Learn Chinese: Rosetta Stone Chinese (Mandarin) - Level 1-5 Set
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- Access for up to 5 family members
- Download activation key included
- Learn at your own pace with our course that never expires
- Proprietary speech-recognition technology compares your voice to a native speaker 100 times per second
- Access to award winning mobile app for 3-months - available on Kindle Fire HD, iOS, and Android
- Live online tutoring sessions with a Native Speaker - 3-month trial included
- Earbuds with microphone included in box
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From the manufacturer
Discover the new Rosetta Stone experience with a Level 1-5 Set
Millions of people around the world have already learned a new language with our award-winning approach. It's no coincidence that Rosetta Stone is the fastest way to learn a language. Our method is effective because it's more than the newest app—it's the result of decades of research into the way people learn best.
Level 1-5 Set
What You'll Learn
With the Level 1-5 Set you will develop your command of the language. From the simple to the complex, gain the confidence to share your ideas and opinions. Develop conversational skills to plan adventures, care for your health and move abroad. Talk about government, work, movies and citizenship. Discuss family and traditions and celebrate success.
Levels 1 and 2: 0-100 Hours
Gain confidence by mastering basic conversational skills. This includes greetings, introductions, simple Q&As, and much more.
Levels 3 and 4: 101-200 Hours
Learn to navigate your environment and handle basic interactions. This includes giving and getting directions, using transportation, telling time, eating out and more.
Level 5: 201-250 Hours
Discuss Entertainment, culture, government, and the marketplace. Level 5 is the place to refine and perfect your conversation skills.
You’ll learn through immersion—which means you’ll only hear and speak your new language. Without offering your native language for translation, our interactive immersion encourages you to learn more actively than other methods, which means you’ll be more successful.
Our advanced system presents material at the right intervals to optimize your individual learning. The curriculum is sequenced to introduce new skills in a way that stimulates your brain’s natural language learning ability.
Advanced speech recognition technology analyzes every syllable, whenever you speak.
Does the Rosetta Stone solution work?
- Millions of learners around the world have discovered a language with the Rosetta Stone solution—from individuals to corporate clients such as NASA, the US State Department, and more than 10,000 schools.
Rosetta Studio introduces you to real conversation in online sessions with language coaches who are native speakers. Supercharge your learning and experience everything communicating live has to offer.
Rosetta World is a lively online community where ramping up your language skills looks a lot like playing games. Reinforce what you've learned by having a live online chat, or facing off against new friends around the world. Chances are, you'll be having so much fun, you won't realize how much you're improving.
Rosetta Stone on the Go!
Learn and practice on the go-or sync and track your progress across multiple devices. Our available mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android tablets and smartphones make it easy.
Ready to dive in?
If you want to learn to swim, you need to get in the water.
It's the same with learning to speak another language. Without your native language for help, you'll learn actively—which makes you more successful.
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Platform: PC/Mac Disc | Edition: Chinese
Top customer reviews
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To Rosetta Stone's credit, the software is a fabulous experiment in foreign language instruction. It has a unique methodology that aims at simulating immersion. Of course, in reality, immersion experiences are much more overwhelming in the amount of the language you simply do not know-- immersion experiences do not slowly build from one lesson to the next, but are much more "Everything all the time"-- so Rosetta Stone gives you the feeling of working only in the target language, but in a way that is constructive. This is particularly helpful in languages that don't use roman script, and RS Chinese is great because you can also choose to immerse in Chinese characters, or work with the pinyin as much as you choose.
Rosetta Stone's strength, across languages, is in understanding how to speak formally (and respectfully, to some extent), and to study grammar without complex grammar maps or formulas like you might see in a textbook. Rosetta Stone also teaches a fairly wide vocabulary-- I often complete lessons in Rosetta Stone and think that the lesson was overall not helpful, but that I benefited from a memorable introduction to some vocabulary or to a complex grammatical structure that I did not previously understand.
Rosetta Stone has a further strength of being somewhat 'fun' (especially when it does not feel redundant and slow-building, which it, unfortunately, often does between Core Lessons). This makes it perfect for studying between semesters, or for productive procrastination when living abroad in a place where you'll be using the target language every day.
Rosetta Stone's weakness, however, is that it builds spoken proficiency slowly, including survival phrases in the target language. Audio programs such as Pimsleur are much more effective for "spitting out" a phrase that you'll need, and getting to a language level where you'll be able to creatively express yourself in an interaction with a native speaker, and Pimsleur is helpful for listening comprehension. College courses and interacting with live teachers / tutors is also better than RS for addressing listening comprehension and for testing one's spoken language skills, and they are essential when beginning to learn how to write Chinese characters-- a skill that is fairly hard to learn from a book or a computer at the onset, and requires the feedback of a literate Chinese person. While RS is great for immersion in foreign script, and in RS Chinese's case, Chinese characters, I also find longer passages of writing such as in Integrated Chinese and its workbooks, more helpful for reading sentence-after-sentence and dialogues, skills which Rosetta Stone simply does not address. The same applies to the audio and video supplements of IC, which allow you a different way to practice listening comprehension than RS, one which is generally more helpful for me. (RS Audio Companion, which I've used somewhat in Version 3 Levels 1-3, is just a joke-- it's a chance to listen to the audio from the RS software over and over again. It's not helpful unless you've really mastered the content that they're reading (or you wind up thinking "Yep, I don't know that yet..."), and if you've mastered it, you don't need the help-- nowhere near as useful as Pimsleur. Anyway, who wants to hear someone say something like "The fourth person in line is wearing a hat." over and over again? Who would call that studying?)
The price of RS Chinese is what necessitates that the software be truly excellent, though it falls somewhat short. At at least $160 / level, it is slightly cheaper than the only software that comes close to being a major, thoughtful competition, Fluenz. Unfortunately, Fluenz Mandarin, like Rosetta Stone up until only months prior to this review, only has three levels, and will probably take some time to expand to levels 4 and 5 in Chinese, just as RS did. Price-wise, RS is also on par with buying a copy of Pimsleur's full language-levels (which contain 30 lessons per level, and can easily be listened to two or three times per lesson before they are mastered)-- a new copy of a Pimsleur level is about $200-230, and a used copy is half that, though you can possibly also find Pimsleur at a local library, making it the best price possible-- free! That's a major difference, if you consider how much more useful Pimsleur is for becoming a pass-able speaker in basic survival Chinese. These financial considerations are quite serious when you consider that Rosetta Stone has enough weaknesses that it shouldn't be your only means of studying the language, and that you'll need at least one other method for rounding-out your studies-- here, I would highly recommend the Integrated Chinese textbooks, with their workbooks and audio programs; themselves not inexpensive.
As for the Total-E package, I can't help but celebrate that RS has finally created honest intermediate level Chinese courses with Levels 4 and 5. I am, however, anxious that the online course material is a limited subscription-- it MUST be activated within 6 months of purchase and it is only a three month subscription. Pedagogically, it is great that this effectively pressures you to complete your language level in three months, however, it's also a bit offensive-- that you pay $160 for software that works for only three months-- What was Rosetta Stone thinking? According to another reviewer of the Total-E software (who was studying a different language) the online classes and interaction with native speakers is one of the crucial elements of RS that makes it somewhat worth its price tag; he cited the major drawback of this as being that instructors / classes are only available at certain times of day, limited especially by the times that would be convenient for people studying in American timezones-- that is a BIG drawback if you are, like me, going to using the software in China. It also leaves me concerned that not many other users will be available for the other user-to-user online learning classes. The availability of user-to-user and instructor-to-user classes doubles my concern that RS has chosen to impose a three-month limit on the subscription that is bundled with expensive software.
Finally, in this review I'd like to say that one of the harsh insults that RS Chinese doles out is the lack of support for the language in the the Total-E Companion on the Android market-- the app itself is not given strong reviews, so you get the sense that you're not missing out on much, but I can't help but hope that RS will hurry and finish the language support in the app before my subscription ends. (The app functionality is also tied to the frustratingly limited online subscription service.)
I'll be updating this review as I work through the language levels I bought, though I wanted to write this initial review as testament to what RS does and doesn't do, from someone who has used it for years, and as an initial impression when I un-bundled my newly-purchased Total-e packages.
*UPDATE June 7 2012*
As I've been using level four, I've also noted that the Speaking exercises are a little lacking. For good practice, I have turned the sensitivity all the way up, so that theoretically I would have to pronounce everything perfectly to get "credit" for it in the exercises. However, for many readings, RS will allow ridiculous pauses and hesitations in your production (that I don't think a native speaker would comprehend), many syllables can be botched completely, and yet the sensitivity around the pinyin "X" (which, I admit, is hard for me to pronounce) is really really high, which is all kind of confusing, and leaves me feeling like I'm just saying something again and again to please the software, rather than master the language. The biggest drawback in the speaking exercises is that the software pays no attention whatsoever to the tones you use, which isn't the biggest help for mastering a tonal language.
The lessons, though, are very effective. With this method, it never feels like you're memorizing vocabulary; it all seems to come naturally during the lesson. I also like the subtle way that Rosetta Stone forces the learner to deduce the meaning of new words/grammar structures by using images, context, and familiar language aspects. I would say that this works well for the listening, speaking, vocabulary, and grammar. However, the reading of characters is very minimal, and the "writing" is simply typing the pinyin rather than any techniques with the characters; so I would say that there is not a heavy emphasis on these two parts. Maybe it is explored more in depth in advanced levels.
All this being said, I would highly recommend that some additional supplements, such as a basic grammar book, be used to accompany Rosetta Stone. The total immersion approach is a great idea in theory, but I think in practice adult learners really do need a bit more. This is certainly the case with me; I purchased an inexpensive grammar book and have also been using free internet resources to assist me when there is something Rosetta Stone does not elaborate on. I think at the very least you would need a really basic knowledge of how the language varies from English, such as the fact that the verbs don't conjugate and the nouns have "classifiers." Not that you need to already understand these grammatical concepts in depth, but Chinese is so different from many Western languages that having these differences in mind helps you analyze and more fully understand the examples in Rosetta Stone. It's very helpful if you already have an idea of what to expect.
Overall, with the help of some supplements, I am enjoying my experience with Rosetta Stone and feel that if you put time and effort into the program, it can be very effective.
A great side benefit is you can also download a smartphone app to practice on the go (most, but not all modules are accessible in the mobile app). The app is straightforward and well designed, and it help to squeeze in 20 minutes of practice here or there.
For how much this costs, though, it seems unreasonable to also require a subscription fee for access to some of the online interactive features, although I've been getting along fine without it.
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