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on March 18, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Writing a review of Rosetta Stone English is problematic because, of course, the review is being written in English for an English language web site, for a product intended for persons who do not, as of yet, speak fluent English. That said, and assuming that a English speaking friend or Google Translate is helping someone read this, one might ask: Will using Rosetta Stone English allow you to say "I am amazed that I am able to speak fluent American accented English after using this program for only a few weeks! I will now go to America and speak with the Americans there as though I was born in California"?

Probably not. It is, however, a very useful and well thought out program.

The Rosetta Stone line of language products all share the same basic design and interface. The key to the Rosetta Stone system is the presentation of word and action associations, influenced by context. This simulates the sort of cues that one would parse and process in speaking any language, even your own native language. Normally, you don't think about this as you speak your own language. But it's one of the hardest things to simulate outside of dealing with a second language in its own country and having the chance to deal with real life situations involving speakers of the second language.

Each screen is accompanied by a phrase, spoken out loud by a native speaker in the program, and four slightly different picture scenes that require you to pick the one that the sentence is referring to. Beginning at a very basic level -- such as "the boy is under the tree" (in whatever language) with four pictures of a boy next to, under, in the limbs of and cutting down the tree -- your proficiency improves as you move through these basic cues to more advanced and complex speaking and contexts. By the end of the program you are dealing with fairly complex situations, sentences and associations.

The program also allows you to repeat the phrase and, using the supplied microphone, match and score your own pronunciation against the supplied sample. You can also test your ability to properly write out a second language by spelling out and typing the phrase, although the work arounds for using a US English QWERTY keyboard with the special characters and distinct keyboard layouts used by different languages can be awkward. There are several variations on all the visual, verbal and textual tests.

The most important question one must answer when considering this product is: will it, as the advertising suggests, be a magic gateway to language learning that is all you need? The answers is: sort of.

First, this is an expensive product. Make no mistake, when you pay for a heavily advertised product like this that you are, in part, paying the cost of the extensive advertising that brought it to your attention and put you in a mind to buy it.

Second, although Rosetta Stone is an extremely well thought out and useful system for review, practice, improving reaction times to prompts in other languages, and gaining fluency through exposure to variable contexts, it is not a complete language course.

I have purchased a load of different language courses for languages that I have wanted to study on my own, and I can say, at least for me, that using at least two or more different packages that compliment, reinforce and overlap with each other is always better than trying to learn everything with only the logic and pattern of one single course. Besides, you really do need to learn grammar and other parts of the subject that cannot really be covered by, or communicated well by, a single program, even one as well thought out as Rosetta Stone.

At some point you really do have to crack a book and do some regular studying and learning, even though Rosetta Stone strongly implies that you can be speaking away in a second language with nothing more than some time in front of your laptop.

Conclusion: whatever language you are wanting to study, seriously consider Rosetta Stone. But also seriously consider buying a Pimsleur and a Living Language course to go along with it, and seriously contemplate the very un-Rosetta Stone-ish subject of studying verb conjugation rules, grammar, usage and verb tables.

All together you will stand a much better chance of gaining real fluency, and not just the ability to distinguish if the boy is in, under or besides he tree, or if all of the people, two of the people, the two men or the three women in the picture are eating steak or drinking wine. It's all good, but no one product or course can do it all.
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on August 3, 2013
I bought this product for my young kids. It is very useful for kids. It explains detaily and has fun. My children love this product. Also it delivers very quickly. I strongly recommend this product. If you want to improve your English, you should buy this.
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on April 12, 2015
That's wonderful just what I expected!! However for IPAD, just one person is permitted free.
I expected free use IPAD app. for 5 my family members. But sadly it doesn't.
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on December 9, 2017
The software is amazing. Step by step.
Thank you very much.
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on January 5, 2012
I purchased the full English course for my wife this Christmas. Wow I was expecting so much more. This might be worth a hundred bucks for someone who understands nothing about a language. Having written many web and pc based applications, I am very disappointed with the lack of ability to quickly and easily navigate through the tool.
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on April 29, 2017
Good product
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on January 17, 2017
I have purchased this for a friend who is Arabic speaking and wants to learn English. They have very remedial English and I thought Rosetta Stone had great reviews so I bought this.

I am dissapointed in several aspects.

1.) they provide instructions in several languages but not in Arabic. So they were unable to install this by themselves. I had to install it for them.

2.) the installation process was confusing and consisted of downloads and cd rom. It took about 30 mins just to install completely.

3.) the speaker and microphone both work on the mac we were using but for some reason we are not able to get the software to recognize the built in microphone or the included headset microphone OR a third part headset with a microphone. The instructions on setting up audio weren't very helpful in troubleshooting either. So we are using it without a microphone for now.

4. The "headset" it's bey cheap and hard to stay on your ears and the microphone is like 2" long and doesn't fit well on your face. I would recommend purchasing or using separate headset.

5. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the software is that the window it works in has a fixed height and is taller than my screen. So, not only is the bottom of the screen cut off below my viewport but I can't even reach the bottom corner to resize it smaller. My only option is "zoom". I will note that I have a 2013 13" MacBook Pro running the latest OS and my screen resolution is as high as I can set it.

I would only recommend getting this if you:
• speak enough English (or French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, German) to get it set up.
• you have plenty of time to spend setting it up.
• you use a better headset
• you use this on a larger laptop or desktop computer

Good luck!
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Although I am a native American English speaker I have a great interest in different methods of teaching the language to those that are new to it. I spent over a decade working for a Japanese company, visiting the home office in Tokyo often and also traveling all over the world. My oldest son actually decided to learn Japanese and received his degree in teaching ESL and worked for a language school in Chiba, Japan for a few years. When I got the opportunity to review this product I was excited as I knew that I would be able to get his opinion on it as well as giving my own.

Reviewing the entire five level set seemed daunting at first, but it was actually a lot of fun. It was a little odd since I am a native speaker of the language that it was teaching, but I could see that I was well thought out. The voice recognition was a little dicey; sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't seem to. I went through the entire 1st level and then spot-checked some of the others. I was surprised at how quickly it moved along (the level 5 lessons were quite advanced.)

My son took a look at it and was impressed and he thought that it would make a great introduction or supplement to conventional classes. However, he felt that although it was appropriate for those who planned on visiting an English speaking country he didn't think that it would prepare someone who wanted to live and conduct business in one. His opinion was that Rosetta Stone is wonderful for increasing someone's English vocabulary, but it doesn't really teach the rules and nuances of the language.

Finally, I loaned it to a friend of a friend who is a native Spanish speaker and only speaks marginal English. She loved it so much that when she finally gave it back she purchased her own set that very day. I would love to get a chance to get a Rosetta Stone program in the languages that I have interest in (Spanish and Japanese) and would certainly recommend this one to anyone wanting to learn conversational English with the caveat that additional instruction is necessary if they wish to become proficient.
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on January 6, 2012
Never ever buy this product.I wasted about $300 and not able to use even for 2 months.Level1 cd didn't work and have to wait about couple of hours to get technical support.They waster another few hours and told buy CD which cost about $7.
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on April 4, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )

I know the English language, but even if you were born in the U.S., you may still not know the English (American) language. I would highly recommend this product for small children with the help from their parents. Your kids will excel in English classes, just by learning how to speak/write the English language properly. Rosetta Stone is the best language software you can find. It is fabulous, you have a lot of fun while learning and the material is presented in a very thorough manner with plenty of visuals, audio, and aids. Another bonus is the added interactive feature and immersion, along with on-line help and tracking your progress. The microphone also allows you to have immediate feedback as to whether you are pronouncing the words correctly. I highly recommend this product for individuals with small children. This product will take you from the basics and further beyond.
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