It seems Rosetta Stone is one of the most talked about language courses on the market. People either love it or hate it. But the fact is, it is one of the best language learning courses for vocabulary there is. It's completely computer based. There's no writing, no flashcards, no books. You start by learning simple words and names for things and build up until you know hundreds if not thousands of words and phrases. To use it, you'll need a microphone plugged into your computer because the software requires you to talk back, yep, thats right, you dont just get to sit there you have to
talk back. The software analyses your pronounciation and lets you know not only if you got the answer right but if your pronounciation was good. Established linguists usually give Rosetta Stone negative reviews. This is usually for two reasons.
1. Price: There are 5 levels to most courses. Each level costing around £179 ($277 US). 2. Content: This course will not make you fluent, or even close.
BUT...if you look at it as a vocabulary builder or a stepping stone into the language its fantastic. Some of the more obscure languages are available with Rosetta Stone, even Latin!
My advice would be to look online for a cheaper price though. eBay being a good place to start.
Would I recommend this course? Im afraid im going to say a big fat "no!" If you're completely new to learning the language and have not used any other courses then perhaps you'd get something out of it. However, most people give up after a few lessons because it's so boring! Learning a language is most effective if its fun. And Rosetta Stone is anything but fun. The same pictures are used over and over, the pacing is slow and the grammar isnt explained (ok, that's kind of their selling pitch, but grammar needs to be explained in my opinion). And what's more there are up to 5 levels in some of the languages, but if you already have some language skills behind you you wouldnt know which one is for you. And even when you do sit down and study you become bored very quickly. I've just come away from studying German level 5 to see if there's anything on there I don't know. I lasted 20 minutes and had to turn it off. The lessons were repeating theselves unnecessarily and frustrating me beyond words.
I won't be using Rosetta Stone again and it seems obvious to me that they're marketing their product on the idea that it's efforless and the foolish notion that you don't need to put in any real work to learn a language.