650 of 663 people found the following review helpful
Don't get me wrong, Rosetta Stone is an amazing piece of software. It is; however, not the only method of learning another language. There are other options that work as well. Furthermore, there are other options that cost far less money than Rosetta Stone as well. Everybody is different, and everybody learns in different ways. While the Rosetta Stone software works for many, it is not the solution for everyone.
The Instant Immersion Spanish software seems to be an excellent alternative to Rosetta Stone. It cost far, far less money; and interestingly, it has a unique and novel formula for learning the language. Rather than just being a piece of software, it offers several other unique components - such as an interactive DVD, a 16 Disk MP3 disk that can be played in an MP3 CD player or on your iPod/iPhone (awesome!), plus a great video game designed to reinforce everything you've learned. As a whole, the Instant Immersion formula is definitely novel, and seems to work well.
As with any language software, a dedicated effort is still required to improve. You won't learn to speak Spanish simply by holding the Instant Immersion software box. As with any language, it's best to learn them through repetition and practice. Instant Immersion seems to give a greater opportunity for those activities than most software I've seen, including Rosetta Stone.
A couple of nitpicky points: Rather than carrying your identity through to each of the three levels of software, you re-create your identity each time. Further, each level seems entirely different from the last with little to draw them together in appearance. It doesn't take anything away from the lessons themselves though. Also, more printed documentation would be handy.
Those points aside - I really like this software, and look forward to further utilizing it to develop my Spanish.
242 of 250 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2011
Good for memorizing everyday phrases and words. There's no grammar to it - in case you were wondering, but that may not be a factor to you, depends on how you learn. If you want to speak the language just to get around, this is what you need, but if you want to speak Spanish fluently, this is just a good start. It seems easy to learn another language with this method; therefore, it motivates you to keep going.
Side note: it might be a bit difficult to recognize the accent of Spanish speakers here in the States since most of them are from Latin America. This software teaches with a Spanish accent from Spain.
287 of 310 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2011
If you are just starting out in Spanish this is worth the money. You can start with the flash cards, listen to how the words sound and then test yourself by recording how you say the word. I haven't found that it reviews your recordings to see if you say the word correctly, but trust me you will know when you hear yourself back. I like the interactivity of the software and DVD. I already speak a little spanish and used other systems before. I wouldn't say this system was the best, but it is in my top 3. I like how you can get a conversation like feel because the hardest part about learning any language is you might not have someone to practice speaking with. This will help you out with that problem. It is a lot cheaper than Rossetta Stone and I would say if you work at it, you will get the same results as Rossetta Stone. So give it a try.
111 of 118 people found the following review helpful
I've used a lot of spanish language software. I've used Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, My Spanish Coach, and some older more generic approaches.
It amazes me how expensive Rosetta Stone is. The software has gotten better in the last two years or so, but for a while, it was very glitchy and resource intensive for hundreds of dollars more than competitors.
Pimsleur takes a clever approach, where intro sessions are cheap, and the advanced stuff approaches Rosetta prices. But I've always found their approach very effective.
This is different. It's actually hard to describe concisely. You get a pretty good audio program. The pauses are a little long, but otherwise the main difference from this audio program and others is that the rules change. With Pimsleur, the guide will say something in English, and you repeat it in spanish. Forever. With this, they change it up just when your mind starts to wander. I think this is strong.
The software has memory style games that don't approach the smoothness or even structure of Rosetta Stone, but they do cover a lot of material anyway. Technologically, they look a great deal like software from the late 1990s. If you don't care about that, the software does its job. There are a lot of modern words regarding technology. Rosetta tries to include them too, but I think Instant Immersion did better.
One huge advantage this has over Rosetta is the DRM (security to prevent piracy) is not a hassle. With Rosetta (which I own a legit copy of) I've had problems getting my software to work. There are updates and security passes and it just gets a little old.
Another advantage Instant Immersion has is that it will work on older computers. Rosetta Stone really taxes systems (and it's hard to understand why).
The accents in this series seem generalized. It's not always Spain, but it's certainly a departure from strictly Latin American. Don't let that scare you off. I don't think this will make it harder for you to understand a Mexican or American Spanish speaker.
Bottom line: I would rather be using Rosetta Stone, simply because it's a discrete path that makes sense to me. It's organized and I have to admit I like the slicker interface. But for the money, Instant Immersion is a much better deal that will teach me Spanish as well as Rosetta Stone, albeit in less style. I would definitely not say this about most cheap Spanish programs. I doubt a Rosetta Stone 'graduate' is a better Spanish speaker than an II grad.
And please consider the Spanish Coach for PSP or Nintendo DS which I linked at the top of this review. It's also a great value for the money.
108 of 115 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2012
I used to recommend Instant Immersion to everyone, but not any more.
I've used Instant Immersion Deluxe 2.0 in the past and it was great. Much better than Rosetta Stone, at a fraction of the price. But this is a completely different product. Apparently they've bought out EuroTalk, slapped the Instant Immersion label on it, and discontinued what had been very good language-learning software. This is just audio flash cards. No grammar, no evaluation of your pronunciation (though it does let you record yourself and listen to yourself, for people who for some reason can't hear their own voices but can hear a speaker...)
On top of that, it doesn't work on Windows 7, even though the box says it does. I contacted the company and they suggested running in XP Compatibility Mode.
Furthermore, I had contacted the publisher before I bought this product and was assured it was Latin American Spanish. It is not. It is Cathhhtilian. And now the publisher is telling me it's not even available in Latin American version. Which means they lied to me the last time.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Rosetta Stone's software is effective in teaching language. I've used their French levels 1-5 and found it quite instructive, even engrossing. But it is very expensive to purchase and some of that cost is probably due to their ubiquitous advertising campaign. Instant Immersion Spanish is a much cheaper alternative. This set contains levels 1-3, about the equivalent of a two year high school course. Learning techniques involve visual recognition, discovering appropriate patterns and then applying the appropriate Spanish, and casual conversations accompanied by visual elements that induce you to make connections. All of these learning techniques lead to multiple questions that increase in difficulty, reinforcing one's knowledge. I found this learning method quite close to my experience with Rosetta Stone. Obviously, there are fewer bells and whistles than the more luxurious software but the results are roughly the same. If you can afford it, Rosetta Stone offers many more perquisites with their software. But given the bargain price and effectiveness of Instant Immersion, this software is easy to recommend. The trick, of course, is in remembering what you've learned once the set is completed. More practice levels seem called for in order to aid retention. I would enjoy further work before what I've learned fades away and will appreciate trying further levels.
37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Having tried "Rosetta Stone" with all its bells and whistles, i was eager to try this competitor which is significantly cheaper, to see if it too would do the job. My initial conclusion is that it does and in fact, I think it might be a little easier to cope with. Whereas Rosetta Stone is a little more up-market in its approach and maybe the interface is a little more sophisticated, Instant Immersion Spanish Levels 1, 2 and 3 gets right down to business with instruction and games that kept me involved and engaged. The buttons and instructions were easy to navigate - the main problem seems to be in how you can exit the program effectively without losing your place. My first experience with the program was a good one and, as someone who has always wanted to learn another language but has not always had the time or resource - this program appears to achieve a similar result to the more well-known Rosetta Stone brand, but at a significantly lower price.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
If you want to give a language a try, do yourself and your wallet a favor and try Instant Immersion first!
Several years ago, I purchased Rosetta Stone (German and Spanish) for my sons, and neither of them like the program. But, having dropped a big bundle of money I made them slog through it, hoping they would pick up something. Had I only known then what I know now, I could have saved myself hundreds and had a more interesting program for the boys. Instant Immersion may not be the slickest looking of the two, but it is by far the better value and offers more than Rosetta Stone.
Pretty much, this program offers two levels of proficiency. The first is the basics of Spanish in social situations. The interactive part is well laid out and easy to navigate. It covers the basics of numbers, greetings and simple conversations, letters, etc, as well as, among others topics, how to order in a restaurant, ask for help in a medical emergency or at a hotel. These are in a game format- choosing the correct answer- and take about 10-15 minutes or so to complete. It is entertaining and lends itself to review and reinforcement. The basics are also covered in the first 2 or 3 discs (of 16 total!) of digital material that is included. As noted in the product description, the audio files are downloadable to mp3 for use in your car or player.
But, if you wish to learn Spanish at a more deeper level, this is where the program really shows its value. The audio portion and the printable transcripts are a complete course in itself. What I really liked about this course is that it covers grammar fairly well, beginning verb tense instruction early on, unlike other courses which simply teach you the the past tense word without any clue as to how to conjugate. It contains hours of practice material on both the audio portion and the interactive portion, so you will have plenty of opportunity to become familiar with the flow of the language as well as listening for comprehension.
The Who is Oscar Lake? game appears to be for those who have mastered quite a bit of the course, and not the beginner. Do not expect anything fancy; it is old school 1990s vintage and not flashy in the least. It is, however, an entertaining way to practice listening to the language and choosing the correct response.
Let me say that if you really want to study the language in depth, you may wish to look into obtaining an actual high school or college textbook. Too, I would recommend a English-Spanish dictionary. Both of these, combined with Instant Immersion, would be a very interesting and very thorough course.
And, as with anything, if you do not put time into actually studying the program you will get little out of it. You can, if you wish, simply listen to the audio files, memorizing and repeating them to help with pronunciation, and learn the basics. Or, you can use the more advanced material to learn about sentence structure, tenses. Either way, at this price you cannot go wrong.
37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
I have never used Rosetta Stone to learn a language so I can't really compare the two but I am hugely impressed with Instant Immersion for learning Spanish. I have always wanted to learn Spanish and being given the opportunity to use this software program I jumped at the chance. No software can take away the fact that you need to put in much footwork and hours of time to learn a new language but Instant Immersion makes it so much fun the hours fly by. I love that it goes from level 1 to level 3 with distinctive goals at each level. The first level teaches you the basic, essential words needed and you progress to level 3 where you put all you've learned along the way and use it in real situations. You immerse yourself in them and are tested in actual situations to fully see your skills.
What is so impressive to me is how user friendly it is. I feel like I have found a teacher who I really like. You are given so many options of tools to test yourself along the way from flash cards, games and a wonderful record/playback function that lets you hear your own voice speaking and compares it to someone skilled in Spanish. It is such an essential tool to help you advance from a novice to sounding like a true natural with the language. I never felt like I was stuck or alone wishing I had someone to ask questions of. Everything I needed was here. I also really feel like I am learning as I progress from level to level. It also has a printable dictionary, a huge dvd rom and has an audio option for your mp3 player. As I said I have never used Rosetta Stone but using this in no way makes me want to look elsewhere for a better or more effective software. Here learning Spanish becomes lots of fun as you put in all the hard work. I honestly never really thought that a software like this could truly teach me a language but I am truly on my way. At each step and level I feel comfortable with what I have learned before moving on and feel that Instant Immersion is there with me by my side. Also I am honestly not just memorizing words and phrases but actually learning how the language works and flows. When I speak it it truly makes sense to me. Thus I am learning how to truly understand the language. If you need to learn Spanish or have been putting it off I highly recommend this software product as the tool to use.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I have to begin this review by saying that there is nothing amazing about this product. If you are going to be traveling to a Spanish speaking country and want the very basic of basics, then it's perfect. You will learn the basics and do so fairly quickly, but you won't learn the grammar and you will need far more to be fluent. That said, I haven't personally used Rosetta Stone but I've been told it works in the same way, so I think this is likely an much less expensive alternative to learning much of what you would learn with Rosetta.
The CD immediately opened up on its own when I put it in my laptop computer, and I have a Dell Inspiron from 2006 with Windows XP 2002 on it. I did not have the option to record myself saying the words because of how old my computer is, but I don't think that's an absolutely necessary function if it does in fact work. The graphics were a bit childish and at times the vocabulary recitation was too fast while the practice recitations seemed too slow.
My review title says it all - this is a decent starter program and good for anyone who is planning on traveling to a Spanish-speaking country, but it's no miracle worker and to truly learn the language you will want to move beyond computer programs such as this or Rosetta Stone, anyway.