There is a new source of Romanian classes in Cluj.
According to the group for Foreigners and Expats in Cluj-Napoca, Volunteers who are second language speakers themselves plan to teach free Romanian classes on Wednesdays from 1800 (6pm) on Wednesdays at Strada Aron Densușianu nr 9, Cluj-Napoca. Their first lesson is scheduled for 7 December 2022.
Then there is LADO which helps with refugees. They teach Thursday and Friday from 7pm to 9pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm. They also offer cultural orientation classes. CURS DE LIMBĂ ROMÂNĂ – Liga Apărării Drepturilor Omului filiala Cluj (ladocluj.ro)
Online professional classes
Romanian With Gia includes some fun short films. The main character has imaginary dialogues, and the teacher introduces the basics in an interesting way. She also offers a Udemy course and private online lessons. More information is on her YouTube Channel RomanianWithGia – YouTube
Romanian with Nico is another fun channel, this one seems to be aimed at children. Learn Romanian With Nico – YouTube
Rolang offers a free trial class. They also do proficiency tests. Even during one of these tests, you will learn something. Romanian class courses (rolang.ro)
The University UBB offers some courses. Their website is a bit confusing, but it appears that perhaps students can approach the university with a group to propose a class. Courses – Centrul Alpha (ubbcluj.ro)
Apps and websites to learn Romanian
Some of my favorite sites to learn languages sadly do not offer courses in Romanian, or if they do they are an afterthought to other courses. Babbel and RosettaStone may offer Romanian classes at some time in the future.
RomaniaPod101. These offer a free Romanian word of the day, where you learn that the Romanian for Australia is Australia and the Romanian for Platipus is “ornitorinc.” Some of the words do seem a bit useless.
Paid versions of RomaniaPod include flashcards, which are someone useful as you can choose themed words. The best thing about the flashcards is that they have an audio version and seem to use spaced repetition. There are simple errors that should be caught, including numbers that are translated incorrectly. Perhaps among the “pod” languages, Romanian is an afterthought (after all, the main character is a Japanese tourist who is shopping for a slicker jacket, and many of the vocabulary lists deal with American holidays or themes). That said, there are dialogues that go over Romanian culture and traditions.
Memrise has not created its own Romanian class, but there are some user-created courses on there that can be helpful. Learn Romanian for real, 5000 Romanian words, and a partial vocabulary from the Colloquial Romanian book. There are a few errors in these courses, but there seem to be fewer errors than in some of the professionally made courses on other sites. The user-created sets include some kind of timed repetition, and there are leaderboards if that motivates you. This is probably the best free app for getting started. The paid version does not really add much for Romanian, but it may for other languages.
17-minute languages is another timed repetition site that includes mostly vocabulary. There are some grammar sets, mainly conjugating verbs in the present tense. There are a few dialogues, including very boring business lines. (Hey, they might be useful if you have to cancel a meeting). Like RomaniaPod, there are a few glaring errors and no way to contact the developer for corrections. It is fun at first but gets repetitive after a while. However, unlike FunEasyLearn and RomaniaPod, the creators have found a way to make revision more manageable. You review words in groups of five. I found it useful to get a head start during lockdown when I couldn’t take live classes, and 17-minute languages might be the best app for working professionals who only have a few minutes a day to learn a language.
FunEasyLearn is an app that introduces vocabulary. A lot of the phrases can be fun, and you do learn, but they do not seem that useful for real-life situations. None of the banking phrases, for instance, helped me communicate with the Romanian bankers. Like 17-minute languages and RomaniaPod, the vocabulary lists and sentences seem to be taken from another language. Fun Easy Learn does not use timed repetition, so you just have to plan your own schedule. However, the format is fun, and it is easier to learn with a variety of activities. Probably the best app we found for young children. The paid version creates phrase lists that are too long to learn, so I suggest learning some of the phrases in the free version first before activating your upgrade.
I used a combination of these four apps, as well as watching Romanian TV and films (and the YouTubers mentioned above) and just trying to communicate to bring myself up to level B1. I would have preferred live classes, but my schedule has not been very regular so it is hard to commit to classes.
Do you have any other language courses or apps you would like to list? Let us know.
(A few have been added in the comments, thank you!)