Dear Mr. Bach,
I found it helpful to watch the Croatian television programs online. It is not always easy to get it to have a good picture, but what I do is listen and use the subtitles. Croatian television has a lot of English languageprogramming such as police shows and movies. I look at the subtitles and it gets me used to word order, spelling etc. Then since the majority of theprogramming is in Croatian, I listen to the news, and they have educational programs. I use that as a way to be used to how words sound. I never have used tapes to learn a language. Tapes almost never sound like real people. Thewomen's voices are usually un-naturally high, and the men's voices un-naturally deep. I have either learned it by having to use it daily, or done it just the same way. Class work is good for things like spelling andgrammar. Since it is not widely available for Croatian, I use a text book. Celia Hawksworth did a good one forRutledge press, ISBN 0-415-16131-2, it's called 'Colloquial Croatian and Serbian' It does havecassettes available. Her book has another advantage, if you have any interest in going to Bosnia, both alphabets are used. It doesn't hurt to know them. It's taken me about four years to get myself to a point where most of the time I understand what is said to me, and can make myself understood most of the time. By the way there are some good websites on language, www.Yourdictionary.com is a good place to find information. One big problem I've had is finding specialized dictionaries, such as for legal terms and medical terms. Sometimes those things are available online. Keep checking because every few months something new comes up. Best of luck learning.