Rosetta Stone Arabic Level 1-3 Set
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- Learn to read, write, and speak in Arabic with Rosetta Stone.
- Build upon a foundation of key Arabic vocabulary, words, and phrases.
- Rosetta Stone moves forward when you are ready. You drive the pace. You set the schedule.
- Practice live online with a native Arabic speaking tutor, and have access to the Rosetta Stone online learning community.
- Take the Rosetta Stone experience with you while on-the-go, free 3 month trial included. Build your Arabic language skills from your tablet and mobile devices.
- From the simple to the complex, gain the confidence to share your ideas and opinions in Arabic. Develop the Arabic language skills to enjoy social interactions such as travel and shopping and learn to share your ideas and opinions. Learn Arabic today with Rosetta Stone.
- Platform: Windows 7 / XP / 8, Mac OS X
- Media: CD-ROM
- Item Quantity: 1
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Amazon.ca Product Description
Connect with the world. Learn language fundamentals from greetings and introductions to simple questions and answers. Give and get directions, tell time, and dine out. Share your opinions, and talk about everyday life: your interests, your work, current events, and more.
From the Manufacturer
On Windows: 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor or Intel Atom 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbooks
On Mac: Intel Core Duo 1.33GHz or faster processor
1 GB of RAM or higher
3 GB free hard-drive space (per level)
1024 x 768 display resolution
Broadband Internet connection
Available port for headset with microphone (not included)
From the Manufacturer
Discover the new Rosetta Stone Level 1-3 Set experience
Millions of people around the world have already learned a new language with our award-winning approach. It's no coincidence that Rosetta Stone is the fastest way to learn a language. Our method is effective because it's more than the newest app—it's the result of decades of research into the way people learn best.
With the Rosetta Stone Level 1-3 set you will communicate and connect around the world. Build a foundation of fundamental vocabulary and essential language structure. Develop the language skills to enjoy social interactions such as travel and shopping and learn to share ideas and opinions in your new language.
Rosetta Stone Levels 1-3 Set
Live Conversation Sessions
What will you learn?
Level 1: 0-50 Hours
Gain confidence by mastering basic conversational skills. This includes greetings, introductions, simple Q&A's, and much more.
Level 2: 51-100 Hours
Learn to navigate your environment and handle basic interactions. This includes giving (and getting) directions, using transportation, telling time, eating out, and more.
Level 3: 101 - 150 Hours
Learn to share ideas and opinions, express feelings, and talk everyday life. This includes your interests, profession, current events, and more.
You’ll learn through immersion—which means you’ll only hear and speak your new language. Without offering your native language for translation, our interactive immersion encourages you to learn more actively than other methods, which means you’ll be more successful.
Our advanced system presents material at the right intervals to optimize your individual learning. The curriculum is sequenced to introduce new skills in a way that stimulates your brain’s natural language learning ability.
Advanced speech recognition technology analyzes every syllable, whenever you speak.
Does the Rosetta Stone solution work?
- Millions of learners around the world have discovered a language with the Rosetta Stone solution—from individuals to corporate clients such as NASA, the US State Department, and more than 10,000 schools.
Rosetta Stone Advanced Features
Rosetta Studio introduces you to real conversation in online sessions with language coaches who are native speakers. Supercharge your learning and experience everything communicating live has to offer.
Rosetta World is a lively online community where ramping up your language skills looks a lot like playing games. Reinforce what you've learned by having a live online chat, or facing off against new friends around the world. Chances are, you'll be having so much fun, you won't realize how much you're improving.
Rosetta Stone on the Go!
Learn and practice on the go-or sync and track your progress across multiple devices. Our available mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android tablets and smartphones make it easy.
Ready To Dive In?
If you want to learn to swim, you need to get in the water.
It's the same with learning to speak another language. Without your native language for help, you'll learn actively—which makes you more successful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Let me just begin by saying that George's very negative review makes some valid observations. I think a little explanation of the Arabic language is in order. The Arabic spoken in the street, unlike in English, is very different than the Arabic spoken in formal situations like religious sermons or on television by news reporters. Formal Arabic, known as "fusaha", and also commonly called Modern Standard Arabic, is similar to the classical Arabic used in the Quran and is very different than the type of Arabic used by everyday people in comon situations. Morever, the street dialects of Arabic vary from region to region and are mutually unintelligible. A Lebanese and a Yemeni will not be able to talk together unless they use the formal Arabic, and neither will a Moroccan and a Syrian. But if both are educated, they can use Modern Standard Arabic to communicate.
The questions are really two-fold: One, for what purpose are you learning the language and two, what are the resources at your disposal? If I knew I wanted to learn a specific dialect, say, the type used in Beirut, and that dialect only, perhaps for family reasons, and I had the money to move there and take classes in that dialect, I would absolutely go there and do so. But it is unfair to denigrate Rosetta Stone for not offering such specific courses. Rosetta Stone will never be able to teach all the different dialects in the Arab world. There just simply isn't the demand to make it worthwhile for them. If your purpose is that specific, George is absolutely correct: Save the money you would have spent on Rosetta Stone and just fly there and take classes.
I am studying Arabic to speak to people from different regions, to watch the news, and to read books. For that pupose, the Arabic taught by Rosetta Stone is perfect. And the method they use is incredibly effective. I am learning lots of Arabic every day. And I simply do not have the time, money, or even the interest to spend the next two years overseas learning to speak Arabic like a local. True, I will never fool the next guy over at the cafe in Cairo into asking where in Egypt I grew up. But that isn't my goal.
And believe me, you could do a lot worse. I first tried learning Arabic on my own. Impossible. The grammar is so complex you will absolutely never figure it out on your own. Books can't explain it. And then I invested in an extremely expensive online course taught by an "expert" which cost approximately double Rosetta Stone. Worthless. It was so complex it made Arabic sound like nuclear physics. And the instructor teaches using Arabic words and terms much of the time, so unless you know already lots of complex Arabic grammatical terms, forget it. I will not dignify that program by mentioning the name here so as to deprive it of undeserved publicity.
I swear on my sacred honor I am not affiliated with Rosetta Stone. I don't have any investment in their company, I don't work for them, I just bought their product and am using it. My only purpose in writing this review is to guide other people interested in learning Arabic to a really effective and fun product and away from other paths that are much less useful.
-The type of Arabic this teaches you is called Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) or Fusha. This is the "higher register" of Arabic which is used in formal settings by the educated class: the news, academics, some clerics, most literature. Generally, Arabic speakers use a local dialect of Arabic, which is very, very different from this version of the language. For instance: imagine reading a work of Medieval "Middle" English. The language would be mostly quasi-familiar English words, but most of the usage, pronunciation, and grammar would seem tricky, overly complex, or old-fashioned. You would be able to understand some of it, but would miss a bit, too. "The sky is blue" would be like "de heofon ist hewn bleu." MSA is like that to 90% of Arabic speakers: not totally gibberish, but not approachable either. Don't misunderstand me though, all Arabic learners should learn MSA, but know that you won't be speaking it much.
-The reverse is also a problem. You can speak all the MSA you want (from Rosetta Stone or elsewhere) but almost no one will speak it back to you, and some people will literally laugh in your face for speaking that way. None of the living dialects of Arabic are that close to MSA, so even if you memorized every word of Rosetta Stone Arabic, you would not be able to understand almost anyone who didn't go to university.
-To make matters even weirder, Rosetta Stone Arabic included the highly complicated case endings (called Iraab) on all the words. That is to say, there are certain changes to the last vowels of most words in the most formal of formal Arabic literature, like the Qur'an, the Bible, and poetry. These case endings mark what part of speech is being used, so for example "kitaab" is "book," "kitaabun" is "book" if it is the subject of the sentence, "kitaabi" is "book" if it is direct object, "kitaaba" is "book" if it is in a prepositional phrase, etc. It is very complex and NO ONE EVER, EVER SPEAKS THAT WAY, even in MSA. Iraab use is technically correct, but even native speakers get confused by it (and rightly so). Not only does it not reflect any normal Arabic speech, because Rosetta Stone does not explain any grammar directly, I seriously doubt anyone would be able to sort out the meanings of the case endings just from context. This one was a major blunder that is mind-boggling for such an expensive product.
-More on the grammar bit: it is great that Rosetta Stone wants to avoid speaking English, but Arabic grammar is not intuitive for English speakers. Therefore, unless you already have a fair bit of Arabic grammar, you will be completely confused. For example, in Arabic there is a system of root letters that make up most words. The pattern of these roots changes depending on meaning, so if a book is "green" it is "akhdar," but if a car is "green" it is "khadr'." Unless you already know that Arabic has a masculine/feminine gender system, and a root for greeness based on the letters kh-d-r, you would not be able to deduce what was happening (I really, really doubt it anyway.) Arabic has lots of grammar that throws English speakers for a loop and needs to be explained directly and in detail: there are tons of ways to pluralize, a "dual" case between singular and plural, a very different sentence structure, and on and on.
-There is no cultural context provided, which is really strange. Why would I need to know the word for "sandwich" in the formal register of Arabic? Why does it teach how to say someone is "Russian" or "Japanese" and not how to say they are "Jordanian," "Saudi Arabian," or "Moroccan"?
I could only imagine two reasons someone would find Rosetta Stone Arabic useful:
1. If they already spoke some Arabic and wanted a refresher course in the more formal parts of the language, which I guess could happen.
2. They wanted to focus specifically on Arabic literature of some sort and already had some familiarity with Arabic grammar and syntax.
Do not buy this product if:
1. You want to learn Arabic from scratch on your own. You will learn nothing at all, I swear.
2. You are traveling to the Arab world and want some basic speaking skills.
3. You want to learn about Arab culture or the language's use and history.
I didn't intend to rant but this is a very expensive product and it really is not worth the cd its copied on. If you want to learn MSA or one of the many dialects (or better yet, both), get a dictionary, a class, and a plane ticket.
I've studied Arabic for 3 years. I started my Arabic studies with a brief stint using Rosetta Stone, and I'm afraid that the glowing reviews on Amazon are clearly written by people who haven't spent any time in an Arabic-speaking country. The Arabic taught in Rosetta Stone is Al-FusHa, which roughly means "Elegant Arabic". That may sound like a pleasant way to start your studies, but if you wish to actually speak with Arabs, I strongly recommend that you refrain from investing in this product. Let's say you manage to finish the full three-level course. If you were to try and engage someone in conversation on the streets of Cairo or Dubai, you would sound something like this:
O Sir! Hast thou the hour?
(Translation: What time is it?)
Here's the kicker: they will barely, if at all, understand you. If they do understand, they giggle hysterically.
Here's the double kicker: You won't understand anyone. At all.
The problem is that learning a language requires active use of acquired knowledge by speaking, and the Arabic taught in Rosetta Stone is not spoken ANYWHERE in the Arab world except in prepared news reports by Al-Jazeera. It is a contrived spoken form that is based on the writing system. Rosetta Stone incorporates all the "case endings" which essentially are vowels at the end of each word that denote whether it is the subject, indirect object, direct object, adverb, etc. Case endings are archaic and very rarely spoken. You will spend months un-learning the case endings. Even the vocabulary is outdated. If you want to read the Qur'an, then by all means go for it. However, if communicating with Arabs, rather than translating old texts, is your goal, you should go down the other routes available:
1.) When starting from scratch, you can't do better than the book w/ DVD's Alif-Baa, which teaches the alphabet, basic vocabulary, and verbs.
2.) Pimsleur has good audio courses for Egyptian and Eastern Arabic. Michel Thomas Method Arabic is absolutely excellent but focuses exclusively on Egyptian Arabic (which is the most widely understood dialect), and doesn't teach the writing system.
3.) Google "GLOSS" by the Defense Language Institute. It's totally free and has more Arabic material by dialect than any resource I've found yet. However, it assumes that the learner is at a lower-intermediate level of study.
4.) Sign up for a free account at [...] (by Rosetta Stone) or [...], where you can find Arabs who will be happy to help you if you just help them with their English a little (75% of the users will speak English almost fluently). Plus, they can help answer some of the pesky questions you will come across. Talking via skype is one of the best ways to learn the language without a visa, and it's free.
5.) Al-kitaab fii ta'allum al-'Arabiyya is the best series for learning enough Arabic so that you can effectively communicate with most Arab people. They focus on Formal Spoken Arabic and they have plenty of good information on how the spoken dialects (especially Egyptians) differ from what they're teaching you. It's a classroom textbook, so you MUST buy the Answer Key that is also available on Amazon. Otherwise, you won't know if you're right or wrong about anything.
6.) Buy the Hans Wehr Arabic-English dictionary. There is no getting around this.
7.) Check out the free podcasts on iTunes for Arabic Students. They're pretty good, especially for learning how to phrase thing more naturally and understanding flow-of-speech discourse.
And finally, the best advice ANYONE can give you about learning Arabic... drum-roll, please...
8.) If you are intent on learning Arabic, the best approach is some combination of the above recommendations that suits your specific goals. Arabic has a vast vocabulary and has some grammatical conventions according to region, so think about how you want to use it. Any combination of the resources listed above will get you further along than RS Arabic at about half the cost or less. In my experience, the reward of learning a new language is the ability to communicate with new people, which no amount of RS Arabic will enable you to do.
Lastly, don't shell out about a thousand dollars based on the review of a 19 year old kid who is getting a minor in Arabic. He's going to realize sooner or later that when it comes to communication, the Arabic taught in Rosetta Stone is to Spoken Arabic as a Shakespearean Comedy is to 30 Rock: One is something that is taught in classrooms as funny, whereas the other is something that actually is.
I would say that each of the levels takes about 40-50 hours to complete. You should then expect to review these levels periodically, using the review feature, every few weeks for a few hours. To be really effective, I think you should be ready to spend at least 5-6 hours, preferably 7+ per week. If life intervenes, at least use the review feature to keep your mind on what you learned. Stick with it and you will be rewarded. I suggest getting all three levels. If you enjoy it, you will want all levels. If you don't, Rosetta Stone has a no questions asked return policy in the first six months.
For soldiers preparing for overseas duty, know that you are more likely to encounter Pashto and Urdu in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Arabic is spoken in Iraq and essentially all Muslim countries west of there except Turkey. This course is useful none-the-less as it is he core language of this culture. You will, for example, be able to understand Arabic news and web sites.
First, neither the course nor the Rosetta Stone company explain that there are many versions of Arabic; in fact, each Arabic-speaking country has its own. For example, Iraqi Arabic is my wife's first language, but she can understand very little of the Arabic spoken in Morocco. In addition to the colloquial versions, there is classical Arabic (the language of the Quran), and a somewhat simplified version of classical Arabic called Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). This last version is what the Rosetta Stone course attempts to teach.
The problem is, almost no one actually speaks MSA. When I met my wife, my attempts to use the little bit of Arabic I had learned from Rosetta Stone elicited laughter but no conversation. In MSA, most words have unnecessary endings that no one uses in speaking. For example, Rosetta Stone teaches the Arabic word for "girl" as something like 'bintoon', and the Arabic word for "boy" like 'waladoon'. Real Arabs simply say 'bint' and 'walad'. To make matters worse, I found that I was getting pronunciation wrong in many cases, because all I had to go on was what I heard from the software. For example, the Arabic word for "this" sounded something like 'hava' to me, but I later found out that the sound of the English letter 'v' doesn't exist in Arabic, and it was really pronounced more like 'hatha'.
I would guess that Rosetta Stone courses for European languages like Spanish, German, or Italian would work better. The sounds are more familiar and the same alphabet is used as in English. Arabic uses a completely different alphabet, and of the 29 letters in Arabic, 9 of them represent sounds with no English equivalent at all. In my opinion, the Rosetta Stone method just can't work very well for learning Arabic, which is a much different proposition for native English speakers.
In fact, I've learned far more Arabic from a $6 paperback book I bought from Amazon, "The Arabic Alphabet - How to Read & Write It" by Nicolas Awde and Putros Samano. The authors of this book believe that, "Genuine mastery of the alphabet ought to be a prerequisite to learning Arabic...", and after heading down that road for a while I tend to agree. Having a native Arabic speaker to help is also an absolute necessity, in my opinion. I'm by no means fluent yet, but I'm making significant progress, at least. The Rosetta Stone course did teach me a little vocabulary that helped me get started; sometimes my wife says something to me that I recognize from the course, even if the form is a bit different.
The bottom line, in my opinion, is that Rosetta Stone is not the way to learn Arabic.
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