Learning a new language is not easy, but with the right tools, it can be an exciting and rewarding experience. If you’re looking to learn a new language online, you’ve probably come across Rosetta Stone since it is one of the most popular language learning programs on the market.
But is it worth the time and money investment?
In this review, we’ll take a closer look at Rosetta Stone, examining its features, pricing, pros and cons, and more, so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right learning tool for you to learn a new language.
So, What is Rosetta Stone?
Rosetta Stone is a language learning program that has been around for over 25 years.
Their goal is to provide learners with an immersive and interactive learning experience, designed to help them learn a new language in a way that mimics the way they learned their native language.
With its interactive lessons, speech recognition, and real-world scenarios, Rosetta Stone makes language learning both fun and effective.
You can learn 25 languages, including Spanish, English, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Dutch, Turkish, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, Swedish, Persian, Hebrew, Hindi, Filipino, and Vietnamese.
One of the great features of Rossetta is its emphasis on immersion. Unlike other language learning programs that focus primarily on translation, Rosetta Stone uses a method called Dynamic Immersion, which allows you to learn a new language the same way you learned your native tongue when you were a baby.
This means you will not only learn new vocabulary and grammar but also develop your ability to speak and understand the language as a native would. Rosetta Stone’s TruAccent™ technology helps you improve your pronunciation by comparing your speech to a native speaker’s samples and gives you immediate feedback!
What a Single Lesson in Rosetta Stone Can Teach You
- Rosetta Stone’s language courses focus on immersion where lessons take 10 minutes to complete. Some samples of exercise include choosing the corresponding image after a phrase is said. You are then made to think through context clues to be able to familiarize yourself with the language.
- You’ll also be challenged with speaking and reading where your pronunciation will be compared to native speakers’ intonation and feedback will be provided, a feature known as TruAccent™ technology. For every completed lesson, feedback will be given to allow you to check your progress.
- Rosetta Stone offers different kinds of plans even for those who are just looking for basic greetings for vacation purposes. Lessons can be customized to fit schedules, needs, and levels. You’ll be learning what you need at your own pace.
Rosetta Stone’s Learning Methods Through Dynamic Immersion
Learning a new foreign language through immersion by surrounding yourself with speakers of your target language is the holy grail of language learning. Most people do this by immersing themselves in the country of said language.
However, not everyone has the time or luxury to do that kind of immersion. Here is where Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion comes in.
Rosetta Stone targets all types of learners, whether you’re more visual or auditory or require a more thorough hands-on-experience approach.
It is more than just flipping through flashcards or memorizing phrases, the language learning software aims to teach you the way a child would gradually recognize new words through repetition. Over time, a child will soon learn to form phrases, complex grammar, and conjugation through their environment and experience.
So, Dynamic Immersion emulates how a child acquires the ability to speak.
Language learners will learn through pictures, sounds, and hearing the proper intonation and pronunciation of words from a native speaker through an audio companion. Each core lesson has a different theme with varied difficulty levels as you progress through the lessons.
The Rosetta Stone program provides a more intuitive way of learning through immersion and ensures that you not only adopt a new language but also learn to speak like a native.
Rosetta Stone’s Features 💡
We’ve already talked about Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion and TruAccent™ technology. Now let’s have a more in-depth look into the features of this language-learning software.
Considering that when you go on a real physical world immersion (like a trip to Germany), you’ll learn a new language through interaction with native speakers and by being exposed to a different culture, Rosetta Stone combines all those into one digital learning experience through the use of 6 learning tools.
Your Plan – Plan Selection Based on Learner’s Needs 📜
Not everyone is going to have the same learning needs. Some are just looking into learning a few basic greetings for traveling. Others suddenly find themselves in a new job in a new place and want to learn enough to get by. Then some already have a grasp of the language but want to improve their fluency.
You can choose your lesson on a specific topic or subject like family, work, basic greetings, everyday items, shopping, and more. Whatever level you are in, Rosetta Stone’s Your Plan feature provides customized lessons based on skills, needs, and schedule
Phrasebook – 📔
Your Digital FlashcardsPhrasebook is your best friend! Specially, if you’re looking to engage with a local community during your travels. Like Rosetta’s courses, it has several categories to help you sort through it easily. You’ll be able choose from like common courtesy words or phrases used in healthcare settings. Thanks to the TruAccent™ technology, which employs the use of speech and voice recognition, you’ll also be able to learn in the moment, if your pronunciation of these phrases is correct.
Live Tutoring – Interactive Lectures with Native Speakers 🗣
Nothing beats talking to native speakers when it comes learning a new language. Live Tutoring are 25- 45 minute live-stream lessons led by experts of your target language where each course targets specific topics at your level. You’ll be able to have 1:1 lessons or group lessons with 5 other people.
You can also chat with others, answer polls and practice your intonation and pronunciation with your choice of language. Your tutor will help you with your grammar syntax, and vocabulary and encourage you to be confident in your language skills.
Stories – 📚
Learning Language through Storytelling Grammar drills and memorization can be dreadfully boring. Instead, you can learn directly from stories that match your current level.
As humans, we love telling stories and we love listening to them too.There are a variety of stories available, both long and short with cultural context in each to better equip you with understanding the language and the country it is spoken in.
There are also two options on how to engage with this feature.
- You can have it read to you by a native speaker as you follow along
- You can also record yourself reading it to practice correct pronunciation.
Like the Phrasebook, each story can be downloaded for offline use
Seek and Speak – Bonus Feature for iOS Devices
Available exclusively on iOS devices for select languages, Seek and Speak, like Stories, is another fun and interactive way of language learning. The Seek and Speak feature is similar to a real-life scavenger hunt wherein you will make use of your surroundings to turn them into language practice!
The game is to pick 5 items based on a challenge you choose. For example, “Choose 5 items you want in your house.” You then go find these items and take a photo of them. Every time you find one, you’ll get the equivalent word of that item and how to use that word in your target language. How fun is that! The best part of the Seek and Speak feature is that you don’t even have to make a whole task of it. You can go about your day as usual and just take a photo when you happen to spot it on your walk or on your way to work.
Rosetta Stone Language Learning Plans and Pricing
For Individuals 👤
Rosetta stone has 3 types of online subscription plans and we’ll discuss the inclusions of each plan and its corresponding pricing.
- 3 months for $11.99 per month billed as a one-time payment of $35.97
- 12 months for $7.99 per month billed as a one-time payment of $95.88 per month
- Lifetime/Unlimited Subscription for a one-time payment of $299
3-Month Subscription Plan 🗓
- Access to 1 of the 25 languages available of your own choice
- Access across all devices
- Uses Dynamic Immersion and TruAccent™ technology
- Automatic renewal after 3 months, cancelable anytime
12-Month Subscription Plan – $7.99 📆
- Access to 1 of the 25 languages of your own choice
- Access across all devices
- Uses Dynamic Immersion and TruAccent™ technology
- Automatic renewal after 12 months, cancelable anytime
Lifetime Subscription 👵
- Access to ALL of the 25 languages of your own choice: Spanish (Latin American), Spanish (Spain), French, Italian, German, English (American), English (British), Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Dutch, Farsi (Persian), Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Swedish, Turkish, Tagalog (Filipino), Vietnamese
- Access across all devices
- Uses Dynamic Immersion and TruAccent™ technology
While they all have the same features, if you are intending to learn several languages, the unlimited plan would make more sense.
If you just want to experience the app, go for the 3-month subscription.
If you are pretty serious about improving your skills in a specific language right of the bat, then the 12-month subscription makes the most sense.
Take note that Live Tutoring will be free for the first session but will cost $14-16 for succeeding sessions if you wish to join one again.
Plans also include a 30-day money-back guarantee were you can return or exchange your plan thirty (30) days from the date of purchase. Note that you can only get a refund if you purchased the subscription directly from Rosetta Stone and not from authorized retailers. In case you purchased from the latter, you’ll have to contact that retailer directly and any exchange or return is governed by their policies.
Pros and Cons of Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone’s founder, Allen Stoltzfus once struggled to learn Russian through traditional learning methods. He set out to develop software that teaches language through the process of immersion without having to leave the comfort of your own home. And so, Rosetta Stone was born. While it has evolved into one of the best language-learning apps, it does not come without its pros and cons. We list them down here as part of this review of Rosetta Stone.
- Content Variety: when you sign up, you’ll get access to all of the courses. The content, which includes basic lessons, like greetings, to the more complicated topics. There’s also tons of variety within the content topics, from shopping to home items to fruits and so on. It has enough content to keep you busy and you’ll surely find what you need, whether you just need to learn enough for a trip or plan to be conversational and fluent.
- Dynamic Immersion: learners will get to listen to live tutorials, either as a 1:1 class or a class with 5 other people who are also learning the language. You can get to chat with native speakers and practice pronunciation with a tutor present to correct and encourage you.
- Preview & Review Content: Rosetta Stone automatically provides a review of your previous lesson to test your knowledge. You can also do this with the Audio Companion feature. It also automatically gives you a preview or overview of your next lesson so you know what to anticipate.
- Fun Lessons: It’s always more fun to learn if the lesson is actually entertaining to do. Rosetta Stone has plenty of these gamified exercises through picture selections of the right word. The Seek and Speak feature available on iOS is an example of how Rosetta Stone manages to keep lessons fun for their learners.
- Offline Viewing: with the app, you can always take your lessons on the go. Courses and lessons are also available offline and you can download audio files to listen to while you’re on your commute or driving to work.
- One Size Fits All: The biggest con with Rosetta Stone is its cookie-cutter approach to its lessons across all languages. The way Spanish or French is taught shouldn’t be the same way the more difficult languages should be taught. However, for extremely difficult languages such as Arabic and Mandarin, there should be a better approach to make it as painless as possible for the learner.The immersion feature of Rosetta Stone is great but learners would benefit if the content is more varied in terms of cultural context. For example, if you’re learning Greek or Irish, it’s good if Rosetta Stone can show the types of food in Ireland or Greece in its language.
- No Grammar or Sentence Structure explanations: ss much as Rosetta Stone is praised for its speech and voice recognition as well as having the Phrasebook feature, there is no explanation for things like subject-verb agreement, conjunctions, or pronouns. These are all taught in an English class so it would make sense if a language learning app could also teach their learners those things.
- Learning Gaps: To be fair, this is a con for most language-learning apps. Most apps would only teach you basic speaking skills but they won’t fully provide you with enough conversational or casual speaking skills that native speakers would use in an everyday setting.For example, in languages like Korean, they use honorifics and formal and informal talk depending on who they are speaking to in terms of age or closeness (relationship). Often, apps would only teach the formal way of talking and you won’t get to learn the casual way of speaking KoreanFor this, you’ll have to go beyond apps and books to become more fluent and learn all types of ways to be more conversational, that is if you are looking to get fluent in the language.
How does Rosetta Stone compare to competitors? 🆚
The good news is that there are plenty of language-learning apps available for learners. You can combine the software by using other apps to further enhance your speaking skills.
Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo
Duolingo is a popular gamified app that’s downloadable for free!
It has 19 languages available for learners and you get to see your progress through a bar that fills up when you get something correct. Lesson are made up of quick-hit drills. I
There is also a paid version available for $84.00/year, non-refundable, were will remove adds and lets you have a freer experience within the app.
Rosetta Stone vs Pimsleur
Pimsleur is very similar to Rosetta Stone, except that it offers 50 languages instead. Unlike Rosetta Stone which relies heavily on immersion and does not offer English directions and translations when it comes to their lessons, Pimsleur has an English-speaking moderator. While Rosetta Stone uses audio and imagery, Pimsleur relies on audio lessons where you are tasked to respond to a native speaker in actual conversations, a framework called the Pimsleur method.
In terms of cost, Rosetta Stone pricing is still more affordable coming down at only $36 ($12 per month) compared to Pimsleur’s $20 per month plan or $1 more per month if you want to access all languages covered by Pimsleur.
Rosetta Stone vs Babbel
Similar to Duolingo, Babbel uses a gamified approach to teach its users the language and reinforce what they’ve learned so far. It differs from Duolingo and Rosetta Stone by introducing real conversational dialogues. It has frequent prompts to review and includes podcasts to make the learning experience more fun.
The only downside is that it only covers 14 languages.
Unfortunately, you’ll find that some languages aren’t as popular as others and don’t have many resources available to be able to learn them. This is where Rosetta Stone wins because it has 25 languages to choose from. If you get the Unlimited Plan, you get access to all 25 languages with all the benefits across all languages at an affordable price. Pimsleur covers $50 languages but comes at a heftier price a month.
Real Reviews of Rosetta Stone Users ⭐️
“Good immersion in Spanish, with attractive photos. Pronunciation is taught accurately, but speech recognition sometimes does not work well. I found navigating the structure was not intuitive. Like the interaction with live tutors. I am pleased to recommend Rosetta Stone.”– Martin Chadwick, March 01, 2023, Trust Pilot
“Content is great, easy to use, can access on multiple platforms my iPad/iPhone/mac. Good value for money, especially if you take advantage of more than one language”– William C, February 23, 2023, Trust Pilot
“I’ve always loved Rosetta Stone but it used to be so expensive for the CDs of each language! Now with the lifetime unlimited I can access 24 languages online forever and am so happy. The style of learning suits me much better than just blindly remembering call and response phrases, I feel like I’m actually discovering the language. It takes longer than memorising a tourist phrasebook like “Can I have two tickets please”, but I end up being able to understand and use the language.– Hazel Waring, February 18, 2023, Trust Pilot
In Chinese – I have the option for hanzi and pinyin at the same time too which is invaluable.”
So, Is Rosetta Stone Worth it?
Definetively worth it. Specially, given its comprehensive plans, it is easy to give it a try for 3 months to decide if you like learning with them.
It is a step up from the other online language learning websites and apps. By really teaching you how to speak and monitoring your progress with Truaccent technology, you will learn to speak quicker and have more confidence, which is something that everyone needs when trying out a new language.
Is there a free trial?
You can try it for free for 3 days if you sign up online. If you sign up in the app, you can try the first lesson of each language for free
What if I want a refund?
There is a 30-day refund starting from the date of purchase as long as you bought the plan directly from Rosetta Stone and not from authorized retailers who have their own money-back policy.
Can I Change languages after I sign up?
You can only change your target language if you avail of the lifetime plan.
Can I switch between the app and a desktop?
Yes, your progress automatically syncs across devices as long as you are logged in.
I’d like to get lessons from a live tutor
You’ll get a prompt for a tutoring lesson once you’ve learned enough lessons. The first session is free while the succeeding sessions will cost $14 or $16 per session if you want to schedule another one.
Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion ensures that all types of learners whether its visual, auditory, or kinesthetic (people who learn through experience), learn their target language in the best way possible.
With 25 languages to choose from, Rosetta Stone is available online or on iOS and Android devices with downloadable content for offline use. Start immersing yourself today to learn a new language!