Hello. I am new on these boards (and to Russian) and I have a few questions about learning resources. :)
My first step in familiarizing myself with Russian was to purchase Russian: A Self Teaching Guide from a local bookstore. I'm not very far into it but I feel like I'm plowing ahead a little too quickly as I have no one to 'check my work' (or pronunciation). Therefore, I feel I should purchase some Russian learning software -- but I hear it can be expensive. About how much should I plan on spending on CDs, books, or tapes if I am, for the most part, teaching myself? And are there any specific recommendations for products? I hear Rosetta Stone is good, does anyone agree?
Also, I heard from someone that it was a good idea to listen to songs with Russian lyrics before you even start learning so as to familiarize yourself with the accents and rhythm patterns of the language and make it that much easier to simulate them in your own speech. Is this true? If so, does anyone have any recommendations? Free music is my favorite, by the way. :)
Also, I haven't purchased any audio tapes, dictionaries, or phrase books yet. Recommendations in those areas (while redundant in the context of these forums, I suppose) would also be helpful.