by Rosie

I'm fifteen years old and have studied French for two years in school. I was looking for ways to learn more and improve my French and I had heard about Rosetta Stone. I didn't know exactly which level of CD-rom to buy, so I purchased a six month online subscription which gave me access to all three levels. I am extremely disappointed. The only benefit of the program was the new vocabulary, but even that was sometimes unclear. Since their only method of teaching is words and pictures, sometimes the pictures give you the wrong idea and you believe you know the word's meaning but really you don't. Verb tenses are only touched upon lightly and the actual conjugations are never layed out in an effective way. In addition, there were mistakes! The way to say "they are" in French is "Ils sont." However, there was a typo that read "Il sont." Of course everyone makes mistakes, but I didn't pay $200 for poorly revised software. In addition, this kind of mistake could be extremely confusing to beginners, especially since "Il" means "he" in French. The pictures, though nice to look at with cute animals and children, are often unnecessarily misleading. Sometimes the photos are more artistic than effective in portraying the meanings of words. The speech learning was inconsistent and very difficult to use. I would sometimes repeat the word or phrase more than ten or even twenty times before the computer decided it was corrected. Yet other times I would laugh or cough or speak gibberish and the computer would think that I spoke the phrase perfectly. I was so disappointed with the software that I considered returning it. I had heard Rosetta Stone had a generous return policy, so I sought information on their website. I was outraged when I learned that online subscriptions CANNOT BE RETURNED!!! CD-Rom software can be returned within six months of purchase if you are at all unhappy with the program, so why can't I return my subscription -- it's the exact same program, just not on a CD! Overall, the method of teaching was not at all effective, the software was not worth the money, and the company has ridiculous policies. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME, EFFORT, AND MONEY ON THIS SCAM THAT CALLS ITSELF LANGUAGE LEARNING SOFTWARE.


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by: Anonymous

you don't sound like a 15 yr old to me.

Thank you
by: Anonymous

Thank you for the specifics in your review. I will not waste my money!

by: Blake

Thanks for the review, I am studying Italian and am also looking for a way to improve on it but from an online demo I did that was not italian, a different language, but still did it, it did seem like it was all matching up pictures to words or sentences and sure that kind of works, I was more wondering about the variations of words. Like Mas. and Fem. Plural. etc. Sure I want to learn more and improve my Italian but I want to do it correctly as well.

I agree
by: Anonymous

About 10 years ago I got the Arabic demo CD. I had learned arabic living in the Middle East but found I was losing it after several years back in the US and I wanted to keep it up. I found that when they used a word I couldn't remember (one never used by the Arabs where I lived) the pictures were totally baffling. For example, they had a little boy dancing about on what looked to me like bleachers in a sports stadium and it said "The boy is on the XXX." It was several weeks before it dawned on me that the word was Arabic for "table"--a word I'd learned in my first Arabic lesson 20 years earlier but had since then never used because the Arabs I lived among didn't use tables except coffee tables and they were called something else. It finally dawned on me that the "bleachers" were the slats of one of those picnic tables you find in American parks--but nowhere else in the world that I know of!

Similarly, the head of a smiling young woman all dressed up in pretty clothes, nice hairstyle and lots of jewelry was accompanied by the word, "Shaaba." I'd never heard of it. I thought it could have meant "jewelry" or "head" but not "bint" or "anissa"--the usual words for a girl or young woman. Again, weeks later, I realized it was the singular of a word only ever, in my experience, used in the plural: "shabab"--meaning "youth"--usually followed by some comment on how different today's youth was, etc. "Shaba" meant a female "youth!"

After that I was too frustrated to buy the whole set.

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