|Selected Reviews by other Rosetta Stone users on Amazon
Review of Rosetta Stone Spanish (Latin America)
102 of 103 people found the following review helpful:
Excellent product -works if you take the time
February 21, 2008
As a 50+ learner I wondered how well I'd retain the information but it's
been great. The format makes it fun & appealing while the word/picture
association facilitates retention. We have all 3 levels and I'm currently on
the last session of Level 1 (after 6 weeks). While it says it's a single
user product, you CAN install the Version 3 on two computers; however both
installations cannnot be running simultaniously (I called Rosetta Stone
about this & we're doing this w/ husbands & my computers). The microphone
set-up is great to hear yourself speak & make corrections as needed. Since
Rosetta Stone provides no written Spanish (ie book) a good English-Spanish
dictionary is helpful or having a free-translation window open on your
computer for occasional clarification. Also it helps to look at some free
websites that explain general sentence structure and word tense in the
Spanish language. If you're consistent in it's use, quiz yourself mentally
during daily activities, and proceed at a comfortable pace (too slow & you
lose momentum, too fast & you forget) you'll be speaking Spanish in no time.
I've learned far more in the past month with this product than I did taking
a weekly conversational Spanish class at the local community college.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
, April 14, 2008
||M. Barnett "married with 2
dogs" (Albuquerque, NM)
I am now on the 3rd and final level of Rosetta Stone's Spanish (Latin
America). I have been very impressed with the series. I do also use Pimsleur
Spanish CDs in my car to supplement my learning. I'd recommend both to anyone
interested in learning any language.
69 of 72 people found the following review helpful:
a VAST improvement over version 2
, July 15, 2008
||Jane Harper "trauma wonk,
A few years back I bought Rosetta Stone v.2 (for a different language than
Spanish) and found it very difficult to work with. The activities had no real
order to them, there was very little guidance for users, the voice recognition
function was horrible, and the photographs were all of upper middle class
westerners. I saw the reviews of the Spanish versions in which teachers and
native speakers complained about the emphasis on progressive tenses ("I am _____ing")
instead of the present, which is ubiquitous in Spanish and often used to stand
in for both past and future.
I had two years of Spanish in high school (FORTY years ago), but as a health
care provider I continue to encounter many Spanish-speaking patients and I'm
getting tired of having to use an interpreter, so I decided to dust off the
Spanish I used to know and get serious about becoming bilingual. I saw that
Rosetta Stone had completely reworked their system and gave it a try.
I'm TREMENDOUSLY impressed with the changes!!
They do still use too much progressive tense (or have so far, I've only worked
through the first of the three levels), but the photographs are very culturally
diverse and the help files and accompanying documentation are MUCH better than
for version 2. I'd also heard that version 2 was a nightmare on a Mac (and I've
just switched from Windows), but I'm happy to report that version 3 runs like a
dream on my little MacBook.
The new packaging includes a headset that attaches via a USB port, a welcome
On the down side, I haven't been exactly thrilled with the "audio companion" so
far; it adds nothing to what is presented in the lessons, but rather merely
mimics them. The voice recognition still has trouble; consonants in Spanish tend
to be very soft, and I have to pop my P's to get the software to recognize them.
All in all, though, I think it's a very worthwhile investment, and for less than
most classroom programs cost.
Now, if they'd only give me some credit to upgrade my version 2 in that other
Review of Rosetta Stone French
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
Exceeded this former military linguist's expectations. This is a
viable way to learn the basics or brush up on a language.
Bryant (Columbus, OH USA)
Color me impressed. I came in with relatively high expectations for Rosetta
Stone, but I write this review after working with it for a month, and now
holding a higher opinion of the product than I did before. I spent over a year
at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey as a young Marine learning Korean.
All the services were present, and DLI was good for dozens of languages. The
approach was structured, and largely immersive, which is to say that my classes
were taught by native speakers. There's a huge advantage to that, inasmuch you
have instant and intelligent feedback and instruction when you need it. If all
you hear and (try to) speak is the language, then it's being drilled into your
head consciously and subconsciously. Surrounding yourself with native speakers,
either through such an environment, or within the country itself, is going to be
(for most) the absolute best way to approach foreign language mastery -- but
what to do when that's not an option? Or what to do to prepare before doing so?
The software is intuitive, the approach is intelligent. You don't have that
native speaker standing in front of you scowling because you're butchering the
music of their language in the early going, but you do have the software giving
feedback and similarly identifying where you might require a little more
attention. The program constructs in the user a solid base of simple vocabulary,
establishing a basic understanding of the mechanics of the language on which
additional vocabulary and structure may be built. With regard to the interface,
the absence of a tutorial (as far as I saw, though I didn't look hard because it
was so easy just to start using) was a bit surprising, though it took a very
small amount of time to get into the swing of things. The earliest exercises
range from matching phrases to their appropriate pictures to out-loud (through a
microphone) pronunciation tests to proper spelling and grammar training. The
pronunciation recognization ability of the software is pretty sharp -- if you're
off, it will tell you, but the program allows the user to improve before moving
on to the next test.
Best of all, this is fun. I did enjoy the lessons (I have yet to complete all
three levels), and continue to enjoy the process. You always feel like you're
making progress, you always have visual cues in regards to where you stand in
the process, and it almost becomes a game to try and move through it.
To be fair, I had a few years of French back in intermediate and high school, so
I didn't come into this language pack completely unfamiliar. It would be very
fun and interesting, I think, to try Rosetta with a language with which I have
no familiarity, but that's neither here nor there. The overall point is that
this is a fantastic way to start building a basic command of a language, it's
fun, it's easy to use, and it's enriching. You're not going to be confused for a
native speaker after completing this package, but you will be able to
communicate, and that's the biggest and most difficult step towards mastery. The
rest is (mostly) use and repetition.
Now I really want the Korean pack to brush up on all that's been lost in the 15+
years since I left DLI. And a new and unfamiliar language as discussed above to
branch out a bit. Rosetta has a new and enthusiastic customer and cheerleader.
Review of Rosetta Stone German
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
, September 3, 2008
Kear (Enid, Oklahoma)
Rosetta Stone simply has no competition when it comes to teaching
languages. There is nothing in comparison to the ease and simplicity that is
built into this system. Flawless computer installation, easy to use. The
interactive method is without peer. Using the headset and microphone, you
are speaking German from lesson one! You are learning German the same way
you learned English - conversationally. If you are interested in learning to
speak German, this is the only way to go (other than moving to Germany and
being adopted by a German family). Worth every penny!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Makes Language Learning Fun, Really!
, September 3,
The Rosetta Stone method tries to emulate native speakers by plunging you
right into the language, not quite total immersion, but perhaps the next
best thing. It accomplishes this with pictures and phrases, without taxing
you by making you memorize vocabulary and making you conjugate countless
verbs. You sort of assimilate the language by association as you look at a
photo, hear a phrase and try to figure it all out. Does that sound
difficult? Believe it or not, it's not.
One nice thing about Rosetta Stone is that you can move at your own pace,
without worrying about being left behind. However, you have to be careful
not to go too long before going back to the program. Like a child learning
how to talk, you have to keep at it, but if you do (you can skip a day here
and there) you'll find you really do pick up on the language.
I have had prior experience with Rosetta Stone, so there were no surprises
for me. In fact it was kind of like starting over with a new friend when I
went to the first lesson. If you really want to learn a language and if you
dedicate the time to it, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how fast
Review of Rosetta Stone Italian
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Next best thing to being there
, September 4, 2008
I knew no Italian before working with this program, and I found that I
was easily able to follow it. It's efficient, enjoyable, and practical.
Initially, I questioned whether I would actually remember the new things I
was learning. It seemed as though getting the right answers -- which I did
-- had more to do with problem-solving skills than with actually learning
the language. However, I found that I was able to build on what I had
learned,and the program has review designed into it.
This really is painless language learning.
I had worked through the French language as well, to brush up on and improve
my language skills, and I found that installing a second language with the
Rosetta Stone software was easy and convenient, though Italian did require a
lengthy "update" session which kept it from being fast. I was also able to
put it on my laptop, so I could take it along with me and practice while
The other concern I'd had was that the two language programs might be
identical apart from the language itself --the same pictures, the same
sequence, etc. -- and thus confusing. This was not the case.
I strongly recommend the series.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Learning naturally rather than by translation
Poza (Rimersburg, PA)
The basic Rosetta Stone method teaches you through pairing pictures with
words and phrases. Teaching this way is done to discourage learning a
foreign language by translating from the learner's native language. This
method not only simulates the way we learned our own language as children,
but it also prevents the student from speaking slowly because he or she is
first crafting the sentence or words in his or her native tongue then
translating to the foreign language.
Each level contains 4 lessons based on a theme (basics, shopping, greetings,
etc.) with 4 units in each lesson. The first unit is always the shortest
because each subsequent lesson contains a review of preceding lessons. So,
while you may feel overwhelmed at first during the "core" portion of the
unit, you will practice enough to master the content by the end of the
lesson. The reviews are well-placed and very good at reinforcing your memory
of the material, but for quick learners, they can be skipped.
Each user can customize the lesson content to include whatever type of
practice he or she wants. For instance, you can do pronunciation practice or
choose not to use the headset (included with the software) and do any
speaking out loud. That means you can study anywhere any time by customizing
the study session based on how much privacy you have.
This method is enjoyable and you can set goals easily and experience
measurable progress. Because of the way the lessons and units are broken up,
it's easy to remain motivated despite not having an actual teacher pushing
you. That being said, the software is no substitute for a lesson or real
world practice. It is, however, an excellent way to be grounded in a lot of
basics such that you are ready for basic communication in a foreign country.
There are a few down sides to the software though depending on your learning
style. Some people want more of an explanation of the grammatical patterns.
You are expected to grasp the concept being practiced through patterns and
pictures. If you can't grasp it for some reason, you'll need to consult an
outside source for an explanation. Also, all of the Rosetta Stone language
series use the same pictures so you will not see culture-specific photos.
This doesn't bother me, but some people may find it distracting. Finally, I
have found that sometimes the photo used doesn't match the phrase properly
in a few rare cases. For instance, the phrase you practice might be "they're
holding a book", but the picture is of someone with a newspaper.
As a final side note, I use Rosetta Stone on a 3-year old Mac Mini and,
while it generally runs fine, sometimes there are errors which require me to
quit the program and re-load. If you repair permissions, this happens less
frequently. Also, screen loads can sometimes be a bit lazy. If your machine
is as slow and anemic as mine, you may want to keep this in mind before
making a purchase.
Review of Rosetta Stone English
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Great language program
, June 18, 2008
I bought Rosetta stone for my wife and kids. They're learning english,
and even my 9 year-old daughter feels comfortable using it. The program has
a few bugs or glitches, but nothing that prevents you from progressing. It's
worth the price I paid. I recommend Rosetta Stone for anybody, regardless of
age, that truelly wants to learn a new language. The immersion technique is
great and complete.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
It has been working for me
, May 8, 2008
étudie (Chicago, IL)
Well, it may seems ridiculous, but if you can understand what you read
right now, it's because Rosetta Stone has been working for me. My mother
tongue is french.
The level 1 wasn't really needed but it was get to refresh my old scholar
knowledge. At the end of level 3, you'll know enough things to take the
next steps by yourself and get fluent.
I used it almost as a "crash course", something like 20 hours a week. That
was really needed for my work and, probably, my survival in the U.S. It was
less terrible than I expected to spend that much time learning english.
the software lack some references and you end up learning stuff you don't
exactly understand at first. But the Internet is full of references
available for free. The difference with Rosetta Stone (compared to free
stuff) is surely the immersion and a carefully built/tested pedagogy. It's
kind of suprising to understand what this piece of software is doing to you.
It's hard to describe the feeling but I always feel like my brain is
manipulated and this software is pushing thing into it, without me realizing
it or making some conscious and important effort to memorize these words and
I have been introduced to Rosetta Stone by their other website. It's a
language exchange network [...]. It's not for beginner but it's a really
good complement when it comes to applying and improving what you've learned.
I didn't bought the CD-ROM, I took the online sucscription. I'm more an
online kind of person and it's more convenient because I'm changing my
computer quite often, switching from one O.S. to another. At least I don't
need to install, reinstall and activate it all the time and the online
version keep my progress correctly.
Review of Rosetta Stone Portuguese (Brazil)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
, May 27, 2008
Mitchell (Charleston, WV
I spent some time in Brazil last year with a missionary friend and plan to
return regularly in the future, but determined to know some Portuguese next time
I go. I have studied three other languages in the usual formal, structured
methods in class settings. My wife has never studied a language before. We both
find the Rosetta Stone program enjoyable and productive (her word for it is
"fun"). When I speak with my friend, who incidentally grew up in Brazil and
speaks like a Brazilian, he has been amazed at how well I am progressing and how
accurately I speak. My only suggestion would be for one using this program to
purchase a good Portuguese/English dictionary as there will be a few times when
you may be stymied by the absence of English explanation--but those times will
be few. We have also found the book Portuguese for Dummies to be very helpful as
an added resource. I will soon complete level two and feel confident that I
would be quite able to function on my own in Brazil next time and not be
dependent on my friends to do all my talking for me!......David Mitchell
Review of Rosetta Stone Indonesian
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Effective and Fun, Cheaper than Lessons
, April 17,
||S. Kelly "Make no little plans,
they have no ...
I enjoyed using Rosetta Stone. You can use it for a few minutes or hours.
It really did help me pick up the language.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
For serious student, not casual traveler
, April 6,
(N. California, USA)
Quick and easy language learning methodology for the serious student;
reliable and thorough software; can be addictive. More effective if used in
conjunction with something else such as the LearningIndonesian podcast
(free!) or a good pocket dictionary (Tuttle) to clear up the occasional
confusion (there is no translation or grammar instruction) before it gets
frustrating. Plenty of material in Level One to keep you busy for awhile.
This is not the right product for people looking to quickly pick up some
language skills to enhance their vacation/travel activities.
Review of Rosetta Stone Vietnamese
good for beginners
, August 31, 2008
Rosetta stone is good for beginners. Starts off with basic words and
pictures. Hopefully by the end there will be some phrases and sentences to
use in everyday conversation. I already know some words so it's not too hard
for me but my kids who are young already picked up some words.
I loved it
, April 8, 2008
I work with a lot of vietnamese people at my job. That is why I got this
product and it has helped communicate better with them. It is a great and
very helpful product. I love the way it teaches and makes learning the
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Very good for remembering the words
, February 24, 2008
(Montréal, Québec Canada)
I have been using this software for a while and it is my favourite tool
to learn vietnamese. It really takes a lot longer than I would of thought,
but this software really drills the words into your head in such a way that
you remember a lot of it. Also, you read and hear the words so often that
you just end up knowing them by heart, remembering how to say them, read
them, etc. Unlike the flash cards systems though you don't get too bored out
of your ming using it. I think it still makes sense to take an actual
language class where you can practice conversation, but I really recommend
this product. My kids use it sometimes for fun and it's pretty amazing how
they walk around the house repeading the sentenses they learned in the
sofware after, it does not seem that age is really a factor for using this.
The only thing that does not work well in my experience is the voice
recognition portion, it just doesn't do very well on my laptop because it
does not recognise the sentences often, even though I know I didn't say it
that bad. I tried it on desktop and I did not get better results, so I think
this feature needs improvements; I just stopped using it. I would also like
to be able to type the words using my keyboard in the writing part, instead
of clicking on words. Regardless of this though I think the method is so
nice that I give it 5 stars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Rosetta Stone - Vietnamese
, December 11, 2007
Rosetta Stone language products are one of the most effective ways of
a language on your own. I really treasure my Vietnamese software. I'm
in the tooth so learning a new language, especially a tonal one, is a real
Being able to hear the words over and over and practice sounding them out in
privacy of my home makes learning this language much more feasible.
I'm saving to buy the Mandarin software next.
Review of Rosetta Stone Chinese (Mandarin)
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
The Great Wall and Rosetta Stone: World Wonders
September 5, 2008
I have wanted to learn Chinese ever since I visited Beijing two years ago
but thought the complexities of the language would make learning it forever
out of my reach. Besides, it's not like there are a lot of Chinese Language
instructors at local universities.
I took Japanese at my local university last year and did not learn nearly as
much as I did using the Japanese Rosetta Stone.
So, when I saw they had the Chinese version, I decided to give it a try.
Here's what I love about this program:
1. What I really love about this Rosetta Stone is that you can wear
headphones, listen to a word or phrase, and then repeat back what you heard.
If you say it wrong, the program corrects you and has you say it again. We
did not do that in my university class...it was all rote memorization and
listening to our professor yammer on and on.
2. Rosetta Stone costs about the same as a university course, but allows you
access to the "instructor" after you have completed the lessons. You can
refresh your memory whenever you want.
3. Rosetta Stone is so easy to use, you literally plug and play.
4. The program tracks completed lessons.
5. Rosetta Stone has impressive photographs that help cement the word/phrase
in your head.
6. The lessons are brief. My university class lasted 2 hours. By the end of
the period, my head was swimming with unfamiliar words. I like that the
lessons on Rosetta Stone are only 30 minutes long.
7. Rosetta Stone is so convenient. You can learn Chinese from the comfort of
your home, before work, after dinner, in between your favorite tv shows.
(You can even order sweet and sour chicken from your favorite Chinese
restaurant and eat it while practicing with no worries about the smell
annoying your classmates. How cool is that?)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Its fun, it works because it's multidimensional
August 31, 2008
"davemill" (San Jose,
This is not like French class in high school! No grammar, syntax, or
I really want to say, I'm very excited by this product. I've always been
intrigued by the possibility of learning Chinese, but each time I looked
into the options, I quickly gave up. The other books and tapes I've looked
at are difficult and "flat", as in uni-dimensional. You either repeat what's
on the tape ad nauseum, or read what's in the book ad nauseum, you get the
The Rosetta Stone Chinese program is very different. It's multi-dimensional
in the sense that it gives you several ways to learn. You can use the
computer-based tools to speak and get instantaneous feedback. You can use
the Audio Companion CDs in your car (actually, on my iPod!) to practice
while driving or whatever. Within the computer based tools are several ways
to learn, including a cool Milestones test that inserts you into a real life
situation where you have to speak the right answer. I was actually
intimidated to try this for a few hours, because I didn't want to screw up,
but eventually I tried it, screwed up, and learned more by doing so.
I really like the Rosetta method of presenting you with visual images and
spoken language for you to repeat, then visual "puzzles" for you to deduce
the correct response. This is very natural once you get into it. It took me
a while to get the "rhythm" and patterns of the language, but this method in
particular helped me over that hump. That's the main reason for my 5 star
rating. I couldn't get that from a "flat" book or tape series.
This set includes everything, including the computer headset and microphone,
so you just drop it all in and go. It worked flawlessly on my vintage 2006
Windows XP laptop.
Important: You are going to have to set aside time to learn Chinese with
this or any other system. Five minutes here and there won't work. The
program is broken up into lots of modules, so it is easy to focus on a small
amount of related material at once, but FOCUS is the issue: I recommend
30-90 minutes at a time with no distractions (audio or visual!).
The downside: I don't think I'm going to become fluent reading or writing
Chinese from this system. I didn't expect to be able to read written
Chinese, so I did not reduce my review for this limitation. Perhaps others
will have more luck, because the features are there to help you read two
kinds of Chinese writing, but I don't think that part is going to make me
literate. I can recognize some Chinese characters at this point, but there
are thousands you have to know to be literate.
By the way, if you want to get a taste of the Rosetta Stone method, go to
their web site where they have an online sample of the watch-listen-try
system (for Turkish!). The online sample does not include the instant
feedback on your spoken words included in this package, or the Milestones or
other features. It just grades your point-click responses, which will give
you a taste. Plus, there's a Michael Phelps testimonial video about the
Chinese program (recorded before he won all the medals in Beijing!)