Rosetta Stoning

August 16, 2008 at 2:32 pm 2 comments

Walking down the terminal hallway in the SFO international aiport, I pass by the typical airport vendors: burrito shops, sunglass huts, bodyshops, newspaper/candy stands. Go a little farther and I see this carousel stand piled high with boxes of Rosetta Stone software.

In Rosetta Stone, one learns a foreign language by matching real images to words. The software also has speech recognition technology (who knows how reliable that is … I’m talking Ray Dougherty … mathematica style??).

Rosetta Stone semi intrigues me. This is why.

31 languages are available.

There’s a 100 percent 6-month money back guarantee. Well that’s pretty nifty, I thought. But how did the Rosetta Stoners get around the issue of people returning the software if it just indeed sucks? No matter what, I believe Rosetta Stone is a fool-proof business strategy because if a client uses the program, his or her vocabulary will obviously improve or become better from what it was to start with. Right? So there’s no incentive to return it.

What I’ve also learned about Rosetta Stone after reading ads in the Economist is that when the levels of language learning difficulty increase, so, level 1, level 1 +2, level 1+2+3, the price of the software also increases.

I’d want to buy advanced French software and beginner Spanish and Italian. I’d like feedback, because I’d want to buy it but I don’t know if I’m just a sucker.

I don’t like that you have to buy a new program for each new language. BOOO.

My gut feelings are that is you use Rosetta Stone, your sentence building suffers but vocab improves.


Entry filed under: Katie, Miscellaneous Musings. Tags: , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. miranda  |  August 16, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Katie! This is Betty’s friend. So you WERE in SF? Now I feel like a chump. Your text said San Diego. If you’re still in the city text me again if you’re looking for suggestions. I’m working and starting class Monday but I might be able to get breakfast in, too. Whatevs.

    I think Rosetta Stone is pretty great. We got a free copy of beginner Spanish and it’s really fun. I don’t know if it’s worth all the money though because I haven’t gotten into it that heavily. It makes you pronounce words which is the most useful and for me, embarrassing part.

  • 2. FrVasya  |  August 18, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    I just started using RosettaStone’s Greek 1 & 2 (yes, I shelled out all the money). I have been doing 2-3 lessons per day (the importance of the program is to keep using it consistently). I already had a basic knowledge of Greek (especially in terms of grammar and the liturgical language). So I really need more day-to-day vocabulary. Rosetta uses an associative method (voice and/or text combined with pictures). Therefore, if you keep practicing, you start to make the associations and actually learn the vocabulary this way without ever being told the exact meaning of the word (much like you learn when you’re a child). The only issue is that you are not familiar with the language’s writing system (such as Greek, Russian, Chinese, etc.), it does not provide a tutorial (or I didn’t see it) of the writing system so you’re on your own to figure it out.

    Overall, I think it is well worth your money if you are serious about language learning.


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