225 of 228 people found the following review helpful
If you are planning to buy Rosetta Stone,
This review is from: Rosetta Stone V3: Spanish (Latin America) Level 1 with Audio Companion [OLD VERSION] (CD-ROM)
I had 2 years of high school German many years ago and now that I am retired I thought it might be fun to learn a new language to help keep my mind active. I picked Spanish because I never really used the German I learned and with Spanish TV and trips to Yuma I figured I might be able to use it. I did quite a bit of research to find a program I could really learn the language at home on my own schedule. This is the best program I found. The program teaches you how to understand, speak, read and write the language. It is done all in Spanish through pictures. You are shown a picture and you are expected to respond in Spanish. The voice recognition decides if you are speaking it correctly and does not continue until you do. It also asks you to type answers in Spanish to questions or pictures. It builds from single words to sentences and to groups of sentences. You can go back and redo lessons which I have many times but it also retests you at timed intervals based on the questions you missed. I have been working with it for 5 months now and really enjoy it.
Some things you should think about before you buy this expensive program. Learning a new language while fun is also very time consuming. The person taking the course needs to be motivated to continue because this isn't a 2 week course but a learning system and will take you a year working every day to become fluent enough to actually use the language.
If you are really committed to learning a language I'd suggest you buy all 3 levels at once. It is expensive but far cheaper that buying them one at a time. I bought the first level to see if I would like it and then ended up having to buy the other 2 levels separately. This gave me 3 sets of headphones. There is also an audio companion that comes with each level. I found it difficult to use and stopped after a couple of months. I may go back and try it after I have completed the levels.
What else do you need besides the course? Well, I would suggest a good Spanish/English dictionary. Sometimes it is hard to tell exactly what is shown in the picture. You can get Spanish children's books from the library and of course Spanish TV. This will help you with the sound and rhythm of the language. You can listen to popular Spanish songs. You've heard the phrase "Lost in translation." well the words that flow so well in one language probably won't in another. The rhymes of Dr Seuess work well in English and fall flat in Spanish and the lyrical Spanish songs sound clunky when translated. But don't let this stop you. The goal is to think in both languages. Once past level one I would suggest the book "Breaking out of Beginner's Spanish" by Joseph J. Keenan. It is not a language book but a book on the customs of Spanish countries. Using I when talking about yourself is common in English but considered self centered and arrogant in Spanish so it is dropped.
If you are considering Rosetta Stone for someone else or aren't really sure for yourself they offer a free lesson CD. Try that first.
Adio'sBreaking Out of Beginners Spanish
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 20, 2010 1:27:22 PM PST
Joe Reisinger says:
Practical information is always appreciated.
Posted on Mar 21, 2010 2:13:00 AM PDT
! Aesop - Sam says:
An informative and helpful information indeed!
Posted on Jul 14, 2010 1:24:11 PM PDT
K. Webb says:
Great info, thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2010 7:39:06 AM PDT
I was wondering whether to buy only the first Rosetta Stone level or all three at once. Who needs three pairs of headphones? Glad to see such concise, but very helpful, information in this review!
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