Rosetta Stone Language Learning
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Not all languages are available on all platforms. View All 8 Photos in Gallery If you need a language that’s not on that list, there are other apps you can try. Duolingo covers 30 languages, making it a great place to start. While Pimsleur is one of my personal favorite language-learning programs for the content, the catch is it’s almost entirely audio based.
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Not all languages are available on all platforms. View All 8 Photos in Gallery If you need a language that’s not on that list, there are other apps you can try. Duolingo covers 30 languages, making it a great place to start.
While Pimsleur is one of my personal favorite language-learning programs for the content, the catch is it’s almost entirely audio based. If you don’t mind learning through listening, give it a whirl.
Rosetta Stone’s Pricing and Plans Rosetta Stone’s pricing is on the high end compared with other language-learning programs, but it’s well within the average range. It’s sold only as an online subscription now. The options to buy it on disc or as a digital download have been phased out, though you can sometimes find physical CD-ROM sets through retailers and second-hand markets. A subscription to Rosetta Stone includes all the lessons for the language you choose, available both in a web browser and mobile apps for Android and iOS.
The mobile apps let you download lessons to do offline, too. Optionally, you can add online tutoring to your course. These sessions take place virtually in a webinar-style format with a live instructor.
How Does Rosetta Stone Teach? What’s the experience like? You learn by doing exercises in the app that often start with deductive reasoning.
For example, if you hear the word for cat two or three times while looking at a picture of a cat, and then you hear a new word and see pictures of both a cat and a dog, you can infer that the new word means dog.
You click the dog image, and Rosetta Stone plays a harp trill that indicates you got right. If you find that sound irritating, you can disable it. There’s a lot of drill-and-kill style teaching. Once a new word comes into your vocabulary, you’re beaten over the head with it. You hear it, say it, write it, and choose it from a list of options in multiple choice questions. Drill-and-kill teaching can be effective at making new material stick in the brain, though it certainly feels tedious at times.
If you’ve ever tried Rosetta Stone for any language, you’re in for a familiar experience. The core program has changed very little over the years. Rosetta Stone uses the same images—the same goldfish, the same green bicycle, the same bowl of rice—whether you’re learning French, Chinese, or any other language. The homepage and lesson landing pages were recently redesigned, however.
You can see the new design in the beta release of the app, which is available to anyone who opts in. It mirrors what you see the mobile apps, creating a more seamless experience when you use Rosetta Stone on more than one device.
The program starts with some fairly universal vocabulary, such as girl, boy, man, woman, eat, drink, run, swim, water, milk, rice, bread, cat, dog. Don’t expect to learn travel phrases or conversational expressions early on.
Those come much later, unless you bounce over to the bonus Phrasebook material, where you can teach yourself travel phrases and common expressions. Rosetta Stone is consistent, predictable, stable, and reliable. Because each program is nearly identical no matter which language you’re learning, you do lose out on some cultural context.
For example, as universal as the words rice, bread, and milk may seem, there may be languages and cultures where cabbage, potato, and sour cream come in handy more often. Conversely, Rosetta Stone does an excellent job of incorporating images from other cultures.
In learning the words for man, woman, hello, goodbye, and so forth, you see pictures of people from all corners of the earth.
It’s at once diverse visually and not at all culturally specific in the words you learn. Design and Interface In terms of design, Rosetta Stone is a work of art. The interface is polished and graceful. Setting up microphones and running sound checks was consistently simple and successful in my testing, with or without an external microphone.
You do need Adobe Flash for the web app, but a Rosetta Stone representative told me the company is working to make it unnecessary. The program is extremely intuitive with almost no written instructions. You can work through the lessons in order or jump ahead if they’re too easy.
From a dashboard, you can see which lessons you have yet to complete, which ones you’ve finished, and your score for each one. The newly designed landing pages give you more flexibility in choosing how you want to work through the material. Formerly, you’d work through the material in whatever order Rosetta Stone presented them.
Now, based on how the app lays them out, it’s easier to choose the exercises you want to do. You might want to save pronunciation exercises for when you’re home alone, for example, and focus on listening during your commute. Moving from the web app to the mobile apps, and vice versa, your progress is always saved and synced. No matter where you are, it’s easy and downright enjoyable to dive in. A sense of play surrounds the interactive experience without ever being juvenile.
Immerse Yourself in a New Language Rosetta Stone prides itself on its immersive approach, meaning there’s no instruction in English or whatever your native language is. The only English you encounter is in the help menus, settings, and title screens. Rosetta Stone has long used the phrase “natural language acquisition” to describe its program, but it’s really all about repetition and deductive reasoning. When you begin, you see pictures and either see or hear or both words that are associated with that picture.
After being exposed to them several times, you then must speak or write the word. For spoken answers, a voice-recognition system decides whether you’ve said it correctly. You can disable this feature or adjust it to require greater or less accuracy.
As you progress, you eventually have to write the word. The same words and images pop up again and again. With each lesson, your vocabulary builds, so single words turn into short phrases and statements.
Repetition is necessary to some degree with any learning process. With Rosetta Stone, however, it’s heavy and comes without cultural context. If you find yourself reeling from repetition fatigue, I recommend trying some games and activities instead. They’re found in a section called Extended Learning.
I especially like the Read activity, where you read or listen to short stories that are at your skill level. I mentioned earlier that deductive reasoning is another core component of learning in Rosetta Stone. At first you learn simple nouns and verbs using deductive logic, and later, it gets more complicated when you have to suss out new verb forms and plurals “he ran,” “she ran,” “they run” , but it’s never difficult.
This approach has its challenges, though. Because you don’t get any instruction in your native language, it’s impossible to know whether the German Erwachsene means “people” or “adults. Rosetta Stone doesn’t tell you. Rosetta Stone is incredibly useful for learning gender, plurals, and some verb conjugations, but it’s less practical for things I want to know as a traveler or business professional in a foreign country.
While it’s adept at helping you build or strengthen a base vocabulary, it’s not great with complex grammar, nuance, or cultural context. Another point worth noting is that Rosetta Stone doesn’t have a placement test. If you’ve previously studied a language, it’s hard to know where to start.
At least you have the freedom to jump around to different lessons and simply try them out. It’s completely the opposite of Duolingo, which doesn’t let you skip ahead to a future lesson unless you’ve finished all the previous lessons or tested out of them. That said, Duolingo does have an initial placement test so you can start at the right point. Rosetta Stone Tutoring In addition to the core lessons and bonus content, Rosetta Stone has optional tutoring sessions where you can practice your language skills with real live human instructor.
These classes take place via one-way video conference. You see the instructor, who shares their screen, but no one can see you. Your audio is on so that you can respond when the instructor asks you questions. To sign up for a tutoring session, you must reach a milestone in your program.
Each tutoring session matches to a lesson, and what you practice in the class is nearly identical to what you learned so far in the lessons. Classes are plentiful. It’s not hard to find an open slot, no matter your time zone. Group classes contain just a handful of students, four at most.
Private tutoring is one-on-one. The instructor only speaks in the foreign language and sticks to a script, which can feel restrictive. If you don’t understand something or your audio cuts out momentarily, they can’t tell from your facial expressions what’s happening.
A chat box lets you communicate with the instructor if you’re having problems. You can also mute your mic and mark yourself as away if you urgently need to step away from the class. The instructor shows an image and asks you a question about it, and you have to respond.
Again, it’s almost identical to what you do in the app, only now, you’re talking to a real person. I like the lessons because there is a huge difference between speaking a foreign language to a computer and having to listen and respond to another person. It can be intimidating, but at least with Rosetta Stone you have a chance to practice not feeling ashamed of your limitations with the language in a safe environment.
Rosetta Stone’s tutoring sessions are helpful, but they’re no substitute for being in a live classroom. Keep your expectations clear, however, and you can definitely reap some benefits. Games and Bonus Content A section with bonus content and games offers more ways to study and learn.
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I am having trouble installing Rosetta Stone TotalE. After the installation I get the error Fatal Error I’m wondering, has anyone here tried running Rosetta Stone v4 on Mountain Lion? I think the problem occurs when making a fresh installation of Mountain Lion and then using the Migration Assistant to bring applications, settins, and files from a Time Machine backup onto the newly installed Mountain Lion. That’s what I did because I thought upgrading to OS
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