Product Added : March 15th, 2013
Category : Software
"This Best Selling Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set Tends to SELL OUT VERY FAST! If this is a MUST HAVE product, be sure to Order Now to avoid disappointment!"
Communicate and connect around the world. Build a foundation of fundamental vocabulary and essential language structure. Develop the language skills to enjoy social interactions such as travel and shopping and learn to share ideas and opinions in your new language.
What Will I Learn
This level will help you: Build your vocabulary and language abilities Spell and write accurately Speak without a script Retain what you've learned Read and understand your new language Share ideas and opinions, express feelings and talk about everyday life
Sample topics include: The basics, such as age and family relations Questions, greetings, introductions Times of day, calendar terms, the weather Directions, locations, telling time Present, past and future tense Apologies and polite requests How to order at a restaurant and give and receive directions Emotions, opinions and ideas Political, media, business and religious terms
What Do I Get?
Our award-wining version, complete with proprietary speech recognition technology.
For your CD or MP3 player so you can review while on the go.
Headset with Microphone
For use with our state-of- the-art speech-recognition software.
Live Online Lessons
Practice sessions led by native speaking tutors.
Games & Community
Language-enhancing games move you towards real-world proficiency.
Learning application for your iPhone or iPod Touch device.
Recreate the natural way you learned your first language and reveal skills that you already have using Dynamic Immersion. This award-winning method has been adopted by countless organizations, schools and millions of users around the world.
Learn Naturally: Discover how to speak, read, write, and understand–all without translating or memorizing. Our award-winning solution recreates how you learned your first language, unlocking your natural abilities.
Speak Confidently: Perfect your pronunciation with speech-recognition technology. Gain the confidence in your new voice as you practice with other learners in our exclusive online community and participate in online sessions coached by native tutors.
Immerse Yourself: Be surrounded by your new language. From core lessons to online sessions, Rosetta Stone gets you engaged and interacting with others.
Stay Motivated: Experience accomplishment with each moment of achievement; with dedicated success agents you will never lose sight of your language-learning goals.
Your Natural Ability. Awakened.
Learning your first language is as natural as smiling. Effortless. Rewarding. Every step in Rosetta Stone feels like that. Clear, compelling images appear precisely, in juxtaposition, conveying meaning. Intuitively, you just know what it means. Our puzzle-like environments–a systematic presentation of sounds, images, and text–help learners absorb meaning intuitively.
Rosetta Stone's award-winning software, where you will interact by speaking, clicking, selecting phrases and writing.
Rosetta Stone's proprietary speech-recognition technology provides immediate and ongoing feedback.
Build your confidence and polish your pronunciation skills with state-of-the-art speech-recognition technologies and success-filled dialogues. Our software provides immediate and ongoing assessments of your speech through Actionable Feedback, which helps you pronounce syllables, words and sentences correctly and easily. Based on a collection of literally millions of speech samples, our proprietary speech-recognition algorithms and speech models were engineered with a singular purpose–to help you communicate with accuracy, confidence and ease.
Language-learning games will keep you motivated along the way.
Practice with native speakers in our live interactive sessions and our online community. Every conversation gives you the confidence to communicate in your new language. For many, traditional language-learning fails because it lacks real conversation. With Rosetta Stone you'll play games and chat with native speakers and other learners in our online language community. Hundreds of native-speaking tutors trained in the Rosetta Stone method are ready to help reinforce the language you're learning through live, online conversations. From Day One you'll be speaking your new language with confidence and ease.
The TOTALe course has four parts: Rosetta Stone Course, Rosetta Stone World, Studio and Audio CD’s. The Studio and World are what sets this apart from the regular Rosetta Stone course. They are absolutely phenomenal. More on that later.
Before I delve into the actual course, here are some interesting facts you might like to know.
AGE RESTRICTIONS AND MULTIPLE LEARNERS
This software can only be installed on one computer. However, I was able to add my two children to the software course. According to the Rosetta Stone customer service department, I can add up to five users to the Rosetta Stone course, as long as they use the same computer.
My children cannot access the Rosetta World, because they are under 13. I changed my son’s age to show him older than 13 and found that he could not access Rosetta World because only one user is allowed to use Rosetta World. However, I was given the option to purchase Rosetta World access for him at a *very* reasonable price.
ACCESS FROM MULTIPLE COMPUTERS
Although I could only access the Rosetta Stone Course from the one computer it’s installed on, I can access Rosetta Stone World from any computer with an internet connection by simply signing in on their website.
Personally, I like Rosetta Stone World interface when accessing it directly from the software on my computer rather than through my Internet Explorer. Signing in is much quicker. When I do it through a web browser, I have to suffer through signing in with my password and waiting for it to check my system.
EXTENDING THE COURSE
Rosetta Stone offers users the option to add levels 4 and 5. Online service can also be extended for a reasonable price.
WHAT COMES IN THE BOX
1) Quick start pamphlet.
2) Installation CD’s for levels 1-3.
3) Activation card for 9 months of online access.
4) Audio CD’s for Level 1, units 1-4.
5) Stickers for the keyboard to customize it for special French accent marks (so the user knows where to find the keys).
SOFTWARE AND HEADSET
The software installed on my Vista system without a hitch. I’m not sure how well it works on other systems.
The sound and voice recognition with the headset is wonderful.
So here I go dissecting the course itself.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR COURSE
Each student may customize his course by choosing one of four options:
1) reading, writing, speaking, listening (recommended)
2) reading, writing, speaking and listening — extended (more repetition)
3) speaking and listening
4) reading and writing
In providing this review, I have chosen option 1.
These are to be used in conjunction with the course. I suppose they could be used to supplement some other language course, but one could not learn the language from the audio CD’s alone. They are completely in French, with the exception of an English speaking man telling the listener to listen, or listen and repeat. No translations are given. The phrases come from the flash cards we see during the lessons, so they trigger associations.
ROSETTA STONE COURSE
Rosetta Stone is total immersion. I’ve found it is the most wonderful way to learn.
One example of a typical lesson: The student is shown a series of flashcards along with very short sentences. Maybe it’s four different people with a ball: a man, a woman, a girl, a boy. The speaker says, “The man has a ball.” “The woman has a ball.” “The girl has a ball.” “The boy has a ball.” So the student knows the one common word is “ball,” which must be the round thing. The word that changes, that must describe the man, woman, girl and boy.
Sometimes, I’d know a word, could match it up, but didn’t know what it meant. I had a strong desire to look it up, but I trusted Rosetta Stone would one day make it clear. Well, after seeing the word (in my particular case, it was “to have”) numerous times, it finally dawned on me what it meant. I don’t even know when it happened, it just became clear. And so it goes with other words.
Total immersion can be very challenging to people used to traditional teaching methods. The need to know and translate every word can be strong, but I can attest that context will eventually make it clear.
This course is broken up into levels. French has levels going all the way up to 5. I was told by the Rosetta Stone customer service rep that I should be conversational by level 3. Levels 4 and 5 delve deeper into the culture.
The structure of the courses is as follows: There are five levels. Each level has four units. Each unit has four core lessons followed by varying numbers of sub-lessons. So, level>unit>core lesson>sub-lesson.
The core lessons take about half an hour each and it gives the overall gist of what is to be worked on during the sub-lessons. The sub-lessons are only 5 to 10 minutes long and deal individually with different facets of the core lesson, like vocabulary, grammar, spelling, etc. By taking one to two sub-lessons per day and about one core lesson per week, I can finish one unit per month.
The studio sessions can be scheduled for any time slot available. From my experience, it is best to finish a unit before taking the studio lesson for that unit. The session may be repeated as necessary.
The studio session is like a live, online classroom with a native speaking teacher. Students log in at the appointed time. We can see the teacher, but the teacher can only hear us. She shows us many of the cards we see during our course lessons and individually asks us questions about them. She also asks us to speak to each other in a very controlled way. I intend to take a session every week in order to have a live teacher correct my speech and to gain more experience speaking and listening. This in and of itself is worth the price of the TOTALe.
So far, my studio sessions have had between two and four students (including me). They last 50 minutes each.
Another way TOTALe shines. In my box was a card with an activation code good for nine months of Rosetta World service, which I could pay to extend (and I might very well do just that).
1) Listen, read, or listen and read stories. The stories are unlocked as we progress through each level so that the vocabulary isn’t too challenging.
2) Play solo games. Three games are available. In one game, we much listen to the speaker describe a card and we must find that card. Another game is a memory card game where we match the picture to a written description of the picture. The third game is a bingo type game where we listen to a story and must choose words that come up in the story on the bingo card until we get a bingo.
3) Duo and Simbio. These modes contain all the Solo games plus five more games to play against another player. In Duo mode, we play against a French learner. In Simbio mode, we are matched up with a native French speaker who is learning our native language so we can help each other.
Both Duo and Simbio modes can be played via keyboard or microphone. I am finding most people prefer keyboard.
The World hours are from 10 AM to 10 PM Pacific Time, although I’ve been able to play outside that time slot. There aren’t many players most days, just a few, but enough to be able to interact. The Duo rooms are more active than the Simbio room, where I’m only finding one player if I’m lucky.
+ easy to learn
+ voice recognition software
+ live teacher
+ interact with other learners
+ interact with native speakers
+ may add up to five learners to the Course on one computer
+ may access World from any internet connected computer
+ may pay to extend course and online access
+ IPad and IPhone aps available
- difficult for learners who insist on translation
- can only be installed on one computer
- additional learners do not have access to World (but one may pay to add access)
- children under thirteen not permitted in World
I love, love, love Rosetta Stone TOTALe. It has enabled me to speak French without being self-conscious. I can access live instructors, repeat any lesson I don’t understand. My children can be added. I can enter the World from anywhere. Oh yeah, there are iPod and iPad apps (which I can’t review but they sound great). What’s not to love?
UPDATE: The World hours are now 9 AM to 9 PM Pacific Time, but I have been there outside those hours. As long as someone is there, we can play a multiplayer (2-player) game. Otherwise, solo mode is available anytime.
Studio sessions are very flexible. They must have gotten more coaches or else the coaches are working more hours, but I can schedule a session for any time from morning to evening, 7 days a week. This is not true for all TOTALe languages, so it’s a nice feature.
UPDATE #2: ADAPTIVE RECALL
I did not have Adaptive Recall in my initial review, because I did not know it existed. It has been about 3 1/2 months since I started my lessons and 2 1/2 months since my original review. Now that I have entered Level 2, I’ve had the chance to experience Adaptive Recall and have found another reason to love TOTALe.
Adaptive Recall takes me through little review lessons from the past so that I don’t forget what I’ve learned. Apparently, depending on how well I do, the review lessons will repeat more or less frequently. I have the option of skipping the Adaptive Recall Lessons, if I desire. I didn’t skip them. I found them very helpful.
UPDATE #3: It’s been about six months since I started Rosetta Stone. Something amazing happened today. I was taking a studio session and as the coach asked me questions or asked me to interact with another learner, I was able to respond without fishing for the words, mentally doing translation gymnastics from English to French. I opened my mouth the the words spilled out. It was far from proficient, but I was able to express myself more fluently than ever before. I surprised myself by not thinking in English. Wow.
UPDATE #4: It’s now April, 2011. I’ve been at it for awhile and still enjoy my lessons. There has been a recent bug in the Rosetta Stone World. When I’m there, if I ever hit the backspace button (which happens a lot, because I frequently mistype, especially in French), it kicks me out of the game. This was not previously an issue. I hope they fix it.
UPDATE #5: The problem with the backspace button was caused by the Adobe Air update. Per technical support, I uninstalled version 2.6 and installed version 2.5 and my problem is no more.
UPDATE #6: I was kicked out of a studio session today for using a wireless headset. Too much echo, they said. Only wired headsets allowed, folks. (They did send me a wired one free of charge when I complained that the one I got with the Rosetta Stone had broken.)
UPDATE #7: I’ve been at this for about a year. My French cousins just came over for a visit and I think I understood a lot of what they were saying to each other. Can’t hold an intelligent conversation yet, but I can probably get around in Paris and the basics are okay. That’s not bad. I’m midway through level 2. The games section seemed to have died down. Not many people there, but I don’t spend much time there anymore, so maybe they are there when I’m not looking. The studio courses have opened a lot of slots, so I can take classes just about whenever I want. They even email reminders now, which is helpful.
I am native in Spanish and Catalan, and fluent in Portuguese, so I thought Rosetta Stone French would be easy from the very beginning, given the similarities with the other languages. But I was nicely surprised to learn in the very first lesson about the significant differences in pronounciation. The voice dectection technology used by the Rosetta Stone taught me really quick how to pronounce words, and insisted in the more complicated words. However, the smooth progression in difficulty makes you feeling the improvements you are doing after a couple of lessons, and it is hard to fall behind as the program is well structured to insist on working on areas which are difficulties.
The learning strategy is very comprehensive, as you start reading, speaking, listening and writing from the very beginning. Everything that you will hear or read will be in French, but the software intuitively suggests meanings and grammar rules — similar to how kids under 5 learn a language. Despite how much harder it is for adults to learn new languages in comparison with kids, I was nicely suprised to see that this strategy still works quite well as someone in his 30′s. And the format in which you learn, like games of identification and language construction, will keep your attention more than a classroom ever would — especially if you belong to the internet generation.
Rosetta Stone TOTALe comes with some nice extras, such as the RS World and the RS Studio. World allows you to connect online with other users and play as you learn French. While only can install Rosetta in one single computer at a time, World may be accessed from any computer connected to the internet, so it is a great way to bring your lessons around. In addition, World spices things up with a little bit of competition as you can see how others are advancing and you can update on your progress too.
My experience was all positive. I would say that if you have a visual memory, and you are self-motivated to follow through the lessons without the contextual support of a classroom, then Rosetta Stone is an excellent way to learn a language. It is very dynamic, keeps you entertained and you make progress really quick and without almost noticing. But if you are more conceptual, need verbal or textual explanations instead of images, and you also need others to motivate you, then check first in your local language school. Rosetta Stone is better suited for the first type of student than for the second, who may feel a little bit frustrated with this expensive, but excellent, product.
Based on my experience, this software is worth the money as it delivers what it promesis. However, as this is a quite expensive product, and not everybody will feel comfortable with the format, I suggest to look for a free sample first on Rosetta’s website and try by yourself.
I grew up near the Canadian border near Quebec. One of the two TV stations we received in a farm on top of a big hill was from Montreal. I enjoyed the cartoons in French. Even though I did not understand what Mickey and his friends were saying, it sounded good when they said it.
I studied French in high school. I got through it and went on to college with the intention of never learning any more French.
Last year, we took a trip to Provence and enjoyed it immensely. I still liked the sound of the language and learned a few words, mainly centered around food and wine. If I am going to pay the 22% VAT tacked on to a bottle wine and a meal cooked in the inimitable French style, I want to know what I am ordering and to be able to order exactly what I want.
So, for an assortment of specious reasons, I decided to learn French.
Level one of Rosetta Stone has been an experience. I learned more French in two weeks than in two years of studying in high school. I like to write (in English) and thought that would make it easier to write in French. I was wrong. I can read and understand many of the stories provided by the Rosetta Stone program. I can play the “bingo” game with the French words with some degree of success. I cannot yet speak the language at all.
Rosetta Stone is not like studying in school. It is more fun. It emphasizes practical situations a tourist is likely to encounter. I have learned quite a few words in a short time. I struggle during each lesson with the gender of nouns. The philosophy of the program is to show the student how words are used and, gradually, through repetition, sounds, and seeing the words in different contexts, teaching the student this beautiful language. In other words, I learned English this way–why not French?
Since I am no longer two, and probably have more trouble accepting how language is used in ways to which I am unaccustomed, I found using the internet made the process quicker. Some of the French words seemed the same. The computer program insisted they were not the same. In fact, the words may be the same but they are used in different situations. Sorting that out with a French dictionary or one of the useful French sites makes learning the language, in conjunction with Rosetta Stone, an easier task. The Rosetta Stone program does not care how long I take to look up a new French word I find to be confusing.
I did not realize when starting the program that an advantage of Rosetta Stone is using the internet to have a “studio session” with a native speaker. I became aware of this feature when the company offered a one-hour internet seminar. I immediately signed up for session two of level one with a French instructor.
My hesitation in trying an online session was that I would look and sound foolish. I was not disappointed.
I can read and understand some French phrases now. That is not the same as quickly matching gender with a noun and then knowing the correct verb to match. And, when hearing a native speaker ask a question, a long suppressed memory of being in a high school class when I did not know the answer immediately took center stage in my mind.
Being an adult with a much different motivation than I had in high school (no cute, 16 year old girl in a short skirt and long hair sitting beside me creating a hormonal overload while purring something, almost anything in French, that interfered with learning the language) I have lumbered on alone with my computer. The instructor, a native French speaker, was very helpful and very patient.
I found myself, having lived in Germany for two years (courtesy of the U.S. Army) and having studied Spanish for four years in college, occasionally using words that I knew were not English but, alas, not French either. When asked to give the French name for a country to which the instructor was pointing, I quickly pronounced “Deutschland” perfectly. (A correct name but definitely not French.) The instructor may have thought he was working with an American who spoke German and Spanish and English and trying to learn a fourth language. He would have been wrong but the exercise was probably amusing to the other participants who, fortunately, did not know my identity.
I learned more with my mistakes in the studio session than I learned by speaking into a microphone on the computer.
The upshot: This is a very good program. The studio sessions are critical. The program is practical easy to use. I can learn at my own pace and repeat sessions where I experience problems or just to refresh my memory before starting a new level.
My purpose is to learn how to speak French. Reading and understanding is a good start but not the same as stringing together the correct words in a sentence in real time with a native speaker. If you decide to buy the product, take advantage of the studio sessions as quickly as you can if you want to learn the language.
Another observation: The company seemed to genuinely be interested in my progress. I have asked questions of their customer service department. I have been treated in a courteous manner, by friendly people who speak English well and they answered my questions promptly and accurately. I have received follow-up emails thanking me for participating in the webinar, noting the scheduled times for my studio sessions, and helping in real time with technical difficulties in setting up my Mac to work with the instructor.
I was so pleased with level one, I have already purchased levels two and three–just to provide extra incentive to move on and into the next level. One hint: Buy levels 1-3 at the same time if you think you will be using the program to actually learn the language enough so you can use it in a French speaking country. It is cheaper that way.
One of the biggest hurdles language learners have to get over is doing translation in their head. There is a process of hearing “chaise” then searching for that word in your mental dictionary until you find it and say “Ah, chaise is French for “chair. Now I understand.” Obviously, this is a cumbersome process and you won’t be speaking the language anytime soon.
Rosetta Stone gets past this by speaking only the target language, and allowing your brain to associate the sound with an image directly, without the middle medium of translation. This is fantastic. This is one of the best ways to learn a foreign language. I was really impressed with how Rossetta Stone dealt with grammar as well, but not giving you the meaning directly but by using the grammar point repeatedly in different situations until you have the “Ah ha moment” that will stick with you much longer than if someone just wrote out in English “Chaise is French for Chair.”
The microphone and pronunciation practice is amazingly helpful. You have to speak a language out loud in order to learn it, and this is a phenomenal way to practice, getting instant feedback. Aside from moving to France, this is probably the best you can do!
And while I love Rosetta Stone, like many others I am disappointed with the strict copy protection. I understand that this is a necessary evil of the digital age, but too much is too much. Imagine if you bought a DVD, and you could only ever watch it in the first DVD player you happened to stick it in. No brining it over to a friends house for movie night, no taking it into the bedroom to watch on another TV…you are just stuck with wherever you put it first. Most households nowadays have multiple computers, and for the price it seems like you should be able to install Rosetta Stone on a few of them so that multiple household users can study separately. Even more disturbing is if I buy a new computer, does this software become null and void? I hope not, but it seems like it. If so, that is bad service on the part of Rosetta Stone.
So far it’s working great for me. I like that I can do a lesson when it suits my schedule (usually late at night). Some nights I just do one lesson (about 5-6 minutes), sometimes a lot more. It’s taken me about a month to get through the first section of Level 1 (there are 4 total). It’s “immersion” so you learn from hearing stuff over and over. I’m a bit obsessive over the grammar, so I did buy a dictionary and grammar book. With minimal supplementing, I find that I’m “getting” most of everything. I also skim through an early French Reader and Le Monde when I have time. The games in “Rosetta World” are moderately useful. Matching of flash cards, memory games. They do include short stories that are *slightly* more advanced than where you are. I find these the most useful.
I had my first “Studio Session” today, which was a lot of fun. It’s a native speaker, you and 1-3 other students at around your level. They guy with me was a little more advanced (he knew more vocab). The leader tailored questions to both of us, which was nice. She quickly figured out where exactly we were. She also pushed a little bit and by the end I had learned a few more words and grammar. You don’t interact with the other students, just the teacher. It was reaffirming to spend 50 minutes speaking nothing but French. She also corrected grammar and pronunciation, but in a positive way. I never once felt bad or stupid.
So if anyone’s on the fence about it, I would highly recommend Rosetta Stone. I know someone who just went to Mexico for an immersion program. I imagine most of us can’t do that. So this is a pretty good second choice.
I’ve been using this for about 4 or 5 months. My progress is solely limited by my own time constraints. However, I was QUITE DISAPPOINTED that the studio sessions also become unavailable once the free trial ends (3 months or so). At that point, it is a COSTLY in program purchase to have access to the studio session and Rosetta World games. I’m not sure if I just missed this big point when purchasing the product. One month of access is $25, 9 month is $99. Not cheap when the program itself costs $300.