by Sarah

Has anyone tried Thai? I have been learning it for a few weeks and at first I thought Rosetta Stone was brilliant and so easy to use. But as I go higher in the lessons I'm not really sure what I am being taught? Many of the pictures have new meanings but the image doesn't change??

Why is ''the boy under the aeroplane in every lesson''?!

Im finding it quite frustrating that there is no English at all, not even a few hints as to what the images actually mean.....

Does it actually work or am I wasting my time?

Comments for Sarah

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by: Anonymous

Well from the sounds of it they're trying to condition the understanding of the situation into your brain - or at the very least that's the idea.

I've never used Rosetta stone myself, however - English being my second language - and having developed a minute understanding of Japanese without the use of any learning software I can tell you that repetition does help.

Whether it works for you as well as it worked for me however is an entirely different story. The question is "Does Rosetta Stone give a significantly large enough improvement to language understanding for the money which it costs"

Judging from their botched marketing techniques which claim that NASA has used it - and no substantiated evidence to validate such claims - I would say No.

Learning a language with a different char set
by: Anonymous


When learning a new language, like Thai, that uses a non-roman character set, you're gonna get confused as you need to associate sounds with the new Thai characters (both vowel and consonant). Rosetta Stone does not help you with this, and is consequently reduced to a listening and speaking exercise - without the aid of writing and reading. Sure, some people can learn Thai in this way, but you'll be limited to your ability in mimicry. Thai is a difficult one, as it's a tonal language and has 5 different tones that can change the meaning of the word, different vowel lengths and also no aspirated ending sounds, i.e. no exhalation of air or vibrating vocal cord sounds at the end of words, like in English. 'Bob' or 'pop'.

I used rosetta stone, reasonably successfully, but only after learning the Thai writing system, as knowledge of this will enable you to read a Thai word correctly, as the language is about 95% phonetic. This basically means that the language sounds as it reads, unlike English, which is a phonetic minefield. I suggest you get the 'Thai for beginners' book by Benjawan Poomsan Becker. This will teach you the writing system at the same time as useful conversational phrases, which will get you speaking. I assume you're in Thailand or have Thai speaking friends around for you to practice with? After this book there are follow on books that increase reading and writing ability and teach fundamental grammatical differences - all of which cannot be explained with Rosetta stone.

To sum up, Rosetta Stone is a good speaking and listening practice when used with Thai, however, without knowledge of the writing system is reduced to a parrot mimicry tool. Learn the writing system of Thai and you'll unlock all the tone rules and start being understood by Thais. Enjoy!


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