Free Shipping on All Orders 1-866-764-1801

Vist our Online Store
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Old School
    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Higher & Dryer, Texas
    Posts
    10,177

    Default Any Experience with Rosetta Stone or Other Language Software?

    Not looking to master a second language, but am planning a 2012 trip to Italy and would like a little more capability than my '97's trip's, "Per favore. Parla inglese?"
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner

    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (8)

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    11,499

    Default

    I've used the Paul Pimsleur programs to brush up on my French before heading down to St. Martin and St. Barts. Could have done without it, but I was able to converse fairly well at times. Before starting I had only remembered a very few phrases from my freshman and sophmore french classes 40 years prior. They were fairly easy to use and retain.

    http://www.pimsleur.com/
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (8)

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    11,499

    Default

    Oh...and I was able to pick up the full set of CDs at my local library. Somehow when I was playing them on my computer...the darn things got dowloaded onto my hard drive.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Descending toward the moon in the CLEM (Chinese Lunar Excursion Module), looking for Chang'e
    Posts
    11,792

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shack View Post
    I've used the Paul Pimsleur programs to brush up on my French before heading down to St. Martin and St. Barts. Could have done without it, but I was able to converse fairly well at times. Before starting I had only remembered a very few phrases from my freshman and sophmore french classes 40 years prior. They were fairly easy to use and retain.

    http://www.pimsleur.com/
    +1, When I was in China 2009/10. One of the only Americans I met, and worked with, whose Chinese was pretty good was a guy who swore by the Pimsleur method. His wife was with him and her skills were also very good. At one point their 20 something son came to visit and he "too" could communicate well enough to get by. Either they're all linguistically gifted or the Pimsleur method 'really' works. I am NOT familiar with it because I am University and Field trained (four years in Grad School, three years in China) and my wife is a native speaker--which doesn't hurt!

    But if I had to brush up languages I've studied or used to speak in the past (Spanish, German, Greek) I'd definitely check into the Pimsleur method! It's so easy to lose your skills if you almost never use them!

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 12-11-2011 at 04:11 PM.
    Onkyo TX-SR 805 System #1 HT AVR
    Office Two Channel: LSi-7s (Nakamichi CA-5, NAD 214, Pioneer BDP51fd)
    Vintage Polks: Polk Monitor 5As, Monitor 7Bs [HK 730], Monitor 10As [Marantz 2265], SDA-2Bs [Jolida JD-303, Jolida MV-MK4]
    Headphones: HD600, Q701, ATH-M50s etc. Bravo Audio Ocean amp., Onkyo P-304, Adcom GFA-555, Technics Direct Drive TT

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    1,023

    Default

    Before I moved here I started with the Rosetta Stone but my access to Rosetta Stone was dropped so I switched over to the Pimsleur Method, which is the one my wife started with. Here?s my take on both of them:

    Rosetta Stone: This is a very simplistic learning approach. There is a lot of matching of words and phrases (both written and verbal) to pictures. There are also some sections where you must type in the words. You do not get any instruction on word meaning, grammatical rules, or anything along those lines. You are just supposed to pick it up along the way, theoretically this is the same way you learned as a child. It was, for me, surprisingly effective. I picked up and retained a lot of useful phraseology and vocabulary in a short period of time, and I had a good handle on the grammatical variations. I think this had a lot to do with the pictures being linked with the words, making recall easier.

    One of the criticisms I heard a lot is that people completed the course and didn?t really learn much. This is easy to do because of the simplistic approach. You almost need no real understanding of the language to get good scores in each section but if you put in the effort to try and understand why the answer is correct instead of seeing how quickly you can get through the course, you can learn effectively. One of its biggest cons is that you are tied to the computer to do the learning. You can download mp3 files out of the program to listen to but it is just the words and phrases for that particular lesson, there is no instruction. It does help retain the vocabulary but that's it. This may not be as much of an issue now with the proliferation of tablets. The other major con is this is this is pretty pricey software if you're paying for it yourself.

    Pimsleur: It's a tried and true method. A lot of repetition and eventually it ends up tattooed on your brain. At strategic points, previous lessons are thrown in so that you don't forget them. Rosetta does this as well but it is used to better effect in Pimsleur. What's nice is you do get instruction on grammatical rules and some background in to why things are the way they are. You do not get any visual learning at all in the beginning although later there are some "reading lists". Depending on the language this might be a hindrance as the ability to say a word does not necessarily mean you could look at the printed word and know what it is. This is definitely true of the German language.

    My biggest gripe with the program is its lack of variation in the vocabulary. By the end of disc 8, I still could not ask "where is the bathroom", or the train station, police station, airport, kitchen, plates, bowls, cups, hotel, etc but I could ask "Where is Opera Square" better than anybody I've ever met. I am using a fairly old version so perhaps this has been corrected. Because of the repetition, it can also get boring pretty quickly. You are tasked with doing one, and only one, 30 minute lesson per day so it's not as bad as it could be.

    I was vastly more functional getting around in Germany after using Rosetta than my wife was using Pimsleur but neither of us had progressed very far in the courses. And although Rosetta gets you out of the box quicker with a variety of useful sentences and a good vocabulary set, I suspect that Pimsleur will give you a better understanding and a more thorough learning of the structure of the language in the long run. No matter which course you choose, be prepared. When you converse with a native language speaker, they rarely stick to the script that was laid out in the lesson. It's really quite irritating.
    Last edited by Disc Jockey; 12-12-2011 at 03:22 AM.
    "The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage." Thucydides

  6. #6
    Old School
    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Higher & Dryer, Texas
    Posts
    10,177

    Default

    Thanks for the replies...

    My local Library never occurred to me for some reason. Check shows a 2002 release by Living Language (under Fodor's label) is all that's available. It doesn't look too promising.

    I'd not heard of Pimsleur. The impression that I am getting is that Pimsleur is more of a traditional training approach akin to what I experienced in High School... Yes?

    Preliminary look seems to show that a Level 1 thru 3 package in either system is probably about right for the proficiency level I'm seeking and that download cost is roughly a push @$360. Oddly the R Stone CD set is much cheaper than the Pim set, $480 vs $1000. Not sure what explains that...

    Google search also turned up Fluenz site. Seems a bit like a R Stone/ Pin hybrid and is a "bargain" at $360 for a "comparable", three-level CD set. Only six reviews at Amazon, but all are five-star; question becomes how many are by fluenz employees...

    FYI, it's not a matter of me looking to brush up on my Italian. What foreign language background I have is a couple years of HS Latin (not so surprisingly useless in 1997 Italy) followed by a couple years of HS German (alternately surprisingly embarrassing and fruitful in the Germany/Austria/Switzerland legs of the '97 trip). The Italy leg of my '97 trip was significantly aided by my daughter's semi-proficient Spanish (surprisingly helpful in Italy).
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner

    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  7. #7

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    17,123

    Default

    Off to the motherland Bruce ? Going in 2013 myself. Stay away from the tourist traps, get out into the countryside to experience the food and wine, culture, like no tour guide can offer. You may never want to come back once you experience the lifestyle and the food.

    My brother was in Capri a few years back. After a local with a boat took them into the grotto, they came out and wanted a recommendation for a place to eat. The local man gave them a few, but then noticed his wife up on a cliff waving a white cloth at him. That meant lunch was ready. The local man decided then and there that these americans would never get a better lunch than his wife could provide and invited my brother and his wife up to his own home for lunch. As my brother puts it, the homemade wine, food were simply out of this world.

    Many who go to Italy expect the food to be what they are used to at Olive Garden. I assure you nothing can be farther from authentic Italian food that most of what you have had here in the states from chain restraunts. We tend to smother things with sauce and cheese and call it Italian. Blasphemy I tell you. Go, have a great time Bruce, report back. Keep those pics of you in your speedo to yourself though.

    As far as Rosseta Stone goes....hell if I know.
    Last edited by tonyb; 12-12-2011 at 11:58 AM.

  8. #8
    Old School
    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Higher & Dryer, Texas
    Posts
    10,177

    Default

    Yessir... Imma do 2+ weeks... in your mudda-land. Sounds as if it will be your first trip... Si? I don't have a single experience that approaches your bro's, but I've a ton of memories.

    In '97 I did the north (Venice/ Milano/ Genoa & Gavi/ the cinque tarra - mostly Monterroso, Vernazza) with only a three-day stint as far south as Rome. Only did Rome due to the heavy rains in the Dolomites flooding the Verona area that year. Since I couldn't get my dose of Roman ruins there, I went for the big enchalata... best decision of the trip.

    The '97 trip was a total Rick Steves', "Though the Backdoor" thing... a lot of off the beaten path stuff... even in the big cities. Only once did I ever plan more than a day in advance the whole 2-1/2 weeks... and that was to be sure I had a sleeper berth on the nite train from Vienna to Venice.

    And, yes, the food was fantastic. Cuttlefish in Venice (with plenty of mercury I'm sure), osso bucco in Genoa, calimari, prawns and pesto in Vernazza (the birthplace of pesto), pizza margherita in Roma... but had to do the Rome McDonalds, the world's most opulent... and it serves beer to boot... And back then (when they were on the Lira) wine was cheaper than water... at least if the water was "con gasse". By the time I go in 2012, the Lira may be back.

    Rick Steves says, "If you like northern Italy, go south; it only gets better. But if you dislike the north, don't go south; it'll only get worse. Italy was the only leg of my trip where the trains ran late and whole towns would shutdown for a day (Gavi was closed on Mondays)... I loved it...

    So this time Week 1 will start in Rome. Will go south from there... Capri, Napoli, Pompeii, Brendisi. I would like to ferry it over to Greece, but may not have time.

    Week two will be based out of a Tuscan villa a bud of mine has rented. Here's a link...
    http://www.tuscany-villas.it/vacation_rentals/48448/
    Will day trip out of there... Parma, Verona, Pisa. And Rick will again be in the back pack.

    Not my pic below, but I took one just like this one of Vernazza from the Sentiero Azzuro. Would love to take in this view again. Below the very old tower out on the point is the restaurant where they served the prawns and pesto. That's Monterroso in the distance across the cove.

    Name:  Vernazza (800x600).jpg
Views: 87
Size:  153.0 KB
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner

    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  9. #9

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    17,123

    Default

    Sounds like you have it covered bro. Nice pic too. Mine will be more North, around Florence and Cinque Terre, wife has family there. Have to make it to Parma, Venice too. Rome is a strange city. Seeing chinese food there just seems out of place but the locals love it supposedly. Wife wants to hit up the Vatican too and aside from some ruins and old churches, that pretty much ends my interest in Rome.
    Don't rule out Sicily either on some future trip. A villa in Tuscany....sh$t man, your in heaven. Might as well sell all your stuff now because you won't be back. I know I'd have a hard time boarding that return flight. Have a great time when you go, kinda hard not to in that country.

  10. #10

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Back from Japan in Lake Wylie, SC.
    Posts
    7,872

    Default

    Used Rosetta and it has been awesome with teaching me Japanese. I've used it for months, add to that being surrounded by the culture and I would say I'm damn near an Asian Black guy. HAHA. It helps for sure. I would search torrents before blowing a ton of money on it though.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

    Home Theater Pics in the Showcase

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...p?userid=73580

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Similar Threads

  1. Learning a foreign language
    By Ron-P in forum The Clubhouse
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 06-19-2010, 11:30 AM
  2. Rosetta Stone
    By NJPOLKER in forum The Clubhouse
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-09-2009, 06:59 PM
  3. Funny in any language...
    By polrbehr in forum The Clubhouse
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-16-2006, 10:47 AM
  4. Singles Bar Language
    By F1nut in forum The Clubhouse
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-08-2003, 01:58 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts