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For the money I spent on this, I was expecting to be able to talk like a Spaniard overnight.
Needless to say my expectations were not met.
I think for you to get anything from this you need to have a good understanding of spanish (or whatever language you are trying to learn) anyway.
This product requires a very good computer or the running of this is very slow.
This teaches you the same word over and over again, so if you pick things up quickly you will find this very slow and frustrating as there is no option to move on when you feel ready, you just have to sit through the same thing over and over.
In theory you are learning by looking at pictures, which makes this more recommended for children rather than adults.
The microphone provided isn't very good, therefore you end up keep repeating yourself because the computer cannot pick up what you are saying. I ended up shouting at my computer in a fit of rage.
I didn't even complete this as it was too time consuming. I was hoping to spend just 40 mins per day to fit it in around work.
There are far better products on the market, such as Collins, if you wish to learn a language, and they are far more affordable.
This was a complete disappointment.
Rosetta stone works on the principal that you can learn a language as an adult exactly the same way as you did as child. Primarily this means you are repeatedly shown pictures associated with words and eventually you'll figure out how the words being said correlate to the picture.
**For example, you'll see 4 pictures, one a red ball, one a blue ball, one a green ball and the fourth a yellow ball. A native Spanish speaker will say 'A blue ball' (but in spanish of course!) and you'll see these words written in Spanish. It is then up to you, initially via trial and error, to match the words to the correct picture.**
I found that because you use trial and error initially to come to understand what's being said then it tends to stick with me better than if I'd just read some vocab in a book. Because I've actually had to use my brain (if only to eliminate 3 pictures before arriving at the correct one!) then I will remember more. It helps that every time you make a wrong choice the phrase is repeated so if nothing else you hear that same phrase over and over and the words stick in your brain.
The initial vocab you learn (the standard dog, cat) is built upon, gradually pulling in new aspects (questions, verbs etc) whilst revisiting things you've already learnt to really drum it in and to keep it fresh in your mind. This combination of things I've already learnt and things I don't know works really well for me and realising I can understand half a sentence keeps me motivated enough to figure out what the other half means.
My only negative is the price, over £200 mark for levels 1 & 2. Not great if you're not 100% sure about the language you want to learn, or about your dedication to learning but well worth the money if it's something you really want to do!
Rosetta stone is a software that claims to teach you through "dynamic immersion" This means there is no translation, but you learn the way you did when you were a child, by seeing things and then finding out the word for them and learning like this.
First of all,there may be some problems with this. Some people do believe the brain learns languages differently when older than when you are a child. If this is the case, then rosetta stone is ineffective in its methods. Many people believe there is a critical period to learn a language and if it is not learnt in this time then it can never be learned completely fluently. For example, in cases of extreme neglect where children were not taught any language, they sometimes could never learn it properly even into adulthood. Also, there is no point denying that we do have a mother language already that we have used solely for years and years and it comes to us without even having to think about it. Is it really possible to avoid wanting to "translate" it in your head to find out what it means in english? And is it really such a bad thing to do this? Although children learn through rosetta stones method they are exposed to it for all of their waking hours for years before they learn properly. I am not saying that adults cannot learn another language, I am just saying basing your whole learning experience on trying to learn as if you were a child may not be the best way to do things. Regardless of the debate about how adults learn another language I will talk about the software, especially for spanish.
The software is expensive, and you will be looking at at least a couple of hundred just for levels 1 and 2, but as many people point out, private lessons would total more than this, not to mention with this software you can re-do the lessons as many times as you want and take it as slow/fast as you like. A lot of people rave about rosetta stone, and those who were not interested in languages in school suddenly find they are picking it up and remembering it better than they ever thought they could. For these people I would say great and it is without a doubt worth the money.
When you first get the software, it seems as if a whole language is suddenly at your feet and you feel very excited about it. You do get a lot of lessons in level 1 and 2, and they take things slowly, recapping things and testing you, whilst always teaching you new things. I think the lessons are very well done, and I found it challenging enough I felt I was learning but not too hard I couldnt remember anything. All in all, some people see rosetta stone as glorified flashcards which I cannot argue with. You are basically looking at pictures and learning the spanish for it. There are reading, listening, speaking and writing lessons. I found myself soon becoming bored and in places finding it repetitive and tedious, especially as I realised I was learning things like the boy is in the plane, and it is a while before you learn stuff you could have a proper conversation with. Saying that, if you want to learn a language, the more stuff you know the better and if you stick it out and use the software every day you will undoubtedly become better at spanish.
In my opinion, rosetta stone, just like anything is best used in conjunction with other methods. Even if you just use it for level 1 or 2 I think it would be good to take a break and use any other resources you can find so you dont get bored with rosetta stone. There are lot of free websites and videos etc to use, even bbc has an online spanish course, maybe use bitesize spanish GCSE revision for teens, try and practice understanding spoken spanish (definately not an easy feat), by listening to it as much as possible, listen to online spanish radio, listen to spanish songs, watch tv in spanish or with spanish subtitles and do anything you can to build up your spanish to a basic level. There are a lot of courses on conversational spanish, and this is a good idea to do, then you know the basics. I think after a while things start to fall in place but you are always learning, there is always more you need to learn. Depending on whether you just want to be able to learn to speak spanish enough to have a simple conversation or be fluent which includes writing then you need to try and focus on grammar eventually.
One great thing about rosetta stone is the writing lessons. I was never good at noticing accents on words and it was as if my brain ignored them,especially when I just read spanish, whereas with the writing lessons, you get the word wrong if you forget the accents and you quickly learn where they are meant to go.
A problem I did find it that sometimes you dont know what the pictures are trying to show. They do try very hard to make it clear but at the end of the day they are just pictures so even though its not something you are meant to do, I have a spanish dictionary beside me incase I dont understand what the picture is meant to be showing. I would rather do that than learn a word and not be sure when to use it.
Also, I think maybe the only reason I got ahead with spanish is because I already knew a very basic amount from school. My boyfriend tried someones japanese one, knowing no japanese whatsoever and had no idea what ANY of the words meant so couldnt work things out from the pictures and found himself just having to guess and not really learning. Maybe it is just the nature of the spanish language that is easier than japanese but I would say knowing very very basic knowledge of the language, even just looking at a few youtube videos would help.
I feel it really depends on the person whether this software is effective as everybody learns best in differnet ways. I know people who got bored straight away with just seeing pictures and clicking but I did stick it out and am glad I did. It IS sometimes tedious and boring but it is worth just sticking with it. Even if you think you are not doing too well, every time you learn ANYTHING new from it, you are that tiny bit better at spanish and that tiny bit more towards your goal.
I have never been the best at languages, I am not one of those people who just hear something once and remember it, and pick things up easily, but I am stubborn enough to keep going no matter how slow it is.
There is no substitute for actual conversation and rosetta stone obviously lacks this.If you have any opportunity to practice talking to a native spanish speaker then use it. Sometimes in rosetta stone you are either reading something and clicking the correct picture or saying something in front of you are writing something you have just heard but you dont really get the chance to form your own sentences and receive feedback. This is what eventually everybody needs to learn properly so if you find yourself hitting a wall when trying to learn spanish, a few private lessons to practice and have any mistakes corrected can be invaluable.
In conclusion, if you never learned languages well at school because of the way you were taught this may very well be a good way for you to learn. It is expensive but in the long run, if you stick with it and use it regularly it can be worth it. I would suggest always trying new ways to learn spanish so you dont get bored and your brain is getting information in lots of different ways. Rosetta stone is probably quite over rated but if your goal is to learn a language well, I would give it a go, there is nothing to lose (except a couple of hundred quid)
Rosetta Stone is one of many language programs which offers users the chance to learn and practice another language. As far as software goes, this is one of the most expensive and for a complete set of levels 1-3 in Spanish or another language, you are looking at the best part of £350 for the online version which may give you 40-60 hours of learning depending on your speed.
The program itself teaches a language by a technique called 'dynamic immersion'. I'll come back to this in a sec. Basically you are presented with 4 pictures at a time which contain different words (e.g Girl. Boy, Woman, Man). You then learn these words and are tested on what you remember by various methods. These methods include a speech-recognition tool which records you saying the words and helps with pronunciation, as well as more traditional methods like listening and selecting the correct picture or listening and writing down what you heard. As you progress you find things like verbs added so you get for example (the boy walks, the boy reads, the girl walks, the girl reads), moving onto plurals (the girls walk) and even tenses (the girls walked / the boys will walk). You are tested every so often to see how much you learnt and can go back and forward at your own will.
So, is it any good? Yes and No. If you were uninspired by Languages at school than this might be the breath of fresh air you need to get you back into learning Languages. The speech recognition software is handy for beginners wanting to have a go at practising the sounds. There is a lot of stuff to learn and plenty of challenge in the learning itself; particularly in the way you can monitor and track your progress. The presentation is also really well executed in an attractive and clear way so the user doesn't get confused or bored.
However... The whole concept of dynamic immersion is somewhat flawed. Basically the program claims to teach you a language the way you learnt it as a child with an emphasis on intuition rather than instruction (figuring things out for yourself instead of being told them). We're all fluent in our mother tongues so this seems a great idea on the face of things right? Well, not really I'm afraid. For a start Children spend 4-5 years and 12 hours a day becoming able to speak a Language with constant correction and attention from those around them. In this instance immersion is a word Rosetta Stone have used to mean ' No help in English' since the program works entirely on intuition from images and offers no explicit explanations of grammar or patterns. While this may seem ideal for anyone whose head dropped at the mention of tenses, plurals and other language jargon at school, it actually means the quality of learning is quite shallow and probably won't be effective. in the long run.
The speech recognition tool is quite innovative but again it's not without its flaws. Anyone wanting to learn Spanish from scratch will definitely benefit but the tool tends to be a little over zealous with some of its pronunciation help. Having tried it myself and having pronunciation corrected was slightly annoying for a native speaker but also worrying considering the £350+ my school paid for the software.
All in all this is a little expensive for something that doesn't really prepare you for a visit to Spain. The money would be much better spent on Language classes in a Language school where a good tutor will ensure you get structured, meaningful learning which can be remembered. There is unfortunately no substitute for a good teacher and real-life experience. Rosetta Stone isn't a bad piece of software, it just doesn't give value for money for those who really want to learn a language.
Rosetta Stone are one of the most recognised and established companies for learning languages. Along with this though there comes a price tag. Is the price tag really worth it?
Why I bought this product::
After going to Spain for a second time, it opened up my eyes how little I knew of a different language or culture. Infact, I even felt rude not knowing the language when everyone out in the country that I had to communicate with could communicate in English. This is where it struck me that I would like to further my own knowledge and learn another language.
I started off by looking online for free lessons, and even iTunes for free downloadable Podcasts. I found some great resources online, but I found that I wasnt really getting that far with what I was doing. I knew if I wanted to take it a bit more seriously I would have to go and purchase something a bit more advanced.
I done some quick research online and found the most recognised software was Rosetta Stone. I saw that there was language packages for all different levels and languages and when I saw it had Spanish I was overwhelmed to try it out.
After reading many different reviews and opinions from people I decided to get this software and really see if it was capable of being the great language tool.
The software itself::
After being very easy to install, I found myself creating my own username so I can easily track my progress. The language is cut up into many different areas. Theres 3 Levels which can be purchased either as a package or seperately. In each Level there are 4 lessons. Each of these with a different catorgory. For example 'Basic Langauge', 'Introductions' and 'Shopping' etc. Then within each lessons there are units. At the start of each unit there is a core unit to run through everything you will be learning within that unit.
Being so spread out with the layout, its very easy to go along and just find exactly what level you are at, however I reccommend no matter what level, starting at the very beginning just to get used to the software.
The main ways in which the software teachers are through reading, writing and speaking. Each lessons are put into pronounciation, grammer, reading, spelling, and general learning. If you do not wish to use a headset for the speaking however, you can disable this feature so it skips the talking.
If you use the headset, you may find you will be getting some pronounciations wrong. This is not a worry however, as it has an indepth feature recording how you say it. This can be sped up and slowed down, and compared with the correct pronounciation making sure your accent gets better as you go along.
The software itself is all image based. As it is aimed for any language to use, it doesnt use any certain language to describe the spanish but simply pictures. It will use pictures to show you what words mean, then you eventually learn new words by elimination and knowing what you have already learnt. It is a very basic but very effective way of learning. You can simply do one lesson and I found I remembered exactly what was taught.
The software, like mentioned, can be purchased either in seperate language levels or in packages. The average price for these are:
Rosetta Stone (Spanish) - Level 1/2/3 = £160
Rosetta Stone (Spanish) - Level 1+2 = £255
Rosetta Stone (Spanish) - Level 1+2+3 = £350
This can be seen as expensive to anyone who may not be taking the language learning as seriously, but to anyone who wishes to advance well, this is cheaper than getting private spanish lessons and can stay with you for life! I believe these are good prices for the software you are getting.
So is it really worth it::
For anyone wanting to learn a language, in this case Spanish, definately! I have progressed quite far so far in just a matter of months and am only a touch through the lessons. Plenty more to go! Its so user friendly and you can even have other members of family or friends have their own login to keep track of their own progress.
However, as with any language, you cannot become fluent from one software. Its the real deal that people need to experience. Going to the actual country and communicating with the culture is the best way to become more fluent. Until then however, Rosetta Stone builds and builds up the users confidence to be able to do exactly that and feel safe, talking and communicating within a different country.
This comes highly reccommended!
We all learn our childhood language by associating new words and phrases with the world around us. The Rosetta Stone method replicates this process by presenting vivid, real-life images to convey the meaning of each new phrase. Instead of translating, memorizing, and studying rules of grammar, you actually learn to think in the new language. Vocabulary and grammar are integrated systematically, leading to everyday proficiency.