I did two “compressed semesters” one summer after tackling it on my own first for a bit.
I still have eBay-finds of Russian nursery books, a Russian bible and an LP or two of Russian learning. My favorite is a 2 CD set from eBay on Russian cursing.
My Russian learning phase was from about 1995-2002. I tried every shortcut I could think of. Fancy index card systems, a thing I wrote in Excel that would flash a Russian word or grammar point in the corner at precisely timed intervals (using some kind of “timed auto learning” thing I’d read about and I made work using Visual Basic)… oh, and Russian Grammar Wheels – that was my favorite, when the ways to conjugate “clicked in” and I made a printable teacher’s resource that they could cut out and use to help students.
Can’t say I got far but I loved trying to hack it.
It was one of those “woah” moments for me at the time, seeing the function of these things as a machine.
Indeed and lots of it. I remember thinking, “WHY would a language DO all this?” and thought of how much more clear communication can be if you can tell certain facts just by the words themselves.