Rosetta Stone is a language-learning software program aimed at teaching foreign languages using interactive images and audio. You can by individual packages or bundles, as each language has up to three levels. Typical prices for all the levels run from US$350 to US$500, although it is occasionally available via various library and employer offers. Rosetta Stone has well-known brand name and a large advertising budget ($98.5 million in 2011, according to the New York Times). It's widely available in US bookstores and from online retailers
Rosetta Stone is intended to simulate natural learning by immersion, but the extent to which is does so is controversial, as described by the researcher Stephen Krashen. Rosetta Stone avoids using the student's native language, relying heavily on pictures and multiple choice exercises, and it does not explicitly teach grammar.
Reviews by polyglots and linguistsEdit
These reviews are written either by professional linguists, or by people who have learned multiple foreign languages to a high level. Several of these reviews describe the program in great detail.
- Stephen Krashen (PDF) (a well-known researcher in Second Language Acquisition who speaks several languages)
- Benny Lewis (a polyglot and world traveller)
- Donovan Nagel (a polyglot)
The consensus is that Rosetta Stone is an expensive course, and not a particularly good even when compared to cheaper courses. Benny Lewis liked several aspects of the course, including the language lessons with a live person, but ultimately decided he would not use it the future.
HTLAL threads about Rosetta StoneEdit
There have been lots of HTLAL threads about Rosetta Stone. Here are a few interesting ones:
- Why don’t people here like Rosetta Stone?
- Rosetta Stone Warning. You can't sell Rosetta Stone on eBay or most other major auction sites.
- Rosetta Stone Q&A (Former Employee).
- Rosetta Stone revisited.
In general, Rosetta Stone is not popular at HTLAL. There are several people who like to use it as a vocabulary supplement, especially if they can get it at a reduced price. And there have been a few success stories mentioned on the forum, most of them second-hand.