Rosetta Stone, Probably Not Worth the $, IMHO

The funny thing is, what Rosetta Stone leads you to believe that you're making really good progress with a language. But what you are actually making really good progress with is mastering Rosetta Stone. My experience is that I was only a fraction as far along as I had believed in speaking Italian.

In my experience, if you want to learn a language, you have to put yourself in a situation where you need to use it to communicate, for one reason or another.

Here is an independent study that claims that 70 hours of Rosetta Stone work are equivalent to one semester of college language study. That's not bad, but it's obviously not enough to go over and speak the language competently in its land of origin.

UPDATE: Fixed typo caught by Bob M.


  1. I've done Rosetta Stone and I've done spaced-repetition with Anki, which is a free flashcard program.
    Rosetta Stone delivers good feelings during training, but little in the way of real world results.
    Spaced repetition training can make me feel like I am underwater, or that I am constantly behind and can't keep up.
    I get the good feelings now in daily life when I accidentally come across Spanish that I can now read.

  2. Anonymous3:42 PM

    That's good to know. I kinda figured that it would be quite limited regarding practical use, so it isn't surprising.

    I've been studying Chinese characters and writing on and off for about 6 months, which is a very interesting area of language and doesn't fully require the understanding of Mandarin (though, it obviously helps). I was considering getting Rosetta Stone for Mandarin, but 500 bones is a lot to drop. Also, there really isn't anybody that I could talk to in a practical setting; well, unless you count a trip to the 'China Dragon' for some Gong Bao chicken.

  3. You got me there, bobberoni

  4. Thanks for the admission Gene. If you were a real man, though, you would approve my comment so others could see.

  5. Bob, you've used blogger, and know the comment system has its own dark and mysterious ways.


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