Is Rosetta Stone really good for learning Japanese?

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Rosetta Stone is a very old language learning software. It has the teaching of more than 20 languages. It is a well-known program, mainly for having an innovative method.

But will the Rosetta Stone will it really help you to 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 start, 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 build a foundation of fundamental vocabulary and essential language structure. Skills and vocabulary include:

  • Greetings and introductions;
  • Simple questions and answers;
  • Shopping;
  • Listening skill;
  • Basic writing and reading skills;

Level 2: allows people to explore the environment as they increase the vocabulary and essential structure of the Level 1 language. 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 with the world around them, building on the language fundamentals and conversational skills developed in Levels 1 and 2. Skills and vocabulary include:

  • Ideas and opinions;
  • Express feelings and talk about everyday 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 think in the language, and understand what they say without having to mentally translate 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 reason a lot to understand what is happening in order to understand what a sentence/word means. The images that we associate with the audio and text are well selected, which makes us have a little understanding of the sentence, but it doesn't always help. This makes it quite difficult, but it can be easily solved if we just look up the word in the dictionary or Google Translate.

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

And it also has voice recognition. Voice recognition isn't bad, but it needs a quiet environment and a good microphone. Fortunately, this option can be activated or deactivated, in addition to being able to set the speech difficulty and a few other options.

And we also have a session where we just listen to something in Japanese and match the audio with the image, no text to help, just 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 rosetta stone worth buying?

Rosetta Stone is super expensive software. It is available on the Play Store and can be downloaded on PC, with a CD that must be purchased and activated. I used the program from start to finish and I can say that it doesn't get you anywhere near 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 software is a steal, at least in our current age, because it could be much cheaper. But for beginners, I'm sure you'll be impressed with how quickly you'll learn things, how you'll be able to do the grammar exercises without much hassle and how you'll start to understand simple things (and some a little more advanced).

So, if you are determined to spend money on this software in hopes of learning the basics, it is recommended. If you want fluency or reach an advanced level, I don't recommend it. You will probably not pass level N4, 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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