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Rosetta Stone Review Russian

Rosetta Stone Russian

Rating 3.2

Summary

Rosetta Stone Russian is one of the most well-known resources for learning Russian languages. It takes an immersive approach to teaching and is widely used by corporations and individuals alike. High levels of repetition and an absence of translations or explanations are hallmarks of the course. Rosetta Stone course could be most suitable for learners that don’t mind repetitive exercises and prefer to learn from pictures and context rather than translations and explanations. It’s probably not a good option for anyone wanting to significantly improve their speaking or writing skills, or those looking for an engaging course.


Quality 3.0

The platform is a bit clunky on desktop, but the material is accurate and presented clearly; lesson mechanics are fairly intuitive.

Thoroughness 3.0

Without much opportunity to build your own sentences, I don’t think you’ll reach a conversational level with any notable speed.

Value 3.5

Rosetta Stone’s Lifetime Subscription ($179) is quite attractive if you like the Rosetta Stone Method. Shorter subscriptions are quite reasonable, too.

I Like
  • Lessons progress naturally and logically.
  • Good vocabulary supplement.
  • The audio quality is very good.
I Don’t Like
  • It does not teach Russian grammar
  • It does not teach the Cyrillic alphabet
  • It’s practice can be repetitive and boring
Price

A three-month subscription to one language is $35.97, which works out to be $11.99/month.
A year-long subscription to one course is $95.88, which is $7.99/month. Both of these subscriptions are automatically recurring.
Lifetime access to all Rosetta Stone language courses is available for $199.

ALR Readers Exclusive Holiday Deal!! Get the Lifetime Subscription for 25 languages for $179 (everywhere else it’s $199 right now!). See details on the website.

Rosetta Stone remains a fixture in the language-learning world because of its promise to teach new languages the way a child learns to speak. The Rosetta Stone Russian course uses a fully immersive, no-English matching system to present 50 hours of lessons. The program also features its famous TruAccent software for pronunciation practice.

Older versions of the program had an expensive price tag and came in bulky formats like CDs. Today, you can easily subscribe to the app to access the full Rosetta Stone Russian course.

Despite its famous name and long history, check out this review of the modern version of the Rosetta Stone Russian course to find out how well it works.

Pros and cons of Rosetta Stone’s Russian course

Pros of Rosetta Stone Russian

Direct speaking practice software

Rosetta Stone’s direct speaking software gives users the opportunity to practice basic phrases.

Simple lesson format

Rosetta Stone was designed with absolute beginners in mind. Their courses follow a simple and logical progression that’s easy to follow.

Good vocabulary supplement

If you’re new to the Russian language then Rosetta Stone can be a good way to practice and learn new words and phrases.

Cons of Rosetta Stone Russian:

Rosetta Stone does not teach Russian grammar

Russian grammar is notoriously difficult for native English speakers. Because Rosetta Stone fails to provide any explanations or grammar lessons, your learning will be capped at a very basic level.

Rosetta Stone doesn’t teach the Cyrillic alphabet

Some Russian letters are similar to their English counterparts, but many are new letters and sounds altogether. Rosetta Stone doesn’t do a great a job of teaching the Russian alphabet, unfortunately.

Things to Consider Before Subscribing to Rosetta Stone Russian

Learning Russian offers some serious challenges for an English speaker because Russian is so different from English. Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, and some of the letters have sounds that don’t exist in English. 

Russian also has lots of grammar rules that work differently than grammar in English, like three different genders for nouns, and complex verb conjugations. 

For example, verbs that describe movement can change form for many reasons, including the direction of the movement, the type of transportation, or the tense of the verb. In English, you might use the word “go” to express the action of going for a walk, going on the train, or going to work. In Russian, you would use three different verbs in each sentence.

Another reason Russian is so different from English is that it uses the Cyrillic alphabet containing 33 letters. Mastering the sounds of each letter is a challenge because Russian uses some sounds that English does not. 

Because Russian is so different from English, the best language-learning program should offer lots of solid grammar instruction as well as pronunciation practice.

Features and Benefits of Rosetta Stone Russian

Take a look at the key features of the Rosetta Stone Russian course to see if it can provide the tools you need to learn Russian.

Audio-Visual Matching Structure

All Rosetta Stone language courses use the same structure designed to help you correlate words or ideas by matching. You hear or see a word or phrase, and then click on the appropriate image out of all the options on the screen.

The Russian course offers bite-sized lessons you can easily complete in less than half an hour a day using this simple, intuitive format. People who consider themselves visual learners may find a special affinity with the Rosetta Stone approach.

But the downside of the matching structure is that it lacks context. You don’t get to hear entire conversations in Russian or develop your listening comprehension.

TruAccent Software

Another big advantage of the Rosetta Stone app is that it includes a newly designed direct speaking software called TruAccent. This allows you to practice your pronunciation with a microphone and receive valuable feedback.

This is especially important for learning a language like Russian, which contains sounds you won’t know from speaking English.

Full Immersion

The Rosetta Stone Russian course does not use any English. Its full-immersion approach is intended to help you learn a language the way a child learns to speak his or her native tongue. 

The problem with this is that the program does not explain how to pronounce new sounds in Russian, or how to conjugate verbs. It simply shows or says Russian words, and expects you to match them to a picture on the screen. 

This method can work well to help you master lots of basic vocabulary in a language similar to English, but it does not work well for a language that has little in common with English. Because of the immersion methodology, you may find the Rosetta Stone Russian app more useful as an auxiliary tool to pick up extra Russian vocabulary than as your primary course.

Rosetta Stone Pricing

Rosetta Stone used to have a high price tag, but its new app-based model has a more affordable subscription of just $11.99/month.

You can also make a one-time payment of $179 to gain lifetime access to all 25 of the languages offered by Rosetta Stone.

You can check out the Rosetta Stone Russian app here. 

Alternatives to Rosetta Stone Russian

If you want a Russian program that offers a more comprehensive introduction to the language, you may want to consider these alternatives.

Pimsleur’s Russian App

Pimsleur’s Russian app uses a spaced repetition system and a set of core essential words to get you fluent in Russian.

  • $19.95/month subscription.
  • Uses audio lessons in English to teach grammar
  • Has speaking software for pronunciation practice

If you want a solid overview of Russian basics with an emphasis on speaking, you may want to check out the Pimsleur Russian app here.

RussianPod101

RussianPod101 can keep you entertained as you learn by listening to podcast-style lessons about all kinds of topics.

  • Cost ranges from free to $23/month depending on subscription level
  • Focus on context and culture
  • No speaking practice

If you like the idea of learning through podcast lessons, you can check out RussianPod101 here.

Rocket Languages Russian

Rocket Languages offers an app-based Russian course focused on practical conversation skills.

  • Access to the level-1 course costs $149.95
  • Flashcard memory system
  • Powerful speaking software for pronunciation practice

You can check out a free trial of Rocket’s Russian course here.

Conclusion

The Rosetta Stone Russian course offers great speaking practice and a fun way to learn lots of Russian vocabulary. However, the Rosetta Stone Russian course does not provide a solid foundation in the Russian language because it does not offer grammar lessons in English

If you want a more comprehensive alternative that covers both speaking and grammar, you may want to try the Pimsleur Russian app instead.

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