Does Rosetta Stone really help you learn Japanese?


Rosetta Stone is a very old language learning software. He teaches more than 20 languages. It is a well known program, mainly for having an innovative method.

But does the Rosetta Stone will it really help you learn the Japanese language? Let's find out here. I used the program for 5 months, until I finished the last lesson of the Rosetta Stone Japanese course. To begin, let's see how Rosetta Stone works:

Rosetta Stone features three levels in the Japanese course (and five in other languages). They work like this:

Level 1: helps to build a fundamental vocabulary base and an essential language structure. Skills and vocabulary include:

  • Greetings and presentations;
  • Simple questions and answers;
  • Shopping;
  • Hearing ability;
  • Basic writing and reading skills;

Level 2: allows people to explore the environment as they increase the vocabulary and essential language structure of Level 1. Skills and vocabulary, include:

  • How to provide and obtain guidance;
  • Use means of transport;
  • inform the time;
  • Go out to eat;
  • Enjoy basic social interactions;
  • Professional life;
  • Academic subjects;
  • Art and culture;
  • Past, present and future;

Level 3: allows people to connect to the world around them, increasing the language fundamentals and conversational skills developed at Levels 1 and 2. Skills and vocabulary, include:

  • Ideas and opinions;
  • Express feelings and talk about daily matters;
  • Interests;
  • Job;
  • Current events;
  • Birth, marriage, death, and health and body concerns;
  • Complementary terms indicating frequency, duration and degree;

Rosetta stone method

The method of this software is different from what we are used to, as it basically teaches us with images and audios. He never uses translation. On the one hand, this method is great, as it helps us to think in the language, and understand what they say without having to translate it mentally into Portuguese. We would be learning Japanese as if it were our mother tongue, immersed in the language.

On the other hand, this method leaves us in great doubt, because sometimes it is necessary to think hard to understand what is happening in order to understand what a phrase / word means. The images that we associate with the audio and text are well selected, which makes us have a little understanding of the phrase, but it doesn't always help. This makes it very difficult, but it can be easily solved if we just look for the word in the dictionary or in Google Translate.

The grammar also complicates a little, but then it is absorbed naturally with the repetition of the software spaced, because it ends up creating a repetition (sometimes exaggerated) of the content of the lessons. We can also define our focus for reading and writing or speaking and listening, or EVERYTHING.

It also has voice recognition. Voice recognition is not bad, but you need a quiet environment and a good microphone. Fortunately, this option can be activated or deactivated, in addition to defining the speech difficulty and a few other options.

And we also have a session where we only hear something in Japanese and associate the audio with the image, with no text to help, only the audio. In addition we also have speech recognition and pronunciation exercises, as well as writing and reading, where we first learn the hiragana and katakana, then some kanji.

Is it worth buying the rosetta stone?

Rosetta Stone is super expensive software. It is available on the Play Store and can be downloaded on the PC, with a CD that must be purchased and activated. I used the program from the beginning to the end and I can say that it doesn't keep you close to fluency, even though it helps a lot.

If you take the whole course, you could buy something in Japan, talk about tastes, say what we think, but we wouldn't understand an anime or manga, for example. And the worst thing is that the Japanese course has only 3 levels, while some others have 5.

I also believe that the price of the software is a steal, at least in our current time, because it could be much cheaper. But, for those who are a beginner, I'm sure you will be impressed with the speed that you will learn things, how you will be able to do grammar exercises without much complication and how you will begin to understand simple things (and some a little more advanced).

So, if you are determined to spend money on this software in the hope of learning the basics, it is recommended. If you want fluency or reach an advanced level I do not recommend it. You will probably not pass the N4 level, because it is considered a basic course. So that was the summary of my experience at Rosetta Stone, I hope you enjoyed it.

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