Many people these days are compelled to learn a new language for a number of reasons, chief of which is to become globally competitive in order to achieve scholastic, professional, or entrepreneurial advancement. As far as languages go, Chinese is among those that are important to acquire for those who are intent on broadening their worldview as well as their chances of prospering in the field of business.
Regardless of your motivations, you should know that learning Chinese can be extremely challenging, thus the need for an excellent language learning program. For every person looking to learn a new language, there is a perfect program designed to provide all the necessary information and hands-on training to achieve mastery and fluency.
RosettaStone Chinese is one of the popular language programs today, and it has been the subject of many discussions online especially among language enthusiasts. To find out whether this language software suits your needs, it would be wise to know all the facts listed and explained below.
What is the Rosetta Stone Chinese Program?
This training package is offered to people who wish to learn Chinese, specifically Mandarin. It consists of audio, text, and video materials that present and discuss the components of the Chinese language, as well as provide practical training for purposes of achieving fluency.
Complete Immersive Learning Techniques
While it has been a subject of a huge and continuing argument among linguistic experts, learning by immersion has been proven effective for many people. Those who choose to learn Chinese with Rosetta Stone can expect to encounter unorthodox techniques that allow them to know the language first hand.
All the transcripts and audio are in Mandarin, which means users will have to learn the language as children do. The author of Rosetta Chinese strongly believes that complete immersion is the most effective way to acquire a language, and become a fluent as well as native sounding speaker in the process.
What this learning technique hopes to accomplish is producing native sounding Mandarin speakers, who are not only fluent but confident as well. As many language experts would put it, this is as close as anyone can get to actually living in China and experiencing the culture behind the language.
While there are no translations available, Rosetta Stone Chinese provides a series of images that users can associate with the sounds they hear. While most language programs use actual phrases and sentences with corresponding English translations, Rosetta takes a more radical approach that is believed to be more effective.
The images shown are categorized according to certain themes and context, i.e. every day life, social interaction, and other practical instances. This way, users can recognize the situation and be able to convey thoughts in Chinese.
Various Levels Available
Consumers are given the choice with regard to the level of mastery and fluency they want to achieve. RosettaStone Chinese is offered at 5 different levels, with each one focusing on a certain aspect of the language.
Having options as to which levels you want to take on provides flexibility to customers who have various needs and motivations for learning the language. You can start with the most basic (level 1), and gradually advance as you become more comfortable with Mandarin and its unique constitution.
This is also beneficial to those who have limited financial resources, and are looking to take baby steps toward becoming fluent in Chinese.
Self Assessment Quizzes
Users of RosettaStone Chinese can objectively assess their progress by taking the quizzes included in the package. When learning any foreign language, it is very important to keep track of how well you are doing as far as understanding words and phrases, as well as formulating thoughts like a native speaker.
Minimal Progress for Novices
Since the immersive technique works best for young children, adults (16 and above) may find it difficult to follow, much less fully understand the lessons provided by the program. The complete lack of English translations makes it even more difficult for novices to grasp the language and be able to speak fluently.
A lot of Rosetta Chinese users are disappointed with the lack of tools included in the package; especially those that can help them verify fluency and mastery. Some language programs online offer voice recording tools that compare a person’s speech patterns (wave form) to that of the native speaking host.
Unimpressive and Less Interactive Vocabulary Training
Some of the better language programs online focus mainly on vocabulary comprehension before moving on to more complicated language skills. RosettaStone Chinese does not seem to provide comprehensive lessons that can help people learn commonly used Mandarin words and phrases.
This is a serious flaw that can severely hamper a person’s progress and quite possibly cause him/her to lose interest in learning the language altogether. Most people usually want to feel that they are advancing and learning important things, otherwise they will drop the training.
Not being able to verify one’s fluency level accurately via tools such as voice record comparison can result to a very slow progression, of which the net result is an ill-equipped speaker.
Very Expensive Compared to Other Chinese Language Software
All 5 levels of Rosetta Stone Chinese are sold separately, and the entire package totals $500. Compared to most other online language programs, Rosetta Chinese is about 200% more expensive, making it a less desirable commodity for budget conscious consumers.
A number of reviews from language experts as well as consumers clearly identify RosettaStone Mandarin as one of the most expensive programs that do not offer much value in return. Reviews also suggest that there are more effective programs that do not cost as much money.
Verdict and Recommendation
RosettaStone Chinese appears to be something that can be helpful only to those who have a background in Mandarin. If you can speak the language and looking to become more fluent, this is the best program to purchase. On the other hand, novices who have yet to be exposed to the language in any discernable level should steer clear of Rosetta and try to find another program that provides better tools and more competent instruction.
Beginners who have yet to be exposed to the language in any discernable level should steer clear of Rosetta and try to find another program that provides better tools and more competent instruction.