My review of Rosetta Stone | General discussion | Forum
December 6, 2011
After seeing all the negative reviews and comments about Rosetta Stone, I'd like to tell a little bit about my experience with the software for anyone who is contemplating using it. I started using Rosetta Stone to learn Italian about 2 and a half years ago and have since used it on and off for French and Dutch as well. Here are my thoughts about it:
1. You can open it up and dive right into learning the language without being overwhelmed with explanations of stuff. It cuts out ALL of the filler and gets right down to the point.
2. It is linear. You move in a straight line, and it guides you through each step. It's not like other software programs I've utilized that are basically like "ok, here are some games and activities, have fun." For a person like me, the linear format keeps me focused and engaged rather than having my mind all over the place.
3. You get images, audio, and written text, at the same time. This is extremely helpful because it means that you don't have to constantly refer back to pronunciation rules and try to determine how words are pronounced.
4. It gives you a percentage grade at the end of each lesson. This helps you gauge how well you are grasping the material.
5. It is divided and organized into levels, units, and lessons. Progressing through each section gives you a feeling of accomplishment, and gives you an idea of what your proficiency level is in the language.
1. It is very repetitive. While I have found that the repetitiveness does actually engrain the words in my memory and I am able to recall the words later, it can also get boring very quickly.
MY REMEDY: I only do each Core Lesson (which is where it introduces new material to you) and then I do Writing Practice (which is where you listen to a part of a conversation and then you type it out). I skip Vocabulary, Pronunciation practice, Grammar, Listening, and Speaking. That stuff is just repetition of what you learn in the Core Lesson, but it focuses on particular aspects of the material. By cutting that stuff out, I only end up doing about 30% of the whole program, but learn the same material, just with less repetition. While the writing tasks are no less redundant than the other sections, I enjoy doing them because it forces me to think about how words are spelled, which helps me remember them better.
2. The speaking portion sucks. It does not correctly understand spoken input, and will often act as if you aren't pronouncing things right even if you pronounce them perfectly. MY REMEDY: I skip the speaking portion, and practice speaking with a human being instead.
3. It is very expensive. I definitely understand the complaints people have about the price of Rosetta Stone. It is indeed costly. I just happened to get access to it free online through a contract my employer has with Rosetta Stone, so I didn't pay out of pocket for it. However, if I had the money and I had to pay the full price for it, I probably would if I were just starting out with a new language. For me it is truly a great way to get acquainted with the language and go from complete beginner to an intermediate level.
4. It has its limitations. Rosetta Stone is a great way, in my opinion (and for my personal learning style), to go from having no knowledge of the language to achieving an intermediate level of proficiency. It is not going to get you to an advanced level of proficiency, however. You'll need to start seeking other methods and resources at that point. Additionally, it is not a substitute for having a real human being to talk to and practice with. When I used Rosetta Stone to learn French, I had no real world exposure to the language. The result was that I can actually understand French fairly well, but I can't speak it. I feel almost mute in French. However, if i combine the knowledge I learned using Rosetta Stone with some real world practice with other French-speaking people, I believe I will quickly develop my speaking proficiency.
Well, I hope some people find my review helpful. Now, I'm going to start working on RS French Level 4. Au Revoir!
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Experienced Language Hacker
August 9, 2011
Great Review. I myself have used Rosetta Stone for French and agree with you on most of your Pros and Cons. I personally do all of the lessons and yes it is repetitive. I could not believe how many. Statice reviews of rosetta stone there are online it's crazy. I personally love it!!!
November 25, 2011
I personally hate it, for the same reason I hate the Livemocha lessons. They are TOO repetitive, and it really annoys me. If it is for you, awesome! But it definitely is not for me =)
Experienced Language Hacker
July 22, 2011
Very good review. Spot on, I find it very difficult to disagree with pretty much anything you mentioned here. All I will say is that while your idea of only doing the Core lesson and Writing practise (and I assume doing the rest at a later time) is a good idea, it would absolutely wreck my head! I am quite horribly afflicted with OCD in this type of thing and once I start something I absolutely hate leaving something incomplete (even if it is incredibly repetitive! XD). After my first experience with Rosetta Stone I made the decision that it was nothing more than useful for vocabulary (and even then, it's a real grind to learn with!).
Either way, good review!
Is cainteoir dúchais Gaeilge mé. Same with English. Zacząłem uczyć się polskiego, y ahora, he dejado aprender el castellano.
January 27, 2012
there is a brief review of Rosetta Stone and other language learning methods here.
January 15, 2012
July 15, 2011
June 25, 2011
Fortunately, Rosetta Stone is fair enough to put up their course contents online. So you can make up your own opinion based on what it could teach you.
After skimming through the course contents, most people I've shared the link with desisted from buying
Of course, the availability of the course contents ultimately means that (if you don't feel the need for the sugar-coated interface) you can learn all those terms on your own without necessarily buying Rosetta Stone.
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