Rosetta Stone Italian Review
Rosetta Stone Italian is part of a language learning software series used by more than 5 million people from 150 countries. Aside from private individual users, it is also being used by companies, government and military agencies and schools. The latest edition is Version 4 TOTALe, which aside from the standard course found in the earlier versions now includes additional programs like Rosetta Studio, Rosetta World, and the TOTALe Mobile Companion.
Rosetta Studio has native Italian speaker tutors in a live online setting while Rosetta World is a social gaming application. Both make learning the Italian language even more enjoyable and easier and also add to the versatility of this Italian learning program. The TOTALe Mobile Companion is an application that enables you to use the lessons in your iPhone or IPod Touch.
A big downside of this program is the fact that it doesn't teach a single grammar rule or give a list of words from a vocabulary to memorize but creates an immersion environment which forces you to learn by associating images with words, just like a child learning the language for the first time. This makes the learning process more intuitive and increases chance of retention.
Without a doubt, the software has a easy layout that is very simple and individual lesson modules focusing on different skills accessed from the main menu. The program has very intuitive lessons that we did not even have to use the tutorial. Aside from the tutorial, the publishers, Fairfield Language Technologies, also offer customer service support through phone or e-mail in case you need them. The website also has a FAQ page regarding navigation and other basic problems.
Rosetta Stone Italian doesn't have as many tools as the others , but uses the tools it has to the fullest extent. The publishers took out a lot of the bells and whistles found in other language programs and reduced the process of learning the language to the necessities and have come up with a product that works well. Still, because of this lack of more word tools, I donít have it at the top of my list.
Other notable shortcomings of this course in previous editions included a lack of cultural sensitivity, which in TOTALe has been improved. The pictures in the latest version now closely reflect the culture of the language that is being taught. The program might be good for teaching various nouns through matching pictures with words but is harder to learn from a syntax and grammar perspective. The vocabulary used can also be more formal than what is actually commonly used by native Italian speakers.
Comprehensive language course
Good interactive emphasis on the learning process
Slow vocabulary learning
Sometimes unclear quizzes
Sometimes not teaching useful phrases
Expensive ($499.00 USD for all 5 levels)
Using a very simple picture-word association method, Rosetta Stone Italian tries to make learning the language as simple as possibly. The software doesn't have the same amount of audio lessons as the competition, but works well on an interactive level, which makes it effective to teach kids as well. The basic course is good to build up the Italian foundation for beginners. The whole course is very expensive. That's why we can't recommend it to learnes on a tight budget. Compared to other software titles reviewed on this site, it offers less value for the money and less features at a higher price tag. If you're looking for an easier, cheaper, but nevertheless complete and comprehensive Italian language course, your could try out Rocket Italian.