Rosetta Stone Language Courses.

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by milchap, Aug 2, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Another item on my bucket list......become proficient in Spanish.... :)

    I am fluent in French and English.....

    Has anyone used Rosetta Stone program to learn a language? Feedback would be appreciated. :)

    Rosetta Stone has two courses in Spanish. Latin America and Spain. Apart from the pronunciation of words, what is the difference between the two.

    Gracias.
     
  2. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    Not having really looked at Rosetta Stone programs.Nor am I fluent in Spanish. But owning a business only 70 miles from Mexico, I have learned enough to get by.
    The difference between Spain "Spanish" and Latin American "Spanish" is usually based on the word usage. Latin American Spanish often is more relaxed than European Spanish.
    You will find that use of certain Spanish words in Mexico will leave you with blank stares. Spanish-spanish is usually much more formal. "Ustedes" instead of "Tu". "Automovil" instead of "Carro" and so on.

    Formal Spanish will often get you by in Latin America with all but the "Campesinos", but if your business is in Latin America, Latin American Spanish will be your best bet.

    Also, be aware that in Latin America, Spanish in one country can be very different in others. South American Spanish is closer to European Spanish than Mexican Spanish. and Colombian can be different that either.
     
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  3. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    I'm actually currently doing the German program right now and am finding it to be a great way to learn a language, but very time consuming (surprise!). I highly recommend it and also recommend looking at cashback/rewards sites to see what you can get back as they are very expensive. I find that actually knowing a bit of the language is incredibly helpful in deciphering what some of the phrases mean as they show what the english translation is.
     
  4. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    gracias por su consejo
     
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  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    1. My understanding is that an additional major difference between Spanish Spanish (Castellian) and Latin American Spanish is the pronunciation, with the Latin American version considered by some to be initially easier to speak and understand.

    2. Have you considered going to a Spanish speaking country for an intensive residential course? This could give you a jump start as well as additional motivation. Plus it would be more fun than doing the course by yourself.
     
  6. Kaanapali
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    Kaanapali Gold Member

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    I have taken it for Mandarin - it helps you to learn a language yes (especially phonetics), but not necessarily the phrases/vocabulary you will wish to use for just visiting a country (for example...it does not teach you how to ask "where is the bathroom?" for example....but you will learn the word for bathroom).

    Agree - It does really depend on where the Op is going and how long he would stay there. A lot (but not all) of South American countries teach Castilian/Castellano (Castellano - old Spanish or Spanish currently spoken in Castile) rather than the more formal Español (Spanish) in Spain . Spanish (Español) as we know it in the US or Canada is also the primary version spoken in Mexico and Central America (though not Panama). That being said, either will get you through CA or SA :)
     
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  7. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    As others have stated above.... differenes between the various "versions" of Spanish include...

    - tone
    - pronunciation
    - specific regional vocabs / idioms

    Details aside, it really doesnt matter which Spanish version you learn... the differences are not that far apart like (say) Mandarin and Cantonese so no matter which version you choose you will be perfectly able to communicate in any region that speaks Spanish... unless of course you are a complete language clutz but then this will be a problem even with your native toungue..... :p
     
  8. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    In addition to cashback and rewards, when I purchased it several years ago, getting 10% off was commonplace. I highly recommend Rosetta Stone if you are willing to put the time in to learning it. It would be even better if you actually tied it in with a fixed vacation for when you would apply the learning.
     
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  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Will you end up with a collection of individual words, and not an understanding of how you assemble them into useful proper sentences?
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    It was on my to-do list for this summer (well, maybe not the proficient part, but at least getting started), but sadly it doesn't look like I'll succeed.

    Time is (for me) the greater expense factor. I am perfectly willing to pay the money for Rosetta Stone... assuming it's an effective way that leads me to a decent level of proficiency in a reasonable amount of time.
     
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  11. Kaanapali
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    Kaanapali Gold Member

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    Eventually you get there......but the whole concept of RS is built on learning words as you originally learned your first language....by seeing images...hearing a word...and association....then it builds up to phrases...
     
  12. Kaanapali
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    Kaanapali Gold Member

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    Totally true....and no one really cares if you know for example vosotros or not ;) (2nd person plural)
     
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  13. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    It depends on what you consider reasonable is for time though.
     
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  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I thought I'd be willing and able to spend about five hours a week on it. Sometimes more (eg on vacation). Plus, in my experience, a great way of learning a language is to listen to radio or TV once you have reached a certain proficiency level. I'd plan on doing that (after a while) on top of the five hours.
     
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Right, that's what I thought. And observing my 3-year-old nephew, it would be cool to get to his level of proficiency in just three years... considering that he started with nothing, but also considering that he does it "full time".
     
  16. 2soonold
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    2soonold Gold Member

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    I'll add this to the thread.
    Learning Spanish is also on my bucket list; but I'll probably kick the bucket first.:D
    Decades ago I had a friend from Texas who could speak Spanish. He gave me advice that was repeated almost verbatim by a Uruguayan friend of mine now. Since I am clearly not of Hispanic ancestry, these men both suggested that I try to learn and always use the proper Spanish of Spain. They both suggested that this would make me seem more educated, and would generally have a more positive response from all native speakers of Spanish.
    Just their opinions, folks.
     
  17. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I did choose the RS program from Spain.
     
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  18. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    That seems reasonable, although to get through all the units/levels will take you quite a while at that rate.
     
  19. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Reading through the thread I find I do have opinions. First, about Spanish:
    I do not know, but without doubt I trust Gaucho on that issue, not to mention wine.

    As fro Rosetta Stone, I have used it twice (Arabic, Russian). I found it to be utterly useless because it is not structured to teach the language but to teach individual words. That may be useful, but is less so for people who already have a Romance language or another (English, German) with a significant portion of Vulgar Latin content.

    I have used Parle Moi Encore/Tell me More and have recommended to other people, each one of whom has said it works well. It forces written, comprehension and spoken language by a speech recognition device that will not let you advance until you pronounce correctly. I have observed several people who have learned English this way, who all have much less maternal language accent than do others, regardless of their degree of fluency. It also uses crossowrd puzzles for learning vocabulary, which does wonders for learning IME, and allows levels to be advanced as you learn more. They are far less commercially active than is Rosetta Stone. Here is their website: http://www.tellmemore.com/
     
  20. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    I've only beta tested a few levels of the Rosetta Stone app for Portuguese - but I think it would be very helpful for me personally. Its a very visual tool and personally I think I would learn much better from that than the years of Spanish I took in college with lists of words to memorize (not my strong spot). The visual link seems very good.
     
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  21. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Just make sure you understand the different implications of the term "correr".............
     
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  22. Pharaoh
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    Pharaoh Gold Member

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    I've tried RS for a couple of languages and never was able to make much headway.

    But I believe I've fallen into a wonderful way to learn Spanish: immersion. In May/June I went to Antigua, Guatemala to study for two weeks of almost complete immersion and came out of it with the ability to hold a basic conversation. I'm going back on 20 August for another two weeks; most people, after four weeks, can actually be comfortable with new people in general conversation.

    The key is one-on-one instruction for four to six hours daily along with staying with locals at an actual residence, not a hotel. When dinner rules say no English, your Spanish develops rather quickly.

    It's probably similar in other places, but Antigua has that old colonial charm as well and wandering the streets and striking up conversations is easy and fun (there are something like 70 Spanish schools in the city so everyone knows that most gringos are students and most of them are understanding and speak slowly and clearly.

    Cost are ridiculously cheap. A week of 4 hours of instruction a day runs between $100 and $150 (roughly) depending on the school (I am doing 6 hours a day for $150/week at my high rated school). A homestay runs anywhere from $50 to about $180 a week; that includes at least Monday-Friday meals. I stayed at the $180 version with a glorious volcano view, TV, wifi and delightful owners the first time and will spend all of $125 this coming trip.

    Free afternoons and weekends, when not studying, are great for touring and exploring. Shopping's not bad either; I bought a pair of custom made boots, super high quality worth about $350 in the States, for ... $38. Of course I had the added cost of taking a public bus out to the bootmakers pueblo but at about $0.32 each way I could handle it.
     
  23. savydog
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    savydog Gold Member

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    You're on your way I see :)

    And improving all the time ;)
     
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  24. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    My French is awful, and I never practice it, but even going to France for a weekend is enough to take me back to what I knew when I graduated high school. I can only imagine how much better it would get if I stayed for a month.
     
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  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    You mean they don't have a booth in every mall and airport in the US? ;-)

    They do seem to have a free seven day trial, so i think I'll give them a shot. Kind of pricey (not sure how it compares to Rosetta, since it's hard to compare contents), but if it works, it would be worth it to me. Heck, give me a brain implant SD card and I'll pay ten times the price they are asking ;-)
     
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