So Mel, how’s that Rosetta Stone thing going?

Well,I finished the first unit this morning (finally). I had to wait until I got my new OS and memory to install the program, but once I did it took me about two weeks to finish the unit. Some observations:

1. They probably use the same stock photos for all of their languages. Which would explain why my “un periodico” had Arabic text.
2. Where do they find some of these people for the pictures anyway? The photo shoots must be a hoot. Some of the situations are pretty goofy: “Ellos tienen cinco tazones verdes.”, “El nino no lleva zapatos.”, “Ella tiene un perro pequeno.” And yes, that last picture was a purse dog.
3. I’m only good for about 45 minutes before I lose focus and start musing about the pictures and have to stop.

Kidding aside, this is a fabulous program. It is an immersion program, which makes you learn a lot of things through context. No “classroom” type stuff. That’s no fun. The Rosetta Stone program is pretty enjoyable to work through and I feel like it is really starting to stick. The only thing I have to watch is not blowing off some of this early stuff. I’ve picked up just enough over the years to make that an issue. I have to concentrate, do each lesson, and not skimp. The program is pretty good about not letting that happen.

I am learning some useful “parental” questions to practice (I can’t figure out how to make the upside down question, tilde, or accent mark in HTML, so please pardon that. Maybe next time…):

Que esta haciendo el nino? What is the boy doing?
Que esta haciendo usted? What are you doing?
El nino lleva abrigo? Is the boy wearing a coat?
El nino lleva zapatos? Is the boy wearing shoes?
El nino tiene pelota de futbol? Does the boy have the soccer ball?
Que esta llevando usted? What are you wearing?
Que esta comiendo usted? What are you eating?
Que esta comiendo el gato? What is the cat eating?

One complaint I do have is with the microphone. It keeps freezing up whenever it wants a spoken response. Fortunately, I can tell it “no speech this session”, and it won’t look for the response. I consider this a minor annoyance as 1) the program gives you enough time to pronounce things when you do this, and 2) I can practice with Spouse, Dad, Mom, and whole host of other people so I’m not worried about getting things right. I’m still going to try and figure it out though.

So there ya go. I’m on my way to becoming bilingual! More updates as events warrant.

*This was from a really bad radio commercial that was on in Austin (and other places, you may have heard it, too) when I was in college. It was selling some Spanish learning program, and the two actors were going through something. Anyway, one actor says: “S-O-C-K-S: Spanish is easy!” It’s kind of a joke in our house now. The comic strip “Piranha Club” did a spoof on it, too. If you knew this, then you get a gold star. 🙂


5 responses to “S-O-C-K-S*

  1. I studied tons of language learning software when I was getting my Masters in TESOL, and Rosetta is far and away the best. There is no other like it for learning a language on one’s own or for supplementing a classroom language learning experience.

    It’s no small deal for an adult to take the initiative to learn a second language, even if it is part of your heritage. Way to go!

  2. Good feedback on Rosetta Stone. In talking to students we found that it helped them achieve a good level of understanding but that something else was need for fluency. So we’ve built a new service at eduFire.com to make having a one-on-one language tutor more convenient and affordable than it’s ever been. We’ll be launching soon so I hope you check it out.

  3. Thanks for the review. I am mightily tempted.

    Mainly because I am SO SICK of the Spanish Snobbery.

    Sorry, just a wee rant.

    I am actually tempted. Will you update your review and you progress?

  4. Wayfarer Scientista

    So, I’m curious, do you have the whole section of pictures with kids sitting on plane wings? Because the Russian one did, which I thought was odd. I think it’s a good program but I was a bit annoyed that they never do bring up the “hi, how are ya, I’m fine’s” which left me hanging when I was in Russian (even though I could discuss men wearing blue pants on a roof).

  5. I want to learn Italian just because I love Italian food and people. I did get to use a little French one day at work and I was proud I remembered on the fly. I told the person who answered that I did not speak French, and the second person that I did not speak French but I did speak English. I could tell they let down a little of their French “I hate American” mindset when I said it. I’d love to pick French back up. Language has always been a great love of mine. I’ve heard great things about Rosetta Stone.

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