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View Full Version : Rosetta Stone: Opinions Anyone?


aricbcool
01-28-2005, 22:28
I'm thinking about purchasing the Arabic course on CD-ROM from: www.rosettastone.com

The course covers speaking, reading/writing Modern Standard Arabic.

Has anybody had experience with these guys before? Do they put out good stuff? Just looking for opinions before I shell out the $$$.

Thanks,
Aric

jatx
01-29-2005, 00:10
Check this thread, Aric:

http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4595&highlight=arabic

aricbcool
01-29-2005, 13:14
Ack... The search button got me. I knew it would happen one day. Only a matter of time. I had searched "rosetta stone" and "www.rossettastone.com" with no results.

That said, and with all due respect, I am more looking for opinion (good or bad) on Rosetta Stone, as it seems to be the best choice at this point.

Any takers? :D

--Aric

jatx
01-29-2005, 21:42
Aric,

That wasn't meant as a gotcha - not my place to do that.

I purchased Pimsleur's MSA (sp.?) awhile back and started in on it, but decided to defer until I can take some time off for an immersion course. I've got three years of Japanese, a pretty tough language, under my belt - and I could tell there was no way I was going to get Arabic "into my ear" only using the program.

Now if you have had, or can arrange, some other exposure to native speakers, that might not be a problem and my understanding is that both Pimsleur and Rosetta will do their part in building your vocab and grammar. But the sounds were just too alien to me, and my progress will be held up until that is rectified.

I tried posting an ad for a "conversation partner" on the bulletin board at a nearby mosque but no takers. I suppose they've had their fill of innocuous looking white guys who'd like to "talk". :rolleyes:

One piece of advice: check Ebay for these titles - you should be able to save half.

Good luck!

ender18d
01-30-2005, 00:01
I used some Rosetta in the Arabic language course. The program is very intelligently designed, and works well in the initial phases of learning. I was generally impressed. The limitations are that it is more focused (from the parts I used) on recognition of basic words and phrases, and isn't as strong on teaching you to speak. In addition, the way the program runs, a savvy person can master the patterns without actually mastering the underlying language.

Verdict: The best of the computer language courses I've seen, but *expensive* for home purchase and certainly no substitute for a real teacher.

aricbcool
01-30-2005, 14:10
That wasn't meant as a gotcha - not my place to do that.

No worries, I know you were being helpful. :)

I've just tried really hard to not be the guy who comes out and asks his question before reading the related threads. I don't know what went wrong, but I missed it this time. :confused:

Thanks for the input on Pimsleur's, and the advice about Ebay; that's a good idea.

Ender, thanks for the feedback. I'm going to look into finding a native speaker locally (in addition to a CD-ROM course), but I'm not too hopeful. Idaho is a pretty small place.

Regards,
Aric

SoldiersSister
02-03-2005, 15:50
I don't have any experience with the Arabic course in particular. As a homeschooler, I am familiar with the Rosetta Stone foreign language courses. They are very popular among homeschoolers and get very high reviews from most families I know that use them.

Just my two cents.

12B4S
02-04-2005, 01:58
I'm thinking, after reading this, that Berlitz is out. Ist das wahr?

Huey14
02-04-2005, 07:10
Anyone tried the Mandarin one?

aricbcool
02-08-2005, 17:07
I'm thinking, after reading this, that Berlitz is out. Ist das wahr?

Thanks to your advice, I gave them a call. The only option they have is private instructor. The price doesn't sit very well in my budget unfortunately. They did offer a CD-ROM program however: Rosetta Stone =0)

SoldiersSister, thanks for the feedback. I'm still looking for local classes, but it sounds like Rosetta Stone is the way to go for CD-ROM.

--Aric

aaronw
02-09-2005, 05:18
I've used Rosetta Stone in Arabic. Its a good program, but it cant replace an actual teacher. I used it in conjunction with Arabic courses at a University. I liked it, but wouldent have learned much if I used it by itself.

I wouldent spend the money if its the only way you plan to study.

You can PM me if you have any other questions about the program.

Aaron

ghostinashell
02-23-2005, 16:38
http://www.language-school-teachers.com/default.asp


Try this link you might be able to find an arabic teacher in your area an other suggestion might be to call a local mosque if there is one in your area, that might be helpful might not.

aricbcool
02-24-2005, 18:03
aaronw - Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate your candid opinion and willingness to help. I'm still looking into some other options and will definitely PM if I need anything. :)

ghostinashell - I appreciate the link. :)
I couldn't find anyone for Boise but I will definitely try a local mosque and see what I can find.

Thanks again everyone,
Aric

airbornediver
04-20-2006, 16:53
has anyone used the rosetta stone via army e-learing?

if so, what do you think about it; good; bad; just ok?

reason I'm asking is because I used to be pretty good at a few languages, but having not used them in about 7+ years, I've lost them. Heard good things about the rosetta stone program and am thinking about improving my proficiency in at least one of them.

thanks in advance for the info and advice.

MtnGoat
04-20-2006, 17:05
has anyone used the rosetta stone via army e-learing?

if so, what do you think about it; good; bad; just ok?

reason I'm asking is because I used to be pretty good at a few languages, but having not used them in about 7+ years, I've lost them. Heard good things about the rosetta stone program and am thinking about improving my proficiency in at least one of them.

thanks in advance for the info and advice.
I'm at home using the RS Arabic language course. At first I didn't like it, I couldn't find any Directions. When I into work, (we use it there) I read over the booklet. Now I understand it better.

Easy to use, I never used a computer based program. But RS is designed well, and works well for me so far. Its a program that uses a recognition of basic words and phrases through pictures. I've only done two lessons so far.

Hopefully this helps you out.

VG

Aequitas
04-20-2006, 17:25
I used it for my Spanish and I loved it. I thought it was great for preparing me to do well on the dlpt.

The Dave
04-20-2006, 18:04
RS seems to be a great program. I'm currently taking Arabic in college, and using the RS program at home. The major difference between the two that I noticed, is with the RS programs it seems like it's teaching you, as if you were a young child. Recognizing the words as you see them. I've learned things in the RS, that I haven't learned in class. Our class consists of 6 people total, so there's plenty of time to practice with the teacher...something RS just doesn't have.

Aric, been over 12 months since your initial post...did you ever get the program? If not, PM me and I can get it to you. I also have an old textbook and DVD, that will teach you to read, write, and a bit of basic conversation. I would gladly hook you up with it if you want. Just let me know (PM or Skype)

aricbcool
04-20-2006, 18:32
RS seems to be a great program. I'm currently taking Arabic in college, and using the RS program at home. The major difference between the two that I noticed, is with the RS programs it seems like it's teaching you, as if you were a young child. Recognizing the words as you see them. I've learned things in the RS, that I haven't learned in class. Our class consists of 6 people total, so there's plenty of time to practice with the teacher...something RS just doesn't have.

Aric, been over 12 months since your initial post...did you ever get the program? If not, PM me and I can get it to you. I also have an old textbook and DVD, that will teach you to read, write, and a bit of basic conversation. I would gladly hook you up with it if you want. Just let me know (PM or Skype)

Roger. Got your PM. Reply on the way. Thanks! :lifter --Aric

airbornediver
04-20-2006, 18:38
thanks guys.

gonna get on the RS program asap.

SRT31B
04-20-2006, 23:24
I've been using the RS stuff via Army e-learning and it seems to be pretty good. I started with some Pashto before we went wheels up, but now that I'm here I've mainly been trying to knock out all the Spanish courses since I'm already pretty proficient there. The thing I didn't really like (unless I just misunderstood something) is that it doesn't really start with the basics i.e. alphabet, basic rules of grammar, etc. leaving you to learn everything by memorization. Of course, it is an immersion program...

Overall, I think it's a good program, and if you can get it from the Army definately do it. Especially since now they have 30 different languages or so.

dmgedgoods
05-16-2006, 23:38
I'm probably just an echo, but RS sure doesn't beat the real people who speak the real language.
I work mostly with South American (Mexico, Guatemala) immigrants in the construction trade. Since I was about 11 years old, I have been trying to grasp Spanish. Not just for work with my dad, but for school as well. The teacher-taught school Spanish always seemed hard for me to comprehend, but on the other hand I would go to work during the summer and learn with the workforce. The contrast, for me at least, was huge. Learning a native tougue with native speakers is a gift. I have learned many customs, slang terms, and curse words :D over the past few years. These are things no computer program can give you.
I have RS Spanish I & II, and they do nothing but help me carry on my learning...with a robotic slant. I highly recommend RS, but I also highly recommend native help, or at the least fluent help. Coupled together, this has made a significant impact on my Spanish speaking. I am considering Spanish summer courses at the local JC to see if I have matured to the classroom setting, unlike my highschool Daze.

Hope this helps/informs anybody,
McD

shfranke
05-23-2006, 17:35
Greetings to ALCON.

I am a newbie here, registration eff 23 May 2006.

Following comments relate mostly to active duty and reserve status military.

As a couple posters mentioned in this thread, RS for various languages is now available as a free download from AKO. As some other posters mentioned, using RS can be a time vampire. While RS products include lots of content, their organization and applicability to military uses could be improved.

For those with limited time and likely deploying on SOF-typical missions, some alternative materials -- but for developing **only** functional / "tactical" proficiency for communicating during most-likely situations -- include:

1. Language Survival Kits (LSK) available (d/load or request hard copies) from DLIFLC in various languages for OIF and OEF (don't know about HOA yet).

POC at DLIFLC is Mr. Joe Betty at e-mail: < joseph.betty@monterey.army.mil >.

2. Tactical Language and Culture Trainng System (TLCTS).
Details at < www.tacticallanguage.com >.

It's an adapted video game, now a "talker's game" on CD, versus a shooter game. Interactive training, using characters in SOF (CA/FID) scenario. Includes the contents of DLIFC command and control card, but also includes audio feature for speak, feedback and tutoring.

You'll need a PC or laptop that supports playing video games to run it smoothly and quickly. Low-end/low-capable PCs are SOL. You'll also need a headset-and-mike device to plug in. Program enables you to speak utterances and then hear yourself, with feedback. Product line includes "Tactical Iraqi" for OIF, "Tactical Pashto" for OEF, and "Tactical Sahel French" for CJTF HOA (R&D on that is underway, so still a while to wait).

An earlier product, called "Tactical Levantine" Arabic, is a clunky dinosaur and may be competely re-engineered, but much later.

Disclosure: I was a late-comer SME on content and graphics of "Tactical Iraqi." Spent lots of time explaining what US Army and SOF are and what they do -- esp. FID -- to a bunch of interested-but-clueless "techie" grad students working on graphics, characters, and programming. Later mentored and advised on features and behavior patterns in various cultures in Iraq.

I sometimes train US Marine and Army units on Tactical Iraqi. Those Soldiers who've also used RS say that they don't want to know the Arabic names for dog and cat, they want to know how to get directions, information and cooperation, plus conduct general mil training.

3. For OIF-bound people: "Iraqi Phrasebook" by Yasin Alkalesi, paperback, at $8/95. Publisher is McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-143511-5. B&N, Borders and Amazon carry it, last I heard.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke
San Pedro, California

Dan
05-23-2006, 17:59
Howdy Stephen. Thanks for the input.

Please see this thread (http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3452) for the rest of your intro. Thanks and welcome aboard after your intro post, Dan

AnyJoe
05-28-2006, 16:37
I have been using the Sosetta Stone program and I have found that I am getting pretty good at guessing what pictures to click on when it comes to the word recognition. I still don't speak arabic :D so I guess the moral of the story is to at least have someone to practice speaking the language with if you can't get a certified instructor to teach you.

TrackguyRH
05-28-2006, 16:59
I started using Rosetta Stone through Army e-learning about 2 days ago. I'm taking the russian course. It's very user friendly. I plan to only use it when I don't have access to my instructor.

Atilla
05-04-2009, 01:00
Rosetta Stone is a decent program for familiarization but if learning Arabic is the goal it will not get you there. If you are serious about it find someone to give you instruction. Craigslist seems like a good place to look for someone to tutor you. Best way in my opinion is to take a course at a College or University that uses the Al Kitab series by Brustad and Al-Batal (husband and wife and heads of our Arabic department here at UT) as it is the standard. I also used it at AUC in Egypt this Fall which says something about how effective it is. Supervised instruction is the best way to go. Arabic is not a language that is easily picked up or inferred, like Spanish is for most of us English speakers. Arabic is by far the most difficult and frustrating thing I have ever done mentally so be prepared for a beating. I know this is an old thread but I thought this might help anyone searching here about Rosetta Stone for Arabic. Main point is to find someone to teach/supervise you. If classes are out, try to find a conversation partner in your area who wants to improve their English and offers Arabic instruction in return and as a rule it might be smart to keep your motivations for learning to yourself when meeting with this conversation partner. Just my $.02 as I am finishing my third year of Arabic and spent five months in Egypt and still feel inadequate, Arabic is an ego check period.

silentreader
12-18-2010, 17:46
Does anyone else who has used RS for Arabic feel that the language is way over-the top formal? It has some strange vocab (manzil for house instead of bayt) and, in my version at least (v3), the words are fully voweled, which seems like a waste if you're using it to try to learn to communicate as opposed to reading the Qur'an or passing a test.

That being said, I would say the same thing most everybody else has about RS in this thread: not a bad tool for review, but you're never going to "learn Arabic" using it without a lot of additional help and study.

cszakolczai
12-19-2010, 01:06
Does anyone else who has used RS for Arabic feel that the language is way over-the top formal? It has some strange vocab (manzil for house instead of bayt) and, in my version at least (v3), the words are fully voweled, which seems like a waste if you're using it to try to learn to communicate as opposed to reading the Qur'an or passing a test.

That being said, I would say the same thing most everybody else has about RS in this thread: not a bad tool for review, but you're never going to "learn Arabic" using it without a lot of additional help and study.

Interesting points, I've taken a few semesters of Arabic and I can say that overall the vocab for Arabic is ridiculous. My first and second semesters I could say "I attended the United Nations meeting" but couldnt say "where is the bathroom?" I feel RS just compliments this by adding more vocab and as you said using odd words for certain things.

Also to comment on 2 posts up... Al Kitab is the terrible book I was referring to when it comes to vocabulary. Sorry but Brustad and whoever else did not a good job when writing that book. Every Arabic professor I've spoken with despises the book and says not to use it. Yes it will teach you the alphabet, yes it will give you some vocab, but it will not teach you things in a logical order. Hated that book.

StRaTeGy_
12-20-2010, 07:42
I usually use RS, but I always go straight to GLOSS (http://gloss.dliflc.edu/) which is the Global Language Online Support System and it has a lot of resources straight out of DLI.

dcvl
01-31-2011, 10:15
RS worked well for me for the little prep time I had to travel. I'm stationed overseas and go to Germany frequently. I can understand nearly everything, "aber Ich spreche nicht so gut Deutsch".

A lot of people complain that RS doesn't give you a big vocabulary. Just read a dictionary if you want to learn more words. The important thing is learning sentence structure, forms, and masculine and femanine. There is no real easy way to "learn" masculine or femanine or netural. You pretty much have to memeorize.

There is also another language program that is free that you should be able to go through your base library for, or at least we can here in Europe. It's called Mango, look it up. It seems more centered around cultural and regional aspects of the language you're learning. Pretty informative.

As always, immersion is the best way. My skill in listening and understanding German sky rocketed when I went and traveled around Germany staying at pensions (basically bed and breakfast) where the owners spoke no English. There's a website called italki.com where you can find internet pen pals who are native speakers and write back and forth to them. You help them with english, they help you with whatever you're trying to learn.

Hope this info helps. After being in Europe and seeing people easily switch between 3- 4 languages, it motivated me to work harder on learning one.

greenberetTFS
01-31-2011, 10:22
I'm sorry guys but I just don't get it............ I was under the impression that Special Forces Questions were to be answered by "QP's only",when did it become an open
forum?............:confused::confused::confused:

Special Forces Questions

This is a forum where civilians can "ask" the Special Forces soldiers past and present "Special Forces" related questions.

Those questions are then answered by Special Forces soldiers, period.

Questions asked by the general public should NOT be answered by the "general" public.

If you do not have the title of "Quiet Professional" you may ask a question, but leave the "answers" to the QP's.


Big Teddy :munchin

dcvl
01-31-2011, 12:52
I'm sorry guys but I just don't get it............ I was under the impression that Special Forces Questions were to be answered by "QP's only",when did it become an open
forum?............:confused::confused::confused:

Special Forces Questions

This is a forum where civilians can "ask" the Special Forces soldiers past and present "Special Forces" related questions.

Those questions are then answered by Special Forces soldiers, period.

Questions asked by the general public should NOT be answered by the "general" public.

If you do not have the title of "Quiet Professional" you may ask a question, but leave the "answers" to the QP's.


Big Teddy :munchin



that's why i was hesitant to answer, but i've tried 3 languages through RS so i thought my input would be relevant since he didn't really ask how it applied in the world you guys work in, just if it worked. I've seen real world results through better communication with locals from using RS.

Sorry if I overstepped.

Aloring001
02-06-2011, 23:34
If you have access to AKO, I am fairly sure you can get Rosetta Stone for free. You have to be active, guard, reserve, ROTC or academy to recieve it. Retired personel and contractors are not accepted for it. If you have access, check on it before instead of just taking my word for it. If you don't have access and/or are not associated with the Army, Ebay may be your best bet.

Good Luck

MtnGoat
02-07-2011, 12:47
If you have access to AKO, I am fairly sure you can get Rosetta Stone for free. You have to be active, guard, reserve, ROTC or academy to recieve it. Retired personel and contractors are not accepted for it. If you have access, check on it before instead of just taking my word for it. If you don't have access and/or are not associated with the Army, Ebay may be your best bet.

Good Luck

I was going to say this.. Like Aloring POSTED.. If you're a AKO user. Search for Skillport. You Register with your AKO account and they send you a password. You can log on from anywhere and get a lot of RS courses for free.

I'm currently taking Pashto.. Let you know how it turns out. :D

lindy
02-13-2011, 22:04
I was going to say this.. Like Aloring POSTED.. If you're a AKO user. Search for Skillport. You Register with your AKO account and they send you a password. You can log on from anywhere and get a lot of RS courses for free.

I'm currently taking Pashto.. Let you know how it turns out. :D

MG, have you taken a look here: http://fieldsupport.dliflc.edu/downloads.aspx?

They have Paki Pashto for your iPod (I'm not a RS fan).