The one good review that everyone should see was from a Vine member...reposted the good part below...
"The BIG con is that Rosetta Stone seems a little money hungry to me, both for the cost of the levels, and that your online part of the software expires and doesn't last indefinitely. I don't have another two hundred and fifty plus dollars to move on to level 2(or seven hundred plus dollars to complete the set)"
I've travelled to foreign countries for my work and leisure. I would have loved having this software to learn the basics such as counting, ordering on a menu, or asking where the toilet is located. You could buy an app that translates for you, but people like the fact you are attempting their language in their country.
Rosetta Stone has been around a long time, and anyone who has flipped through a SkyMall in recent years has heard of them. We also use them in the State Deparment, but I'm not sure how that was decided.
The premise of their Dynamic Immersion process for learning is to replicate how we all learned our first language. This surmounts to massive repetition of seeing/hearing a word/phrase/sentence and clicking on one image that matches, of the four given.
For example, you would hear and see the word "ball" and then pick which of four images (a burger, a bowl, a ball, and a clown) is a "ball". As you progress, you'll see/hear more advanced stuff like "a man with a red shirt tosses the ball" and have to pick which scene matches that phrase. You will make lots of wrong choices because you won't have any idea which is the "ball", but as you randomly get something right, your brains makes the connection. The belief is that this trial and error process makes a longer-lasting impression than just being shown a picture of a ball and being told "ball".
The process may seem inane, but it does work if you give it enough time. It works for any age also, although children do seem to retain it better. My kids took longer to get through each lesson, but it stuck with them longer.
It isn't perfect and it isn't the ideal process for everyone. If you are looking for a quick runthrough to pick up some phrases to get by on during an upcoming trip, this isn't for you. You aren't going to learn much that is useful very quickly. This is a process for truly learning a language.
The cons about the method, besides some outdated photos and questionable decisions on regional dialects chosen for the voices (they do mix it up nicely though), are how long it takes and that I wish they'd add a little actual teaching into the process. Yes, this is how we learned as babies and little kids, but we're not babies and little kids anymore. Teach us bits about grammar, etc as we go along to speed it up.
The big con about Rossetta Stone in general is the cost. All five levels of a language are $500. You get a free three-month trial to their online interactive Rosetta World (stories, games, etc. In the language), but after that it is $20/month or $99/year. This Gold Box deal is a good price for buying just the first level, but I wouldn't recommend buying more than one language today. I'd suggest going to their website and just trying some of their free demos to see what you think first. If you are interested, buy just one language today and take your time to go through the whole level. If you are liking it, then get the more complete packs (Levels 1-3 or or 1-5). Deals on the packs some times pop up, but rarely are all that much of a savings. And be sure to check prices on Amazon and eBay first.
I had thought of getting the Tagalog version in the past, but I ended up getting it for free for a while through the military and I didn't like it too much. I've always heard that it is great for the Western languages and a bit more difficult for Eastern, but Tagalog has a lot of similarities to Spanish. It is probably just me though, because I know Rosetta Stone works for a lot of people. It might just be that I am not good with other languages.
If it was cheaper, I would think about giving it another go I suppose.
Way overpriced, now that they are losing their sales to government and military they are trying to feed the masses; well, it's not going to happen at this price point. I have the Rosetta Stone network version on one of my servers with about 5-6 language packs in it, Uncle Sam paid for it or it would be going back same week it came in. Time limit on the online version is ridiculous.
Did I mention overpriced?
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The Rosetta Stone company is ethically bankrupt and very manipulative. I would never load a piece of their software on my computer. About five years ago, they introduced an online version of their entire program to license out to educational facilities. It was a huge success. Shortly after the launch, they shut down the entire e-service and sent anyone who had registered through this site a polite yet threatening e-mail stating that if they wished their progress not to be lost, they would now have to purchase their own home version of the software as they changed their mind on the licensing out model. There was no "grandfathering" in - it was just pay more or lose your lesson plans. It was shady and sleazy and I would never give them a dime.
"... I don't have another two hundred and fifty plus dollars to move on to level 2(or seven hundred plus dollars to complete the set)"
Didn't you say this was from a vine review? (Okay, never mind, found it. And the viner *still* gave the product 4 stars.)
Another $250? He/she never paid $250 in the first place.
I would really skip all the vine reviews and start with the three star and lower reviews, since all but 3 or 4 of the 4/5 star "reviews" are by viners. The real customers who actually paid for the product have a lower opinion of it than those that got it for free.
(I always wanted to try something like RS, but not after reading the reviews. Online access expires in 3 months?)
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I'll wait for MrBook to weigh in before deciding whether to buy or not.
"Another $250? He/she never paid $250 in the first place."
LOL, that's why I just skip those reviews and if a product has an overwhelming amount of them I skip it (the product) altogether. This deal is just a sad attempt to get you started on a language and then "offer" you the next step(s) for $250/ea.
I had forgotten the fiasco with the online service when they decided to pull the licensing scheme and leave you hanging. Shameful, just shameful!
Does anyone know the difference between the home school, CDROM and download versions?
Also, how essential is the subscription to the online features for learning the language and how much do they cost?
The existence of Vine reviews indicates the possibility (though not certainty) of the product being junk or being overpriced junk. If a product is of value there will be legitimate reviews from customers who saw the value of the product and were willing to pay for it. My respects to the Viners who do attempt to do reviews (although I noticed in some cases they merely copy facts into their reviews that were obtained from the product website) but no love to a product that uses this program to promote sales on the fast track. There have been instances when I was ready to buy a product but the mere existence of Vine reviews pushed me away.
well - in the vine reviewers defense - they are reviewing the product. They aren't reviewing the total value of Rosetta which would then include cost of the program vs. learning and any other caveats. BTW - I wouldn't buy Rosetta either. I just don't believe in its teaching paradigm.
The FATAL FLAW with these programs is that they try to teach you the way you learned your first language....but once you hit puberty, YOUR BRAIN CHANGES THE WAY IT WORKS, AND LEARNING THE SAME WAY IS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT. This is why little kids learn to speak second languages much more quickly, and they can even lose their original accent, whereas adults learning new languages take much longer, require education of rules, and require more visual cues. Another example would be musical education: learning guitar requires muscle memory, because you'd never get anywhere if you had to think about which finger goes where and does what, and muscle memory requires LOTS of repetition. Kids can repeat a musical phrase about 20 times and get it without thinking about it, whereas older adults may take 150 repetitions to accomplish the same thing. Another FATAL FLAW is that Rosetta Stone writes each phrase out in the original language, and if you are unfamiliar with the alphabet, you're lost and it's useless. I bought the Greek program for my kids, and all the phrases were written in Greek. Fine for me, since I know the alphabet, but imagine a novice with no language training trying to decipher the hieroglyphics.
In short, there are MUCH better, faster, and complete ways to learn a new language for adults. For kids, this is fine.
Rosetta Stone's software itself seems to be of good quality. However: beware if you think you may resell this software at some point in the future, or are buying it specifically to resell, as Rosetta Stone is notorious for zealously prohibiting third party resales on major websites. I discovered this myself when I bought a brand new RS Latin package from a thrift store, listed it on a well-known auction site, and within hours received a stern notice that my listing was shut down by request from Rosetta lawyers. Google "reselling Rosetta Stone" for numerous similar experiences.
What are the much better ways to learn a language as an adult that you referred to but didn't mention? I'm honestly curious as I'm trying to decide to purchase this or not. Thanks!
That's what I'd like to know.
A google search with the quoted phrase "better than rosetta stone" will get a lot hits. Choose what strikes you.
We just started the Learnables: http://www.learnables.com/curr_french1cd.html and so far we like it. We purchased it through a home school deal and got about $15-$20 off IIRC.
I figure if we hate it at least we didn't spend a fortune.
Sometimes they do have a three part deal - 3 levels for $395. If you sign up on their website, they throw the deals at you. I agree...I wouldn't shell out $700 for three levels, but you can't beat a boxed set for $395. I tried the French homeschool version which had four parts to it back in 2002; however, by time I got it, I switched from PC to Mac, so I never could use it! They had nothing for the MAC back then.
I bought my Korean set in 2008. You can install it on Mac or PC.
I learned German from school books, oui oui!