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Rosetta Stone Japanese Level 1-3 Set

Platform : Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Windows 8, Windows XP

List Price: CDN$ 399.00
Price: CDN$ 239.40 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • Interactive language software with proprietary speech-recognition technology
  • Develop language skills to enjoy social interactions; share ideas and opinions
  • Build vocabulary; spell and write accurately; speak without a script
  • Audio Companion for CD or MP3 player; learning application for iPhone or iPod Touch device
  • Language-enhancing games; live online lessons; includes headset with microphone
2 new from CDN$ 239.40
Please note: To access online services, user must be age 13 or older.

System Requirements

  • Platform:   Windows 7 / 8 / XP, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
  • Media: CD-ROM
  • Item Quantity: 1

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Customers buy this item with Rosetta Stone Chinese (Mandarin) Level 1-5 Set CDN$ 299.40

Rosetta Stone Japanese Level 1-3 Set + Rosetta Stone Chinese (Mandarin) Level 1-5 Set
Price For Both: CDN$ 538.80

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  • This item: Rosetta Stone Japanese Level 1-3 Set

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Product Details

  • ASIN: 1617160482
  • Release Date: Sept. 14 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #244 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)

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Customer Reviews

2.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Oliver TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 18 2011
Someone clearly put a lot of time into creating the Rosetta Stone program. The production values are pretty good. But, the purpose of the program is to learn Japanese, and the amount of Japanese you can learn from all three programs is very limited. Better to spend the money on covering more material, and skip the bells and whistles.

In my estimation, all three programs are insufficient to equal even one full year of college Japanese. I'm not saying that the program is bad, just that it is limited in the amount of material covered. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but given the shockingly high price, I think I had a right to have those kinds of expectations. I would have returned it if I could, but I foolishly bought it on sale when it cannot be returned.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Casey Lewis on Aug. 9 2012
While I agree this is a sleek, well designed piece of software, it totally lacks substance. I don't understand the logic behind creating a program which has been designed to teach a language, but neglects to even briefly go over the basics of sentence structure before jumping into the coursework. I can see that they are approaching the concept of learning a language in the same way that a child learns: through trial and error. However, applying this method to adults does not work, it is simply too time-consuming and frustrating for most people. Would you try to teach someone chemistry by giving them a box of chemicals and telling them to mix them together until they can fill in a blank periodic table?

The other problem with Rosetta Stone is that it does not explicitly tell you anywhere (as far as I've seen) what the translation of the sentence is, leaving you to spend more time guessing at the answer than actually learning anything. This is not so bad for a language like Spanish, where there are a lot of similarities with English, but when trying to learn something like Japanese, it's a daunting nightmare.

I've tried Rosetta Stone Spanish as a supplement for expanding my vocabulary (after getting to an intermediate level from university) and found it excruciatingly dull and learned nothing after a week of using it. It's not quite a week yet for Japanese (starting at absolute zero knowledge), but it's crept to the edge of my desk -- one more nudge and it's the recycle bin!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ron BROTHERS on May 8 2013
Verified Purchase
This product may have plenty of bells and whistles, but what it does not have are clear cut instructions as to what you are to do. A screen comes up with pretty pictures but nothing to explain what is expected from the user, are you to just look at the pretty pictures are you to repeat the strange noises made by the speaker, or are you to mouse click on the picture that represents what was said in a foreign language you do not as yet understand. It takes longer finding out what they want your response to be than the entire lesson. In my opinion it is a total waste of money.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Gray on May 9 2014
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I am impressed with the next day delivery service. This is a gift for our daughter and we made the last minute decision to order this version of Rosetta Stone. Being a Prime member, it was only $4 for next day delivery.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 87 reviews
179 of 185 people found the following review helpful
To Truly Get a Feel For Spoken Japanese - Worth It! March 12 2011
By BumbleB Media - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Before I start my review I want to give you a little background. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese Language and Literature from the University of Washington. I've taught English to Japanese students in Japan from grade 6 through 12, then college age students from Nagasaki University. I've also taught American English speakers Beginning Japanese classes at the local community college for two semesters, with students ranging in age from about 18 to age 60.

I'm reviewing Rosetta Stone Japanese based on my experience as a Japanese language learner, a Japanese language teacher and an English language teacher for Japanese people.

There are three parts to learning with Rosetta Stone included with the cost of this set:

Rosetta Course - Select images and text on the screen by speaking, clicking or typing the answer.
Rosetta Studio (online for 9 months) - Converse and interact online with a native Japanese speaker using the same vocabulary and lessons in Rosetta Stone.
Rosetta World (online for 9 months) - Interact with other Japanese language learners through conversation and games, or do the language games and activities alone.

To me, the greatest aspect to Rosetta Stone is that you get a well-rounded experience of listening, speaking, interacting with other students, plus interaction with a native speaker -- as opposed to some language courses where you only listen to an audio and try to repeat what's said, like with Pimsleur. The screens of vocabulary and dialogue do seem like flash cards, but it's more complex than just flash cards. HEARING is so important to establish new pathways in your brain for a totally different language like Japanese. Flash Cards are writing based -- not the same.

** I think it's important to note that Japanese is a not like learning a European language (I've also studied Portuguese and Spanish) where you can have a basic grasp or understanding of sentence structure and the grammar, then by just exchanging vocabulary words you can still get the gist of what's being said. Listening to conversation and learning *patterns* for speaking, pronunciation and intonation is very important to communicate in Japanese.**

For those of you who feel learning the Japanese writing system is very important, IMO it's helpful to a point. However, when it comes to communicating with native speakers, learning thousands of characters does not help unless your goal is to be a translator -- the only time I used those hundreds of hours of study and memorization (I will say learning hiragana and katakana is a help).

In fact, when I went to Japan I had three years of Japanese language learning -- mostly grammar, memorizing characters and translating -- and it took me six months to get up to speed in order to hold a real conversation, say, in a teacher meeting, with my colleagues. I wish I had something like Rosetta Stone back then!

That said, for those who want it, Rosetta Stone does have some writing lessons included. You can't write on the screen, so basically it's still a multiple choice setup. Rosetta Stone does give you the option to read along with the lessons and you can read using the alphabet, using what is called Hiragana. You may also use Kanji characters or you may use Kanji characters with some pronunciation help from what's called Furigana.

Grammar-wise, there is no guide or explanation of even basic grammar. This program is designed to mimic learning a language much like a child does, by listening and learning patterns. There are lessons in RS that focus on what are called "particles" in Japanese grammar, such as wa, de and ni. If you are a true beginner in Japanese, a basic book on grammar may help you get a feel for it. Many Japanese learners highly recommend the free "Genki" lessons online.

Finally, IMO, Rosetta Stone Japanese _is_ a good value. The hours of lessons (that you can repeat anytime), additional practice with other students, with the opportunity for live tutoring sessions is well worth the cost (this used to be over $1,200 through Rosetta Stone - it's less than half that now).

Compare that to offline with a course at a local community college. For a 3-credit course per semester you're looking at about $200-$300 per course. You're probably going to spend about $500+ and learn basic grammar, rudimentary writing, and probably a small amount of speaking and hearing. From my experience, that's certainly not enough to communicate beyond introductions and a few helpful phrases, if you decide to go to Japan.

Rosetta Stone seems ideal for a student who has some basic Japanese grammar (on your own is fine) and who is planning to go over to Japan, say, for work or to study as an exchange student. If my child were heading to Japan as an exchange student, I certainly would consider having them study the Rosetta Stone Japanese course prior to going to give them a basic feel for the language, proper pronunciation, listening practice and the chance to speak with a native speaker.
229 of 247 people found the following review helpful
In Defense of Rosetta Stone Japanese Feb. 22 2011
By C.J. Hustwick - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I have learned a lot of useful and coherent Japanese from this program. The Rosetta Stone method works well when it comes to learning the foundations of the language and engaging in intermediate level conversations. I also think that the Japanese version is one of their better offerings.

The most important thing is that Rosetta Stone is geared toward audial learning and feedback for your own pronunciation and comprehension. While I have had some issues with the Italian version of Rosetta Stone accurately recognizing and grading my accent, this has not been the case with this course. As you may know, the Japanese language is composed of phonetic particles which are highly regular, but need to be emphasized and articulated precisely. Rosetta Stone excells at this, because there is simply one clear, right way to say the word, and they get you to say it just right.

As mentioned previously, I took Italian in college, and my teacher from Florence said my accent was my strong point (!). Yet Rosetta Stone Italian would not recognize words I knew I was saying perfectly. However, just the opposite has been true with the Japanese Volumes; my wife is Japanese and it used to kill her how badly I mutiliated what little I knew, and now she welcomes me attempting a conversation.

There are some criticisms that you do not learn relevant phrases for typical tourist situations. While this may be true, you are going to get a whole lot more than that with this program! Seriously, if you finish all three levels you will be well on your way to being an intermediate speaker of conversational Japanese, and the "where are the traveler's checks" stuff is easy to pick up in an afternoon. Much more complicated is learning the ordinal numbers (for different shapes of objects) and the counterintuitive grammar of this distinct language which developed in isolation. I think you simply need tons of repetition for that.

I see that many people are comparing Rosetta Stone unfavorably to the Fluenz course. Now, I will admit that I have not taken these, but I understand that they utilize an attractive woman to teach you lessons, just like a teacher would do, and then have you type answers. While this might be preferable for certain learners, particularly with European languages, remember that Japanese has three alphabets and you simply would not be able to type anything in the Fluenz method until after spending a very long time memorizing not only Hiragana, but how to type it on a Western keyboard. I really do not know much about Fluenz, just wanted to point out a major potential issue if they were to tackle this same material.

Now, the one thing I will agree with is that it's pretty bogus that you do not actually own the software after spending hundreds of dollars. You cannot resell it! I found this out the hard way after my troubles with the Italian version. So, it's best to think of Rosetta Stone more as a course you are paying for that will always be at your fingertips and that you can utilize at your own pace. I have no idea what some of these so-called "reviewers" are smoking when they say you can get the same level of interaction and instruction for free off the internet or with flashcards. Give me a break.

This program was responsible for getting my off my duff and immersing me into the language of my wife and her extensive Japanese family. I am very grateful for that, and it works. Just ask yourself if you are prepared to truly immerse yourself, both financially and in the language itself. You cannot help but make major progress with this excellent program.
137 of 148 people found the following review helpful
Overpriced. Has problems, but does what it says it will do. Jan. 14 2011
By John Brady - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this item directly from Rosetta Stone, paying, unfortunately, more than I would have had I bought it directly from Amazon. Live, learn, and expect a (usually) better buy from Amazon! Apart from my negative feelings on the price, I have the following comments on the program: it is very slow to load and run. It does, as other reviewers have said, freeze without warning. When that happens, I can only go to another section of the lesson I am on to get it back to responding again. And, it usually freezes at the same place in the program. So, the program has bugs in it. Yes, as one reviewer has said, the pictures of some activities are too small to determine what response the program expects of me. Fine differences make for drastically different expected responses. The program is, as advertised, total immersion; there is no English language help available in the program, and all questions, answers, and expected responses are all in Japanese. So, anyone expecting any hand holding from the program in the way of English language help is going to be greatly disappointed. That said, the program is excellent in presenting situations one might encounter and hearing the language spoken for that situation. I quickly learned the difference between language used when speaking of men and women, their friends, male and female children, activities such as eating, walking, riding, cooking, shopping, reading from books and magazines, grammar, and such other essentials. After going to bed each night, after doing my lesson for the day, I remembered many things that I had always wondered about. My wife is a native Japanese, and she helps me with the finer points of the program. I took four courses of college Japanese, and can say that this program has taught me more than all of those courses combined. Overall, it meets my needs and is a very interesting, interactive program -- but buggy.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Does what it claims, fantastic product ... but with some problems. And, a few comments on "immersion" March 24 2011
By Mad Max - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
First I'd like to say I agree with what appears to be the consensus on this product: a bit overpriced, but does what it claims. The Rosetta Stone language philosophy is: Language immersion through learning + feedback through a well-rounded (and fun) program which reinforces comprehension & pronunciation (including accents).


I am a far cry from being a language expert, but I have used other language programs (and other Rosetta Stone program), and I believe the have a very solid product.

Many users have complained about the "immersion" approach - so here's my quick 2 cents on that: There are several language theories, and I tend to agree with immersion. I have some academic reasons for this (I've studied Chomsky, linguistics, semiotics, etc, in graduate school), but for me the proof is in the pudding when I watch my 1-year old child acquire cognitive tasks like language. She obviously does not use flash cards or try to memorize words one at a time - she is immersed in the language every day (hearing it, seeing it, trying it out, reacting to our feedback) and picks it up like a champ.

The apprehension from Rosetta Stone users (I believe) is that Japanese is *so* foreign from the Romance Languages (English, Spanish, French, etc) and there is NO English (zero, as far as I've seen) in the program. So if this makes you apprehensive, and/or if this isn't your learning style (hey - everybody learns differently), then I would suggest avoiding all immersion-based softwares (not just Rosetta - that includes most of the top companies). But for me, this is my preference.

The program has 3 parts: The course/software itself, the "studio" (get 9 months with your license - interact with native speakers), and the Rosetta "world" (also 9 months - play games, etc). The three together (theoretically) provide a well-rounded language experience. However, please note that you are paying for the extras - the software itself is fairly similar to much less expensive alternatives (like the Instant Immersion brand).


There were some problems with the software (running on a new Windows 7 laptop). It was a bit clunky, runs slow, and even crashed my system a few times.

The larger issue for me (as with all Rosetta Stone products) is the licensing. You are only allowed to load the program twice (theoretically, one copy on your desktop and one on your laptop). But if you have a crash, a stolen laptop, if you need to reinstall due to Windows errors, then you are basically up the creek - you have to buy another copy.

In my opinion this severely limits the use of your program (and as one user put it, you never really "own" it). Another user encouraged me to look at it another way: This is a course (like a college course) - and you should spend 9 months with it and then never need it again. Learning a language is not really like an operating system or photo editing software, where you basically use the same functions every day for several years - you progress through the program then you're done.

All I can say is, the licensing restrictions really make me feel uncomfortable. At heart, I really believe if I buy a product (and have the serial number), I should have unrestricted personal use of the product. I should be able to transfer ownership (put it on my wife's computer when I'm done with it), resell it, load it onto my next computer, etc. And this raises another limitation - I can't use it on my netbook (which I travel with) because I've already used my 2 installs, but also because the CD-Rom has to be in place to use it. So if you plan to use it while traveling, or even at work, for example, you can't unless you also carry around the discs.


Some users have reported that the early levels don't really teach you relevant phrases, and I tend to agree with that.

Also, the headset is cheap - not a big deal in my book, but it really makes me curious why Rosetta Stone would sell a top shelf program and include a dollar store headset.


This product is NOT for you if: (a) Any of the issues I mention give you pause, or (b) you're wanting to learn casually - and not serious about jumping right into the program. Also, if you're looking for an effective yet less expensive alternative, they're out there.

You won't find any other out-of-the-box product as comprehensive as Rosetta Stone, but you can definitely piece together your own learning program (i.e., Instant Immersion for $10, then Google for language free games, audible feedback, etc). Other reviewers have mentioned several other options.

However, if the cost doesn't bother you, & if you're OK with buying another copy should your laptop get stolen or computer crashes, then I say go for it! I truly give it 4.5 - 5 stars based on its merits.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Fun and easy way to learn Japanese literally translated from English April 17 2012
By Clara - Published on Amazon.com
About me: I have been using Rosetta Stone (v3) Japanese for about 3 months, and am on Level 2 Unit 4. I studied Japanese with a private tutor for 6 months about two years before I started using Rosetta Stone, and I have a Japanese boyfriend. I have free access to Rosetta Stone courtesy of my school.

In short: I have enjoyed using Rosetta Stone for free, and finding the motivation to do daily Rosetta Stone sessions is very easy. However, the longer I spend learning with Rosetta Stone, the more concerned I am that I am not actually learning Japanese, I am just learning Japanese translations of English. I firmly believe that Rosetta Stone must be used with supplemental learning materials that address usage, culture, grammar and vocabulary. Given how much is missing from this language learning solution, it is definitely not worth the sticker price. If you can access it for free, though, you might find it worth your time ... or not.

- Low stress level (there is almost no challenge; it is always very easy, so you never worry that you're going to 'fail')
- Option to switch between romaji, kana, kanji, and kanji with furigana at any time
- Professional photography (when the models don't look corny, the photos are almost always extremely beautiful)
- Polished software (relatively bug-free, but not without typos or speech recognition difficulties)
- Intuitive interface (for me, but not for everybody)

- Copy-and-paste from other languages: Rosetta Stone takes a copy-and-paste method to producing their software for different languages. You end up learning a lot of vocabulary that is American or Western, like salad, sandwich and bed, but not sushi, unagi or futon.
- No emphasis on special features of Japanese: This is a result of the copy-and-paste method. Japanese is quite different from English and the Romance languages, but Rosetta Stone almost completely fails to acknowledge these differences. One specific example: Japanese months are numbered regularly using numbers, not names. So January is '1 month', September is '9 month', etc. However, Rosetta Stone insists on drilling you on the 'names' of the months, even though you learned the numbers 1-12 many units ago. Moreover, Japanese days of the month are numbered using two separate numbering schemes (native and Chinese), but there is no attempt to teach you the days of month systematically. Instead you find out incidentally along the way that some days of the month are not constructed as you expect. There are many other examples: style (levels of politeness and formality), adjective conjugation, etc.
- Inaccurate usage: Again, a result of the copy-and-paste method. One specific example: Rosetta Stone presents 'ii deshita' as 'was good'. This is a literal translation of the English (or Romance language), but no Japanese ever says that. They say 'yokatta desu'. (It is the adjective that is given the past tense, not the auxiliary verb.) There are many other examples: putting subjects into almost every sentence (when Japanese typically omit subjects), using 'gomennasai' instead of 'sumimasen' in some contexts, no emphasis on in-group vs out-group vocabulary, etc.
- No cultural awareness: All languages are highly intertwined with culture, but the culture you see in Rosetta Stone is completely American or at most, Western. For example, when refusing an invitation, a Japanese would almost never say 'no' straight out, but present very polite excuses.
- Writing practice is rudimentary
- 'Milestone' activities at the end of the unit are too close-ended. They have a pre-written script that you must follow in order to be graded as correct; however, in a real conversation, there is always more than one way of saying something. There are many appropriate responses you could make, and while accounting for all of them is obviously impractical, there often at least two or three ways that would be common given the material already taught. The milestones would be a lot more enjoyable and realistic if the script allowed a few variations when appropriate.

Note that I do not comment at all about the 'immersion' approach taken by Rosetta Stone. It is up to you how fun/effective that approach is for you, and how much time pressure you're under. I think Rosetta Stone does a decent job at the immersion approach, but I'm no expert.

Recommendation: Do your research to find out if Rosetta Stone is worth your time or money. There are a lot of language blogs out there who have pretty negative reviews, and they go into detailed reasons as to why. In my opinion, Rosetta Stone Japanese would not work well for absolute beginners or advanced students. It would only work well for advanced beginners, those who are still beginners but who already have some Japanese learning. Japanese is a relatively unique language, and the differences you are used to seeing between English and other Romance languages are not the relevant differences between Japanese and English. It is important to know about certain unique features before embarking on learning Japanese using Rosetta Stone, otherwise you might be extremely confused (or not even know what you're missing), which is why I don't recommend Rosetta Stone for absolute beginners. Second, even Japanese Level 3 is extremely simplistic, and Rosetta Stone does not teach many important aspects of Japanese language usage, so I would not recommend this software for advanced learners either.

Additional reviews of Rosetta Stone (Amazon won't let me link, so I'll just name them and you can Google):
- Fluent in 3 months (very detailed review, not particularly of Japanese, with responses from Rosetta Stone included)
- Tofugu (funny review with lots of interesting alternatives listed, including a free(!) Rosetta Stone clone)
- Japanese LinguaLift

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