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What do you think of Rosetta Stone for languages?

Discussion in 'Travel Talk' started by misstravelbug, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. misstravelbug

    misstravelbug Member


    I can speak rusty Italian and the children and I want to learn together in preparation for our trip next year.

    We don't have any language schools that teach Italian nearby, so I was considering the Rosetta Stone subscription package.

    What do you recommend? What do you like/dislike?

    Thanks x
  2. Ian Sutton

    Ian Sutton Member +

    It is good for getting pronunciation right, though my partner found it very picky, possibly due to her NZ accent. A few times I was listening to her say the word and it sounded perfect to me, yet 'the computer said no'. It's not my style, though I think I would have considered starting on it if it was around when I first started learning.

    I suspect the children would take naturally to the interactivity and for something to prepare for next year, is probably better than the more structured / formal self tuition I did via Italianissimo (a UK thing, I think through the BBC). Local classes can be the best option, or perhaps with the whole family, you could get a tutor to come to you?
  3. misstravelbug

    misstravelbug Member

    Italianissimo!!! That was what we learnt from at uni for the first year. I loved that text book!
    Yes, I am wanting a more interactive learning experience for the children, not so much about grammar etc but more conversation and learning fluid grammar from speech. (if that makes sense) My DS has not learnt grammar for English yet so I don't want to confuse him or make it more complicated than it needs to be.
    Kids seems to pick it up easier, but I don't want to spend the $$$ on Rosetta Stone if it's all conjugations, subjects and prepositions...iykwim?
  4. beefyboy

    beefyboy New Member

    is free, and has some interactive features including speech. It is progressive and your children might enjoy that particular element. I suppose the negative aspect is that it can be competitive, and only you know if that would pose problems!
  5. aap519

    aap519 Member

    You might want to check your local library for language learning DVDs. My local library had 10 different language learning DVDs for French and all of them were pretty good.

    I did Rosetta Stone and it certainly helps, but I am not sure the price makes it any better than what you learn through Instant Immersion http://store.instantimmersion.com/ software.

    Good luck to you.
  6. Ian Sutton

    Ian Sutton Member +

    You may recognise my signature then, from the very end of the 1st chapter! I studied it so much on regular train journeys that some is so embedded I could probably recite it!

    As for Rosetta stone, it seemed utterly away from the grammar side, being more like an interactive phrase book focused on those for whom grammar is considered one of the 'dark arts'. It might change as you get deeper into it, but I'd doubt it would flip to being serious about driving home the grammatical elements.
  7. misstravelbug

    misstravelbug Member

    You guys are awesome, thank you x
    aap519 likes this.
  8. Roz

    Roz Member +

    If it's just for yourself, I'd recommend the Pimsleur series. But I don't know if your kids would like them as much as something with visuals. I've found Pimsleur the best language series going for actually improving speaking and comprehension. Pimsleur is expensive, although at least in the US most libraries have the CDs that you can borrow.

    Personally I didn't like Rosetta Stone (which I also got from the library). Here's a website with a pretty good summary of why Rosetta Stone doesn't work, and what is good about Pimsleur. The author of that website likes Yabla, which is based on videos. Has anyone here ever tried that? I haven't, but it might work better with kids than something all-audio.
  9. Ian Sutton

    Ian Sutton Member +

    Interesting review and I have to agree that their marketing is a way ahead of their product, in both it's impact and the ability to stretch the truth about it's claims (I had no idea they talked about 'immersion' - I agree with the reviewer that immersion is having to speak it for much of the day. Even going to Torino this week is unlikely to be immersion, as my accent is still to easily spotted and many offer to speak English (or just do so). With a partner who speaks little Italian, I often swallow my pride and accept, even though I'll often persevere in Italian myself whilst they speak English.

    I think they are unfair in the review, in not mentioning the strong point of getting pronunciation 'just right'. In Italian it can matter a lot, and I'm told French is even more particular about pronunciation if you want to be understood. I learnt a lot of bad habits from lazy self-study, habits that are hard to root out even with face to face tuition. Highest on my list is my laziness in focusing on the formal, in part because it cut down on what I needed to learn and seemed usable all the time. These days my reliance on it (over the informal) does cause problems, as the impression it gives off is aloofness and unwillingness to be friendly, which is the opposite of what I intend.

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