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Rosetta Stone Spanish (Latin America) 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
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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Product Details

  • ASIN: 1617160849
  • Release Date: Sept. 14 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #180 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Annis Jones on April 20 2013
Verified Purchase
I spoke only rudimentary Spanish before buying this product. The progress in quite gradual but it suits me. Best to not take any prolonged "lay offs." I did with loss of proficiency, but it is easy to go back and revise. The result for me is pretty good fluency in speaking and writing, and rather less so in understanding. It requires time spent in spontaneous conversation to improve that, I think.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Darrell on June 9 2013
Verified Purchase
I have had no spanish and for a beginner this is totally wonderful. It is so addicting and I find I spend as many hours as possible per day studying. The format, the ease, the pictures, the mastery aspect of the programme make it top notch. I have nearly completed disc one of the three series and I know I will be ordering higher levels later. Yo habla espanol !
Darrell
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By Diane on May 30 2014
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The software is not totally user friendly. Some lessons are too slow (pronunciation) and some lesson are way to fast to allow you to take notes. The words are introduced with images which sometime leave you clueless on the meaning. A written student guide joined to the software would be helpful. The lesson covering geography was useless to me and I was unable to find a way to skip the lesson. As far of learning the language, you learn a lot in a very short time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 65 reviews
163 of 169 people found the following review helpful
Campanas y Silbidos! Sept. 15 2010
By ringo - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Rosetta Stone may be the most mis-named program in existence. The *real* stone, of course, presented the same information in three different languages, permitting archeologists to crack a language they had never been able to before, based on knowing the other two.

Rosetta Stone *the language program* works on the sink-or-swim paradigm. There is no English whatsoever in the interaction. No grammatical theory, no lists of conjugations, no explanations of irregular verbs. Everything is entirely picture and repetition based, and you learn like an infant does. A picture of a plate. "Plato." A picture of a girl holding a plate. "La muchacha tiene un plato". A picture of a girl holding a plate with a talk bubble coming from her mouth. "Yo tengo un plato." And so on, through three Levels (I believe five are available), of four Units per Level, and about ten Lessons per Unit. The Lessons (up to 30 interactions) cover vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and so on, and older Lessons are thrown into the mix as well just to provide reinforcement. It is possible to go through a Level in a weekend if you do absolutely nothing else except eat and sleep, but I eventually found I could realistically only absorb about a Unit's worth per day, which took up a solid evening.

Pros:

- There is a voice-recognition system that continuously checks and reinforces your pronunciation, including a pop-up wave form analysis window. It cares mostly about cadence and vowels (it has no problems if you use "B" for "V" for example), but these are the things that are key to language comprehensibility.

- There is a very nice and comfortable headset included, with a microphone and earphones.

- There are writing interactions, and a set of keyboard stickies to translate your keyboard into a Spanish version (with accents and N~, etc.)

- There is an audio file "companion" set (12 disks) that can be loaded onto an MP3 player for listening practice when you're away from your computer.

- Many features are customizable, including how sensitive you want the voice recognition to be; whether you want to focus on writing, speaking, or both; and how many interactions you can get wrong before the program decides you need to repeat a lesson.

- There are online interactions, to do solo, with another online student, or with an instructor. These include stories to listen to, and games to reinforce your listening skills. This is a new feature in Rosetta Stone, and it's way cool.

- While the program can only be installed on one computer (and there's an activation process to insure this), there can be multiple "learners" in the same household, using the same program (though not at the same time, obviously).

Cons:

- The voice recognition can be frustrating at first. I found myself doing a Dracula accent so it would pick up my inflections, though eventually things calmed down. (They need a level zero, with the exaggerated vowel sounds and cadence found in baby talk).

- The endless repetition really is endless. And the audio companion is more of the same dialog. This can get really boring.

- At times, the multi-cultural pictures evoke a giggle. Sorry, but a picture of Japanese woman bowing does not make me think "Hola!'.

- The end-of-unit "milestone" interactions, which supposedly emulate a real-world conversation, are almost impossible to pass the first time around, since you have to figure out what dialog the program expects you to say.

- There are some usability issues - the key picture in the advanced match-picture-to-phrase exercises is very tiny and hard to see, and, in the sound-identifying exercise, the second presentation of the sound (the sound repeats after you've answered) comes right before the first presentation of the next sound, with no gap (confusing to the ear, especially early on).

- The program supposedly works with a 1024x768 screen, which I have, but when using this the progress bar and pause button show up under my computer's system tray unless I go into full-screen mode. (This is a genuine bug, and should have been caught in Beta).

Despite it's foibles, the program does get you up to speed really fast, with a pragmatic and immediately useful level of understanding (I have no idea what the grammatical tenses are called, but I can pronounce them). As the company suggests, compare the cost to the cost of a language class, not other programs. Because, given the constant feedback, that's pretty much what this is. Con muchos campanas y silbidos (that's bells and whistles, for you gringos).
115 of 120 people found the following review helpful
Fluenz better for me Oct. 31 2010
By Magood - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this based on reviews that I now realize were written by people "vine" who had not actually bought the product but received it as part of some Amazon vine reviewer program. I paid $500 for this because I am going to Costa Rica and I am motivated to learn Spanish. I used this program every day for a month and felt that it was tedious and boring. I do feel that I was learning some Spanish words but not language. Looking at photos of little blue eggs and seeing azul pequeno huevo may teach the words but did not seem practical or useful. I started using the fluenz program and feel that this is geared more toward adult learning. I feel that I will actually learn something that will help on my trip. I did not feel that what I was learning with Rosetta was going help me. Neither program is easy. At 55 it takes a lot of work and motivation to learn a new language.
This may be a good program for some but it was not for me. Rosetta did honor the guarantee and are giving me a full refund so I am happy I tried it.
57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
You should know when you purchase this course that it is an immersion system (without English translations) Sept. 12 2010
By B. Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Rosetta Stone says in a word it is all about immersion. You learn without translation. They call their program "dynamic immersion." It has 5 features:
1) Intelligent sequencing for introduction of new concepts and lessons
2) Actionable feedback (e.g. select the picture which matches a sentence)
3) Natural discovery
4) Speech recognition technology
5) Native socialization: listening to native speakers and opportunities to converse with them

There are three components of this Rosetta Stone course: Rosetta Course (interact with the computer program by typing and speaking), Rosetta Studio (live online tutoring environment), and Rosetta World (online community of learners with activities such as language games and conversations with native speakers). There are also 12 Audio Companion CD's that you can rip and use on your portable audio device. These audios reinforce what you learned in the interactive computer lessons. I didn't hear any English translations on the CD's.

For Levels 1-3, access to the online activities expires after 9 months. (Note that if you purchase a different level, online access for Level 1 is 3 months, Levels 1-2 is 6 months, and Levels 1-5 is 15 months.) I called Rosetta Stone and was told that they were just setting up the renewal system and the cost of renewing Levels 1-3 was going to be around $49. The first component of the course, the interactive computer program, has no expiration. I was told that if you purchase a new computer in a few years that you can call Rosetta Stone and they will reauthorize the software on your new computer.

Version 4 TOTALe includes several features that are not in the previous versions. There is both online and offline access. The online content includes the Rosetta World games and Rosetta Studio conversation sessions. The interactive computer course can be run offline. All of this now runs from a single icon, a single computer application. And there is the TOTALe Mobile Companion which allows you to practice anywhere using your iPod Touch or iPhone.

In the computer lessons (Rosetta Course), a speaker announces a phrase or sentence and you are shown a picture that correlates to that phrase or sentence. Then you hear the speaker announce another phrase or sentence and you are shown 4 pictures, and you must click on the picture that corresponds to that phrase or sentence. If you select the wrong picture, you get a big "X". If you select the correct picture, then you get a green check mark and the phrase then appears above the picture to help you associate that sentence with that picture. Later you'll have to select the correct word from a list to properly complete a phrase or sentence corresponding to a picture. As an example, you'll be shown a picture of a man who is jogging. The Spanish phrase at the top of the picture is "Él corre." So then one has to infer the translation from the picture. Rosetta Stone states that "intuitively, you just know what it means." You can't click on the phrase or the picture to get a translation. So one might infer that this means he runs. But one might also think he is running, or he ran, or he is a runner, or he is jogging, etc. So you may not find all of the the rules of grammar here. Also, you'll see words like esta and está, and I didn't see any way to get any help regarding rules pertaining to diacritics or accent marks and how they change the meanings of words.

I showed the course to a native Spanish speaker who also took Spanish in college. His initial impression was that Rosetta Stone appears to be targeted more to someone who has some initial familiarity with Spanish. He also indicated in some cases that he would have have chosen a different verb than what was used by Rosetta Stone to convey the meaning in the picture.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
A great program for enhancing Spanish fluency. But it still helps to crack a book, conjugate a few verbs, and study... Aug. 23 2010
By APC Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Will using Rosetta Stone Spanish allow you to say: "Me sorprende que soy capaz de hablar un español fluido después de usar este programa sólo por un par de semanas!" ('I am amazed that I am able to speak fluent Spanish after using this program for only a few weeks')?

Probably not. It is, however, a very useful and well thought out program.

The Rosetta Stone line of language products all share the same basic design and interface. The key to the Rosetta Stone system is the presentation of word and action associations, influenced by context. This simulates the sort of cues that one would parse and process in speaking any language, even your own native language. Normally, you don't think about this as you speak your own language. But it's one of the hardest things to simulate outside of dealing with a second language in its own country and having the chance to deal with real life situations involving speakers of the second language.

Each screen is accompanied by a phrase, spoken out loud by a native speaker in the program, and four slightly different picture scenes that require you to pick the one that the sentence is referring to. Beginning at a very basic level -- such as "the boy is under the tree" (in whatever language) with four pictures of a boy next to, under, in the limbs of and cutting down the tree -- your proficiency improves as you move through these basic cues to more advanced and complex speaking and contexts. By the end of the program you are dealing with fairly complex situations, sentences and associations.

The program also allows you to repeat the phrase and, using the supplied microphone, match and score your own pronunciation against the supplied sample. You can also test your ability to properly write out a second language by spelling out and typing the phrase, although the work arounds for using a US English QWERTY keyboard with the special characters and distinct keyboard layouts used by different languages can be awkward. There are several variations on all the visual, verbal and textual tests.

The most important question one must answer when considering this product is: will it, as the advertising suggests, be a magic gateway to language learning that is all you need? The answers is: sort of.

First, this is an expensive product. Make no mistake, when you pay for a heavily advertised product like this that you are, in part, paying the cost of the extensive advertising that brought it to your attention and put you in a mind to buy it.

Second, although Rosetta Stone is an extremely well thought out and useful system for review, practice, improving reaction times to prompts in other languages, and gaining fluency through exposure to variable contexts, it is not a complete language course.

I have purchased a load of different language courses for languages that I have wanted to study on my own, and I can say, at least for me, that using at least two or more different packages that compliment, reinforce and overlap with each other is always better than trying to learn everything with only the logic and pattern of one single course. Besides, you really do need to learn grammar and other parts of the subject that cannot really be covered by, or communicated well by, a single program, even one as well thought out as Rosetta Stone.

At some point you really do have to crack a book and do some regular studying and learning, even though Rosetta Stone strongly implies that you can be speaking away in a second language with nothing more than some time in front of your laptop.

Conclusion: whatever language you are wanting to study, seriously consider Rosetta Stone. But also seriously consider buying a Pimsleur and a Living Language course to go along with it, and seriously contemplate the very un-Rosetta Stone-ish subject of studying verb conjugation rules, grammar, usage and verb tables.

All together you will stand a much better chance of gaining real fluency, and not just the ability to distinguish if the boy is in, under or besides he tree, or if all of the people, two of the people, the two men or the three women in the picture are eating steak or drinking wine. It's all good, but no one product or course can do it all.
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
DON'T spend $400+ on this software, something better is out there for FREE! July 29 2012
By Jack - Published on Amazon.com
I was idiotic enough to spend $400 on Rosetta-Stone when I could've used a far better alternative for free. :(

Anyway, try duolingo.com, it's free, fun, immersive and works just as well if not better than Rosetta Stone, with an easy interface and Facebook integration, along with it being FREE. Seriously, give it a try if you want to learn Spanish, French, German, or all three.

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