 19 - 20 €/hour.
However, a freelance tutor's schedule is scattered and not constant and less loaded than the norm of a regular teacher. An adjustment coefficient of 1.4 would be reasonable, so the average "fair" fee for this sort of private tuition would be around 26 - 28 €/hour!
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Why does it cost so little?

I can afford now to offer this small price.
So, consider it as a promotional price. It will rise in the near future, as Romania has joined the EU and the "Romanian" prices must match the "European Union" prices.
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Are there cancellation penalties?

I try to be an understanding and flexible person (even if it is so hard ;-) ) Four cancellations are tolerated, but beginning with the 5th one, there is a penalty, no matter the reason. That is meant to urge the student to schedule their sessions more realistically and more reliably. The teacher seems to prefer a schedule as predictable as possible.
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What are the payment options?

Transferring small amounts of money internationally usually implies significant expenses per € sent, which decrease with the increase of the transferred amount. However, less expensive ways are now possible.

Credit/debit card: yes.
Paypal: yes.
Western Union: yes.
Eurogiro: yes (only available from a limited number of countries).
International Postal Money Order: yes (only available from a limited number of countries).
Bank transfers: yes (only inside Romania).
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Is there a bonus for referrals?

Well, there is. To be discussed.
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I cannot start out immediately. Will this be available later?

Yes.
However, there is a danger of psychological nature: if you give up the first impulse to begin learning Romanian, it is very likely for it to never come back again. And I do mean that. The principle is "A Postponer becomes a Quitter".
In addition, the price will probably be higher at the time you decide to start out.
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Can we do a language exchange?

What on earth is that? :-))
Of course, I know what that is. It is one of the most idiotic things I've seen about language learning! In fact, there even are web sites promoting this nonsense.
I'm always amazed to see people think that learning a foreign language is like learning how to shoot pool! "Language exchange" means that 2 people of different mother tongues try to teach each other their respective languages. Above all, they don't have to pay for professional teaching, so it sounds fair enough.
However, that is a sophism. Most people don't realize that teaching a language is as complex as teaching any science: physics, mathematics, biology... Firstly, one must have extended specialized knowledge on the subject. Yet, a lot of people, even of college level education, simply cannot see their mother tongue as a foreign language (i.e. with the eyes of a foreigner). Secondly, one must have the specific formation of a teacher, for them to know how to organize the materials, how to prepare lessons, how to correct mistakes, how to insist on certain issues, how to asses the student's progress... Now, I wonder, is everyone a language teacher?
This chaotic action soon ends up in disaster. The 2 parties get bored and they realize they haven't learned but 10-20 phrases. Their greatest achievement is that they have paid nothing. But they get what they pay for: again nothing!
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Can I learn Romanian without a teacher?

Maybe (just maybe), if you are a genius, you can try to learn English or French on your own. There are good materials to learn some languages, but... not Romanian. So, frankly, you don't stand a chance, genius or not.
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I want to have conversations, to talk to people in Romanian. Do you offer a Romanian conversation course?

This is an intensive course and includes conversation exercises too. However, we focus on the structure of the language (grammar) and vocabulary. Logically, you cannot have conversations, if you don't know how the language functions or don't have enough vocabulary. Conversation comes afterwards.
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How can I find a local Romanian tutor (in my town)?

You will not be able to. We are so few, trust me... ;-)
And if you don't, to make it more convincing, let me put it this way: there are bigger chances for you to be hit by an atomic bomb in the next 10 seconds than finding a competent tutor in your town! Count to 10. Has it hit you? It hasn't? Now do you see what I mean?
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Can I learn Romanian from those online resources?

I've checked those out. They are even worse than the printed materials for learning Romanian.
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Are there any language pills that one can take in the evening before going to bed and by the next day have learnt a couple of lessons?

I've heard they are working on English-learning pills (ELPs). I'm not sure about Romanian specifically, but they say there will not be pills actually, but shots (hypodermic injections) and they will be mighty painful! Be they language-learning pills or shots, the side effects are reported to be horrible: you can grow buds, leaves and fruit. The worst part is that you can't even choose what sort of fruit you'd like to grow! ;-))
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Are you offering group courses too?

I could do that too, but there are some problems:
1. As Romanian is not a widespread language and the number of potential students is not so big, it would be difficult to form a group of students.
2. The students would come from various countries, that is from various time zones, so an agreement on the schedule would be difficult to make.
3. Above all, students are differently talented for languages, might have different starting levels, different motivations and different levels of English (which is the contact language).
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Are there any testimonials about this online course?

Well... yes. Click here and don't believe everything they say.
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Why are the materials for the study of Romanian so poor quality?

Romanian is not so popular among language learning foreigners. For 1 million people learning English, there might be 1 person learning Romanian. There are very few people who can see their own language as a foreign one. In fact, that is why the materials for the study of English are not so good either. The only specialist in Romanian as a foreign language that I recognize is the late Alf Lombard (and he was a Swede!). Lately, due to some rising interest of learning Romanian, a number of people have published a number of books (courses and dictionaries), which are incredibly stupid, unusable and with no trace of professionalism. That is why I had to start designing my own course.
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Are you a mean teacher?

I think I'm not mean, if you mean "average" ;-)
I'm mean, if you mean "bad", but I'm not bad, if you mean "incompetent".
I'm bad as in "not abnormally tolerant" like most of those bad  (I mean "incompetent") EFL teachers around the world nowadays.
I want my students to get Romanian as correctly as possible. Got it? ;-)
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Do you offer services of translator, interpreter or tourist guide? Can you do video subtitles?

Yes. For those interested I offer services of translation, interpreting and tourist guidance. I can make hotel reservations, rent a car and even be a driver and a navigator. I am available for travelling inside and outside Romania (the Republic of Moldova and the other neighbouring countries).
I also offer subtitling services.
This kind of services is available for French speakers too.
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Who is your favourite actress?

Why are you asking that?
Sandra Bullock, of course!
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Do you like O-Zone?

No, I don't! "Dragostea din tei" is competing for the Most-Stupid-Lyrics Award.
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