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Language Learning Software
March 17, 2011 at 4:31 pm #126023
Anyone got any tips/experience with any of the options out there?
March 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm #126039
Mostly wondering about Rosetta Stone. I’ve heard a lot about it of course, but never actually have used it. Seems a bit pricey up front…I recently came across a company called Mango that does language learning software as well. Any others that people have used?
March 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm #126037
The Army has Rosetta Stone available for use, and my wife and I tried it initially for her to learn English. It was all about food the first several modules. Not very helpful, unless it gets much better very quickly.
March 18, 2011 at 1:38 pm #126035
That’s interesting, Eric. It seems like everywhere I go, people (mostly in ads and from sales departments) say Rosetta Stone, “really works!!!” but I just haven’t ever witnessed any evidence to support that claim. Maybe it’s because I personally have never really had very beneficial experiences with language learning software in general, so I’m not sure how Rosetta Stone would be any different. My experience is similar to what you said, pretty basic to start, and then doesn’t really progress very organically after that point. I still think interactive classroom discussion and then complete immersion is really the only way to go if you truly want to learn a language. Agree/disagree? What do others think?
March 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm #126033
I’d like to know the answer to this too – our software program (Auctori) is in several languages and I want to learn Portuguese to help expand our market in South America. I looked at Rosetta Stone but realized the same thing that Eric did – not very helpful in the IT industry…
March 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm #126031
Ok, so I just found a couple of links that might be of some interest:
One’s a review of 5 different language learning software options from PC mag, and the other is a language software review site. PC Mag is pretty credible, not sure about the other site, but at least it’s something. Seems like it could be a good resource for those who are interested.
@Eric- so what approach did you end up taking to help your wife learn English?
@Elizabeth- are you looking to actually start learning Portuguese from scratch or just some IT vocab? I used to have Photoshop in Russian on my computer, and just using that software helped/forced me to learn all the IT vocab that went along with it. I found it extremely helpful, but only really because I had a pretty strong foundation in the language to begin with. I’ve got a number of friends who speak Brazilian Portuguese pretty fluently. I’ll see if I can get any advice out of them for you.
Anyone had more success with going the personal tutor/classroom route over software?
March 22, 2011 at 9:05 pm #126029
My wife is learning English by attending the local college, and has advanced from ESL to English to Reading to now taking US History and Western Civ (and writing papers). Similar to the way we learned German together, what works for us is/was:
1. Fill up notebooks with vocabulary translations, then read through them often.
2. Read / listen, note words to look up and do the above with.
3. Find something that interests you, and/or your field, and read that. (For me in German it was car and IT mags).
4. Listen to radio/TV in the language you want to learn.
Once you’ve built up some good vocab, you’ll eventually fill in the blanks and correct errors in tense, articles, etc.
May 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm #126027
Cassandra C. LewisParticipant
@ Eric- thanks for the great tips. My husband just purchased Rosetta Stone for Spanish and I plan to begin lessons Memorial Day weekend. I’ll keep you all updated on my progress and will give my review of the software.
February 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm #126025
Janina Rey Echols HarrisonParticipant
I used a software called Before You Know It, which I bought on closeout a long time ago. I speak some Spanish and was planning on using it to keep my skills up. Turns out there were a number of languages on it, so started working on the French. (My brother-in-law is from France and there was a possibility we might take a trip at some future date.) What I didn’t realize at the time was that it would also load onto my iPod and did when I tried to upload some music. So I started listening to it, then loaded it onto my computer at work and had it playing in the background while I worked.
I was in the airport one day and someone left a magazine, picked it up and started reading, then realized it was in French and I actually was getting enough to understand the articles. Yeah! We did go to France and I could communicate some, even though not fluent. Went down for coffee in morning and picked up the paper, my brother-in-law came down and was snickering thinking I was putting on aires. I told him to pick an article, then I read it and told him what it was about. He said he was impressed.
The only problem I had with the software is that it is proper French and Spanish and sometimes when I saw a word and tried to look it up, it was not available because the word was a slang or regional dialect. The nieces and nephews gave me new slang words to use and I shared Spanglish and Japanlish music with them that I had loaded on my iPod.
I want to learn Japanese, hoping to take a trip to Japan with my son and his wife (from Japan) & kids. Right now I only know instructions for children.
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