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Rosetta Stone: Arabic or Mandarin experiences?

 
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 10:39 pm
Does anyone have experiences with Rosetta Stone - specifically Arabic or Chinese Mandarin? And if version 3 is substantially better than version 3?

I'm incredibly hesitant to spend upwards of $300 for Rosetta Stone... Are there any other resources you guys have used that work well?

Also, I'm really questioning the functionality of Arabic - I'm considering something at the US State Department but other than that when would I use it? I'd like to get into business so I'm thinking Mandarin would serve a purpose.

Any thoughts would be great.
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 2,670 • Replies: 3
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tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 10:43 pm
@brokencdplayer,
brokencdplayer wrote:

And if version 3 is substantially better than version 3?

I'd say they would be the same.
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roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 01:06 am
@brokencdplayer,
Rosetta Stone is very, very good. Version 3 has the reputation of being an improvement over releases. Not sure, but the biggest improvement might be in the voice recognition.

The software is much better than the company, in my opinion. Load it onto the computer you like best, because if you crash or remove it, you are just stuck. If you get tired of it, or get all the benefit you hope for, you are not going to sell it, as it is about impossible to install it on a second machine.

Watch their pricing, by the way. It is somewhat discounted on Amazon and through advertisements placed in magazines like The Smithsonian. Do not pay full list price. More cautions on the pricing. Level one is not too badly priced if you use Amazon, but if you want further levels, you are stuck. The package price for 3 levels is high, but substantially lower than buying levels 2 and 3 separately. In other words, if you want all 3 levels in a package, get it all at once. Otherwise, you will likely end up buying the complete package, and throwing away level 1 you paid so much for.

There is an advantage to buying direct from Rosett Stone direct from the publisher. You get a money back guarantee, though I don't recall the trial period - something like 60 days, which is no way time to complete 3 levels, unless you are pretty familiar with the language before you start.

I suggest you look them up on Amazon, and carefully read the reviews. Some of them are pretty thoughtful.

I've no experience with either Arabic or Mandarin, but I imagine all versions are comparable in content and methodology. Like I said, the product is good; the company is a bit difficult.
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 12:29 am
@brokencdplayer,
brokencdplayer wrote:
I'm incredibly hesitant to spend upwards of $300 for Rosetta Stone... Are there any other resources you guys have used that work well?


They have an online subscription version that you might want to use to try. You might also want to try livemocha.com, which is a free online service that I've heard many good things about.
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