Rosetta Stone, Berlitz, Tell me more, ? Reviews?

5
votes

Have there been any reviews of all the paid Spanish courses out there? Everyone you speak to thinks rosetta stone is the best, but a lot of the people who say this haven't actually purchased it. We are wondering if its just that they pay the most in advertising. They have a huge advertising budget. And advertising is effective in shaping opinion. But unless you have actually tried them all, you really can't say no?

I think that maybe the reason so many people say "Rosetta Stone is the way to go" is that this is what they are told and hear on t.v., radio, magazines, etc., Every time someones tells me that, I ask them "Oh, did you get it?" And its always the same answer.: "No, but I heard that..blah blah.." or "No, but I know someone who said ..yada yada..." etc, etc....

Has anyone actually purchased it and do you think it IS what it touts itself as being and if you believe that, have you tried the other courses to have a fair comparison?

Thanks,

(sorry for the long winded question...)

Rachel

54931 views
updated AGO 2, 2015
posted by RachelC
good answer,ithat is very helpful.at last,i found one good place at http://www.perfectrosettastone.info/

15 Answers

4
votes

I have only used the Version 2 of Rosetta Stone, right now they are at least on Version 3.

Rosetta Stone excels in vocabulary. If you want to learn vocabulary, and learn it quickly while being able to remember it for a long time afterward, Rosetta Stone is a great resource (granted you'll never know the exact English word for every word you learn, unless you look it up later.). However, if version three is anything like version two, you'll never develop a deep understanding of the language.

If you use Rosetta Stone you will still have to use other resources to learn grammar, Rosetta Stone isn't the one stop solution for learning a language that the company's advertising wold have you believe.

For example, you'll learn saltado by seeing a picture of children jumping off a picnic basket, but you won't learn that saltado is called a past participle, and that it's infinitive form is saltar, and that it's gerund is saltando, or how to use it very properly.

The entire system is in Spanish as well, the only thing not in Spanish is the title of the module/language pack, "Spanish LatinAmerica" or "Spanish Spain." It is a great resource if used in conjunction with other resources, but I wouldn't recommend using it as your only source of information.

updated JUL 12, 2010
edited by Fredbong
posted by Fredbong
4
votes

I'm currently using Rosetta Stone. I totally agree with Johnnie - this software is completely based on associations and you will never get the correct translations and will have to guess it. This means that sometimes you will have to use a dictionary just to confirm that you understood the phrase correctly. I like the fact that they keep repeating words and phrases in different combinations and you might be pleasantly surprised to be able to recall words from starting lessons during your progress. I consider that the pictures they are using are uniquely selected and even if you don't speak the language at all there is small chance you will select the wrong answer. If you buy the whole package you will get 5 language levels. Each level has 4 units with 4 lessons each - in total 80 lessons which should give you just enough vocabulary for a trip to Spain/Latin America.

As a disadvantage I can say that sometimes their voice recognition algorithm just doesn't work during first try.

updated JUL 12, 2010
posted by int33h
2
votes

Well I've used Rosetta Stone and I don't think it's as great as everyone claims, although I've enjoyed using it. The main reason I say that is because the program never gives you a literal translation of the Spanish phrases; you get the English translation from the picture that is displayed with the Spanish phrase. So if you don't know what phrase the picture expresses in English, then all you are doing is listening to a Spanish phrase without getting an inpretation. An advantage of Rosetta Stone is that it uses your visual memory (recall) to help you retain the Spanish phrases that you do learn.

updated JUL 12, 2010
posted by Johnnie
oh now that would drive me nuts. I want to know the literal translation. I would spend a lot of time having to look that up. Thanks for telling me this.
That's one of the 'problems' of many language learners, they try to intepret everything literally. The further you get into a language you realize just how futile that is.
1
vote

I have Rosetta Stone on my PC but have stopped looking at it since joining SpanishDict. Berlitz was very good 40 years ago when I had lessons to learn Danish. Expensive but I was not paying.

updated AGO 2, 2015
edited by ian-hill
posted by ian-hill
1
vote

Hi

I have been using Berlitz Spanish Premier. Astonishingly it works with windows vista. I find it to be a very robust program and for the money compared to Rosetta it is good value. Updates are free and you will be notified when available. It has lessons in all aspects. Little games and crossword puzzles. I like the speach excercises especially. The program will say the word and show a voice diagram. Then you say the word with your microphone and it will compare your response with the voice diagram. It makes you pronounce the word correctly. I have had this program for two years and have only begun to scratch the surface of it. I have learned a great deal. I do not live close to anyone who speaks Spanish. This program speaks to me and demands I answer with the right pronounciations and inflections. If you use XP it even has a flash card screen saver. My grandson is picking up phrases just from watching that now and then.

Hope this helps

Jim

by the way it was under $50.00 Canadian and available here at Staples or Office Depot.

updated SEP 27, 2012
edited by jamesgv0r
posted by jamesgv0r
1
vote

I have been using Rosetta Stone v.3 and am on Level 2. The thing I have found with Rosetta Stone is that every time I am confused about what is going on in the Core Lesson, the practice breakdown directly after often confirms what I originally thought. I have compared the results I have had using the program to that of my sister (who has taken 3 years in high school) and she can barely communicate in Spanish but can break down a sentence for me. Conversely I speak with a co-worker from El Salvador daily and he understands me and the only limitations we have on communcation is when he uses words I don't know yet. I have spoken English my whole life and cannot tell you what a past participle of a word is, and the same goes for Spanish so to necessarily dismiss RS because of lack of grammar would be foolish. One advantage I have found with RS is that words which differ from Spain to Latin America always have sided with RS over this site. For example, according to RS and my co-worker, in Latin America you say traje de baño for bathing suit and not bañador (1.12). He told me you would be laughed at if you said that to a native from anywhere but Spain. Also floor is el piso here but el suelo in Spain (1.13). Just be wary with the lessons here, I am doing them for synonyms which I can use to vary my communication, but there is no ONE solution to learning a language.

updated JUL 13, 2010
posted by crucibill
Agreed, there is more than one solution, you just have to find the right one for you.
I think saying, "be wary with the lessons here" is a poor choice of words. The lessons here contain approximately 1200 vocabulary words. They aren't wrong, they are merely succinct.
Sorry. To more accurately state, If you are speaking to people from Latin America, consider adding other sources to what you take in the lessons here.
1
vote

Thanks for all the replies. That helps a lot in making a decision on that. The lessons on this site sound as good or maybe better than rosetta.

Interesting that no one mentioned anything about Berlitz. You rarely (if ever) see an advertisement for them.

Many years ago, when I worked at Fontainbleu Hotel in Miami, ('78-79) it was THE top language teacher. Everyone there was fluent in Spanish and many in French as well and all learned from a Berlitz course. I never got around to taking the course and am sorry now I didn't.(I didn't have the money then)

I recently looked into it again and it is quite expensive though they do have a program comparable to Rosetta that is mainly software and some limited interaction with an online tutor included in the price. The sales lady said that their approach was more "linear" than Rosetta's. I don't know what that would mean tho? Anyone know?

Rachel

updated JUL 12, 2010
posted by RachelC
I would guess that by "linear", the lady meant "structured". Bu perhaps Rosetta Stone is structured, too, just with a different structure. My daughter taught at Berlitz and liked the method she was taught to use.
Thanks for the awesome compliment! You made my day by saying the lessons here are "as good or maybe better than rosetta."
Hi Paralee! I didn't know you were here. What a great website you have. And your lessons are great. I tell everyone about this site.
1
vote

Rosetta Stone is a good method for me to learn Spanish and, therefore, keep my senior citizen mind challenged. I don't own Rosetta Stone, but our library has several copies to loan. Other SpanishDict subscribers have mentioned the lack of English translations. Personally I find using pictures to determine the approximate translations of words and phrases a lot of fun and a good challenge. I am working on level two and should finish it in about a week. Then it is on to level three. I am satisfied with my progress; however, I do need practice speaking with someone. Perhaps I will find that opportunity with SpanishDict.

Would I buy Rosetta Stone? No, not as long as I have access to it through our library system. I would recommend Rosetta Stone to a small company to integrate it with their training program, if they have a need for introductory language training.

updated JUL 12, 2010
posted by jack17
1
vote

There are a lot of different approaches (methods) for teaching Spanish. I believe that which is the best (most effiecient) for you may depend on your personal goals. My priority for learning Spanish is to be able to read it, since I'll probably never visit a hispanic country nor do I know anyone that speaks Spanish (save friends here). If your top priority is learning conversational skills than you would probably prefer a different style of teaching than I would. Also, it's not fair to compare the "newer" methods or the one's staying current with modern technology to some of the more classic styles of teaching/learning. Since Rosetta Stone utilizes modern technology (dvd's with graphic images, video, sound, etc.), of course, it's going to seem better than a more classic style that doesn't utilize such media. I haven't used Rosetta Stone/Berlitz beyond trials so let's hear from those that have. I'd just be cautious when accepting comparisons (contrasts). The fact that one method is incorporating modern media doesn't necessarily make it the best method. There may be a better method that just needs to be modernized.

updated JUL 12, 2010
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
Yes, my top priority is conversational skills. I want to be able to break free of using a translator. Thanks for your input.
Oh Quentin, your post saddens me!!! I want you to go to many Spanish-speaking countries. If I ever go to live in Colombia, you can come visit!
0
votes

I bought the Level 1 of Rosetta Stone Spanish course and was bored with it very quickly... It just wasn't how I wanted to learn. Many have already said it so I wont harp on where it falls short for me.

I am currently going through the Pimsleur Method course... It is mostly audio with limited reading, and focuses on conversational travel Spanish. However, I have found that I truely learn the words they are teaching on the CDs. What I mean is I have gotten to the point that I do not have to translate the words from Spanish to English in my head. I just know what "quizas" means... Something that never happened with high school classes or learning from friends. Not sure how but it works for me... There are 100 different 30 min lessons, and I am about half way through.

Hope that helps...

updated JUL 12, 2010
posted by kerflop
0
votes

I've used several different methods of learning Spanish, my primary one is Rosetta Stone. I have finished all five levels of Latin American Spanish, and I can speak Spanish. Some people say that RS sucks because it doesn't teach grammar. I know a lot of 9 and 10 year old Hispanic kids that don't know a lick of grammar and they can speak rings around any Spanish student I know. So, if you're a grammar hound, there are plenty of books to study, I have a few of them. If you want to learn to speak and comprehend the spoken language, Rosetta Stone does very well.

Regarding the Speech Recognition in RS, the 'cheesy' microphone/headset is not worth plugging in. I invested in a high quality microphone/headset and the difference was remarkable. Learning how to speak is an important part of the equation, and RS has helped me tremendously in that regard. I've had not a few Hispanics tell me how good my pronunciation is, and for somebody that speaks Southern US English that is no small feat.

RS is expensive, comparatively speaking, but for the two years and one month I've been studying Spanish, well, it's got me further than I ever imagined. If somebody can go through Level 5 of RS and not be able to speak the language, they didn't have their mic plugged in.

But, like others have said, different strokes for different folks. Try RS, if you don't like it, take advantage of the money back guarantee. At the very least, use the unbelievably free resources on this website, Paralee es an excellent teacher. Did I say it was free?

updated JUL 12, 2010
posted by Jack-OBrien
0
votes

has anyone used tell me more the english (course ) i like to no how it compare to rosetta stone .i can be contacted at hotrodkw56@gmail.com

updated NOV 5, 2009
posted by rider917
0
votes

I used Rosetta Stone levels 1 to 3. It was a good introduction to spanish, but it only brought you through a beginning level. I am currently using Camino del éxito which is cheaper and I like better. It has a companion Spanish Study Site that is included in the price (and some parts of the site are free).

updated SEP 2, 2009
posted by schub
0
votes

I purchased Rosetta Stone 2nd hand and shortly thereafter found this site. Well, I'd always used this site to look up words that I couldn't figure out on RS but didn't realize the awesome study course here. Even though I paid a pretty penny for Rosetta Stone I still prefer this course, it's more enjoyable and I like learning more in depth than the way RS teaches. Currently I am working thru both, I figure it will speed my journey to become fluent!

updated SEP 2, 2009
posted by Isfahel
0
votes

I have actually tried Rosetta Stone, and it is verry fun and easy. I have not tried any other sorses eather so I really can not tell you the best choice. I truly think no one else can honestly tell you the best choice unless they have tried several choices, but atlease I can tell you my honest reveiw of Rosseta Stone. It really is basectly the same activities as this website. So I want to tell you that is a great way to learn spanish, but I can not tell you the best choice. So yes, I would recomend it, but the only way to tell the best choice for shore is to try .

updated AGO 22, 2009
posted by cchester8188