A Medley of Rosetta Stone Rants

by Ron

Here are a number of negative or just-plain-harsh reviews of Rosetta Stone that I have received in the past several months. These are visitor-submitted reviews that I did not post at the time I received them, some for technical reasons, some because they were just too short to be given a whole page. Enjoy the flames.




ROSETTA WILL NOT PROVIDE A WORKING CODE IF YOUR COMPUTER BREAKS

RONALD
BALTIMORE US

Rosetta Stone Chinese: I purchased Rosetta Stone Chinese for about 750 dollars.

DO NOT BUY THIS PROGRAM UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO BUY THE PROGRAM AGAIN IF YOU HAVE COMPUTER PROBLEMS. IF YOUR HARD DRIVE CRASHES ROSETTA WILL HAVE A FIT AND IT WILL TAKE 1-2 HOURS OF SUPPORT TIME TO RECEIVE A FRESH CODE, AT WHICH POINT THEY WARN YOU STRONGLY. IF IT HAPPENS AGAIN, THEY MAY SIMPLY TELL YOU THAT YOU HAVE LOST YOUR "SEATS" AND YOU HAVE TO PURCHASE THE PROGRAM FRESH ALL OVER AGAIN !!!!!

BE PREPARED TO PROVIDE IN THIS SCENARIO, INVOICE FOR THE SOFTWARE, AND AN INVOICE FROM THE COMPUTER REPAIR SHOP WITH PHONE NUMBERS OF THE SHOP. THEY WILL TRY TO VERIFY THAT YOUR COMPUTER BROKE AND IF THEY CAN'T YOU LOSE YOUR COPY !!!!!!

THE SOFTWARE IS VERY VERY UNINTELLIGENT AND WILL COUNT EACH INSTALL, EVEN ON THE SAME COMPUTER, AS LOST "SEATS" AND ONCE THOSE ARE GONE, YOU ARE SCREWED.YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO LET OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS USE THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IN THE SAME HOUSEHOLD !!!




Thanks for the Info

Fred
Los Angeles

Thanks for all the reviews. I had bidded on a couple programs on eBay and was out bidded, thank God..




Waste of Money

ERIC MARC LAVIGNE
TORONTO,ONTARIO,CANADA

A fly by night course if anything. By the time this arrived to me,here in Canada,it cost over 500.00 dollars. After about 10 minutes,I tossed it,box and all the Rosetta stone items into the trash can. What a waste this was.



Yess

yea i know what you saying about the memorizing, tricks, and cheating thing, i thought the exact thing



500$ is Too Much for Too Little

while its true that the 500 price tag is really really steep for this software, It DOES do its job well. If its really that big of a problem to you just go pirate it... this may be against some of your ethics but hell, if you need to learn a new language and you are broke it IS an option.

thats what I did. -



TOO EXPENSIVE!

Reggie
Portland, OR, USA

Who can afford this?



cannon

nary
covington LA

I find that Rosetta Stone offers dicounts (50percent) but do not honor that discount. Just try to get it, you can't and won't! I would rather pay more with a co. that does not use lies and tricks.



Doesn't Work at All

I was given Rosetta Stone Spanish last Christmas and finally got around to trying to use it. For me it's been hopeless. The microphone doesn't work, so I can use it at all. A complete waste of money, as far as I can tell.




Rosetta Stone is a Waste of Time and Money.....

liz
new york

The software is terrible it teaches you nothing and doesn't even tell you what phrases you are repeating. It is a scam - ive seen hundreds of tv advertisements and fake online reviews BUT the truth is it's crap.


Comments for A Medley of Rosetta Stone Rants

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Some General Comments pt1
by: Ron

Now, I need to make some comments on these rants that I've just posted, which also apply to many of the other negative reviews of Rosetta Stone.

First of all, if you don't like the program, don't just 'throw it in the trash.' If the money is important to you, contact Rosetta Stone for a refund. They do have a guarantee. Hold them to it. There have been many reports of customer service being poor, but if you complain long enough and say the right things (like threatening to report them to the Better Business Bureau if they don't comply with their own return policy), they will give in and 'allow' you to return the product.

It seems that several people have had trouble installing it (or re-installing it after a computer crash etc), but have had trouble with customer service (seems to be a recurring problem). Lots of companies have software installation issues, not just Rosetta Stone. Be persistent. Don't give up too quickly. Ultimately, if you have to, hold them to their guarantee and return it.

If the microphone doesn't work, you can still use the program. You have several options. You can use all the other features that don't require speaking. You can speak aloud and rely on your own judgement as to how you sound (this is what I do when I use RS - I've found the speaking recognition to be quirky and unreliable). You can call Rosetta Stone and try to have them send you another microphone. You can go to Best Buy and purchase any computer microphone. Considering what you pay for the program, a $10 replacement microphone is a relatively cheap solution.

If you just don't like Rosetta Stone, you can return it (I think it's a 6 month guarantee) but I wouldn't give up on it so quickly. I have never seen a complete package for learning a foreign language that does absolutely everything on its own. Even my favorite language software (Tell Me More Performance) or my favorite audio course (Pimsleur Comprehensive) have their limitations and absolutely require additional materials to learn from. I always recommend to people to learn from several sources.

Some General Comments pt2
by: Ron

Obviously, I don't recommend 'pirating' the software. If you try to download it from the internet, you risk (a very large risk actually) getting malware or a virus on your computer. I have some experience with this. If you are 'broke' as he put it, you really have several options to try Rosetta Stone that are less risky. Try your library, you may be able to borrow it. Or borrow it from a friend or someone you know. Team up with someone and share it. Trade Rosetta Stone in one language with someone else who has it for a different language. You each get two languages for the price of one. If you can't do any of these and you can't afford it, there are lots of less expensive and even free sources to learn from, especially on the internet. Rosetta Stone is in your head because it is a marketing machine. But it is not the only way to learn a language.

Personally, I don't like Rosetta Stone. I find it too slow, God-awful boring, lacking in some basic features, and takes too long to get to anything useful. But I still use it! It helps to reinforce what I learn from other courses or sources. 10 or 15 minutes a day won't kill me but will help all of this new language to sink in a little bit more. When I get sick of it, I just lay off of it for a while. I'm still studying from several other sources. When I go back to it, it has saved my last position and progress, just like any learning software should. For the cost of Rosetta Stone (and yes, I do think it is overpriced), you should find ways to make that investment work.

Rosetta Stone for French, is a complete scam
by: Bob from New Castle, NH

If there is one person on this earth who has learned to speak a foreign language with Rosetta Stone, I would like to hear about it.

If one were to ask any normal child of, say,seven years, to say "if I'd known you were coming, I would have baked a cake, the child could repeat it flawlessly and without hesitation. If, however, a diligent Rosetta Stone graduate were asked to say it en français -"si j'avais su que tu venais, j'aurais cuit un gâteau - he or she would return only a blank stare. But you say, "but Bob, that sentence has two tenses and one of them is the pluperfect." I would say that's true, and welcome to how real,normal people talk. Rosetta Stone make no mention of such details.

Work with this program only if you have lots of extra money, lots of time to waste, and only if you have extremely low expectations...perhaps the level of a barely verbal kindergarten student. If you are a farm boy hoping to impress an international model, you will be sorely disappointed.

Il faut que j'aille. That means I gotta go. It is the subjunctive, and I learned it from a five year old child in Provence.

Boring
by: Bob

Boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, total waste of money!!! I bought this for my extremely intellient Chinese wife and she couldn't stand it! I tried it myself and found it to be very boring and of no use to learn the English language.

It's not that bad
by: Anonymous

I see too many reviews saying "It doesn't tell you anything, I can't understand" etc. Rosetta stone is SUPPOSED to be that way. We didn't know anything when we learnt our first language, and this is how Rosetta stone is teaching you.

Poor customer service
by: Anonymous

After a brief time using the product, the software crashed and it became unusable.

It took two hours late into the night with their help desk to get it fixed, but even that required a permanent change to the start-up system on my computer. The helper was computer literate by very inarticulate in spoken English (nice irony there!).

Then I couldn't activate it and had to get onto their help desk again. The activation code kept getting rejected (apparently an indirect consequence of the earlier problem and various attempts to solve it) and they wanted to transfer me to another person to uninstall, reinstall and reactivate. I lost patience at this point and just said I wanted to return it.

I was promised a call from yet another person to effect the return, which I await more in hope than in faith. All in all a terrible experience; expensive, frustrating, time consuming and I was doubly inconvenienced by their software problems, with the cost in time and phone calls put onto to me to boot.

Avoid this company. There are some good-sounding alternatives listed in the reviews here.

Whew good thing....
by: Anonymous

I got a copy off a torrent site, I thought it was a great app before using it - little did I know, and now I can safely delete this rubbish and be spared hundreds of dollars lost for the trouble.

The rosetta stone was a KEY. it was not blind learning, it was a comparison between different languages to give an understanding of the hieroglyphics.

Wow what a joke... I can read farsi websites and gain as much understanding of the language as I did from this..

Rosetta Stone is likely better for low IQ learners.
by: Anonymous

The Rosetta Stone teaches only extremely basic vocabulary and sentences using pictures and repetition at a snail's pace. This program would make anyone with an IQ over 130 want to beat their head into a stone wall. I even think anyone over 120 would find it irritating. I think the people who like it are those with IQ's under 120 and probably the lower their IQ, the more they love it.

And I don't mean this in a snide or insulting way. I think that if someone makes an honest assessment of their own abilities to learn abstract material, then following the IQ guideline I outlined above, people should have a good idea of how much they will like or hate Rosetta Stone. If you are someone who has ever said, "I'm a bad test taker," then you are more likely to enjoy the Rosetta Stone. But if you are someone who always learned easily in school without have to study much, then you are going to hate the Rosetta Stone.

And seriously, I don't mean that in an unkind way. It is just a fact that in this world there are people with minds like Stephen Hawking and there are people with minds like the retarded man in Flowers for Algernon and then there is everyone in between. The learning materials that would be appropriate for Stephen Hawking are not the same as the learning materials that would be appropriate for Algernon.

Rosetta Stone is not for the Stephen Hawkings of the world. Sliding down the continuum a little farther, it is not for the Bill Clinton's of the world, either. Still farther, George W. Bush will like it fine. And finally, Paris Hilton will absolutely love it. So figure out where you are in that line up and you should have a good idea of whether to buy it or not. If you can't see why Paris Hilton is placed where she is, you are a Paris Hilton. If you are questioning why someone would say Clinton is smarter than Bush, well, no offense intended but that is because you are about at a Bush level. And that is ok.

Used Rosetta Stone
by: debarelli2@yahoo.com

Rosetta Stone Version 3's really good for providing a solid base and exposure to a foreign language. I bought a used Latin American Spanish V3 since I speak Spanish and I could check it out before handing it over to my nephews. It's been great for the kids and they can use it on their own.

So, then I bought a used Portuguese (Brazil) for myself and an Italian for my niece who struggled with her high school Italian classes. Since you can download the software on up to 2 computers, I've used the Italian too. And, I've finally been able to retain all of the Italian articles and their usages (there are about 11 ways to say the and a). Seriously.

Although once I got error message (2123), we re-installed it and updates resumed without a problem.

I really think that Rosetta Stone can provide a solid base for new learners but there's no way I would ever download Rosetta Stone software from a website and I could never afford the Rosetta Stone site prices. I don't have on-line access, but this has been an unbelievable find for us.

Want to trade Rosetta Stone French for Spanish
by: Darrin

I would like to trade Rosetta Stone French for Spanish. If anyone has the Spanish version and would like to trade, please email me at "trade at mcneice.com" replace at with @ symbol.


Darrin, I'm allowing this to post but if you trade with someone make sure you check your license so that you can both install it!

Ron


Bad return policy
by: Anonymous

Yup. They don't take their product seriously enough to take return inquiries.

They sell this by retail because they know you won't be able to return it by the time you're done trying it. They suck.

Don't Buy
by: Dan

I've had laptops go out on me and after two re-activations, Rosetta Stone won't give you an activation code. What a rip-off. $260.00 down the drain. Pimsluer is better, I've tried both, and you can play it in any computer. Rosetta stone sucks!!!

Rosetta Stone is a BIG scam
by: CSKi

I have taught foreign languages for years, and have always resented Rosetta Stone for overplaying so-called "natural" language-learning that bypasses the necessary grammar work, if you are to truly master a language.

It is true that there are many aspects of language that are learned by "immersion", being thrown into a culture and learning a language by the "sink or swim" approach. This is far from the whole of language-learning, however.

The traditional grammatical approach has its advantages, not least of which is taking advantage of the adult brain to learn concepts and language structures quickly and systematically, not simply via trial-and-error. The "natural" approach may help you pick up basics quickly, but it is tedious and confusing when it comes to learning advanced grammar concepts, a complaint often alluded to by those who have found Rosetta Stone confusing, and that it does not live up to its grandiose claims.

For me to see LiveMocha seriously cut into Rosetta Stone's market, providing people with live native speakers to help in the language-learning process, brings joy to my heart. When people see the real thing,(native-speakers to interact with, people who can answer questions and
provide feedback when needed), the scam that is Rosetta Stone and so-called "progressive" methods of language-learning can be seen for what it is--an overpriced illusion that cannot deliver on what it promises.

I wish LiveMocha continued great success, and quite honestly, that it drives scam artists like Rosetta Stone out of the language-education business.

It's long overdue. I will lobby hard for LiveMocha to be integrated into the Language Department where I work.

Nervous, but great results
by: Chelsea Z

After a computer crash and lots of online research about getting my Rosetta Stone back up and running, I was very nervous about contacting Rosetta Stone when my new computer arrived. I spent a total of 45 minutes on the phone with two very friendly individuals and was emailed a new activation code before getting off the line. It seems that the difficulty occurs when the activation code is lost, proof of purchase cannot be supplied and the software was purchased from a third party. If you purchased your software directly from Rosetta Stone online, over the phone or at a kiosk, they should be able to look up your purchase. My parents purchased Rosetta Stone for me nearly three years ago and my computer crashed late last year. I thought I was out of luck, but decided to call and ask. The second person I spoke with was able to look up the purchase with my parents names and the state the software was purchased in - easy as that. For all the bad comments, I'm surprised Rosetta Stone hasn't spoken up to correct inaccurate statements being made about them. It's understandable that if a pirated version is being used they are unable to provide activation codes, etc.

Poor packaging
by: Do not buy Rosetta Stone

To locate the most critical infromation, ie the serial number & activation code on the outside of an extraneous piece of packaging on the a reduntant sleeve is just poor design by the company.

Costumer service demanded a Proof of Purchase, which is difficult to get when you were given this as a gift. Costumer service was poor.

Never in my life have I bought a piece of software that did not have the activation code on the inside of the box or redundantly keyed to multiple serial codes.

Hundreds of dollars in a gift are now worthless.

Rosetta Stone Korean
by: Anonymous

Not only does this software not teach you how to read Hangul, the voice recognition freaks out if you read too slowly.

Not to mention that the phrases are next to useless.

I've also tried Brazilian Portuguese, and while much better, it still teaches phrases that you will NEVER need (ie The woman is vacuuming the ceiling)

This software will not teach you a language, nor is it a good place to get started. It is however useful as a listening tool and as revision once you're semi-proficient in a language, but by then the cost simply can't be justified.



Pushy rep at Rosetta stone
by: Anonymous

I was just on the phone with Rosetta Stone rep. Very pushy
I told him not to send out product, multiple times. He said he was going to send out. I told him no, one more time then hung up on him. I will not be happy if shows up in mail or I get billed. The radio commercial said, "absolutely free." I only wanted to inquire. When told it would be $59/month, plus shipping, I told him no.

Suprise! something that doesn't work for everyone.
by: Anonymous

Rosetta Stone is not fast. Repetition is one of the basic ways to learn. And whether or not repitition works for you has nothing to do with your intelligence. But I have found it very helpful. I use it in conjunction with other websites that help to fill out what I'm learning in Rosetta Stone.
I know nothing about LiveMocha, but using the Rosetta Stone Studio feature, I have spoken live with a number of different native French speakers who helped my learning tremendously. In keeping with the "immersion" approach the native speakers do not use any other language than what you are learning. This only makes sense since I've been in sessions where I was the only learner who spoke English.

If you're already past absolute beginner-level, don't bother.
by: Anonymous

You won't "master" a language with Rosetta Stone, like they say in the commercials. You'll learn only extremely basic sentence structures and vocabulary, even with the most advanced levels, i.e. "The cat is under the table", "Two girls have bicycles", etc. The reason for this is that you have to listen/read phrases and then select the picture that goes with the phrase. Because of this, abstract concepts that cannot be represented by pictures cannot be learned. For example, you won't be able to learn "Our passport applications are due next week", or "Your culture is very different from mine."

Another big flaw is that since it's multiple choice, most often the correct answer can be deduced if you only understand 1 or 2 words from the phrase being learned. For example, if you hear the word for "bicycle" in the sentence, and only 1 of 4 of the pictures has a bicycle in it, you'll be "correct" even though you may have no idea what the phrase is saying apart for "bicycle".

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