Rosetta Stone Review – Best Way to Learn a Language?

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Written By Francesca Stephens

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Rosetta Stone has been around for quite some time now.

And it’s one of the most popular language-learning platforms. In a way, It’s a household name.

But is Rosetta Stone worth the hype?

Well, it all depends on your learning style and goals.

And that’s why we’re here – our Rosetta Stone review will help you determine if this type of language course is a good option for you.

We will tell you all about Rosetta Stone’s unique features, lessons, and benefits.

And then you’ll be able to make an informed decision.

Let’s start by explaining what Rosetta Stone actually is.

What is Rosetta Stone?

In essence, Rosetta Stone is a standard online platform for learning languages. But it works in a slightly different way than other language programs.

First of all, Rosetta Stone is based on an intuitive teaching style. When we dive deeper into the platform’s lessons you’ll see what we’re talking about.

In essence, Rosetta Stone uses images to explain the meaning. It’s not based on translation like Duolingo or clear explanations like Rocket Languages. Everything is very immersive but it’s also very fluid and comprehensive.

Rosetta Stone review

With Rosetta Stone, you’ll mostly be hearing and seeing instructions in your target language.

You will work on the development of all four language skills: speaking, writing, reading, and listening. You will expand your vocabulary, learn basic grammar, and learn how to pronounce words.

The program also features games, challenges, and useful study tools. But it’s mainly focused on verbal practice and intuitive learning.

The thing is, some people find Rosetta Stone a bit confusing. They simply don’t like the lack of translation. But we’re all just used to getting all the information without actually thinking about it or trying to figure it out by ourselves.

In a way, that’s the purpose of language learning apps – to make things easier. However, Rosetta Stone managed to keep the simplicity and convenience while creating a learning environment that will force you to think and boost your creativity.

You’ll rely on your intuition, but don’t worry – it’s not as confusing as it might sound. Let us tell you how everything really works.

How Does Rosetta Stone Work?

With Rosetta Stone, you’ll learn new vocabulary through real-life dialogues, interactive exercises, and audio clips from native speakers.

In the beginning, you’ll be matching words and images, recording audio, and so on. And don’t worry, you’ll get visual aids and hints.

Rosetta Stone lessons

So, although you have to rely on visual cues, Rosetta Stone’s lessons are not that complicated. It just takes some time to get used to them.

And once you do, things might get a little repetitive. However, as you progress, the material will get more challenging.

But Rosetta Stone teaches grammar in a different way.

Generally, you won’t have to learn boring grammar rules and memorize long vocabulary lists. You’ll learn everything from context, and that’s undoubtedly one of the best ways to learn a new language.

And honestly, you’ll have to be patient with Rosetta Stone. But there’s no app that will make you a fluent speaker overnight anyway.

On the other hand, Rosetta Stone does offer short, bite-sized lessons.

They are categorized into units. The most popular languages normally have around 20 units, and each unit emphasized a different topic or category. And then within each unit, there are 4 overarching lessons.

According to Rosetta Stone, it takes approximately 120 – 150 hours to complete the content in Units 1-12.

Some of the topics/units you’ll come across are introductions, hobbies, destinations, and social life.

With the Rosetta Stone app, you can easily incorporate language learning into your daily routine.

Rosetta Stone app

By the way, you don’t have to choose between app or desktop – both come with your subscription and sync so you can switch between devices very easily.

So, Rosetta Stone is actually very practical and effective.

The best way to learn a language is to surround yourself with it. And Rosetta Stone knows that.

And it’s great that the program puts emphasis on pronunciation and speaking. That’s not always the case with language apps and online courses.

But Rosetta Stone’s pronunciation practice is undeniable. Their TruAccent speech recognition technology is top-notch.

Speech recognition technology

As you can see, Rosetta Stone is one of the most popular apps to learn a language for a good reason. It’s immersive, well-structured, and well-rounded.

Plus, it provides a ton of useful resources and extra features.

Now, let’s see what Rosetta Stone has to offer!

Features

Languages

Rosetta Stone currently offers 25 languages to choose from. And compared to some other language platforms, that’s impressive.

You can learn French, Chinese, Greek, Persian, Vietnamese, Polish, Portuguese, and so on.

So, if you want to learn a less popular foreign language, you will probably find it on Rosetta Stone.

Live tutoring

Rosetta Stone live tutoring is a premium feature, available for in-product purchase or with the course with tutors.

Thanks to this amazing feature, a native certified coach will guide you through activities that inspire conversation and reinforce your new language skills.

Generally, there are three types of Rosetta Stone Coaching sessions:

  • On-Demand Videos
  • Live Lessons
  • Live Coaching Sessions

Live Lessons are daily 15-20 minute live-stream sessions led by a Rosetta Stone coach. They will help you review and strengthen the skills you learned in your regular Rosetta Stone lessons.

And Live Coaching Sessions will allow you to have private virtual lessons or small group classes. All Live Coaching sessions are 25 minutes long.

Whatever type of lessons you choose, you’ll benefit a lot from them.

Speech recognition technology

Rosetta Stone has one of the best speech recognition engines.

You’ll be asked to repeat phrases and describe what’s happening in the various images. Rosetta’s TruAccent voice technology will be listening and let you know if you pronounce a word immediately.

Getting instant feedback on your pronunciation is very important – if don’t have a teacher, that’s the only way to get it right.

On-demand videos

Some languages feature on-demand videos. They will introduce you to the culture of the language you’re learning through natural conversations.

You’ll learn how to order coffee, ways to describe people and places, and even how to say slang terms.

Short stories

Short stories are also a nice way to introduce you to new vocabulary. It’s different when you see a new word in context – you’ll memorize it more easily.

Each unit has a variety of stories to choose from. And once you choose a story, you’re free to decide how you want to engage with it.

Rosetta Stone Stories

Each story is downloadable so you can listen to it on the go. 

And as the Rosetta Stone team says, this feature will help you acquire new vocabulary by reading stories as they were meant to be read: in their own language.

Phrasebook

Rosetta Stone Phrasebook provides common phrases pronounced by a native speaker.

Rosetta Stone phrasebook

This feature will help you to practice by yourself and perfect your pronunciation.

It’s similar to a deck of digital flashcards; after choosing a category, you’ll be able to flip through phrases.

Audio Companion

Like Rosetta Stone’s Stories, lessons within the Audio Companion are downloadable.

Each Audio Companion lesson will walk you through the vocabulary, statements, and questions covered in its corresponding unit – so, everything aligns directly with units in your core lessons.

Seek and Speak

Seek and Speak is an exclusive feature on Rosetta Stone iOS apps.

This fun feature builds vocabulary-focused challenges out of your real-world surroundings.

In a way, Seek and Speak is personalized conversation practice.

For example, you’ll be asked to take photos that match the challenge requirements using your phone’s camera.

Rosetta Stone app

This exercise is based on the so-called dynamic immersion, a very effective method of learning a new language.

Key Decision-Making Criteria

  • User-friendliness & learning interface The Rosetta Stone app is fairlyeasy to navigate. The whole program is clear and well-structured (8.5/10).
  • Convenience – The app allows you to download Audio Companion lessons and Stories. That said, Rosetta Stone is very practical and allows you to learn on the go (8.6/10).
  • Languages offered Rosetta Stone offers a wide selection of languages (25 languages), which allows you to learn a less popular language or dialect (9.3/10).
  • Quality of content The platform offers bite-sized lessons and a thoughtfully crafted curriculum. Some learners might find it confusing though, as there are no translations (8.5/10).
  • Available platforms – You can use Rosetta Stone on all your devices. You can from your desktop, tablet, or smartphone and easily pick up where you left off (9/10).
  • Payment methods Rosetta Stone offers standard payment methods (you can purchase it via their website.) And if you purchase it directly from Rosetta Stone, then you have 30 days to return your purchase (9/10).
  • Customer support If you have any questions or issues, you can easily contact Rosetta Stone customer support. It’s very responsive and informative (9.5/10).

Rosetta Stone Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Voice recognition technology
  • Unique approach
  • Well-rounded
  • Immersive

Cons

  • Lack of explanations
  • A bit pricey

Who is Rosetta Stone For?

All things considered, Rosetta Stone is the best choice for visual learners who want to gain basic language skills.

It’s a good option for beginners, although some people might find it a bit confusing and overwhelming.

But if you’re looking for an interesting and immersive way to learn a new language on your own, you should give it a try.

How Much Does Rosetta Stone Cost?

Rosetta Stone used to have a reputation for being pricey. But things are different now, and Rosetta Stone monthly subscription is quite affordable.

Rosetta Stone offers the following options:

  • 3-month subscription for $12 per month
  • 12-month subscription for $8 per month
  • Lifetime subscription for $179

These prices apply to the self-study course.

And bear in mind that if you purchase a lifetime subscription, you’ll get access to all the languages.

Rosetta Stone review 2022

There’s also a self-study + coaching option – this subscription provides everything from the self-study course with the addition of unlimited online sessions with native coaches.

Either way, Rosetta Stone is not that expensive, especially if you consider what you get from it. And it offers promotions and discounts from time to time.

It’s still more expensive than some other platforms though.

But if you want to see how everything works first, you can do their 3-day trial.

And there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Similar Platforms to Consider

If you believe that Rosetta Stone’s approach is a bit confusing, you can check out Rocket Languages. This popular language program will give you clear explanations and valuable cultural insights.

And just like Rosetta Stone, Rocket Language will teach you the right pronunciation. But it will provide you with comprehensive, linear lessons with natural (and guided) conversations that won’t leave you wondering what someone’s talking about.

Another similar platform is Pimsleur.

Pimsleur offers around 50 languages and it features audio lessons, exercises, effective methods, and games.

Is Rosetta Stone Worth it? Final Thoughts

All in all, Rosetta Stone is a unique and well-designed online language course focused on pronunciation, speaking skills, and vocabulary.

It’s very immersive and creative, and it uses an intuitive teaching style.

That said, Rosetta Stone is not for everyone.

Overall user experience is great, but some people find it confusing as there are no clear explanations.

So, it all comes down to your learning style and goals.

And we hope our Rosetta Stone review helped you figure out if this is a language program you’ve been searching for!