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Rosetta Stone Spanish Review – It Works For Some, But…Make Sure To Check Out The Alternatives

Rosetta Stone Review Spanish

Rosetta Stone Spanish

Rating 3.2

Summary

Rosetta Stone is one of the most well-known resources for learning languages. It takes an immersive approach to teaching and there is no English explanation. High levels of repetition and an absence of translations or explanations are hallmarks of the Rosetta Stone Spanish program.


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

Lifetime access can be a great value if you like Rosetta Stone’s method and want to try out many different languages.

I Like
  • Excellent speaking software
  • Fun way to learn vocabulary
  • Themed units on practical topics
I Don’t Like
  • Immersive approach means no grammar explanations in English
  • Formal and slow dialogue
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.

Even if you’re a total newbie at learning languages, you’ve probably heard of Rosetta Stone’s promise to impart a second language by using your brain’s innate abilities. Rosetta Stone Spanish offers 80 hours of lessons and activities in immersive Spanish. In each lesson, you match words, sounds, and images together just like a child does when learning to speak.

Rosetta Stone has been on the scene for about 30 years, giving its promise considerable weight. In the early days the program operated through CDs, but today it exists as a subscription-based online and app-based Spanish program

With so many successful years on the market, Rosetta Stone Spanish seems like a solid program, but can it really make you a fluent Spanish speaker? In this review of the Spanish Rosetta Stone program, you’ll find out!

Pros and cons of Rosetta Stone Spanish

Pros of Spanish Rosetta Stone:

  • Excellent speaking software
  • Fun way to learn vocabulary
  • Themed units on practical topics

Cons of Spanish Rosetta Stone:

  • Immersive approach means no grammar explanations in English
  • Formal and slow dialogue

Things to Consider Before Subscribing to Rosetta Stone Spanish

Spanish is one of the easiest languages for many native English speakers to pick up because the languages share so much grammar and vocabulary. Despite this, Spanish does offer some challenges like its insane speed and its gendered nouns.

Most native English speakers talk at a rate of 150 words per minute, while Spanish speakers blow that speed out of the water at a 218-word-per-minute rate! In fact, Spanish speakers talk faster than almost anyone in the world except Japanese speakers, as you can learn in this article from Time magazine.

As an English speaker used to processing spoken words at a slower rate, you will likely struggle at first with listening comprehension in real-life Spanish conversations.

Another factor that makes Spanish challenging for native English speakers is the use of gendered nouns in Spanish. Why is book, el libro, masculine, while magazine, la revista, is feminine?

You can learn the grammar rules governing Spanish with a comprehensive, structured course that teaches you the bones of the language. 

But if you want to effectively overcome these two hurdles to learning Spanish, you should look for a language program focused on grammar and on listening comprehension to speed up your Spanish fluency.

Features and Benefits of Spanish Rosetta Stone

Before you make a choice about Rosetta Stone, consider its key features.

Topical Units

The Rosetta Stone Spanish program includes 20 units, with each unit featuring four lessons. Since every lesson takes roughly an hour to complete, the entire program offers about 80 hours of lessons and activities.

The unit topics include practical themes like “People and Animals” and “Numbers.” This structured approach can help you feel confident in many different areas of conversation.

The lessons and matching games in each unit do include a listening component. But the speakers use formal, slow dialogue (if you’ve ever used Babbel’s spanish app this is a similar approach). This will probably not prepare you for the speed of real Spanish conversation.

Direct Speaking Practice

One of the best features of Rosetta Stone Spanish is that it makes you practice speaking out loud a lot. Rosetta Stone uses a speaking software called TrueAccent to help you perfect your accent. Most lessons include activities where you need to correctly pronounce several new words or phrases.

Immersive Approach

Rosetta Stone does not offer lessons in English. Instead, it is structured like a very fancy flashcard system where you hear or read a word, and match it to the corresponding image, written, or spoken word.

This approach will expand your vocabulary, but it leaves a big gap in your overall knowledge of the language because you do not get to truly understand Spanish grammar.

Mid-Range Pricing

You can subscribe to the Rosetta Stone Spanish course for $11.99/month. Alternatively, you can choose to buy a one-time lifetime subscription granting access to all Rosetta Stone courses for $299.

Rosetta Stone Spanish also offers a three-day free trial. You can sign up here if you decide Rosetta Stone Spanish is right for you!

Alternatives to Rosetta Stone Spanish

You may want to consider other popular language learning programs before committing to Rosetta Stone Spanish.

StoryLearning Spanish Uncovered

StoryLearning teaches Spanish through a story. Each chapter of the story is followed by bite-sized lessons in English to help you understand the grammar and vocabulary.

  • Focus on culture and practical topics
  • $297 one-time cost for online course
  • No speaking software

If you find textbook-style learning boring, you may enjoy the narrative approach Storylearning takes. Check it out here!

Pimsleur Spanish App

The Pimsleur Spanish app offers a structured program including lessons in English, active listening challenges, and direct speaking practice to get you up to speed on Spanish. The program famously uses spaced repetition to help you master new words and phrases.

  • Immersive games and lessons in English
  • Listening comprehension and speaking practice 
  • $14.95/month subscription to the app

If you want to build a strong foundation in Spanish, you may want to consider the Pimsleur Spanish app.

SpanishPod101

For those of you who prefer audio learning, SpanishPod101 offers an engaging podcast-style language learning program. Wide-ranging topics include “Essential Spanish for Emergencies” and “Finding Your Roots: Mexico.”

  • Self-directed program allows you to choose the order of podcasts
  • No direct speaking practice
  • Cost ranges from $4/month to $24/month depending on the subscription level

You can give the free trial a try here if you like the sound of this program!

Conclusion

If you want to pick up enough Spanish for a vacation abroad, Rosetta Stone’s Spanish program will get you everything you need. But if you want to gain true fluency to live or work with Spanish-speaking people, you may want to look for a program that includes English lessons to explain grammar and give you a solid foundation in the language.

In this case, take a look at Pimsleur’s Spanish app. Pimsleur offers speaking practice, like Rosetta Stone, but it also includes English lessons to help you master grammar.

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