Yea...i've tried both. I've been learning French with Fluenz instead. I feel I get a far better understanding of the language than with rosetta stone.
In most cases,
Rosetta stone will teach you far more vocabulary, and you will understand basic things like colors, numbers and nouns faster. With fluenz you will learn far less vocabulary, but you'll actually understand what your saying and why are you saying it. Fluenz will allow you to have basic conversations quicker than RS...where as you'll learn basic words fasts with RS. Choose which one is better for you...
would someone please tell me if Fluenz 2 1-5 ,will teach me the "Latin American" Spanish that is used in such places as Puerto Rico.this is the form of Spanish I wish to study and I know that there is a difference from "Proper Spanish"...I would be greatfull of any advise that anyone could give me before i end up making a wrog purchase.
Fluenz claims that they teach "Castilian" -- the language native to most parts of Spain -- but with a Latin American accent (their spokeswoman mentions this in the sample video on their website). However, if you know one or the other, you shouldn't have much trouble figuring out the different nuances of each over time, with enough real usage or practice. At least I didn't. Rosetta Stone has a "Latin American" course though I believe it would be difficult to classify what Latin America speaks as "one language". I hate to sound like an elitist or purist, but I think it's more beneficial to learn the root language first. Good luck to you and have fun.
I agree with Clarice's comment that Rosetta Stone is basically animated flash cards. Difficult to get into, and difficult to stay motivated with. I'm hestitant about purchasing Fluenz because I want to learn fluency in Castillian Spanish, not central and south american. Having been to Spain many times and speaking (in english) about language with both spaniards and latin americans now living there, they all tell me that although very similar because of the root language, there are significant differences. Think of someone with a thick southern accent going to Scotland and speaking to someone with a thick scottish accent. Both speak english, more or less, but will have a hell of a time understanding each other. Rosetta Stone has seperate programs for the sake of pronunciation, and some slightly different word usage. Does Fluenz differentiate like this?
The best system I've ever run across is by a company named Digital Publishing, distributed by MegasystemsUSA. Google it. I picked it up on a whim at the local Job Lot for 10 bucks. If you can get it to work, and can enjoy instead of complain about the late eighties fashion, it's great. It even has precise speech recognition - evaluting every word in the sentence so that you can focus on the specifics that you need to. A great variety of exercises, and helpful - though minimal - nudgings in english, while still working the everything-in-spanish immersion angle. It worked when I used it on my old computer running Win98, and still worked with winXP SP2, but stopped with Vista, and not Win7 either. Although win7 Ultimate is supposed to be backwards compatible with xp stuff... so maybe. I wonder if it's an x64 issue as well. It's a German company and I don't think they support it. They put out an anatomy program that they do support for win7, though. Premium Edition Spanish Note the dates the reviews were written on. The speech recognition maxed out my cpu and froze the program on my older computer. But I digress...
"Think of someone with a thick southern accent going to Scotland and speaking to someone with a thick scottish accent. Both speak english, more or less, but will have a hell of a time understanding each other. "
I beg to differ. The Latin American and Castillian Spanish versions that Fluenz offers are the educated standard dialects, not the backwoods slang you would hear in remote villages.
It's not like the"thick Scottish vs. thick southern accent" you say. A better comparison would be the educated Chicago midwestern accent vs. the educated London accent. Yes, each are distinct and differ one to each other, but both are urban, cosmopolitan accents, so no huge misunderstandings could result.
An average educated Spaniard wouldn't have a lot of trouble understanding any average educated Latin American, and vice versa.
Excellent response, regarding what Fluenz offers. Thank you. I was wondering if Fluenz had different programs for the different spanish speaking countries. I must have missed that part. The example given was their opinion, not mine, as I hadn't at the time enough spanish listening experience to tell the difference. Speaking of accents, I've had friends from Tulsa visit me in Boston - neither backwoods places - and they had a hard time understanding people here due to speed of talking coupled with accent. Spaniards tell me it is similar in Spain with people from Barcelona sometimes having difficulty understanding those from cities in Andalucia. Again, their opinion. I suppose standard educated would be the only way to teach via computer, perhaps to proficiency, as fluency could only be gained by living among the language?
Dialects can and do make a big difference. That's why Fluenz has both Spanish and Latin American courses. I grew up in St. Louis and am educated. A visit to the Boston area shocked me into understanding how significant different dialects in English are. A waitress in Boston and I just couldn't understand each other until I slowly spoke each word individually. We were both educated individuals. Same thing in Spanish. I've been listening to the podcasts offered by SpanishPod. When the truly Spanish actress speaks, I have real difficulty understanding her. When the Mexican actress speaks, I have few problems. SpanishPod acts as though this facet of Spanish doesn't exist and hardly ever mentions it. I'm glad that Fluenz recognizes it as the reality that it is and does something about it.