The purpose of this post is to objectively look at Rosetta stone reviews.  The problem with reviews of any language program like Rosetta stone is the writers are not objective. I hope to not be partial or bias, when I offing my rating of this program.

Who writes opinions of Rosetta stone

There are three types of writers of reviews.

  • The first one is those promoting an array of language learning software companies, but does not make their own.
  • The second is a competitor of Rosetta Stone languages and trying to compare and contrast their product with the market leader.
  • There is a third category of people who are writing a guide of language learning products because they used it and they wanted to be useful to others. However, this category is the rarest.

I am in the second category. However, I am also in the third. I try to remain objective and clear on the pros and cons of this language course as I believe objectivity is the essence of intelligence and honesty is the best policy. If they create a better product, the onus is on me to improve mine rather than knock someone else. Further, at this juncture I do not sell any products yet as mine are being developed.

Pros of Rosetta stone

  • Easy to start using – you install and start using. Almost no learning curve to use the program.
  • Nice visual layout and good choice of colors, this keeps you interested.
  • Many level, like for example Rosetta Stone Spanish is a complete language course if you buy all the levels
  • I love the visual approach that can even be extended now to mobile. Who does not like to sit back and look at photos.
  • The idea is innovative
  • Many different OS and devices Rosetta Stone can be use on, I have yet to try to make it work on Linux, but will give it a try.
  • They are always adding more functionality and have recently included mp3 files.
  • Clear audio pronunciation of words and phrases with native speakers. Not all language programs use native speakers.  For example, Transparent languages, which is a good company, but uses a Czech speaker for their Polish language course.
  • 6 month return policy – most people will not do this, but it is nice policy from a respected company
  • Large Wall Street company (NYSE)  whose ticker symbol is RTS if you want to buy the stock.

Cons of Rosetta Stone

  • Main Rosetta Stone review opinion – I have never known one person in my life, including myself that learned to speak or read a language with Rosetta Stone. I have taught languages for many years and know many who use the program, but none who have learned from using it. There might be some, but I have not met any.  My friend George has Rosetta Latin and Spanish but  despite spending over a grand, has made no forward progress. Perhaps it is because of sloth but maybe other reasons.
  • Program teaches no grammar and is confusing, maybe children can learn this way but adults think abstractly. If they were to learn this way they would need a lot of repetition.
  • Meaning of the images are unclear in some lessons but in others they are very interesting to look at
  • Written to teach English, not European or Asian languages that have a different grammar system. I tried the Polish course and it was really confusing. Poor design in terms of presenting a foreign translation of grammatical ideas so the learner can benefit.
  • I wrote a more complete review of Rosetta Stone here
  • Price is ridiculously high, I personally do not have the cash to pay for a the Rolex of language learning especially if I have not personally seen the results. Who has money like that, maybe in the 90s but now today?
  • Pure flashy marketing company with bright colors and eye candy but I doubt you will learn a language from it. They are masters at marketing and getting you to buy on an impulse with their colors. however, I have personally learned languages with flashcards but not with this linguistic software program, except some pronunciation as a very beginner.

Now as a large positive vote for Rosetta Stone languages, my competitor. Learning a foreign language with any program, language course or lessons is very hard work. The reason that Rosetta stone does not work might not be that the program is that bad, but people give up too soon. They pay the price and buy it on emotion but their commitment to learn their target foreign language is fleeting.

For example, my friend George did this. He paid 500 dollars for I think two levels of Spanish, now is not used. That is not Rosetta’s fault, they even offer a money back policy. I think the issue is, once you get past a few concrete nouns, abstract words and verbs really deflate many people’s motivation. Therefore, if you have will power and can afford the price, I think there is reasonable value with using Rosetta stone as long as you have the motivation to follow through and sit with it for an hour a day for six months. That is a very fair evaluation of Rosetta Stone. The free trial is not enough to apprise its effectiveness and make an informed decision, if it works or not.

My point is just do not pay and expect to learn, use it.

Ratings of Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is rock solid in terms of programming, return policy and visual presentation but lacks in effectiveness – in my personal experience and opinion.

I do not want to end on a negative note. I have to say if you want to try anything by Fairfield Language Technologies here it is, I as a competitor am actually giving their site.  I also make no money off of it, I provide it for you if you want to skip the ratings and got to and reviews and go to their site.  I would like to hear your experiences and ratings regarding this software, or any thoughts you might have. All positive feedback is very welcome as I want off this as a balanced analysis.