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Rosetta stone

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Rosetta stone

Postby Jumpman » Tue 04.01.2008 11:31 pm

So is Japanese version of rosetta stone any good? I heard it wasn't , whats your opinion on it?
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby Wakannai » Tue 04.01.2008 11:42 pm

Jumpman wrote:So is Japanese version of rosetta stone any good? I heard it wasn't , whats your opinion on it?


The problem with Rosetta stone is it either works for you, or it really doesn't work for you. It isn't one of those programs that everyone seems able to progress with. It's also not cheap. However, those do find the method helpful generally find it really helpful.

In other words, try it out. Decide for yourself. Because this is one of the programs where the opinions of others really isn't a useful guage of the program's utility.

I can't stand it personally, but Sairana? loves it.
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby Sairana » Tue 04.01.2008 11:53 pm

Wakannai wrote:I can't stand it personally, but Sairana? loves it.



Yes indeedy. But I also agree with Wakannai. It's not for everyone.

Many (most?) adult language students want and/or expect technical explanations of grammar in order to understand things. Rosetta Stone does NOT provide any such thing. You have to be willing to allow for a fuzzy understanding of concepts until they are reinforced and clarified further down the road in the lessons.

Much like most English speakers couldn't tell you what a past participle is or even what qualifies as a preposition half the time, you will be left not knowing "exactly" what certain particles do, etc.

It's most certainly a try-it-and-see method.
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby piepiepie75 » Wed 04.02.2008 9:41 pm

I've used a friend's version of Rosetta Stone Japanese, and I have to say that I don't see what the big deal is. There is really no explanation of grammar/vocab...of anything really. I had to look up everything that I didn't know, and what's the point of using it to learn if you have to look everything up? I will say that it is a great practice tool if you already know all the grammar it teaches you, and you can probably pick up some words from it. In my opinion, Rosetta Stone is not worth the price.
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby Sairana » Wed 04.02.2008 11:37 pm

piepiepie75 wrote:I've used a friend's version of Rosetta Stone Japanese, and I have to say that I don't see what the big deal is. There is really no explanation of grammar/vocab...of anything really. I had to look up everything that I didn't know, and what's the point of using it to learn if you have to look everything up? I will say that it is a great practice tool if you already know all the grammar it teaches you, and you can probably pick up some words from it. In my opinion, Rosetta Stone is not worth the price.



See? That's exactly what I mean.

People -expect- explanations, and believe they need them. If you have a hard time spotting patterns and such, Rosetta Stone will certainly be an Epic Failure. ^_^
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby p-chan » Fri 04.04.2008 12:08 am

for me i've tried rosetta stone in japanese and french but due to my short attention span uugghh.. you get my picture..

yes, sometimes it's kinda annoying if you have no explination for the grammar and vocabulary but we must understand the "way" rosetta teaches a language. Another thing about this is the letters.. Japanese have 3 writtings (hiragana, katakana and kanji).. It might be confusing which to choose or which is "better" but i think it would be better if they have a fugirana(kanji with hiragana on top) and katakana as is since it's commonly used for loan or foreign words today. I've seen French, German and even chinese they don't have other writting system so reading them won't be much of a problem unlike the japanese version.

I think many of you know that rosetta's style of teaching is like teaching a child to speak. Think of this like saying "Apple" and you are pointing to an apple. The child does not know any grammar or what.. but he/she konws that is an apple..

In my opinion if you are not really particular or just learning for fun i think rosetta would be great since it has read, listening comprehension, writting and speaking exercies. It's great for beginners with a solid foundation of hiragana and katakana but if you really want to get serious I'd suggest getting a class or a book instead.
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby Sairana » Fri 04.04.2008 3:28 am

p-chan wrote:Another thing about this is the letters.. Japanese have 3 writtings (hiragana, katakana and kanji).. It might be confusing which to choose or which is "better" but i think it would be better if they have a fugirana(kanji with hiragana on top) and katakana as is since it's commonly used for loan or foreign words today. I've seen French, German and even chinese they don't have other writting system so reading them won't be much of a problem unlike the japanese version.


Not sure what you're saying here? You can have it display in either romaji, all kana, or kanji. Displaying in Kanji doesn't make it ONLY use kanji (that's not possible in Japanese), it uses the standard mix, using hiragana and/or katakana when appropriate. When you need to see the reading of Kanji, you can swap to kana-only at any time (even mid-lesson).

Just FYI. ^_^
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby Noob » Mon 04.14.2008 6:40 am

Rosetta stone also comes with 2 books (if you got both CD's) that list every lesson in written hiragana, katakana, and also uses standard written japanese (Kana + Kanji). I have found it pretty useful so far. Plus i seem to retain the information i have learned pretty well. I try to use it along with other resources.

So basically i really like it, sorry to complicate the issue.
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby spinizuey » Mon 04.14.2008 8:06 pm

Check with your local library to see if they offer Rosetta Stone as a resource for free. If so, you can sign up and work online (at home). You won't get books or anything, but hey - it's free!
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby nukemarine » Wed 04.16.2008 7:41 am

Rosetta Stone has a great concept wrapped far too much into marketing. Take what works with Rosetta Stone, mainly that it has Audio, Written and Visual facts being presented to you. Now, mix that with what works with Pimsleur, mainly the verbal explanation (in your native language) and gradual review system. Finally, chuck that into a Spaced Review System program and you have an OUTSTANDING system.

Sadly, Rosetta only offers the first part. So, yes, you get a gradual build-up of knowledge. Problem is the modules (40 items per chapter, 10 chapters per unit, 18 units in all) are isolated. The review system (which is outstanding) is limited only to the chapter you're on (which is not outstanding). This means your imprinting short term memory with nothing later on to help you remember it unless you wade through the chapter again.

That said, you probably can find on the internet some .pdf file that has the English version of the Rosetta books. Seeing how the English is being used, you can make the logical leaps to understand what the Japanese grammar is trying to get across (OH! He's JUMPING, not FALLING).

All in all, it's not worth the purchase price. It's slow (almost like a word at a time). It's short term memory dependent. You won't be holding a conversation with it. You're forced into using the "formal" Japanese tone.

I like how it reviews for you, giving you a choice of 4 answers where a wrong answer means you have to review the question later in the lesson. I like the audio and photo clips. I like both of the testing formats. I REALLY like that it has Kanji. It's just not what I need until they improve the format.
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby p-chan » Sun 04.27.2008 10:17 pm

Sairana wrote:
p-chan wrote:Another thing about this is the letters.. Japanese have 3 writtings (hiragana, katakana and kanji).. It might be confusing which to choose or which is "better" but i think it would be better if they have a fugirana(kanji with hiragana on top) and katakana as is since it's commonly used for loan or foreign words today. I've seen French, German and even chinese they don't have other writting system so reading them won't be much of a problem unlike the japanese version.


Not sure what you're saying here? You can have it display in either romaji, all kana, or kanji. Displaying in Kanji doesn't make it ONLY use kanji (that's not possible in Japanese), it uses the standard mix, using hiragana and/or katakana when appropriate. When you need to see the reading of Kanji, you can swap to kana-only at any time (even mid-lesson).

Just FYI. ^_^


ok.. maybe i was not so clear... what i was trying to say usually in a regular class you start with hiragana then katana then kanji right? while in rosetta a complete beginner might not know what a hirgana is from a katakana or kanji is... and thus might be a little confusing..
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby richvh » Mon 04.28.2008 9:27 am

p-chan wrote:ok.. maybe i was not so clear... what i was trying to say usually in a regular class you start with hiragana then katana then kanji right? while in rosetta a complete beginner might not know what a hirgana is from a katakana or kanji is... and thus might be a little confusing..


I rather imagine that a regular Japanese class would avoid katanas entirely. Even a kanjutsu school would probably start you off with shinai or bokken before letting you touch a katana...
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby Snowflake » Mon 04.28.2008 10:29 am

*snickers at richvh's observation*

Anyway, regarding Rosetta Stone Japanese, I have volumes 1 and 2. I purchased it at full retail ( :shock: ) a few years back. I tried it when I first bought it and couldn't make any headway with it at all. Of course, my knowledge of Japanese at the time was pretty much limited to the words "ninja", "samurai", "sushi" and "hibachi". Oh, and anime and manga :). Discouraged, I packed Rose up and relegated it to way-back portion of the shelves.

I tried it again last year and was similarly disappointed. Back to the way-back for you, Rose. Here's my assessment of Rosetta Stone Japanese, taken from the viewpoint of someone with absolutely no exposure to the language.

Pros:

    * vocabulary introduction
    * exposure to pronunciation
    * ability to slow the words down so one can hear individual syllables
    * ability to display words in hiragana, katakana, kanji (if I recall correctly) and romaji
    * ability to record and evaluate the learner's own pronunciation

Cons:

    * limited explanations (if I recall, it was in the accompanying booklet, but there wasn't much detail)
    * difficulty in determining exactly what the picture is trying to portray

These two cons were what caused me the most frustration and disappointment with the program. I just wasn't *getting * it.

I'm considering bringing Rose out for a third trial, however. I'm fairly comfortable with hiragana now, am just beginning to learn katakana and am starting to get an *ear* for the language. I have a rudimentary beginner's vocabulary now, and understand a bit about how the language works (syntax and particles). Even with just this tiny bit of Japanese under my belt, I think I'll be better able to understand what Rose is trying to teach. Perhaps, because Japanese and English are so different from one another, one needs to have a bit of exposure to the language before working with Rose.

Once I've given it a third trial, I'll post my observations.

**Edit/update** I just pulled out the Volume 1 book. There is virtually no English in it, not even an introduction or explanation of the Rosetta Stone method or how the book should be used to supplement the lessons. It starts with a hiragana chart but no pronunciation guide. Thus, a rank beginner will be behind before s/he starts by making the assumption that "あ" is pronounced as "A", like in Apron.

I don't have time right now to pull out and review the CD. Will update later this evening once I do that.
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby nukemarine » Mon 04.28.2008 7:39 pm

Snowflake,

Again, I recommend finding a .pdf (or buying) the booklet for the English version of Rosetta Stone. It will give you precisely what they (Rosetta) intends the picture to mean.

Oh ,if only Rosetta implemented an SRS into its system and allowed one to tailor how they wish to be tested (For me, I'd like to test Kanji to Picture and Spoken to Picture). I think it would be a huge winner then.

Yes, you will not get conversation out of it. However, one can argue that Rosetta (vocabulary, grammar) mixed with Pimsleur (conversation) will be great one-two punch. Sadly both systems have major failings that need addressing before mixing them together.
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Re: Rosetta stone

Postby Snowflake » Mon 04.28.2008 10:07 pm

Brilliant, Nukemarineさん! With just a bit of digging, I was able to find an English translation of the Rosetta Stone book. Lest anyone think I found something I shouldn't have, it is accessible directly from Rosetta Stone's own Knowledge Base. Given that, I assume they don't have a problem with anyone looking at it.

I didn't have time to do a lot of playing around with it, but I did give it a glance-through. A few of the translations worry me. Using JUST a picture, how can I, as the language learner, know that the lesson is trying to convey the abstract concept of "someone" (as in "someone" is on a horse)? And how do I, as the language learner, know that the aforementioned "someone" in the picture is "on" the horse as opposed to "riding" the horse?

One more quick observation: I tried a quick quiz this evening, testing listening and writing. Rosetta Stone pronounced the word and showed me the picture (dog) and I was supposed to write it. Sadly, there were only two choices of input: I could type in romaji and it would display in romaji or I could pick, multiple-choice-style, from a pre-selected group of 7 or 8 hiragana characters (thus limiting the number of mistakes I could possibly make). I would love to have been able to input the romaji and have it display as hiragana, reinforcing my reading a bit. Or if they have given me ALL the syllables, I would have had to know exactly the ones I wanted to use. As you said, it would be nice if the learner had some way to tailor the testing segments.

I like the concept of Rosetta Stone. I like it more now that I have a wee bit of Japanese knowledge. However, I can still only see it as a supplement to my learning, not my primary source. By the same token, as you suggested, I suppose it's always good to have a variety of media from which to learn because each piece can reinforce the others. Since I've already spent the money anyway, it won't hurt to have Rosetta Stone thrown in the mix. I'm glad this thread convinced me to dust it off and give it another go.
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