Rosetta Stone – How good (or bad) is it, really?

Of course everyone will have their own preferences but I honestly believe that most people will come to the same conclusion if they were able to see everything clearly.

If you could compare Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur and all other language programs, I think you’d find that none of them really provide a complete solution to learning a foreign language.

So is it possible to create a complete solution?  Yes, I think it is.  Does it exist?  I’ve never found it.

So how about Rosetta Stone, is it any good? I’ve tried it and I don’t like it. It’s essentially flash cards with modern computer technology. I find it boring.

Here’s a rather entertaining video of Michael Phelps trying to learn Mandarin with Rosetta Stone.  He looks just like I felt using Rosetta Stone and most other language learning programs.

Now I’m sure a lot of people who really like Rosetta Stone will complain in the comments, but I’d like to know how many of them have used it and then could actually communicate easily in the language they learned?

Rosetta Stone teaches vocabulary and phrases but that’s not enough to allow you to communicate with someone in a foreign language.

Here’s another video from someone who seems to have experience with several programs.

Rosetta Stone, like McDonalds, are great at marketing, but does McDonalds really make a good hamburger?

I specifically want to learn French, Russian, and Japanese.  Then I’d like to learn Spanish, and then German because I like Switzerland and my friends all live in the German speaking region.

I’ve yet to find a method or material that I really like so I’ve started making my own.  You can have a look at my Russian material here: Learn Russian.

Before anyone points their accusing finger saying that I’m bad mouthing Rosetta Stone and others, just so I can promote my own, NO, I’m not promoting my own.  …yet. 🙂

I’d LOVE to have someone show me a good program and then I wouldn’t have to build one.

I’ll continue adding to this post and look forward to reading your comments.

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2 comments so far

  1. chemayne on

    I would look at TELL ME MORE. They offer a more complete product. reading writing and speaking. As well they have great reviews. Speech recognition and awesome customer service. give them a call. they sometimes have discounts not available online.

    • brian99 on

      Thanks for your thoughts. I remember looking at Tell Me More once and not being totally impressed either, but perhaps it’s worth a look again to see if it’s improved. Yesterday I bought the Berlitz travel phrasebook for Russian, thinking that it’s better than all the others that I’ve seen, but was disappointed after looking at it in more detail and having friends here point out many funny ‘mistakes’. It’s really hard to get good stuff, so looks like I’m still stuck with making it from scratch.


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