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122 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars *** Some things they don't tell you *** (multiple users, access from other computers, etc.)
I am thoroughly enjoying my Rosetta Stone TOTALe (pronounced toe-TAH-lee) French software. I did once use a two week trial of Rosetta Stone Spanish (not TOTALe), and although I enjoyed it, the TOTALe course is many times better.

The TOTALe course has four parts: Rosetta Stone Course, Rosetta Stone World, Studio and Audio CD's. The Studio and World are what...
Published on September 23, 2010 by Noname

versus
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is Rosetta Stone right for *you*?
I highly recommend an honest self-assessment before beginner level self-taught language products such as Rosetta Stone.

* Foremost, do you have the self-motivation? You're paying for Levels 1, 2, and 3. Will you be motivated enough to make it to the end of Level 3, or will your enthusiasm plummet after the first few lessons? If you're in the first group, then...
Published on September 14, 2010 by Peachbulb


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122 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars *** Some things they don't tell you *** (multiple users, access from other computers, etc.), September 23, 2010
This review is from: Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am thoroughly enjoying my Rosetta Stone TOTALe (pronounced toe-TAH-lee) French software. I did once use a two week trial of Rosetta Stone Spanish (not TOTALe), and although I enjoyed it, the TOTALe course is many times better.

The TOTALe course has four parts: Rosetta Stone Course, Rosetta Stone World, Studio and Audio CD's. The Studio and World are what sets this apart from the regular Rosetta Stone course. They are absolutely phenomenal. More on that later.

_________________________________

Before I delve into the actual course, here are some interesting facts you might like to know.

AGE RESTRICTIONS AND MULTIPLE LEARNERS

This software can only be installed on one computer. However, I was able to add my two children to the software course. According to the Rosetta Stone customer service department, I can add up to five users to the Rosetta Stone course, as long as they use the same computer.

My children cannot access the Rosetta World, because they are under 13. I changed my son's age to show him older than 13 and found that he could not access Rosetta World because only one user is allowed to use Rosetta World. However, I was given the option to purchase Rosetta World access for him at a *very* reasonable price.

ACCESS FROM MULTIPLE COMPUTERS

Although I could only access the Rosetta Stone Course from the one computer it's installed on, I can access Rosetta Stone World from any computer with an internet connection by simply signing in on their website.

Personally, I like Rosetta Stone World interface when accessing it directly from the software on my computer rather than through my Internet Explorer. Signing in is much quicker. When I do it through a web browser, I have to suffer through signing in with my password and waiting for it to check my system.

EXTENDING THE COURSE

Rosetta Stone offers users the option to add levels 4 and 5. Online service can also be extended for a reasonable price.
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WHAT COMES IN THE BOX

1) Quick start pamphlet.

2) Installation CD's for levels 1-3.

3) Activation card for 9 months of online access.

4) Audio CD's for Level 1, units 1-4.

5) Stickers for the keyboard to customize it for special French accent marks (so the user knows where to find the keys).

6) Headset.

SOFTWARE AND HEADSET

The software installed on my Vista system without a hitch. I'm not sure how well it works on other systems.

The sound and voice recognition with the headset is wonderful.

_________________________________

So here I go dissecting the course itself.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR COURSE

Each student may customize his course by choosing one of four options:

1) reading, writing, speaking, listening (recommended)
2) reading, writing, speaking and listening -- extended (more repetition)
3) speaking and listening
4) reading and writing

In providing this review, I have chosen option 1.

AUDIO CD'S

These are to be used in conjunction with the course. I suppose they could be used to supplement some other language course, but one could not learn the language from the audio CD's alone. They are completely in French, with the exception of an English speaking man telling the listener to listen, or listen and repeat. No translations are given. The phrases come from the flash cards we see during the lessons, so they trigger associations.

ROSETTA STONE COURSE

Rosetta Stone is total immersion. I've found it is the most wonderful way to learn.

One example of a typical lesson: The student is shown a series of flashcards along with very short sentences. Maybe it's four different people with a ball: a man, a woman, a girl, a boy. The speaker says, "The man has a ball." "The woman has a ball." "The girl has a ball." "The boy has a ball." So the student knows the one common word is "ball," which must be the round thing. The word that changes, that must describe the man, woman, girl and boy.

Sometimes, I'd know a word, could match it up, but didn't know what it meant. I had a strong desire to look it up, but I trusted Rosetta Stone would one day make it clear. Well, after seeing the word (in my particular case, it was "to have") numerous times, it finally dawned on me what it meant. I don't even know when it happened, it just became clear. And so it goes with other words.

Total immersion can be very challenging to people used to traditional teaching methods. The need to know and translate every word can be strong, but I can attest that context will eventually make it clear.

This course is broken up into levels. French has levels going all the way up to 5. I was told by the Rosetta Stone customer service rep that I should be conversational by level 3. Levels 4 and 5 delve deeper into the culture.

The structure of the courses is as follows: There are five levels. Each level has four units. Each unit has four core lessons followed by varying numbers of sub-lessons. So, level>unit>core lesson>sub-lesson.

The core lessons take about half an hour each and it gives the overall gist of what is to be worked on during the sub-lessons. The sub-lessons are only 5 to 10 minutes long and deal individually with different facets of the core lesson, like vocabulary, grammar, spelling, etc. By taking one to two sub-lessons per day and about one core lesson per week, I can finish one unit per month.

STUDIO

The studio sessions can be scheduled for any time slot available. From my experience, it is best to finish a unit before taking the studio lesson for that unit. The session may be repeated as necessary.

The studio session is like a live, online classroom with a native speaking teacher. Students log in at the appointed time. We can see the teacher, but the teacher can only hear us. She shows us many of the cards we see during our course lessons and individually asks us questions about them. She also asks us to speak to each other in a very controlled way. I intend to take a session every week in order to have a live teacher correct my speech and to gain more experience speaking and listening. This in and of itself is worth the price of the TOTALe.

So far, my studio sessions have had between two and four students (including me). They last 50 minutes each.

ROSETTA WORLD

Another way TOTALe shines. In my box was a card with an activation code good for nine months of Rosetta World service, which I could pay to extend (and I might very well do just that).

1) Listen, read, or listen and read stories. The stories are unlocked as we progress through each level so that the vocabulary isn't too challenging.

2) Play solo games. Three games are available. In one game, we much listen to the speaker describe a card and we must find that card. Another game is a memory card game where we match the picture to a written description of the picture. The third game is a bingo type game where we listen to a story and must choose words that come up in the story on the bingo card until we get a bingo.

3) Duo and Simbio. These modes contain all the Solo games plus five more games to play against another player. In Duo mode, we play against a French learner. In Simbio mode, we are matched up with a native French speaker who is learning our native language so we can help each other.

Both Duo and Simbio modes can be played via keyboard or microphone. I am finding most people prefer keyboard.

The World hours are from 10 AM to 10 PM Pacific Time, although I've been able to play outside that time slot. There aren't many players most days, just a few, but enough to be able to interact. The Duo rooms are more active than the Simbio room, where I'm only finding one player if I'm lucky.

_________________________________

PROS:
+ easy to learn
+ voice recognition software
+ live teacher
+ interact with other learners
+ interact with native speakers
+ may add up to five learners to the Course on one computer
+ may access World from any internet connected computer
+ may pay to extend course and online access
+ IPad and IPhone aps available

CONS:
- difficult for learners who insist on translation
- can only be installed on one computer
- additional learners do not have access to World (but one may pay to add access)
- children under thirteen not permitted in World

SUMMARY

I love, love, love Rosetta Stone TOTALe. It has enabled me to speak French without being self-conscious. I can access live instructors, repeat any lesson I don't understand. My children can be added. I can enter the World from anywhere. Oh yeah, there are iPod and iPad apps (which I can't review but they sound great). What's not to love?

***********************************

UPDATE: The World hours are now 9 AM to 9 PM Pacific Time, but I have been there outside those hours. As long as someone is there, we can play a multiplayer (2-player) game. Otherwise, solo mode is available anytime.

Studio sessions are very flexible. They must have gotten more coaches or else the coaches are working more hours, but I can schedule a session for any time from morning to evening, 7 days a week. This is not true for all TOTALe languages, so it's a nice feature.

************************************

UPDATE #2: ADAPTIVE RECALL

I did not have Adaptive Recall in my initial review, because I did not know it existed. It has been about 3 1/2 months since I started my lessons and 2 1/2 months since my original review. Now that I have entered Level 2, I've had the chance to experience Adaptive Recall and have found another reason to love TOTALe.

Adaptive Recall takes me through little review lessons from the past so that I don't forget what I've learned. Apparently, depending on how well I do, the review lessons will repeat more or less frequently. I have the option of skipping the Adaptive Recall Lessons, if I desire. I didn't skip them. I found them very helpful.

******************************************

UPDATE #3: It's been about six months since I started Rosetta Stone. Something amazing happened today. I was taking a studio session and as the coach asked me questions or asked me to interact with another learner, I was able to respond without fishing for the words, mentally doing translation gymnastics from English to French. I opened my mouth the the words spilled out. It was far from proficient, but I was able to express myself more fluently than ever before. I surprised myself by not thinking in English. Wow.

******************************************

UPDATE #4: It's now April, 2011. I've been at it for awhile and still enjoy my lessons. There has been a recent bug in the Rosetta Stone World. When I'm there, if I ever hit the backspace button (which happens a lot, because I frequently mistype, especially in French), it kicks me out of the game. This was not previously an issue. I hope they fix it.

UPDATE #5: The problem with the backspace button was caused by the Adobe Air update. Per technical support, I uninstalled version 2.6 and installed version 2.5 and my problem is no more.

*********************************************

UPDATE #6: I was kicked out of a studio session today for using a wireless headset. Too much echo, they said. Only wired headsets allowed, folks. (They did send me a wired one free of charge when I complained that the one I got with the Rosetta Stone had broken.)

*********************************************

UPDATE #7: I've been at this for about a year. My French cousins just came over for a visit and I think I understood a lot of what they were saying to each other. Can't hold an intelligent conversation yet, but I can probably get around in Paris and the basics are okay. That's not bad. I'm midway through level 2. The games section seemed to have died down. Not many people there, but I don't spend much time there anymore, so maybe they are there when I'm not looking. The studio courses have opened a lot of slots, so I can take classes just about whenever I want. They even email reminders now, which is helpful.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is Rosetta Stone right for *you*?, September 14, 2010
By 
This review is from: Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I highly recommend an honest self-assessment before beginner level self-taught language products such as Rosetta Stone.

* Foremost, do you have the self-motivation? You're paying for Levels 1, 2, and 3. Will you be motivated enough to make it to the end of Level 3, or will your enthusiasm plummet after the first few lessons? If you're in the first group, then you can get so much out of Rosetta Stone. If you're in the second group, you may want to look at your local community college's courses. It might cover less material while costing as much, but if you aren't confident you have the self-motivation, then it might be better than Rosetta Stone.

* Second, is the "immersion" model of language learning right for you? Children are sponges for languages. Children who move to a foreign country soon become more fluent than their parents. They learn just by being immersed among people speaking that language.

Rosetta Stone tries to replicate that language acquisition in adults. Their philosophy is, if we talk to you only in that language, you will learn it. The thing is, adults aren't just large children, though they may act that way :) Around puberty, the brain's language learning centers undergo a major change that makes it much harder to learn a new language, especially through immersion. For some people, that change is greater than for others. Some people can still pick up a good chunk through immersion, while others require language classes that incorporate both languages.

Which group are you in---the group that can still pick up a good chunk through pure exposure, or the group that learns better from classes that incorporate both languages? A good test is to spend some time watching a foreign language channel. Can you pick up a little just by watching and listening?

* Third, are you a visual learner? If you see a picture of a boy with the caption "garçon", will you remember that "garçon" means boy? Or would it be more helpful to hear someone say, "The word for boy is garçon"? You get a lot more out of Rosetta Stone if you're a visual learner.

Some other points:

*A flaw with Rosetta Stone, in my opinion, is the lack of an accompanying textbook. I guess that's the point--using technology to learn. But an accompanying textbook would have helped a lot.

*Rosetta Stone uses voice detection technology that tells you how close you are to the sound. This is a cool concept with tremendous potential, but it's not quite there yet. Many languages--French is no exception--require more nuanced pronunciation than one can learn purely from the voice recognition feedback. I tried saying the words a few different ways, and it passed me when I pronounced it just borderline okay and even below that. The feedback I got for pronouncing it so-so was the same as for pronouncing it very well (according to a friend from Quebec, I have a very good French accent when I try), so you don't know just how close you are to pronouncing it perfectly. Without fine-tuned correction and feedback, you can end up never really learning how to pronounce things and always have a very heavy accent.

This is inevitable when learning a language on your own, though, and Rosetta Stone should be commended for advancing this technology. I look forward to seeing it develop.

*Make sure your computer exceeds the minimum system requirements by a lot. My computer isn't that new but well exceeds the minimum system requirements, and it still stressed the computer and crashed if I had several other windows open.

*As a previous reviewer mentioned, they only let you activate it on one computer at a time, so if you use more than one computer, you have to choose which one to activate it on. You can, however, contact them to have the license moved from one computer to another.

Other possibly relevant information: Like a previous reviewer, I have taken several years of French, so grammatical things that made sense to me as I was going through the program may not make sense to someone with no previous knowledge of French.

Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of the product but was not otherwise compensated for this review.
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143 of 165 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unacceptable copy protection, September 1, 2010
By 
This review is from: Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Let's say you have a laptop, your wife has a laptop, and your children use a family computer. You, as a family are going to learn French and decide to spend $600 on Rosetta Stone ($800 if you decide to include Levels 4-5 in your purchase).

You will not be able to use this product on all three computers. End of story. This is unacceptable. I will not say one positive thing about a company that denies Right of First Sale to its users, and who actively does not allow installation of its software on (a reasonable number of) multiple computers.

If you can look past being treated like a criminal instead of a customer after paying the better part of $1000 for a piece of software, then go for it. The software will get you started towards learning French. But God forbid you want to install it on a couple of computers, or if you buy a new computer and have to reinstall. You'll spend a couple of hours of your life playing customer service roulette, begging an offshore call center to allow you to install a third copy of the software.

Even Microsoft is more lenient than this. Stay away.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money., November 11, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set (CD-ROM)
Over all the idea isn't bad (although the interface interaction and voice recognition need work), but for the price I paid (and asked for a refund) I think the over all amount of content is extremely slim. For $400.00 USD and levels 1-3 (out of 5) I expect to have 3/5ths of the French language at my finger tips and instead I got the first few weeks of French 101 and the same basic stuff over and over again (and most of that wasn't of much use).

Do yourself a favor and go online instead - plenty of good videos and games to help you learn French.

Regards
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why do nouns have to have a gender? Stumbling and Learning French With A Great Program, March 12, 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set (CD-ROM)
Some reviewers profess to have a talent for learning a language quickly and easily. I am not one of those people.

I grew up near the Canadian border near Quebec. One of the two TV stations we received in a farm on top of a big hill was from Montreal. I enjoyed the cartoons in French. Even though I did not understand what Mickey and his friends were saying, it sounded good when they said it.

I studied French in high school. I got through it and went on to college with the intention of never learning any more French.

Last year, we took a trip to Provence and enjoyed it immensely. I still liked the sound of the language and learned a few words, mainly centered around food and wine. If I am going to pay the 22% VAT tacked on to a bottle wine and a meal cooked in the inimitable French style, I want to know what I am ordering and to be able to order exactly what I want.

So, for an assortment of specious reasons, I decided to learn French.

Level one of Rosetta Stone has been an experience. I learned more French in two weeks than in two years of studying in high school. I like to write (in English) and thought that would make it easier to write in French. I was wrong. I can read and understand many of the stories provided by the Rosetta Stone program. I can play the "bingo" game with the French words with some degree of success. I cannot yet speak the language at all.

Rosetta Stone is not like studying in school. It is more fun. It emphasizes practical situations a tourist is likely to encounter. I have learned quite a few words in a short time. I struggle during each lesson with the gender of nouns. The philosophy of the program is to show the student how words are used and, gradually, through repetition, sounds, and seeing the words in different contexts, teaching the student this beautiful language. In other words, I learned English this way--why not French?

Since I am no longer two, and probably have more trouble accepting how language is used in ways to which I am unaccustomed, I found using the internet made the process quicker. Some of the French words seemed the same. The computer program insisted they were not the same. In fact, the words may be the same but they are used in different situations. Sorting that out with a French dictionary or one of the useful French sites makes learning the language, in conjunction with Rosetta Stone, an easier task. The Rosetta Stone program does not care how long I take to look up a new French word I find to be confusing.

I did not realize when starting the program that an advantage of Rosetta Stone is using the internet to have a "studio session" with a native speaker. I became aware of this feature when the company offered a one-hour internet seminar. I immediately signed up for session two of level one with a French instructor.

My hesitation in trying an online session was that I would look and sound foolish. I was not disappointed.

I can read and understand some French phrases now. That is not the same as quickly matching gender with a noun and then knowing the correct verb to match. And, when hearing a native speaker ask a question, a long suppressed memory of being in a high school class when I did not know the answer immediately took center stage in my mind.

Being an adult with a much different motivation than I had in high school (no cute, 16 year old girl in a short skirt and long hair sitting beside me creating a hormonal overload while purring something, almost anything in French, that interfered with learning the language) I have lumbered on alone with my computer. The instructor, a native French speaker, was very helpful and very patient.

I found myself, having lived in Germany for two years (courtesy of the U.S. Army) and having studied Spanish for four years in college, occasionally using words that I knew were not English but, alas, not French either. When asked to give the French name for a country to which the instructor was pointing, I quickly pronounced "Deutschland" perfectly. (A correct name but definitely not French.) The instructor may have thought he was working with an American who spoke German and Spanish and English and trying to learn a fourth language. He would have been wrong but the exercise was probably amusing to the other participants who, fortunately, did not know my identity.

I learned more with my mistakes in the studio session than I learned by speaking into a microphone on the computer.

The upshot: This is a very good program. The studio sessions are critical. The program is practical easy to use. I can learn at my own pace and repeat sessions where I experience problems or just to refresh my memory before starting a new level.

My purpose is to learn how to speak French. Reading and understanding is a good start but not the same as stringing together the correct words in a sentence in real time with a native speaker. If you decide to buy the product, take advantage of the studio sessions as quickly as you can if you want to learn the language.

Another observation: The company seemed to genuinely be interested in my progress. I have asked questions of their customer service department. I have been treated in a courteous manner, by friendly people who speak English well and they answered my questions promptly and accurately. I have received follow-up emails thanking me for participating in the webinar, noting the scheduled times for my studio sessions, and helping in real time with technical difficulties in setting up my Mac to work with the instructor.

I was so pleased with level one, I have already purchased levels two and three--just to provide extra incentive to move on and into the next level. One hint: Buy levels 1-3 at the same time if you think you will be using the program to actually learn the language enough so you can use it in a French speaking country. It is cheaper that way.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for visual learners -- similar to how kids learn languages, September 30, 2010
By 
Michael D (Takoma Park, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Rosetta Stone package includes a decent USB headset with microphone, and a set of CDs (instead of DVDs or USB drives). Some of the discs contain the language suite, and the rest are Audio-CD so you can continue practicing the lessons in a cd-player or an ipod/iphone. The installation in Windows 7 was quick; in around 4 minutes I was all set to start the first lesson.

I am native in Spanish and Catalan, and fluent in Portuguese, so I thought Rosetta Stone French would be easy from the very beginning, given the similarities with the other languages. But I was nicely surprised to learn in the very first lesson about the significant differences in pronounciation. The voice dectection technology used by the Rosetta Stone taught me really quick how to pronounce words, and insisted in the more complicated words. However, the smooth progression in difficulty makes you feeling the improvements you are doing after a couple of lessons, and it is hard to fall behind as the program is well structured to insist on working on areas which are difficulties.

The learning strategy is very comprehensive, as you start reading, speaking, listening and writing from the very beginning. Everything that you will hear or read will be in French, but the software intuitively suggests meanings and grammar rules -- similar to how kids under 5 learn a language. Despite how much harder it is for adults to learn new languages in comparison with kids, I was nicely suprised to see that this strategy still works quite well as someone in his 30's. And the format in which you learn, like games of identification and language construction, will keep your attention more than a classroom ever would -- especially if you belong to the internet generation.

Rosetta Stone TOTALe comes with some nice extras, such as the RS World and the RS Studio. World allows you to connect online with other users and play as you learn French. While only can install Rosetta in one single computer at a time, World may be accessed from any computer connected to the internet, so it is a great way to bring your lessons around. In addition, World spices things up with a little bit of competition as you can see how others are advancing and you can update on your progress too.

My experience was all positive. I would say that if you have a visual memory, and you are self-motivated to follow through the lessons without the contextual support of a classroom, then Rosetta Stone is an excellent way to learn a language. It is very dynamic, keeps you entertained and you make progress really quick and without almost noticing. But if you are more conceptual, need verbal or textual explanations instead of images, and you also need others to motivate you, then check first in your local language school. Rosetta Stone is better suited for the first type of student than for the second, who may feel a little bit frustrated with this expensive, but excellent, product.

Based on my experience, this software is worth the money as it delivers what it promesis. However, as this is a quite expensive product, and not everybody will feel comfortable with the format, I suggest to look for a free sample first on Rosetta's website and try by yourself.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrated I can't put it on my PC, October 15, 2010
This review is from: Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was one of the lucky folks who got to try this for free with the Vine program so I guess I can't complain too much. My son (11) is taking French in school so I thought I would have him try it out. I have gotten compliments from his teacher on his progression. I was annoyed I couldn't give him access to all the software had to offer because he wasn't 13. I didn't lie about his age as we are trying to teach him not to lie.

On a day off, I attempted to install the software on my personal PC as a refresher to what I learned in high school. D'oh! That isn't going to happen. This can only go on one PC must to my frustration. I guess I missed that part in the installation because there is no way I would have put in on my kids computer. I would have put it on mine and let the kids use it. I don't understand why something this expensive can only be used on my PC??? Now I am worried about what happens when we upgrade the computer. Will I be able to install it on that or will it be a total loss?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great language learning software, overly strict copy protection, October 20, 2010
This review is from: Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you are spending this amount of money on a product, then you are probably pretty serious about learning the language. That is good, because while Rosetta Stone is probably the best self-paced language learning system on the market, it requires motivation and self-discipline to make the most out of what is available.

One of the biggest hurdles language learners have to get over is doing translation in their head. There is a process of hearing "chaise" then searching for that word in your mental dictionary until you find it and say "Ah, chaise is French for "chair. Now I understand." Obviously, this is a cumbersome process and you won't be speaking the language anytime soon.

Rosetta Stone gets past this by speaking only the target language, and allowing your brain to associate the sound with an image directly, without the middle medium of translation. This is fantastic. This is one of the best ways to learn a foreign language. I was really impressed with how Rossetta Stone dealt with grammar as well, but not giving you the meaning directly but by using the grammar point repeatedly in different situations until you have the "Ah ha moment" that will stick with you much longer than if someone just wrote out in English "Chaise is French for Chair."

The microphone and pronunciation practice is amazingly helpful. You have to speak a language out loud in order to learn it, and this is a phenomenal way to practice, getting instant feedback. Aside from moving to France, this is probably the best you can do!

And while I love Rosetta Stone, like many others I am disappointed with the strict copy protection. I understand that this is a necessary evil of the digital age, but too much is too much. Imagine if you bought a DVD, and you could only ever watch it in the first DVD player you happened to stick it in. No brining it over to a friends house for movie night, no taking it into the bedroom to watch on another TV...you are just stuck with wherever you put it first. Most households nowadays have multiple computers, and for the price it seems like you should be able to install Rosetta Stone on a few of them so that multiple household users can study separately. Even more disturbing is if I buy a new computer, does this software become null and void? I hope not, but it seems like it. If so, that is bad service on the part of Rosetta Stone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expensive Language Software, February 10, 2011
This review is from: Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have only studied two other languages: Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. I actually got pretty good at both so I think I have a knack for languages. But I have never studied French, and was totally ignorant of the language before starting this program. I must say though, that I have learned it at a faster rate than I expected. I'm no where near fluent, but can actually speak a little French though I'm still in the first level.

But honestly, if I was going to pay $479.00 for language software I think I would just sign up for a real college class course instead. The reason is because I lack self-motivation and cannot discipline myself to study at on a regular schedule. This is of course, NOT the fault of the software, but it is something to consider if you are thinking about buying this. However, once I get started using it I find it hard to quit. It's fun and I like using it. It does seem like a good way to learn a foreign language because it's sort of like you're a baby and learning your native language by hearing it and seeing pictures. Not exactly the same of course, but similar. But still, my favorite way to study anything is the classroom environment because I'm a social animal and I also like being able to ask questions directly to a teacher. But I understand that going to a language class is impossible for a lot of people and that's the appeal of language software programs. You can study on your own time and where you want too, provided you take the computer you have the program installed on with you. I need to be tested and have college grades to shoot for. I'm highly motivated to study knowing that I have a test coming up.

The only thing besides the price that bothers me is that I didn't know that you can only install this on just one computer. I don't dare uninstall it lest I can't reinstall it later. I know you can call customer support and get the license transferred, but it's just a hassle. I think it should be clearly stated on the box that you only get one license for one computer. That's kind of an important thing to know if you're spending some serious money on a software program. So I deduct a star for that.

I haven't yet tried the online community where you are able to talk with a tutor so I can't say anything about that. I like the voice recognition ability of this program. I tested it out by first speaking in my best French accent, and then saying the same words but very sloppily. It called me on the bad speech. The included headphones/microphone work well and are comfortable to wear.

I installed all 3 levels on my computer and was surprised that the entire program only takes up 9.85MB. I have an old Windows XP so it took about 45 minutes to load the entire program. I'll keep using this program and updating this review as I move forward through it. But so far, I think it's very good though pricey, and I could not afford it personally. It can be loaded on the following computer systems:

Windows XP SP3 or higher
Windows Vista SP2 or higher
Windows 7 or higher
Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.11 or higher
Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.8 or higher
Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.2 or higher

Must be 13 or over to use this program. Why, I don't know.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good product., January 20, 2011
This review is from: Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Like all of the rosetta stone products, the V4 French language learning pack is one-of-a-kind, and an excellent tool for learning a secondary language. French, to me, is more difficult to learn than some other languages, and, I believe this software will be the most helpful to those who also have an alternative learning method for this language (for example, in a classroom setting or with a tutor). I definitely believe the Totale experience that is part and parcel of Version 4 of this software is a welcome addition, regardless of the language you are learning.

The software, itself, is also fairly easy to install and use. (It does not take a computer genius to do so!) One thing that people need to understand if they are going to use this product to learn any language, is that, it still takes effort on the part of the student to adequately learn a foreign language, even with this the help of this software. If you are expecting a "quick fix", then you will probably be disappointed with this or any similar product. One thing this software can do, is to make the learning experience a fun experience, and, with Totale, a shared experience. Like so many things in life, the student will receive aid from this software commensurate with the amount of effort they put into learning!
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Details

Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set
Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set by Rosetta Stone (Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Windows 7 / 8 / XP)
$399.00 $239.00
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