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Rosetta Stone French Review

Rosetta Stone French

Reviewer: Stephen Qualtrough
Developer: Rosetta Stone
Ranked: 2nd
Overall rating:
Price: $179.00 $99.00 - $80 off

Review summary

Good points

 Very easy to use

 Simple and fun

 Live online lessons and community

 Mobile application available

Bad points

 Expensive compared to other software packages

 No cultural lessons

Our verdict

Rosetta Stone offers a fresh and interesting way to learn French, perfect for people who have little knowledge of the language and want to learn quickly and easily. Rosetta Stone French is not your average language course. There are no vocab lists and lengthy explanations of grammar rules. In fact, there are pictures and speech.

Full review

Rosetta Stone helps you learn French by replicating the conditions under which you learned your native language, though picture recognition and matching images to words and sentences to speech. There are no English translations and there are no complex explanations of French grammatical structure. When you use the Rosetta Stone method you are immersing yourself in French with the hope that you’ll increasingly build on your knowledge of the language.

Rosetta Stone is a recognized and established name in language learning. Is its reputation justified? We looked at the Rosetta Stone method to see what this software package has to offer French learners.


Rosetta Stone French is suitable for compatible computers with Internet access and it’s very easy to set up. There’s a brief introduction at the start and then you progress straight into the lessons. You start from the beginning; there are no tests or levels to choose from.


Rosette Stone starts you off with a simple process of matching pictures with spoken French words. The words, and eventually sentences, build in complexity after much repetition. The method makes it possible to learn French without ever hearing English during the course. For example, you may not know the French word chat but you will recognize it when it is next to a picture of a cat. The picture-matching helps you more easily associate words with concepts.

You can also practice your writing skills by spelling out the word associated with the picture. There’s also the opportunity to use the software in different modes, with the timer mode good for testing you under time pressure. Rosetta Stone doesn’t utilize many other language or grammar tools other than the picture recognition method, which may be difficult to get used to if you are familiar with the classroom style of learning grammar rules by heart. But when you start working with the program you’ll find you don’t need the extra grammar help. The good thing about the Rosetta Stone method of teaching is you learn grammar along the way without having to read complicated grammar rules.

Teaching tools

Rosetta Stone uses a speech recognition system to improve your pronunciation and conversation skills. The lessons concentrate on building up your skills with repetition and practice. The Rosetta Stone package comes with a headset and microphone so you can complete the speech recognition part of the course.

Rosetta Stone offers live online lessons with native French-speakers and there is an online community for chatting with other French-learners and for playing games. The package also comes complete with an interactive app for your iPhone or your iPod Touch. This is good if you have one of these devices, because it maximizes your potential for learning on the go.

The Rosetta Stone package goes through topics. Topics included in the Level 1 program include introductions and greetings, age, family, shopping and times of the day. Rosetta Stone isn’t ideal for intermediate and advanced students – if you know quite a lot of French already you’ll find the exercises too simple and not challenging enough.

Progress tracking

Rosetta Stone French includes a progress-tracking site so you can easily see where you are in the program and how well you are doing. You can complete the course in Test mode, where the program keeps track of how many answers you get right. You can see your statistics at the end of your session.

Ease of use

On first glance, the Rosetta Stone French package is so simple you think you’re missing something. Rosetta Stone is certainly one of the simplest and easiest-to-use language learning packages on the market, if not the simplest. Rosetta Stone packs everything you need to learn a language into one streamlined function. There are no complicated features, but you don’t need them in order to learn French with this method.

The Rosetta Stone method of learning is fun and it gets a little addictive. The repetition of the words and phrases, necessary for retaining the information, doesn’t get boring but instead continues to be fun and you’ll be surprised how much you are taking in.

There are very few instructions and sometimes it’s not immediately obvious how to complete certain picture-matching tasks, but on the whole the software is intuitive and easy to use.

Help & support

Rosetta Stone offers a full list of FAQs and a user manual for the answers to your questions. You can also pick up technical support over the phone but we don’t think you’ll need too much help in order to use the software effectively.


The Rosetta Stone software offers a simple, effective and entertaining way to learn French. It’s so intuitive, you probably won’t realize you’re actually learning. With this method you start thinking in French right from the start and you easily build on what you learn.

There’s no free trial but there is a money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the program.

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