Mrs. Janet Garrison
04-30-2007, 01:56 PM
I want to learn a new language and the ad says Rosetta Stone is used by the State Dept. and NASA. Anyone with any personal experience with this program?
04-30-2007, 02:57 PM
Oddly - This is one of the online ads I've heard to work very well. My father used it with Polish but then again he spoke it as a child.
04-30-2007, 03:47 PM
It needs to be used in conjunction with something else - other classes, access to a native speaker (or at least a better speaker) nearby, previous exposure to the language or, at the very least a similar language, something. On its own, Rosetta Stone isn't that good.
Basically, it shows you four pictures - (for example: a boy, a girl, a man, and a woman). A native speaker says the words describing the four pictures and it shows the words written out. From that, you're supposed to figure out that sound and that word correspond to that picture.
The problems, for me, were that
after a while, the pictures aren't that clear. I could tell that it was something about clothing - but were they talking about the shirt or a certain kind of shirt or the jacket or the color of the shirt or what? No way to know - because there's no dictionary.
There's also no pronunciation guide. With a non-latin alphabet, that made it impossible to sound out words. While I could kind of catch what the speakers might have been saying, there was no way for me to associate a sound with a character. (were there silent letters? who knows. And Rosetta stone wasn't going to tell me.)
It was obviously designed for certain languages, and then just translated everywhere else. I tried in two - for one, for a series of pictures, I got something like "girl, boy, girls, boys" (obvious, singular, plural, singular, plural) but in the other, "girl, boy, girls, young men" because in that language there's something different going on than just making it plural. How do you say more than one boy? RS doesn't ever say.
It lacks the "basic phrases" that you usually get with language. "Hello," "goodbye," "please," "where is the bathroom?" Those never show up in Rosetta Stone.
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