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.

Good Luck!

Comments for Using it for my 3rd Language

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So glad I didn't pay for this
by: Jeanene

When I decided that I wanted to learn french, I seriously started looking at Rosetta Stone. I wanted it so bad I was pretty much foaming at the mouth, but couldn't see myself forking over that amount of money for something I didn't know would work. So, I had them send me their demo cd (lots of mail from RS now, BTW).

The demo was awesome! I felt like it would be a breeze with this program to learn french! Good news is, my library carries Rosetta Stone level 1 for many different languages, so I didn't even have to fork out the cash yet, I could start with that and get level 2&3 later!

I am so happy I didn't have to buy this software! It is almost completely useless! The first 3 or 4 levels I actually felt like I was learning something, however, by level 5, I couldn't tell you what I was doing! They throw sentences at you with no explanation of what they mean, just a photo! Unfortunately, photos don't give you the words that connect the objects in the photo! I found myself guessing at what I was looking at and hoping I figured out what it meant.

The suprising part is, I didn't miss a single question, even though I have not retained a single sentence that I know the full meaning of. But if you know in french that horse is "cheval" and they give you a sentence with that word in it and four pictures, only one of which contains a horse, pretty sure your going to know where to click. I was hoping for at least a little education from this. From the demo, I found it a breeze...and it sure was. Nothing comes that easy

by: Angie

I took french in high school and I did well with reading, writing, all the grammer stuff. I never was able to understand and have a oral conversation with someone before I recieved RS. Since I could read french I didn't bother getting the first two levels and start at 3 of French. It has helped my pronouncation and my confediance with the language. I do agree that there are some things wrong with RS, that if I hadn't all reading knew the basics and the grammer I would have been confused and fed up. It was expensive for the product and you just expected more, like a dictionary, verb conjuctions, and so forth. I'm glad I kept my reference books from High School, cause I feel you would need to purchase than to understand RS. It seems a lot of money for something that promises more than it delivers. If you're learning a second language for the first time, I wouldn't recommend this product without some background in the language first. But I will say I due believe it has helped me tremendously, and I'm teaching my kids the correct ways to pronounce French. Au revoir et bon chance, mon amis.

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