95 of 99 people found the following review helpful
I love it, but it has its frustrations.
, July 5, 2011
This review is from: Learn German: Rosetta Stone German - Level 1 (CD-ROM)
I am a native English speaker and I bought the Rosetta Stone German Level 1-5. I am currently learning Level 1 so I see it only fair to review this. The sequential software will come when I have completed each one of them.
The hardware was fine and the headset isn't flimsy. It's much better than any headphone or headset I bought for myself, but that doesn't mean it can't break or get glitches. My only (tiny) hardware irk is that all the Audio companions is on a DVD data disc so I had to burn CDs in order to listen to this in my car. (My iPod is barely used and stays at home.)
I had no problems installing the software or getting my computer to recognize the headset.
To quote myself in another comment:
"I own a 64-bit Windows Vista and I have separate speakers and headset apart from the headset. The only issue that I ran into is that when I installed the the Rosetta Stone software, it automatically defaults ALL sounds through the headset. I didn't realize this until I started playing my music and trying to video chat. This can be adjusted through Control Panel > Hardware & Sounds > Sound (Right-click this icon and create a shortcut onto your desktop!). In the sound control panel, there will be a "Playback" tab and a "Recording" tab. (Sorry XP, Win7, Snow Leopard, and all Mac users. Hopefully you get the gist.)"
Rosetta Stone works; but I am the type of learner where complete immersion, repetition, and activities work. If you have access to Rosetta Online, I recommend the Bingo game and going through the stories. When using Stories, first listen to it and try to visualize every said detail, then read it. Doing this paired with the Audio has helped me tremendously.
I do find problems with pronunciation. Some of my pronunciation errors are right, but there are a few (e.g. alt, Jahre, Bruder, Englisch) that I have to over-exaggerate certain (wrong sounding) noises to get it to accept. That is REALLY frustrating because I don't hear what I'm incorrectly saying. What's also frustrating is that it'll accept many other words that I'm nowhere near to pronouncing correctly. "Uuuuuuh..." is sometimes accepted! The pronunciation quirks pester me the most when using this program, but I can't say I run into them too much where it deters me from wanting to continue through the lessons.
The Milestones at the end the four units are a bit intimidating especially if you don't use the online resources. I am usually at a lost for what to say. It's not obvious all the time. In this situation, just remain silent. The program will think there's an error with the microphone. When you have formed the sentence in your mind, continue with the activity.
I never use this program without Google Translate opened next to it. I don't use it to decipher whole sentences or phrases, just a couple words here and there.
I don't lean too hard on Google for interpretation because after a while, a learner will see that German words do not correlate to just one meaning. "Sie" can mean she, you, they, it and so on. The meaning depends on the overall sentence. So it's important to try to think German and try not to interpret every word directly to English. Rosetta Stone does a good job of giving visuals to let you think in German, but it does not explain any of the Grammar or word rules. This is why I'm shopping for a German grammar book on Amazon.
EXAMPLE: The more I research, the more I see how important it is to when to use "sie" and "du". Both mean "you," but one is formal and good for strangers and the other is used among friends and family. And my understanding is that depending on what "you" we use makes a difference on the spelling of other words in the same sentence.
As someone has mentioned, there's no glossary of words in Rosetta Stone. So when I want to double-check my spelling or the words I'm using, I have to use Google Translate.
****CORRECTION UPDATE**** There is a document of words and phrases learned. It's located on the CD under "Documentation". ****July 12****
Overall, I am very pleased with this program and the progress that I am making. The price is fair to me because it cost less than taking a semester course at my local college and I can access this as many times as I want... whenever I want. Rosetta Stone isn't totally complete with everything you need; and that's why I pair it with Google and other books and tools. However, that doesn't mean that this doesn't work or isn't worth your investment. If you understand that learning a language takes constant work and you are determined to teach yourself, buy this. This software is like a teacher. And since I'm a student, it is up to me to do my homework.
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