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Does Rosetta Stone realy work?

Japanese, general discussion on the language

RE: Does Rosetta Stone realy work?

Postby Kisshu » Sat 12.15.2007 1:01 am

I have a freidns who tried it for Latin. She knew how to say "The elephant is bigger than the dog," but had no idea how to say anything worthwhile.... i think that basically sums it up.
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RE: Does Rosetta Stone realy work?

Postby saraLynne » Sat 12.15.2007 2:52 am

Kisshu wrote:
She knew how to say "The elephant is bigger than the dog," but had no idea how to say anything worthwhile.... i think that basically sums it up.


That phrase isn't even in Rosetta Stone. Though if it were, it would be in the lesson on comparisons. By the time you get to that unit, you can count, tell time, describe shapes and colors, and locations of things (on top, under, beside, between, within), know left/right, and names for a number of clothing items and foods, run, walk, jump, swim...

Basically, if she got that far, she should have been able to say plenty of things that are worthwhile. They're not exactly deep conversation, but the basics are necessary. Comparisons are in Unit 3 out of 26 units, each unit having 10 lessons + 1 review lesson.

Rosetta Stone can't be used by anyone who still expects a 1:1 on language, or who expects to be talking about the same stuff they do in their native language from day one.

I suspect the sorts of people who would have the most success with Rosetta Stone would be those who have already learned a second language.

aozoranoshiitade wrote:
I have the Rosetta Stone software on my computer and I found it useless unless you want to expand your vocabulary. The "lessons" arent structured at all. You start off looking at pictures of people and animals and you have to pick out the japanese word for such (Without a lesson on what is what that is).


The guided lesson gives you the answer for each of the 4 pictures, then immediately has you regurgitate that information quiz-style. Then, in an SRS-like way, it will review items you get wrong. It takes approximately 20 minutes to do a lesson this way, but it is the one that teaches you the right answers. The "exercises" are for review, and isolate different aspects of the things learned in that lesson, such as reading only, listening only, reading and listening, etc.

Skipping the guided lesson seems to be the biggest mistake of new RS users.

I've just started using RS for Mandarin Chinese, and have -no- background with the language aside from watching Meteor Garden. My children use RS; one for spanish (my son, age 7) and one for Japanese (my daughter, age 6). Their retention is absolutely amazing!

I'll say again, though. If someone needs the technical explanations of what every single thing is, then RS is going to be nothing but a headache. It's all in the approach to the language. I believe RS gives you a "real" connection to the language without inbetweening to your native language -- but only if you let it. :P
Last edited by saraLynne on Sat 12.15.2007 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Does Rosetta Stone realy work?

Postby TrashTreasurer » Sat 12.15.2007 5:17 am

When I first started it up, I was expecting (because of the price) in depth detail and descriptions as to why sentences are arranged and a series of vocabulary lists, as if a textbook became a computer program. Because of this, I immediately called it a crock and almost exited it. For fun, I started spanish with lesson 1 (I knew NO spanish at all), and after 4 hours I was constructing many simple sentences in spanish with ease off the top of my head.

Like saraLynne noted, what makes it so great is that you think in the target language and have the words connected to pictures and thoughts, without using your native language as a link to the new language. However, I need pretty detailed descriptions as to WHY things are working the way they are, and the program doesn't supply that. Because of all this, I don't dismiss it outright, because when it comes to what it does, it does it very very well. However, its very possible that this method won't work for many people as a means of obtaining true working fluency. It was definitely a trip knowing how to construct that many sentences in spanish in so little time, though ;).
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RE: Does Rosetta Stone realy work?

Postby Luocorn » Sun 12.16.2007 11:47 am

I have been working with Rosetta Stone for the past couple of days, and I find that if you follow the guided study you can learn quite a bit. I certainly wouldn't use it as my only source, but as a supplementary program it is more then excellent. I did have some confusion over the verb とんで, since it was used for both people jumping, and a bird flying. but I got an explanation from a Japanese friend and it made since. If you can get it on the cheap, or for free then I would certainly recommend it, if you are paying the full price I would certainly weigh my options first.
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RE: Does Rosetta Stone realy work?

Postby HarakoMeshi » Sun 12.16.2007 10:17 pm

If Rosetta Stone had a good review and progress tracking system it would be much more useful. The way its structured doesn't encourage good progress nor enforcement.

I also think that using just pictures and no explanations can sometimes lead one to make the wrong connections.
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