Using it for my 3rd Language
by Tim Faber
(Marion, Iowa, USA)
When I learned French (native English) in the mid 90's there was no Rosetta Stone.
I remember very distinctly that prononciation and retention (I'd forget much of what I'd studied using books, etc) were my key problems.
Rosetta Stone really addresses the retention problem, almost too well as I keep getting the "can't get the song out of my head" effect.
As I'm only getting started with RS, its probably too early to tell but what I expect is that it will be a good base but no substitute for the classic study of the structure and grammar of the language if you really want to learn to speak.
I think that one of the key pitfalls to learning a language is underestimation of the amount of work it takes. I guess in the 2 years I studied French I spent around 2000 hours of my own time. I think that many people have an unrealistic expectation about how much work it will be and ultimately are not willing to make the necessary commitment.
If you want to convince yourself of this pick up a dictionary in your native language and on any random page see how many of the words you know and how many different meanings there are for those words. Now imagine a similar understanding of a similar dictionary in another language! And that is just the vocabulary.
I was fortunate to do most my language learning in France and I believe that helps as well.
The bottom line is that it takes a relatively unique combination of commitment and opportunity (situation) to get a language and its a lot of hard work. But I think in the effort RS will be a good, if perhaps overpriced, tool.