Vietnamese version 2, level 1
by Mitchell Thomas
I've been quite happy with Rosetta Stone, although I haven't yet had the discipline to finish all the levels in the software I purchased.
To be honest I originally intended to buy the software, finish all levels, and return it before the time limit was up to avoid payment. But I didn't finish the levels on time and liked the learning format of the software so I decided to keep it.
The good parts of the software is it begins word by word, rather than with full sentences. I've also tried Teach Yourself and the CD began too quickly with long sentences. Add that on top of the fact that it was awkward to replay sentences over and over and it just didn't work. Rosetta Stone avoids these difficulties.
However, the software could be improved in a couple of key ways. The first few lessons should introduce (visually and aurally) the tones you need to understand to speak Vietnamese correctly. If I didn't have a Vietnamese friend to review the tones with I wouldn't have made much progress.
Second, the vocabulary selected for the very first lessons isn't exactly what I'd expect as being most useful for someone just getting started with a language. What about hello, goodbye, what is your name? Those phrases (rather than a boy, a girl, a young women, a young man, etc) would be more useful.