Is Rosetta Stone vs Fluenz a Better CBT Software to Learn a Language?

Fluenz opening screen allows you to have with or without English
Fluenz opening screen allows you to have with or without English
fluenza matching exercise
fluenza matching exercise
Rosetta's teaching platform
Rosetta's teaching platform
Four photos and text that is spoken. Find the correct one.
Four photos and text that is spoken. Find the correct one.
Photo and dialog that is spoken. You find the correct one.
Photo and dialog that is spoken. You find the correct one.
Listening with no reference
Listening with no reference
Listening in Rosetta with photo
Listening in Rosetta with photo
Fluenza
Fluenza
word structure in Rosetta. here, you put the mixed up sentence in order.
word structure in Rosetta. here, you put the mixed up sentence in order.
Listening and writing in Rosetta
Listening and writing in Rosetta
Using a microphone, repeat the phrase and match against the native speaker
Using a microphone, repeat the phrase and match against the native speaker

 Rosetta Stone is world renowned for its computer based training (CBT) software that can teach one a new language. Many others emulate this approach, and why not, it does work but it does time--as in many months. Sure, you can learn a short phrase, Como Estas? or Yo quiero un cafe, por favor within an hour, but learning to communicate with native speakers takes many months.

The newest CBT to take on Rosetta Stone is Fluenz, a very flashy, cool looking program that basically uses the similar approach but for some differences.

The prices for either are not cheap, both in the $300-500 range. That said, visit ioffer.com or ebay and I am sure you will find copies  for less than $150. The question is, are they worth it? Do either work? yes, yes, BUT, you need to be consistent and do it every day for several hours. Don't expect miracles because none will come. Like going to a real class requiring attendance, learning a language is not easy for adults. 

CBT software requires self determination and desire. Many prefer a classroom setting that allows student-teacher interaction and the classroom ambiance that we all use to. Most CBT software cannot replicate this well.

Fluenz is the newest CBT to offer languages, compared to Rosetta, it is like looking at a Ferrari compared to a Toyota. Flashy, cool, latest technology in software, tutored by a stunning instructor (reminds me of Sandra Bullock). Both Rosetta and Fluenz use the same method to teach with, a combination of oral, written, pronunication activities that promote a classroom like atmosphere. Of the two, Fluenz actually has two items that promote this better: the course led instructor at the start and end of a chapter in a nicely shot video that is used to review with and provide tips in grammar, and the ability to have English translate word by word the new language learned. Like Rosetta, you can also have total immersion with no English, if you wish. Fluenz does this in chunks of words and pronunciations that gradually become phrases or clauses that turn into sentences. You learn the spelling, pronunciation and writing it. They do not rely extensively on pictures. Fluenz seems to be targeting the most common phrases commonly used in key situations and tends to be conversational in nature. I found some exercises strikingly similar, such as writing a phrase or sentence that is spoken by the native speaker. Between the two, I would suspect one would learn less words with Fluenz because it targets the most common phrases etc.

Rosetta is a total immersion from the start. There is no English for you to fall back on. So, in essence, you are in that world and at first, you are guessing at what the speaker is saying with four photos being shown. It is repititous when you first start learning, but, the more you do it, they better you get. You can play the oral speech endlessly until your speech pattern is similar to the native. You can actually see the tonal aspects on a sound graph and try to mimic them. You can simply listen to the speaker and attempt to type in the native language and be evaluated for accuracy. One can also turn off the photos (which provide clues as to what is said) to see if you understand without a visual.

Rosetta covers the language for the level you have and levels 1 and 2 will take you to an intermediate level or near there. It is not just conversational of the most frequent things said but many other things and the same things are said in different ways. The big down side for the immersion is no English. As a user, you are guessing what picture matches the phrase, and there are enough times the photo is not clear enough yet you get it right. One does not get a precise translation of a word or phrase, so you tend to do this, which may not be truly accurate.

Both are good in their own ways. Both require many, many times going through them because repitition does teach. Rosetta tends to take you deeper even with levels 1 and 2.

 

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Comments 24 comments

cifgo 6 years ago

We all learn our childhood language by associating new words and phrases with the world around us. The Rosetta Stone method replicates this process by presenting vivid, real-life images to convey the meaning of each new phrase. Instead of translating, memorizing, and studying rules of grammar, you actually learn to think in the new language. Vocabulary and grammar are integrated systematically, leading to everyday proficiency. So I think The Rosetta Stone Software is different.

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cheap rosetta stone 6 years ago

how to learn various countries of language ? you can get the cheap rosetta stone.everyone can get the language which country of language want to learn ? Come on ! so value the software to learn all kinds of language ,pls from these cheap rosetta stone start ,LOL


Ross 5 years ago

Good review. You touch on some key points which i've found frustrating when using Rosetta, especially "As a user, you are guessing what picture matches the phrase, and there are enough times the photo is not clear enough yet you get it right. One does not get a precise translation of a word or phrase, so you tend to do this, which may not be truly accurate."


bharat thapa 5 years ago

i am using rosetta stone and i have bought fluenz also. right now i am practising on rosetta stone, i will practice for 3-4months and then i will decide.


perrya profile image

perrya 5 years ago Author

Yes, I use both for Spanish, they work but only if you devote a lot of time to them.


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

I have been using Rosetta Stone.I will try Fluenz for a better and wider knowledge.Thanks for sharing this ideal.I loved it.Vote up,interesting and useful.


JJ 5 years ago

experience tells me that only repetition makes you learn french. Learning it with all the grammar exceptions is difficult. The french speaker of Rossetta are more versatile and give you different vocal sounds.


vendeda 5 years ago

First off, the teacher for french, Chinese and Spanish, Sonya Gil, with Fluenz is smokin hott, so it can at first be distracting. but putting the goddess aside, i have tried both rosetta stone and Fluenz, and i seem to enjoy the style Fluenz goes about it, they will break down every words meaning and how it fits in a sentence and add additional comments to certain words or phrases, the subtitles and commentary in English definitely make it so much easier to understand the translation rather than guessing and hoping you are correct. Two thumbs up for Fluenz!!


perrya profile image

perrya 5 years ago Author

Yes, she is DISTRACTING, but, that is a reason to watch and hopefully, learn.


Bharat Thapa 5 years ago

I don't know if RS works or not. I am using it and found to some extent it's good. Right now i am on level2 of spanish(Latin america)

So far what i felt is that maybe it's good for remembering vocabulary and enhancing your listening and pronunciation only.

Don't wanna say further more because they claim if you finish all 5levels of it then you become conversational in your desired language. No sé pero estoy practicando cada día porque me gustaría hablar en español.

But it doesn't explain anything about spanish "Article/prepostions/verbs"

There is no translation you have to make it out yourself.

Fine! we can use our brains but becoming fluent i think it's almost impossible(i am just saying it i'd repeat myself once again that i might change my opinion after completing level5--who knows if it's true jajajajaja)

But so far so good doesn't seem that awesome.

I have plans to start pimsleur after finishing all the levels of it and then lslc1-2.

Last choice would be Assimil or Platiquemos(heard a lot about it. =) )

I can already speak four different language fluently.

Hindi,English,Nepalese,urdu(i can write in urdu as well.)


perrya profile image

perrya 5 years ago Author

Yes, all computer courses have their limits. The hardest is speaking with a native and being able to understand instantly and be able to respond.


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

Almost 25hours(25days) left to end RS level2.

Now i see it does teaches you grammer as well but without explanations.

I am still using it and like i said before i'd be finishing all the levels =)

Yes, it's true i don't expect any miracle from Rosetta stone and atleast not for myself because where i live they don't know a word of spanish but nevertheless my practice will continue my understanding of spanish is increasing day by day, and i being a person who is self teaching myself, i know it's gonna take lot of time but i wouldn't mind consuming all the softwares, tapes and course books available in the market.

=D


perrya profile image

perrya 5 years ago Author

I agree.


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

Lol back again, now things have drastically changed for me in Rosetta stone and it's hard to make out what the pictures are trying to convey...

I am doing fine but i have lot of doubts that if whatever i am assuming is correct or not.

Hmmmmmmmm a difficult software.


perrya profile image

perrya 5 years ago Author

I agree to a degree. Especially with longer phrases.


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

Yeah but since i have already sworn that i will be finishing it, so i will not back off from here. Rather i will supplement myself with other resources as well because after investing so much time, if i don't come up with results than that might demoralize me and my interest too =D

Who knows if it really does wonders. =P


Doc F 5 years ago

I tried using Rosetta Stone for Korean. I have native Korean speaking friends and tried to use what I had learned on them. If you aren't using their exact phrases, RS is useless. Korean has a lot of grammatical intricacies, like marker words for a subject or object, action or whether a sentence is a question or declarative. None of this is ever dealt with in RS. You are left to figure it out on your own. If you don't already know about these things, it's easy to mistake these sounds as a natural part of the words. Then you sound like an idiot. They also don't deal with verbs well. Walking, walks, walk, walked. Good luck figuring out how to change them to meet the needs of what you are saying in RS. They never deal with it. They never give you any kind of vocab list translation so you can at least look them up in a Korean to English dictionary either. Plus, the pictures don't always match up, and you can guess incorrectly. I gave up on Korean and figured I would try French instead. This led to the same problems, except in a language that was easier to read.

I was so frustrated with Rosetta Stone, I tried to give it away. My local community college refused to take it, as did the high school. My wife got me Fluenz French. It was easier right from the start, and I was getting the hang of it within a few weeks. So much so that I got complimented on my French while in Paris last year. I had only been using the program for 2 months. The instructor is easy on the eyes, very clear in her pronunciation, and the lessons were laid out in ways that mimmiced an actual language class, complete with grammar and sentence structure. Plus, plenty of useful vocab. I supplimented my lessons with vocab lists I found on the internet (although I didn't need to, eventually we got to 99% of what I wanted to learn) and I learned to use it correctly.

Plus, and I have to be honest, I think the Fluenz software voice recognition system is much better. I like the interface much better, and think it was better at picking up and if you set it to do so, nitpicking, the way I spoke French.

I can't say it enough, Fluenz is the way I'd go if I had a choice in the programs. Certain languages (Korean) aren't available yet, but I hope they add them. It's a much better system. Less guesswork, more learning.


perrya profile image

perrya 5 years ago Author

Can't argue with it, both do help, IMO.


KBEvolve profile image

KBEvolve 5 years ago from United States

I've never Fluenz before. I may look into it since I feel like I hit a little wall with Rosetta Stone for Portuguese.


jess 5 years ago

Ugh to rosetta stone. I had the spanish and their word choices were ridiculous. Horse, jumping, boat...etc. And even after you guess the answer (which is the only way to figure it out) it's extremely hard to figure out which they are applying it to in subsequent pictures. I have it in Mandarin as well. oh forget it! I found Fluenz much more useful BUT it is outrageously expensive (because RS was easy to get on craigslist, lol).

Pimsleur (only audio) was far better than both imo)


jess 5 years ago

oh yeah, and go to livemocha.com, they have the same type of lessons as rosetta stone, but it's free and imo, more useful.


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

Right now, i am on the 3rd level of it and i can loudly and proudly( :P ) say that RS helps.

I am not sure whether it'd make you fluent or not but you'll end-up somewhere to A-1 to B1 higher level if you use it regularly and finish it.(Level1-level3)

Hope that helps.

I had my first voice to voice conversation in spanish yesterday though it was very basic but i did handle the conversation.


Skarlet profile image

Skarlet 3 years ago from California

I think Fluenz is better than Rosetta Stone. But none of these can compare with the Pimsleur method. The Pimsleur method teaches in the same way that we learned our native language and can easily have you speaking in the new language very well in the shortest amount of time possible. I used it to go from knowing a few phrases and words in Spanish to becoming fluent. I also used it to become conversational in Italian and French.

Recently, since I have not used German since childhood, I used an intermediate Pimsleur German to become fluent in German too.


perrya profile image

perrya 3 years ago Author

Thanks for the info.

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