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Rosetta Stone Italian Review
Technology should make our lives easier
• Simple and fun
• Effective learning methods
• Live lessons
• Online community
• Only beginners level available
• Relatively expensive software
The Rosetta Stone system is different to most other language-learning programs and the style will suit many people while it leaves others cold. If you want a simple, fun and addictive way to learn Italian, give Rosetta Stone a try. The immersive and interesting way of learning has many people hooked.
Rosetta Stone is one of the most recognized and long-standing language companies and it uses an immersive learning method to teach you Italian. There are no English to Italian translations and no voice-overs explaining things in English. You learn through matching pictures to words and sentences as you listen to the spoken Italian.
We looked at the Rosetta Stone package to see what it has to offer the student who wants to learn Italian.
Rosetta Stone Italian is very easy to set up. Purchase the software and install it on your computer using the simple setup wizard. Once you’ve registered the software you are sent straight into the course – there are no tests to assess your level, and everyone starts from the same point.
Rosetta Stone covers the basics of Italian well. You learn through matching pictures to the spoken word, and through repetition the meaning sticks in your head. You don’t get explanations for the words and phrases as the process relies on immersing yourself in the Italian language. Pictures are used so that even beginners can understand the basics. The process feels a little odd at first – you may wonder if you are actually learning anything – but as you progress you notice the difference in your Italian abilities.
Once you’ve completed a few levels there are additional tools such as a writing tool where you spell out the spoken word and the software checks your answer as you type. There are different modes to test your skills, such as the timer mode which allows you a certain amount of time to answer.
Advanced learners may find the software lacking as the levels start off very basic and there is no fast progression. As you go through the topics – the first set of topics includes introductions and greetings, talking about your age, discussing your family and the times of the day, and shopping – the language gets progressively harder and the grammar gradually more challenging.
Rosetta Stone has a good speech recognition tool that helps you pronounce words correctly and the package comes with a headset and microphone. Practicing the pronunciation of words in this way really helps you learn to speak, and you’ll soon find yourself memorizing the sounds of the words.
There’s also a handy Rosetta Stone iPhone and iPod Touch app, making it easy to continue with your Italian studies wherever you are.
One other useful addition to the language-learning software is the opportunity to participate in live online lessons with native speakers. For more interaction, log onto the online forum to chat with other learners and play games against others or yourself.
Rosetta Stone provides you with the opportunity to check your progress and see where you are in the course. The software includes a progress-tracking section where you can see your statistics and areas of proficiency. You also have the opportunity to work through the course in test mode, when all your answers are recorded and you can check your tally at the end of your sessions.
Ease of use
Rosetta Stone is one of the simplest and easiest-to-use learning software packages available. With Rosetta Stone you can immerse yourself in Italian right from the start, without having to read lots of instructions and guides. The interface is so simple it looks almost bare, but all the features you need are there and it really doesn’t need to be any more complicated.
The one thing that could be improved is the lack of instructions – most of the time you don’t need any, but sometimes the method for answering a question is not immediately obvious and you go through a few wrong answers before you get the hang of it.
As well as being simple to use, Rosetta Stone is fun to use. The pictures and the games are enjoyable and it doesn’t feel like you are working too hard. You may be surprised how much Italian you are picking up simply by following the process over a few lessons.
Help & support
You probably won’t need much help in setting up the software or navigating the course, but there is a set of FAQs if you need some questions answered. Rosetta Stone also has a user manual and you can email or call Rosetta Stone for help.
Rosetta Stone Italian is a fun and effective way of learning a new language. The software is quite expensive but the course is professional and of a high quality, and the methods have worked for many people who have successful learnt Italian with Rosetta Stone. There’s no free Italian-learning trial but there is a money back guarantee once you’ve purchased the software and you can try out the picture-matching exercises on the website to see how you like them.
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