I started learning Czech in September 2006. I wanted to try out a Pimsleur course in a language I hadn't studied before, and chose Czech because I have quite a few Czech friends. They all speak English, but I'd like to be able to speak to them in their language.
I started my studies with Pimsleur Speak and Read Essential Czech, an all-audio course consisting of 10 half-hour lessons. This gave me a good basic introduction to Czech. It covers a small amount of material but does so in a thorough way and encourages you to apply what you're learning to create your own phrases and sentences. This gives you a feel for the language.
After completing the Pimsleur course, I started working my way through Routledge's Colloquial Czech, which consists of a text book containing a detailed pronunciation guide, 18 lessons, a grammar summary, Czech-English and English-Czech glossaries, and an index of language points. Each of the exercises is made up of a number of short dialogues, exercises and notes on grammar. The accompanying CDs contain recordings of all the dialogues.
I've used Routledge's Colloquial series to learn quite a few other languages, and usually go through the lessons only a couple of times. With Colloquial Czech I decided to take longer over each lesson to make sure I take in all the vocabulary and grammar. This is mainly because Czech is a completely new language to me - I have studied a bit of Russian and sometimes recognise Czech words that I know already in Russian, but most of the vocabuarly and grammar is unfamiliar. Previously I've tried to complete courses like this in a set time, tended to rush through them, and didn't retain much of each lesson.
Towards the end of 2010, after quite a long gap without studying much Czech at all, I decided to have another go. I started listening to online Czech Radio (Český rozhlas) regularly and pick up bits and pieces of Czech from various other sources - friends, blogs, dictionaries, phrasebooks, etc.
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