Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?

Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby kentaku_sama » Mon 12.13.2010 1:14 pm

I don't know what to believe! Some people say rosetta stone is great others say it's too expensive and a waste of time. What the heck? I've tried a demo they had online like 2 or 3 years ago and I retained effortlessly the words I learned and only did it one time! Infact, the words I learned I know more naturaly than most other words I use in japanese. I think what rosetta stone does is prepares your mind to absorb and use anything else you learn in a book as well. Meaning your mind will pick up patterns and without thinking, you should be able to use new vocabulary you learn from books as well as the rosetta stone vocabulary without translation. With a book, I think it'd be great, but I've seen alot of negative things about it. I thought it was really cool because the patterns it shows are different and sound native rather than robotic like alot of text books do.I thought it was very basic though, but when I went to unit 10, I was blown away to see this coversation spoken quite fast about building a house with technicle stuff, I was like "That would be awesome if I understood that!" I've also heard that rosetta stone doesn't work for everyone; maybe that's why they're so many negative things about it, because the people who don't like it can't learn that way but for others it's amazing. And I'm at least lower intermediate in japanese so I can make out dialogue to some extent but I want to be able to listen and comprehend and understand effortlessly as much as I can without going to japan because that is too expensive and impossible right now, although I want to so bad!
kentaku_sama
 
Posts: 208
Joined: Fri 11.21.2008 2:21 am
Native language: English

Re: Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby Dustin » Mon 12.13.2010 2:07 pm

In all honesty, I think Rosetta stone is overpriced, and I would never buy it.

HOWEVER the problems that I have, are the lack of actual grammar teaching, and many of the phrases and pictures lack enough context to know EXACTLY what they are trying to say. It is very easy to miss the subtle nuances that are very important without this.

If someone has the money and enjoys it, by all means something that allows you to learn is better than nothing, but I HIGHLY recommend getting some textbooks as well, to supplement it and give proper explanations for these things.

To each his own, it's far from the only product someone would need, but if it works for you, and the price doesn't drive you away, then it may be a great fit as part of your self study program :D
User avatar
Dustin
 
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun 07.13.2008 9:41 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby kentaku_sama » Tue 12.14.2010 11:35 am

yup, I've had several textbooks and I getting a couple other books as well. But what I find the problem with a textbook is that it doesn't allow you to practice speaking and listening.

I swear, it's those audio recordings, they're all the same! Every audio recording is either slowed down or simplified or pronounced more clearly than someone native would talk usually. And while that's fine for beginners, I believe in the long run it hurts your listening skills alot because when you hear real people talk its less clear. They should have audio recordings that aren't slow or unnaturally clear, not to mention I want to learn by listening more grammar nuances and different ways of saying the same thing such as rosetta stone taught me:
テベルの上にあるボール。 This type of sentence was unfamiliar to me before I tried it.
Same as ボールはテベルの上にあります。 
kentaku_sama
 
Posts: 208
Joined: Fri 11.21.2008 2:21 am
Native language: English

Re: Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby Hyperworm » Tue 12.14.2010 12:47 pm

(it's テーブル)

Hmm, they both express the same general idea - a ball on top of a table - but テーブルの上にあるボール isn't really the same as ボールはテーブルの上にあります。If someone asks you where the ball is, you can't say the first one. If someone asks you what round things are in the room, you can't say the second one.
(The first one, ending in ボール, isn't a sentence. It's just a noun with a descriptive modifying clause - like "red ball" (赤いボール). You could translate it as "[the/a] ball on top of [the/a] table".)

Maybe it highlights what Dustin was saying ... because Rosetta Stone doesn't explain grammar, you might miss out on important nuances...
fun translation snippets | need something translated?
BTC@1KMZXgoWiDshQis5Z7feCx8jaiP4QAB2ks
User avatar
Hyperworm
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Tue 11.20.2007 2:26 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby furrykef » Wed 12.15.2010 5:13 am

kentaku_sama wrote:I believe in the long run it hurts your listening skills alot because when you hear real people talk its less clear.

Oh man, do I feel your pain on this one.

A couple years ago I purchased a book/CD called Spanish Beyond the Basics, 'cause it had a lot of conversations in Spanish on the CD. I figured it'd be perfect for practicing my listening comprehension, which is by far my weakest area in the Spanish language right now -- I can read newspapers, comic strips, pretty much any basic materials in Spanish, but I cannot watch TV without closed captioning. So I popped in the CD and I started to listen and I found that I could understand almost all the dialogue on the CD! It's weird, they don't speak any more slowly than on TV, and they're obviously native Spanish accents, but they have such clear pronunciation. So I don't think I can really learn much from a CD that I already mostly understand...
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)
User avatar
furrykef
 
Posts: 1572
Joined: Thu 01.10.2008 9:20 pm
Native language: Eggo (ワッフル語の方言)
Gender: Male

Re: Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby TJack » Wed 12.15.2010 2:41 pm

Heh count me in the same boat as everyone else for the listening practice. In my Spanish class, we're using My Spanish Lab with Anda, and the people speak a bit slower and clearer so it seems like this to me:

Hola..Miguel!..Como..Estás?.. Bien .. Y..tu?..Muy..Bien..Gracias!

It must be just me though, because I heard that it's still a little too fast for other students.

What's even funnier is that a lot of the names they choose for the characters are English, so you get Spanish speakers speaking their names with perfect English and then fluently move to speaking Spanish.
TJack
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed 03.26.2008 4:37 pm
Location: Tennesse
Native language: 英語
Gender: Male

Re: Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby Dustin » Wed 12.15.2010 2:52 pm

TJack wrote:
What's even funnier is that a lot of the names they choose for the characters are English, so you get Spanish speakers speaking their names with perfect English and then fluently move to speaking Spanish.



I can't even count how many times I've heard a foreign language with seemingly random english terms and names thrown in, in perfect sounding English surrounded by another language that is completely foreign to me often with a seemingly thick accent. It's like HEY, at least I know THAT word!! :D
User avatar
Dustin
 
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun 07.13.2008 9:41 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby furrykef » Wed 12.15.2010 8:37 pm

When I tried watching Telemundo, I'd find that effect most striking in this video (from 0:16 to 0:18). Funny enough, they also recorded an English version of this ad, and it has the same effect: perfect American accent with Spanish names in a Spanish accent.

By the way, I find I can understand most of the dialogue in this video, without even comparing it to the English version. Guess I may be improving after all.
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)
User avatar
furrykef
 
Posts: 1572
Joined: Thu 01.10.2008 9:20 pm
Native language: Eggo (ワッフル語の方言)
Gender: Male

Re: Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby TJack » Wed 12.15.2010 9:36 pm

Yeah just like that, only with names like Matt and Emily (I don't understand why the book just didn't chose traditional Hispanic names..)

I remembered you showed that a while ago and I had trouble with listening to it, but I too didn't have any trouble with it now. I went and checked out some videos on Univison.com, and I was able to understand a lot of it, which surprised me a lot. It was a lot faster than what I hear in class, but I was able to keep up and I only stumbled a couple times. I guess it's not the speed that counts but just actually listening to the spoken language continuously that is important. Which might be why I'm still struggling with spoken French, since I don't practice listening to it as much as I do Spanish. :think:

To Kentaku_Sama, you might like Rosetta Stone early on, but it will turn ugly VERY soon. I believe numbers come up in Section 3 of the first part, which at first isn't so bad. You go on and learn 1-10 and think, this is easy. Then bam, they throw in counters without explaining it to you anything about it. The best part about that is, a lot of counters have different pronunciation for different numbers.Do you think Rosetta Stone tells you that? Hah, you'd be very naive.

Part 2 section 1 starts with nouns for your lovely family, which gives you the joy of throwing all the family words without explaining the difference between words like 父 and お父さん, 母 and お母さん, etc. In one part they even throw in そぼ (grandmother) in the practice area, not the learning area, without it appearing any where before! But that's okay, you shouldn't be too upset, they do that all the time.

Want to know some other great things RS won't teach you?
The difference between I-adj and na-adj
Ru-verbs and U-Verbs
How to conjugate from plain form
Plain speech
Hiragana is only covered in Level 1, Katakana in Level 2. Tough luck if you want to learn stroke order for Hiragana and katakana. Kanji?! You get to see kanji all the time in RS! Why in the world would you want to study all of those!?!

And that's just scratching the surface!

One last note:
Level 2 starts with grammar that is usually covered in the first few chapters of a Japanese textbook. Yep, spend 400$ and go over one Lvl just to get to grammar that is covered in the very first chapters of a ~40$ textbook. What a steal!

And Lvl 3? You would have learned more grammar (and words) by the end of a beginner's textbook than you do by the end of Lvl 3.

The only good thing about Rosetta Stone was the fact that the て form is used, so I didn't have trouble with them when I moved on to Genki and studied that form.

Now, if you think you'll do fine with this, then by all means do so. But take it from someone who has used RS and thinks that you can do a lot better than with this.
TJack
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed 03.26.2008 4:37 pm
Location: Tennesse
Native language: 英語
Gender: Male

Re: Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby helephant » Tue 12.21.2010 5:37 pm

I spent about six months learning Japanese with Rosetta Stone before going to Japan just to try to learn a little bit of the language before I went. I switched to doing an evening class after I got back which follows the Minna no Nihongo textbook. I'd totally agree that Rosetta Stone was very poor at explaining grammer rules. I was really struck with how much quickly I began to see how the language worked once I started taking my class. I could answer the questions in Rosetta Stone but it wasn't until I started to see the same patterns in my class that I really understood what Rosetta Stone was trying to teach me.

That said, I found Rosetta Stone very good for learning vocab because there's so much repetition and you get a good combination of listening, speaking and reading. The words I learnt through Rosetta Stone just somehow stuck. I found the practice quite fun to do as well and it wasn't too hard to give it 15 minutes a day. I started off with an online subscription but cancelled after starting my class because it was too expensive. I switched to building vocab from the chapter in the book using flashcards. I am looking forward to when I have enough grammer and vocab to start learning new words by reading and watching Japanese TV and movies.

If you do go for an online subscription with Rosetta Stone, be aware they automatically charge your credit card once your subscription expires. They did refund me the money in the end, but it was a real hassle waiting to get it back.
User avatar
helephant
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun 03.07.2010 3:53 pm
Location: England
Native language: English

Re: Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby Dustin » Tue 12.21.2010 5:46 pm

helephant wrote:That said, I found Rosetta Stone very good for learning vocab because there's so much repetition and you get a good combination of listening, speaking and reading. The words I learnt through Rosetta Stone just somehow stuck. I found the practice quite fun to do as well and it wasn't too hard to give it 15 minutes a day. I started off with an online subscription but cancelled after starting my class because it was too expensive. I switched to building vocab from the chapter in the book using flashcards. I am looking forward to when I have enough grammer and vocab to start learning new words by reading and watching Japanese TV and movies.


This fairly neatly sums up my opinion on rosetta stone. What it's good at, you can easily replicate for free. What it's bad at you can do much better elsewhere. :D
User avatar
Dustin
 
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun 07.13.2008 9:41 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby Philip Seyfi » Tue 12.28.2010 3:26 pm

I'd say that Rosetta Stone is fine, but terribly overpriced. If it cost less, it would be a really fine program to use in combination with other sources. At the current price, it's a complete waste of money in my opinion.
Philip Seyfi
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue 12.28.2010 10:11 am
Native language: Russian

Re: Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby v10japan » Sat 01.01.2011 4:57 pm

Hi! I agree with helephant that Rosetta Stone is amazing for vocabulary.

Rosetta Stone was the reason I started learning Japanese (a friend had me try Jap RS), and I'll never forget the words I've learned from it. All the basic verbs and what not were ingrained in my head before I ever bought a textbook.

I recommend it as a supplemental program at best.
v10japan
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri 06.04.2010 1:30 pm
Native language: English

Re: Rosetta stone with textbooks?

Postby Infidel » Thu 01.27.2011 12:30 am

Always stick with whatever course you can work with the easiest. It's not worth the headache looking for the perfect course.

Really, if you learn best with Rosetta and can afford it, then don't let people tell you to use something else. Just remember that Rosetta is supposed to mimic real life, and ultimately, that includes asking questions when you get confused. Having vocabulary and basic sentence patterns stick is invaluable, I think.

That said, I can't stand Rosetta. But I've used Pimsleur to good effect, with similar results, patterns stuck and vocabulary also stuck. The main problem, is Pimsleur is expensive too, and ultimately, even though the vocabulary stuck, it wasn't much. Ahh well, as I said, nothing is perfect, the most important think, after finding a course that you're compatible with is simply sticking with it.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語


Return to Learning Materials Reviews & Language Learning tips

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 6 guests