Rosetta Stone software is far and away the best tool for learning a language (I own and have tried dozens of other brands). Rosetta Stone really does use an excellent technique for teaching you but it does tie you to your computer for learning. Pimsleur is excellent for teaching conversational skills and is great to use in your car or wherever you can listen to an audio only lesson. The combination of Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone is the only practical way I know to gain basic functionality with a foreign language other than to take live courses (or live in the country).
I own Rosetta Stone version 2 Spanish and version 2 German and now version 3 Japanese. Rosetta Stone has totally failed to advertise and communicate what a huge improvement version 3 is over version 2. Version 3 is excellent with the way it blends a variety of lessons (always including the great visual aspect) and pushes you to practice speaking too.
One of the big improvements in version 3 is removing the requirement to have the CD in your drive. By loading it completely onto your hard drive it is far more convenient to just fire it up for a quick lesson (and no more worries about scratched or damaged disks). Version 3 can be installed on two computers, so you can have it on your main machine as well as on a laptop you travel with. Very handy!
I take one point off because there are lessons which don't make any sense until after you understand what they are asking / teaching. I take another point off because of the high cost. Also there are occasional minor errors (Rosetta Stone has been great and very appreciative of my reporting of errors and they are good about fixing them and updating the product). Also beware that Rosetta Stone does not support the product if you purchase from any other vendor than directly from them.
If you can afford it, Rosetta Stone should be your first choice in language learning software (and Pimsleur should be obtained as a companion to enhance your learning of conversational skills).
No matter what, learning from lessons like these will only teach you the crude basics, they will leave you far short of "fluent".
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About the reviewer
John Wright (JohnWright)
Oct 10, 2010
Jan 22, 2011 03:53 PM UTC
"Everything we do at Rosetta Stone revolves around a simple idea: learning a language should be fun, easy and effective.
We approach language learning the same way that you first learned a language — using a natural method that teaches new language directly, without translation. That means no more confusing grammar explanations or mind-numbing vocabulary lists to memorize.
As the leading language-learning software in the world, Rosetta Stone makes learning a new language second nature. Millions of learners in more than 150 countries have already used our software to gain the confidence that comes with truly knowing a new language. We’re continually improving our software technology and adding new products. With Rosetta Stone at the helm, the future of language learning is very bright indeed."