Question de chance avec Rosetta Stone?
June 28, 2009 1:58 PM   Subscribe

What are your experiences learning French with Rosetta Stone? Did supplementing learning with regular usage help you think the language as well as speak it?

I'm interested in gaining conversational facility with French, which I haven't learned yet. Is this software as useful as their hype says it is?
posted by nj_subgenius to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
I did Rosetta Stone for a while and while it was good, I've found free online courses that do the same job - sometimes better. Check out Live Mocha . You can get native speakers to check your speaking and writing exercises and find conversation partners. Conversations, even when stilted and simple, are the very best thing I have found for improving proficiency and fluency with a language. When you're having a back and forth you can't over think things and just need to get it out. So, I've found that part of Live Mocha to be great at internalizing the language a bit more.
posted by munichmaiden at 4:39 PM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]

I haven't tried the French, but I've tried the Spanish. It's OK, but I find the Pimsleur CDs to be much better. They're pricey, too, but I was able to get them at my local library, so—free.
posted by bricoleur at 5:44 PM on June 28, 2009

I tried Rosetta Stone for Japanese and made a fair amount of progress...until my then-Japanese-girlfriend told me the words I learned had a lot of old fashioned words/words no one actually uses.

I suggest you check out smartfm (formerly known as iKnow). The interface is exactly like Rosetta Stone--maybe even better, and it's totally free. I'm using it to learn Japanese, and it seems to be geared towards that, but I think you can find some French lists as well.
posted by zardoz at 9:09 PM on June 28, 2009 [3 favorites]

I used Rosetta Stone to supplement learning in other ways (mostly speaking with my girlfriend), and didn't find it that helpful. I think it's an OK tool to become familiar with the language and its sounds, but it's just one tool. If you really want to learn, there's no substitute for talking to a real person. If that's not an option, at least supplement Rosetta (or Pimsleur or whatever) with a grammar workbook.
posted by pollex at 7:38 AM on June 29, 2009

Response by poster: As always, the only thing more awesome than AskMe's Green Bay Packers color scheme (don't ever change!) is you. Thanks and thanks again!
posted by nj_subgenius at 11:33 AM on June 29, 2009

You may also want to take a look at Michel Thomas' audio series. He has a very intuitive way of teaching. I listened to that in the car on my daily commute before going to Spain and it was quite helpful.
posted by sciencemandan at 2:39 PM on June 29, 2009

Just so you know: if you really are interested in thinking in a language, you're probably going to have to actually immerse yourself in it. You can also try consciously thinking in the language -- when you find yourself just thinking, just try substituting as much French as you can into your sentences (and then, eventually whole sentences).

For example, you're at the supermarket. When you think, "Man, that fish looks tasty!" follow it up right away with "Man, that poisson looks tasty!" If you think "Man, I hate that actor" follow it up with "Je n'aime pas that actor" or "Je deteste that actor". Thinking that you have to think entirely in a language will get you stuck, whereas if you just put it where you can, it will become a more natural part of your language usage.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:49 PM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

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