Alternatives to Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is the 800 pound gorilla of language learning software. They are on TV, all over the internet, on radio, in magazines, malls and airport kiosks. Tell anyone that you want to learn a language and they'll say "oh, just get Rosetta Stone." But, they're not the only company making language software. Just because they're the most well-known doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best language learning software on the market.

So, if you're looking for a language learning program, what else is there? Although there are several companies that make language programs, in my opinion, there are three companies that I would look to first. They are all good, reputable companies that make good quality sofware with different features and approaches.

This is my favorite language software. It is more complete and comprehensive than any other program out there. For a price comparable to Rosetta Stone, there is so much more content and features, especially into the intermediate and advanced levels, which Rosetta won't even touch. The improvements that the people at Tell Me More keep making shows that they want to continually update their software and make it better, unlike Rosetta Stone, which keeps doubling-up their marketing efforts to repackage the
same product with a new version number.

Transparent Language
This company makes a wide variety of software products for an enormous number of languages. Most likely, they make something that you could use no matter what language you are studying, and they probably have it at a very reasonable price. I have been using Transparent Language products in one form or another for over ten years.

They are the new guy in language software, but I like the look and content of their software very much, and I would recommend it for beginners. Their approach is very personal, with videos of a live tutor, but focused on much more relevant and useful vocabulary than Rosetta Stone. For the people that Rosetta Stone appeals to, I think that Fluenz would be a better choice. People who actually like Rosetta Stone (increasingly fewer numbers of people, in my experience anyway) would probably like Fluenz much better.

All three of these companies have demos of one kind or another showing how their software works. If you're looking for some kind of language learning software, and you want to see some alternatives to Rosetta Stone, check out these three first and see how they stack up to what you're looking for.

Comments for Alternatives to Rosetta Stone

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My Rosetta Stone Blog
by: Ulrike Rettig

I've written a few blogs about using Rosetta Stone for learning Spanish. My pet peeve is that a lot of the vocabulary is not really useful (when would I need say in Italian: "the boy is under the airplane"?) A lot of the material also leads the learner to "overlearn" (endless practice of sentences that are unrelated to each other). I've just launched a site called gamesforlanguage which uses a travel story and games as key teaching tools. 15 minutes a day should get some nice results. But I also think that some of the social and community sites for language learning will be very successful. Especially for learners that want to augment their language skills. It's a great time to be learning a language, the resources are just fabulous. Rosetta Stone, in my opinion is still 30 years behind - despite the pretty pictures.

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