Friday, November 12, 2010

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is a language learning software program developed by Rosetta Stone Inc. Their offices are located in the Rosslyn area of Northern Virginia. I am very familiar with that area, as I lived in Virginia for a few years. Rosetta stone uses text, images and sound to teach you a foreign language. The entire program is in your target language. Some people compare it to an elaborate flash card system, except there is no translation. It is a “dynamic immersion method” according to the company.

It is difficult to simulate an immersion experience. Polyglots can tell you that the best way to learn a language is through some kind of immersion. You can either live in a foreign country or try to create an environment of immersion. Here are a few ways you can immerse yourself in a language. 

  • One. Download music in your target language. Play the music in your car, listen to it on your I-Pod at the gym, while you are cooking or taking a nice bath. I did this for both French and Italian. 
  • Two. Use more than one language program. If you are learning to conjugate verbs in the imperfect tense, use more than one grammar book. Invest in either Living Language, Pimsler, or Rosetta Stone. Create a custom study plan. 
  • Three. Find a way to personalize the language. This was a great piece of advice from one of my early French professors. 
  • Four. Read aloud children’s books in your target language. Most importantly – you must create a program from different sources and customize it to your abilities. All programs are good. Your job is to use each program for its strengths and weaknesses.

Rosetta Stone will do a good job at creating a dynamic immersion method. I recommend that you buy Rosetta Stone. Remember, that you are the best person to create a dynamic immersion method for yourself. You must find a means to make your target language as addictive as you possibly can. Youtuber ClevonAmerica appears to have successfully created the closest thing possible to complete immersion in Arabic.

Most language learning programs are good. Rosetta Stone is definitely good. I know this to be true because I use Rosetta Stone everyday to learn Spanish and Swedish. One of the things about Rosetta Stone I like the most is that it is fun. It is the kind of program one can get hooked on. It can be fun to use.

You will find blogs where people tell you Rosetta Stone does not work, they hate it or it is bad. I find that these people typically have not used Rosetta Stone or they are trying to promote their own language program. This is just the best way they can trash a program which appears to have cornered the market.

Rosetta Stone has four versions so far. Version 4, Totale was released September 14, 2010. Version four still contains the standard lessons found in other Rosetta Stone versions. What makes Rosetta Stone 4 different from other versions is that it has, Rosetta Studio, Rosetta World, and TOTALe Mobile Companion.

I have Rosetta Stone Version 3 installed on my computer in the following languages: Arabic, German, Spanish, Italian and Swedish. Rosetta Stone is expensive! The only complaint I have about this program is that it is not worth the amount they charge. Personally, I think that they should only charge $90 for the program, and maybe an additional $100 for the people who want to use the other features ( online tutors, Rosetta World and Totale Mobil Companion.) I also think that they should give discounts to people who want to learn two or more languages. $300 per program, per language is just more than people can afford to spend.

My recommendation is simple. If you want to learn a language, start with Rosetta Stone. Stick with Rosetta Stone for 12 – 18 months. Do not use it exclusively. Use grammar and composition books as well. Do not leave out the traditional way of learning a language: conjugating verbs, making your own dictionary, studying grammar etc..etc...Once you finish the Rosetta Stone program, move on to an advanced writing class.

Bon Courage!

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