My name is Mark Biernat and I learn and teach languages in Europe. I know a lot about programming and languages to I am a go to person for both subjects. The reason I created this page is I get many the people who ask me about Rosetta Stone language program. Most people have heard of it and are tempted to try it. Their marketing is great, they are in kiosks in airports and in every bookstore or online venue.
At first I said ‘sure try Rosetta Stone’. It is expensive, but if you want, try it. However, it did not work for me and people I know who tried Rosetta Stone.
I can recommend Rosetta Stone to some people but not to all.
Quick pros: The good about the program: It is good if you want to play around in the language. The program is robust and will give you enough to do that has some visually stimulating content. You can do it in your own home.
Quick cons: Yet to date I have never personally met someone what made serious progress in a language with this software. I am sure there are people, just not in my circles. It can be boring. It is too rich for my blood.
Quick alternatives: If you have a natural talent with languages and can pick them up, I can recommend Rosetta stone. If not try it or consider and an alternative to Rosetta Stone at a fraction of the cost. Make flashcards or hire a tutor for a year at the price of Rosetta, try some cheaper mp3 programs, get resources from the library.
All what I write about Rosetta Stone is based on my own personal experience and my opinion. Further, since I am writing language learning material so I am partial towards my program. However, that does not mean what I write about Rosetta Stone is not valid. If anything it gives me a good perspective. I am not currently in competition with Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone has like 100 languages, I am focusing on Slavic languages. In fact, I do not have anything even for sale yet. Further, my first product will be learning language with music and mp3, very different from the Rosetta Stone. What I write about Rosetta Stone is all for your information, and take it for what it is worth.
Rosetta stone did not work for me because although the idea sounds great as does Rosetta Stone’s marketing, however, the content and the design of their lessons are horrible if you are trying to learn a language. I know people who bought Rosetta Stone, spent a lot of money and more important time and it did not work. It caused them to be frustrated. I would rather be honest and tell my story, so others do not waste so much time on something they will not be happy with. However, ultimately you can spend the money and try Rosetta Stone for yourself. I would be curious to hear your feedback.
Learning a language is blood, sweat and tears no matter what approach you take. If you buy Rosetta Stone or if you take classes, I think to learn a language you have to try a lot of things, and find what works for you. But with Rosetta Stone there will be more blood, sweat and tears than there has to be.
Rosetta Stone did not work for me because:
- Rosetta Stone’s lesson vocabulary are non useful. Rosetta Stone has, “boys jump” for example instead of “how are you?”.
- Rosetta Stone pictures are unclear.You spend too much time guessing the meaning of the image than learning the word.
- Rosetta Stone has no grammar explained. I am not big on grammar, but adults need some understanding of what is going on, why nouns or verbs are changing. You can buy other programs or books but you need the explanation parallel to the lesson material you are learning. Not Rosetta Stone’s lesson in one direction and a grammar book covering other material. Why spend all that money on Rosetta is you are going to have to buy other things.
- Rosetta Stone’s translations are in PDF. Any translations Rosetta Stone has is in are in a large separate PDF file, so when you scroll through it it takes forever to find what you are looking for.
- Rosetta Stone is more about guessing than learning. Many people can go directly to Rosetta Stone level 3 in Spanish for example, and guess what picture is correct but that does not mean they can speak the language. I tried this for Chinese, I know no Chinese and at a high level, I was guessing the picture. So a correct answer is more depend on your ability to test or guess than you ability to learn the language.
- Rosetta Stone has this voice analysis software, that is only for sales. For me it never worked and I am a tetchy. It is a joke. My friend who is a native speaker in Polish scored bad for the Polish language and I scored good, and I am not a native speaker. It is just a sales point for Rosetta Stone, but not real.
- Rosetta Stone is a very boring program. Nothing going on except same old same old pictures. Most people get really tired from doing a few lessons and give up. I was bored out of my mind.
- Pictures are cheesy. The Photos look like they are from the 1990s, almost comical.
- No ability to put the Rosetta Stone program to an mp3. Therefore, you are chained to your computer, and if you are like me, you want the option at least to have it on mp3 so you can take it with you to the park or other places with easy, not spend more time on your computer.
- Rosetta Stone installs only on a disk not directly on your computer, so the disk will spin around when you use it and for me it is mildly irritating. There are many more reasons, but I was frustrated after trying to learn Polish with Rosetta Stone. It was more a waste of time than money.
- Rosetta Stone is a cookie cutter. Rosetta Stone is manufactured by a large company with every language structured the same. A cookie cutter approach. To fit all languages into one framework as Rosetta Stone does is beyond me. The cookie cutter approach fits well into Rosetta Stone’s marketing model, however, it does not work if you want to learn a language. For example, Polish is very different from English and English is different from Chinese, but for Rosetta it is all basically the same. I learn and teach languages. I tried Rosetta Stone Polish and it was ridiculous. In the first lesson three noun cases with no explanation. I think with the Rosetta Stone approach you will get confused and frustrated, when you try to learn your target language. But try it if that is what you want to do.
- Rosetta Stone is a marketing company. Rosetta Stone has good ideas and the creator of Rosetta Stone was innovative, but Rosetta Stone’s forte at this juncture is marketing.It is a marketing company with bright shiny yellow web pages and a big sales budget. On the other hand, LearnFast took years of personal work and creativity on my part to create.
- Rosetta stone did not work for me. I have never known someone that Rosetta Stone has worked for.
An alternative to Rosetta Stone
My program is the best alternative to Rosetta Stone. In fact there is no comparison if you want to learn a language. My program has taken five years of my life to create. I am an American that teaches and learns languages in Krakow, Poland. I used my own creativity and brain to think of a way to help you learn languages. Further,I live in an flat in Krakow (Podgorze), Poland and have had the help of amazing creative talent here in Poland to make something really unique and special. I am not a marketing company. I simply have a love for languages and created something to help others. I can not touch Rosetta in terms of their marketing machine, however, they can not touch my product in terms of effectiveness and my personal creativity. I am using the beta of my program (actually the alpha) to learn Russian.
Rosetta Stone cost
The cost of Rosetta Stone is very high, their idea people like to pay( believe it or not). If you pay a lot, then people will value it more. But there is not correlation between the price and the effectiveness.
Is Rosetta Stone bad?
Rosetta stone is not bad. It is a matter of cost/effectivness. I have used their products personally, spent a lot of money and time using Rosetta Stone, and it did not get me too far, maybe a little frustrated. I could guess the pictures during Rosetta Stone lessons, but It did not help me speak the language. Rosetta Stone looks good and has excellent marketing, but it did not work for me. Rosetta has a very good idea, but it does not work, at least for me, nor anyone I know who bought their product. However, the idea is interesting. Please let me know your feedback a positive or negative about various language learning programs including Fairfield’s Rosetta Stone.