valid html 5
"An expensive alternative to similar Portuguese courses."

Rosetta Stone Portuguese Review

rosetta stone portuguese box shotThe latest Rosetta Stone Portuguese is aptly named Totale because of its interactive nature. Rosetta Stone has emerged from the dark ages of language learning and finally begun to offer increased value through online lessons, a language learners' community, and mobile apps for smartphones and tablets.

Rosetta Stone Portuguese offers two packages: the boxset version which comes in 3-tiered options, and a new online subscription version that offers 12 months' access to all three levels for $259. The boxset version offers level 1 at $179, levels 1 and 2 at $299 (you'll save $40 if you go for all 3 levels). Both the boxset package and the online program provide access to the smartphone/tablet apps, community, and online lessons. The online program teaches the same content as the boxset series, but is only accessible through the internet.

How it works

Level 1 will guide you through basic Portuguese conversational skills, including greetings and introductions, simple questions and answers, shopping, and basic everyday conversational skills. Level 2 will help you gain the confidence to talk about your environment and interact with native speakers when asking for directions, out dining, shopping, and enjoying intermediate level social interactions. Level 3 is the advanced level that will help you develop the Portuguese language skills to debate, discuss and share your ideas and opinions.

The entire course comprises 92 lessons, encompassing the key language learning fundamentals: listening comprehension, reading, speech recognition, and writing. The order of learning is up to the student, but it is ideal to finish one exercise before moving onto the next, otherwise learning becomes sporadic and ineffective. Rosetta Stone utilizes image recall as the root learning tool. The user is shown an image and then asked to remember a word associated with that image. Although once thought as the best way to learn a language, research has recently shown that this method is more effective in children than adults, and that adults learn better using their own language as a guideline.

There are notable improvements and additions to Rosetta Stone Portuguese Totale over previous editions, including upgraded voice recognition software, the inclusion of a headphone/microphone headset, and the interactive online features. However, for $399, the program still doesn't boast the value it should. The online learning option is $100 cheaper, but problematic in that the subscription lasts only 12 months and will only be as good as the internet connection used. The likelihood of mastering a language in 12 months and never needing to recap on lessons again is minimal at best, and for this reason the online learning option is not really weighted in favor of Rosetta Stone.


  • Comprehensive Portuguese language learning course.
  • Great new interactive inclusions, including more lessons, learners' community, and apps
  • New online language learning option (save $100).
  • Free headset with microphone.
  • Image recall technique can become tedious in the early stages of learning.
  • Boxset limited to 3 levels compared to 5 with other languages in the series.
  • Fluency in reading and writing unlikely to be achieved.
  • Online version limited to 12 months and requires a very reliable Internet connection.
  • Boxset is expensive in comparison with competitors. ($259 for the 3-level set).


The publishers of Rosetta Stone Portuguese have done a good job in delivering Totale, but it could have been better, and should have provided more value. The added online benefits are good additions, and the mobile apps have brought the company into the modern era of language learning, but the price is still outdated, as is the picture-word association technique that many other language learning companies left behind years ago. This program is ideal for fast basic Portuguese speaking and writing, but for fluency and value I would recommend to have a look at our comparison first.