Thoughts on Rosetta Stone

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Azmordean, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. Azmordean macrumors 6502

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    Mar 10, 2004
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    Silicon Valley
    #1
    Hey all.. I am wondering if anyone has used Rosetta Stone software before, and if so, what you thought of it. I am planning to begin the long road of learning Mandarin Chinese relatively soon. I eventually plan to take some formal classes, but I'm thinking Rosetta Stone may (1) give me some background knowledge before beginning the classes and (2) be a valuable companion to any classes I end up taking.

    That being said it isn't cheap - I don't mind spending the $$$ (its over $500 for all 3 levels) if its a good program though.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. és: macrumors 6502a

    és:

    #2
    I have it. I've done French and Spanish lessons with it. You pick up the words that they teach you very quickly.

    Chinese might be a different kettle of fish, though. It doesn't translate anything for you, so the characters might be very hard to decipher. I tried Japanese for a little while and found it a little harder going than French and Spanish. That's probably just down to the vastly different language style.

    All in all, I'd recommend it and I think it can teach you a lot of things through 'immersion' into the language. I believe that they have a little demo on their site.
     
  3. Azmordean thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Yeah they teach Mandarin through the standard "Pinyin" which is a romanization system (e.g., a system whereby Chinese words are written in the roman alphabet phonetically).

    I'm leaning towards picking it up - I appreciate the input.
     
  4. Phillyzero macrumors regular

    Phillyzero

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    #4
    I'm going to give French and maybe Spanish a try, cause I HAVE tried out Chinese (Mandarin) in Rosetta Stone and it was kind of hard for me.
     
  5. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #5
    I have the Mandarin version and I would have to say if you are not Chinese, it can be very hard to pick up. I speak Cantonese fluently and can read some Chinese, but it's still challenging for me.
     
  6. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

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    #6
    I have thought about purchasing it but I'm not sure how good it would be more me since I can already speak Spanish fairly well. I took five years of Spanish (8th-12th grade) and did very well, but I was taught by an American teacher with no Spanish accent and it was not immersion learning. I am not able to travel abroad, and I considered picking up Rosetta Stone to get an immersion like experience.

    I can speak Spanish OK and can understand written spanish well, and I can read Spanish fairly well. I have trouble, though, understanding native speakers. At my job, I started off doing bilingual work, but I quickly found my years of Spanish training weren't enough to understand native speakers and their rapid speaking.

    So, I am not sure if Rosetta Stone would help? Would it be too elementary for someone who already has a fairly good grasp of the language but wants to become fluent?
     
  7. Azmordean thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Yeah - I think that's going to be true no matter what method I choose. There are a lot of reasons I want to learn Mandarin though - primarily cultural interest, desire to travel in China, and perhaps most importantly, I feel it is a key language for International Business/Trade and International Law, areas in which I am interested.

    I know it'll be hard and that it'll be a long road, but I figure, take it slowly, and it can be done! :)
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    My friend used it to learn Chinese. He has made a lot of progress. He also put a bit of effort into it, and honestly, you're not going to learn a language without effort.
     
  9. tresbien macrumors regular

    tresbien

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    May 21, 2008
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    Maryland
    #9
    I've tried it for french, and I learned a lot in the very little amount of time that I used it ( it was a friends, and I only did maybe 4 lessons). I imagine chinese would be ALOT harder though..
     
  10. eMac4ever macrumors regular

    eMac4ever

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    Nov 26, 2005
    #10
    First, I would check to see if it is available at your local library, as many libraries have it available for use by their patrons.

    If that doesn't work out, you can buy a package of levels one and two of Chinese on eCrater for $70. The only catch is that it is only the second-most recent version, Version 2; the versions are probably pretty similar, though.

    http://www.ecrater.com/product.php?pid=2974734

    If you don't want that, you can get a $50 off coupon here, http://www.rosettastone.com/offer/hsbc. It is technically for home schooling, but since you only have to enter a coupon during checkout to access it, I doubt there will be any authentication required.
     
  11. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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    Apr 19, 2008
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    Pandora, Home Tree
    #11
    The current going rate for the software, Chinese 1, 2 is $359.00

    It would have to be a good guarantee, before I would shell out that kind of money.
     
  12. Azmordean thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Silicon Valley
    #12
    Yeah that's my dilemma. Buying all three levels at once for $550 saves you over $200 as compared to buying them separately. Level 1 alone costs $260. So it seems like a waste to buy only level 1... but I worry if I buy all 3 and don't like it I'll have wasted a whole lot of dough.
     
  13. weeman macrumors 6502

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    May 6, 2007
    #13
    Has anyone seen the new ads where Phelps promote this product?
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #14
    But Phelps is a dumbass. He may speak many other languages though. I doubt it, but there's a chance. ;)


    THe problem is that you learn quickest at the beginning. Judging it by the first few lessons isn't a good idea.
     
  15. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

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    Nov 18, 2007
    #15
    I know old thread but I had to give Rosetta Stone praise.

    I got Rosetta Stone V3 ~ German Levels 1, 2 & 3 Set yesterday and I have to say it is really good for beginners and it is very cool with the speedo type thing that goes from Red (Left) to Green (Right) depending on how you are saying the words which for me is a great help.

    I say great value for money and if you want to learn a language Rosetta Stone is the way to go.
     
  16. bassproguy07 macrumors 6502a

    bassproguy07

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    Aug 13, 2008
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    Katy, TX
    #16
    how can you say he's a dumbass?? do you know him? yah he sounds like an idiot but seriously dont talk crap about someone unless you know them. He's pretty smart when it comes to winning medals, and in America, thats all that matters these days! The kids a multi millionaire just because of swimming, sounds like your the dumbass for not being a swimmer or other athlete! Sorry for the rant I just hate it when people talk down celebrities when they don't know what it takes.
     
  17. da2005pizimp macrumors 6502

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    Jan 30, 2006
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    Gilbert, AZ
    #17
    i thought i read somewhere that the fbi uses this to teach there agents. i may be mistaken anyone know for sure? I have to take a language for school and i'm probably going to look into this also.
     
  18. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

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    Nov 18, 2007
    #18
    The US Government use it I have heard and it looks like it is true according to the site.
     
  19. da2005pizimp macrumors 6502

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    Jan 30, 2006
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    Gilbert, AZ
    #19
    yeah that's what i thought. If they use it then i'm sure it works, i will be most likely getting it when i have to take spanish.
     
  20. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #20
    If you have a library card, your local library may have a free copy you can try.
     
  21. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

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    Nov 18, 2007
    #21
    It works very well, I'm storming through this Deutsch (German) Level 1, much better than working out of text books, I wish I had it when I was back at school would of done better.
     
  22. benflick macrumors 68020

    benflick

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    Jul 11, 2008
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    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #22
    This is what I heard...
    "Hell, if Michael Phelps can learn Chinese, anybody can."
     
  23. Nightingale104 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    #23
    PowereBook G4?

    Hey all, I know this is an old thread, but hoping someone will still be interested in this issue. I've read a lot of reviews about the RosettaStone Italian program - I'd love to try it, but am afraid it may not work on my Mac PowerBook G4. Many reviewers seem to have problems installing this program on various computers. Does anyone have experience with running this program on a G4?

    Thanks!
     
  24. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #24
    If you G4 meets these requirements it should be fine:
    • Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5
    • 512 MB RAM
    • 1 GHz or faster processor speed
    • 600 MB free hard-drive space (per level)
    • 16-bit sound card
    • 800 x 600 display resolution (1024 x 768 recommended)
    • Internet or phone connection required for product activation
    • Speech recognition feature requires a headset microphone (USB recommended)
    • 16X CD-ROM Drive (for installation)
     
  25. comictimes macrumors 6502a

    comictimes

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    Jun 20, 2004
    Location:
    Berkeley, California
    #25
    As long as we're bringing this thread back up, has anyone tried Berlitz and Rosetta Stone?

    I took french through middle school and still remember a surprising amount, all things considered, but may be studying abroad in France for a quarter next year and would love to at least be able to get around, hopefully understand conversations and such as well by then. Also I've just been wanting to learn French again for a while now :p

    I've looked at reviews and can tell Rosetta stone is better, but am finding it hard to believe that it's sufficiently better to be worth 10x the cost of Berlitz...
     

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