The BEST program to learn another language
I have long wanted to learn Spanish and had been told that the rosetta Stone program with its "Dynamic Immerson" is one of the best computer-based language programs around. So I jumped at the opportunity to learn via this medium and to review it.
First of all, the program would not completely load on my computer. The application CD loaded fine but when I attempted to load the language portion I would only get an error message. Fortunately, there was a technical support number included. The first person (who by all indications was the stereotypical tech support person from India) was only trained to assist with very simple questions and after about 15 minutes transferred me to customer support. When THAT person was unable to help, I began to wonder. I had to explain several times that OnlineShopDealer sent this out for me to review, that it was not from a secondary supplier or a used item. This person was clueless as well and transferred me to someone who actually helped me. This technical support person was as good and as thorough and patient as any I have ever encountered. I was told that it was my virus protection program and he ran me through the uninstall process. The language CD loaded without a problem. I was even told how to solve my problem of lack of a virus protection. So all in all, while it did take about an hour of my time, my problem was not only solved, I got more information on the system.
I was told this was the version of Rosetta Stone still in the beta testing phase. Along with the usual course (which, for review purposes was just level 1) there was a 90-day use of an online portion which includes the RosettaSTUDIO--the practice module which enables the learner to participate in online Rosetta Studio sessions and get feedback from native-speaking Studio coaches, interact with other learners at the same level to strengthen skills, and more. The second online portion is RosettaWORLD--the play module where the learner can explore the language with online games, chats, and other structured activities, participate in real-time language exchange with another speaker. There is also an audio component that allows the learner to immerse themselves more in the language through a car CD player, iPod, etc.
For the online component, I was told it would be a subscription service and the pricing structure was not known yet.
The Rosetta Stone program enables one to learn at their own pace and within just a few minutes with repetition and game-like matching the program came to life and I was learning to speak. The program comes with headset/microphone to enable one to pronounce the word correctly and get immediate feedback as to whether you are pronouncing the word correctly.
While this isn't the cheapest method around, I believe you get what you pay for and with Rosetta Stone you more than get your money worth. I am looking forward to the time that I can travel to a Spanish-speaking country in Latin America (I've always wanted to go to Costa Rica) and really practice my newly-learned skills. I am confident that with Rosetta Stone I will be able to communicate my needs easily and readily.
It CAN be used with an iPad!
I started out skeptical. I was ready to point out every flaw...but after a while I LOVE it. As long as you have less of the expectation of the infomercials, this is an EXCELLENT introduction to a new language.
There are so many small yet super innovative things about this program. For example, if you try over and over to get the pronunciation right and keep failing, not only can you click an icon to hear it again, but you also have the option to open a screen that will playback your voice and show the 'voice printout' alongside the correct printout! How cool is that?! After finishing a lesson that includes some basic words I was brave enough to try the interactive games. And the games are so fun! I spent last night online for hours playing games with other Rosetta Stone users in other countries. They match you with similar levels of people so you never feel 'stupid'.
I can not roll my 'r' no matter how hard I try. It can get discouraging when over and over you get the noise indicating a mistake. I switched from the included headphones to the mic on the computer and then my less-than-perfect 'rr' was accepted.
If the program freezes, no worries, just shut down and re-open. That only happened once for me. Other than that, it was easy to load.
There is also a feature (FREE!!!!) called Mobile Companion. You download a speaking lesson for 'on the go', when you aren't on the computer.
I won't go into any more of what it does, because if you are reading you probably already know.
Now, if you have an iPad, not an iPhone or iPod, but the iPad, you will see that there is a note on the Rosetta Stone box indicating you can use the Mobile Companion with an iPhone or iPod. I followed the online instructions to get it to load on my iPad, without success. I accessed the tech support, which was easy and they were very polite, but was told there was no way to load on the iPad. I found a way!!! Do not follow the website directions. On your iPad, do NOT go to iTunes as they tell you to do, go to Apps. Then search NOT 'totale', but 'Rosetta Stone', and choose the free app. It will ask for your email and password, and then you're in! Just remember, it is only for 3 months, then an additional fee applies. A good tip...when you first install this program on your main computer, do not select the option to start your 3 month online support. Wait until you feel confident enough to take advantage of the games, live online lessons with other students (!!!), etc. Then log in to the 3 month extras. You will want every day of them.
Is it worth the money? Rosetta Stone pretty much has the market on home language learning. It can only be installed on ONE computer, and you can have up to 5 users. Do not buy thinking you can share it with your friends, or even with a family member on an unshared computer. If the whole family uses it on a shared computer, it is certainly worth it. If you like all the extra little touches that no one else has on a language program, it's worth it for the individual.
I have to go now. In a few minutes I have a live online lesson that I scheduled!
I have actually used all levels of the Rosetta Stone Spanish, and richly benefited from the strong vocabulary building. Most of all, however, I appreciate that the software actually reads your sound as you repeat after words. As a first time Spanish language learner, I benefited enormously in improving my accent and developing confidence before going on to really learn the language more deeply in Peru. This first language level was also phenomenally helpful in developing a sense of Spanish sentence structure. Although I still had much (very much) to learn in terms of verbs and everyday speech, this software in innovative and very helpful in starting off with a new language.
I already speak spanish fluently but my husband doesn't. So he went right to work on it, it took him ages to progress. But that was OK. I would watch him nightly and he seemed to be having a blast, blurting word after word into the microphone and any other outside activities that he could to enrich himself in the language such as reading spanish newspapers and following a telenovela. We began having small conversations in spanish, nothing major, just causal and while he wasn't fluent and you could see the wheels spinning, he was learning and after a while the pace of what he learned and could retain became quicker. He seemed to be having so much of a blast that I wanted in on the fun and started to run through things. It didn't matter that I already knew the mechanics, Rosetta puts you at such a peaceful state while learning that you can't help but want to move forward. It also helps that you are doing things at your own speed/connivence. Well worth it.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE, ALWAYS GO WITH ROSETTA STONE!
GUEST REVIEWER ! MS. KNOW IT ALL ;-b
Mr. Know It All and I felt it was time learn another language and Spanish seemed like the perfect one to start with----considering the obvious catering to the Spanish speaking people in this country. Well, this product is fabulous, you have a lot of fun while learning and the material is presented in a very thorough manner with plenty of visuals, audio, and aids. Another bonus is the added interactive feature and immersion, along with on-line help and tracking your progress. The microphone also allows you to have immediate feedback as to whether you are pronouncing the words correctly. I highly recommend this product for anyone wanting to start with the basis of the Spanish language.
I'm going to sound WAAAAY too enthusiastic about Rosetta Stone, but it's the BEST language learning program I've tried. Learning new languages is a hobby of mine, ever since my first French class in high school. I've done college classes, CD-only programs, book-only programs, and programs that try to be Rosetta Stone but just fall short in some way. Rosetta Stone is the real deal, as far as I'm concerned. Short of going to the land of the language you want to learn and just floundering along for a while, I think Rosetta Stone is the best way to learn.
Rosetta Stone addresses a variety of learning styles. If you're a visual learner like I am, it helps to see the word you're learning, as well as a picture of what the word describes. And what's the point of learning a foreign language if you're not going to speak it? Rosetta Stone practices pronunciation with you, and corrects your mistakes through practice. You can go online and speak with native speakers of your chosen language for additional practice. The program tracks your progress as you go through the lessons.
The only thing I found a little quirky about the program is that I needed to almost over-pronounce the words sometimes, or the software would say I pronounced them wrong, and as I said before, it tracks your progress. I'm not sure if it's their software, or my microphone on my computer or a little bit of both. It's minor, anyway, and a good reminder not to mumble, even a little.
If you really want to learn a brand new language, or get really good at one you learned in high school then forgot about, Rosetta Stone's the way to go. I wish I'd saved myself the money over the years, trying out all kinds of other, cheaper programs, and just saved up for Rosetta Stone.
I have a few friends and relatives that speak fluent Spanish, and I thought this would be a fun way to communicate with them, if only in a very elementary sort of way. I was right. This Level 1 addition of Rosetta Stone makes learning Spanish fun. It teaches on the same principal that a baby learns his or her native tongue. Surprisingly the lessons do not include any English instructions. The ease in which you can pick up what is going on in the picture (in Spanish) is incredibly easy; very clever of Rosetta Stone. The software has speech-recognition technology, so it lets you know when you are pronouncing a word correctly and when you are not. It also comes with live practice sessions led by native tutors. I have not tried this feature (on-line tutor) yet, but I have played the online games and they are lots of fun, and a great aid in remembering what you have learned. With Level one you can reasonably expect to learn basic conversational skills in Spanish. I think that is quite an accomplishment! Highly recommended.
Expensive, but great!
Rosetta stone is on the expensive side. But you get what you pay for! It is great! Basically, it immerses you in the language so you don'g have to simply try to memorize the language word by word relative to English.
I like the fact that I have to both listen, speak and read the language. So I have the opportunity to learn comprehension as well as vocalization... which is important, because many people can speak basic Spanish but can't understand basic Spanish.
I recommend Rosetta Stone highly to anyone who is serious about learning a language.
Easy to use
I like the way that the program keeps repeating your problem areas, as you progress, until you are able to get them right.
Great Learning Tool
I purchased this for my daughter, who starts Spanish I this fall at school. I wanted her to have a little bit of a head start. After the first lesson, she went from dreading Spanish class to being completely jazzed about it and cannot wait to get to her next lesson. Once she is done with Spanish, she wants to try other language courses through Rosetta Stone as well.