Summary of Rosetta Stone Reviews from Around the Web

Brent Van Arsdell by Brent Van Arsdell

Excerpts from what other people say about Rosetta Stone:

You may have read what we at have to say about Rosetta Stone of Arlington, Virginia, USA. On this page you can read excerpts of what other reviewers say about them.


“Talking about blue skies and red balls made little addition to the conversations I needed to have with people. This has always been an issue I’ve had with generic courses; they try to teach you everything and in doing so teach you almost nothing that you really need. I didn’t even see the word “please” until Level 2!”

— Benny Lewis of “Fluent in 3 Months”


Rosetta Stone Arabic Is Unstructured and Confusing

“I wouldn’t say that Rosetta Stone Arabic doesn’t work, but it is very unstructured and confusing. It doesn’t start at any logical place, and it never actually “teaches” you anything. The concept is that you have a series of pictures with the Arabic words (written in Arabic) underneath. You hear it pronounced twice, in sets of four words or phrases, and then when you hear the speaker say it again, you are to select which one it is.

“It starts with words that are unimportant to beginners such as Boy, Cat, Helicopter. And then gives you pointless sentences like The boy is with his father (or at least I think that’s what the sentence is, because they don’t give you any phrases). This might help, but they don’t tell you which words mean with, or his, or even father; all you know is Boy.

“Overall, I’d say Rosetta Stone stinks, and I don’t plan on purchasing any of their other titles, and have already returned the Arabic one. I found the best products to use for language learning have been the traditional book style courses with audio CDs included. A good place to start is Hippocrene Language Studies: Arabic for Beginners. There are no CDs with this book, but I found it really helpful nonetheless.”

“Hope this helps.”


“Tofugu — If you are planning to spend $1,000 on Rosetta Stone, buy a one-way ticket to Japan and become a Japanese hobo. . . . The overall conclusion to should I use Rosetta Stone to learn Japanese is no.”

Watch the first two minutes of this video. You may also want to read this Rosetta Stone Japanese review.


104 of 114 people on Amazon found this review useful:

By Clayton B. Thomas III “aspiring polyglot” (Salt Lake City, UT USA) – (REAL NAME)
This review is from: Rosetta Stone V3: Spanish (Latin America) Level 1-3 Set

“I’ve tried out a variety of language software, and frankly, for the money, Rosetta Stone sucks.

“In terms of teaching approach and ease of use, it’s pretty comparable to the software available from Transparent Language . . . but it costs about 4-5 times as much.

“Aside from expense, my biggest beef against the Rosetta Stone software is: it’s BORING. It presents sets of four words or phrases at a time (occasionally more)—and then quizzes you on them before presenting the next set. But then it continues to repeat the previous words, at various intervals, without any variation in the teaching style.

“Not only that; the pictures are the same across a lot of different language groups, so they’re not culturally relevant. While this isn’t an absolute must, I think it’s easier to internalize the word for “girl” if the matching picture includes some aspect of the culture. For example: When I’m studying French and see a photo of a Chinese girl, it’s not helpful, really . . . if anything, it’s a distraction . . .”


Yahoo Answers: Does Rosetta Really Work?

Best Answer:

“Let me preface my answer by saying this: there is not one method out there that will make you fluent on its own. Hopefully no one is that naive to believe that. Regarding Rosetta, most people have no idea what they are actually buying.
“Yes, Rosetta has an amazing marketing machine yet most people know little about the product. Rosetta doesn’t teach you the language. It teaches vocabulary. There’s a big distinction. Rosetta is certainly not the method I would recommend to a beginner that hopes to SPEAK the language (I assume that’s your goal?).
“Rosetta Stone uses a flashcard method and like all other flashcard methods, it helps expand your vocabulary base but it will not teach you the core of the language or conversational skills. Knowing many words doesn’t mean you can speak the language. I usually recommend Pimsleur to beginner students. If you want a method that focuses on conversational skills, Pimsleur is the reference imo. It’s a real confidence builder, which is essential for new students.

“You will learn to train your ear to understand natives (an essential part of early learning often overlooked by other methods), develop very good pronunciation and acquire the core structures and grammar of your new language (exactly what RS fails to do.) It’s also almost half the price of RS (check Amazon or even iTunes Store.) Once you are finished with Pimsleur, that’s when a vocabulary builder method such as Rosetta (there are cheaper alternatives though like BYKI, Babble, etc.) has its place. Daily conversation in the language after completing Pimsleur is really ideal. Good luck.”

We think that Pimsleur is pretty good too!

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