As the editor of the Learning Spanish Products Reviews (LearningSpanishProductsReviews) site, one of my responsibilities is to review learning-Spanish resources. I am also a native Spanish speaker from Argentina, and a professional private Spanish instructor. In addition, I am the author of two learning-Spanish products offered at Amazon.com (USA):
1. Anna Rivera's 1000 Plus Most Powerful Spanish Words 2. Anna Rivera's 800 Plus Most Powerful Spanish Phrases
I will begin with an overview of the content of Rosetta Stone Spanish Version 3 Level 2. RSS V3 Level 2 consists of 4 Units:
Unit 1: Travel Unit 2: Past and Future Unit 3: Friends and Social Life Unit 4: Dining and Vacation
Good Points of Rosetta Stone Spanish V3 Level 2:
1. The interface of this software has been greatly improved by Rosetta Stone. The old software interface was very ugly and archaic looking. But this interface is much more attractive with contemporary photos.
2. Much more content is covered in this version than the previous version of Level 2. This version teaches indirect pronouns. The previous version of Level 2 did not teach indirect pronouns. This version does a pretty good job at teaching the proper use of "te" and "le", etc. This version also covers the the familiar form of "you" or the "tu" form in Spanish. (As usual, I am omitting Spanish punctuation and other Spanish characters from my review because the Spanish characters often appear as strange looking characters/letters in my Amazon reviews.)
3. You will also learn the "imperative" or commands which is a good change from the previous version which failed to cover this topic.
Obviously, you won't be speaking perfectly fluent Spanish after working through this software, but it does give you enough to get started. It's overpriced for something so superficial - I wouldn't have bought it had I known that, Mark Phelps nothwithstanding. Overall, not bad, but way too expensive for what you get.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Too long to get to basic conversational levelDec 30 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
I really wanted to love this product. Perhaps at some point, one could get to a proficiency level. The great thing is that the software teaches you like one's parents would teach a child. The problem is that after 40 hours of instruction with Rosetta Stone, you have the language abilities of a three year old. I put a lot of time into the software (maybe 50 hours) and did not have the ability to speak even broken Spanish at a restaurant to order a meal. My friends wondered what the problem was given that whenever they called me, I was doing Rosetta Stone lessons. My friends who are fluent in Spanish, suggested that I take a conversational immersion class; I think that I'll take their advice.
46 of 56 people found the following review helpful
REVIEW FOR ALL MAC OWNERSNov. 5 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
BACKGROUND Using Rosetta Stone French (v.3) on a Mac iBook G4 (10.3.9). Using home school addition. Have used it for last 6 weeks.
SUMMARY In spite of the cost, the awkward port from Windows and difficult network set up, it's still best of class for learning a foreign language.
REVIEW Powerful, detailed and complicated: those are the adjectives I would use to describe this program. If you want to learn the language, then this program systemically teaches it to you. It keeps record of your progress, gives tests and records your grades. It treats you as if you are a student in a classroom. Additional workbook, study guide and included microphone headset supplement the visual and audio CD disk. But having said all this, there are some things I wish as a Mac user that I would have known.
The set-up of the program is SO non-intuitive and non-mac like. This includes installation of the application and its MANY helper files needed to run in the background with the main program disk. In my former life, I was an Apple System engineer, so I am no stranger to the Mac and networks setups. But even this installation caused me to eventually have to call Rosetta's technical support for instruction. This is partially due to my complicated home network set up (I've got multiple Macs with multiple (non-Mac) Routers that work as Access Points and bridges), and partially because of the complexity of installation of the program itself. This is definitely NOT a "drag-and-drop", or "double click to un- compress" or even "double click and follow the step by step instruction" type of experience. It is "multi-step, enter by hand, enter in data and information" type of installation process.
That is what is most disappointing to me. This is a BAD PORT of a PC program. They did nothing to make the program conform to Apple program standards. This means there are many helper files (20 something??!!!) in various folders. There is a network component that HAS TO run in the background for the main language program to run. This means you have to always first launch this secondary program (or leaving it running all the time). If you run on a network (like I do), you have to assign the computer's IP address that the program is running on (can't use the default, non-network IP given by the setup program). If your computer ever is assigned a different IP address locally by your router (power goes out, etc), then you will have to make some changes or this network helper file will not launch, and therefore, the language program will not either.
Getting to the place to even begin to first use the program is a tedious and complicated process. Another helper program that keeps track of the students progress must also first be set up. The "teacher's" name, access settings, the "student's" name(s) and their access privileges must first be established. ALL THIS IS DONE AWKWARDLY AND IN AN IBM 90'S INTERFACE. Constant referring to the user guide is necessary. There is no way some one could figure out what to do by only looking at the screens.
And this is the main criticism of the program, this clunky interface, non-intuitive layout of material is the same throughout the entire presentation of the language program. The program's strengh--the detailed comprehensive, multi-media presentation of material--is also it's greatest weakness. It's hard to follow where you are, where to go, what stage you are in, how much further you have to go on any given unit, lesson or session. The implementation of more than one user account and switching between the two is counter intuitive as well.
My 16 year old daughter, is now working her way through the program and has used it enough now to understand how to advance though it. But it was a slow start. She is enjoying the program and is learning the language of her love, and I have no doubt this program is a great help, I just wish more effort and forethought was given to making it more elegant in its presentation. Basically this looks to me like a 90's program in desperate need of a face lift. While calling the toll-free tech support and talking with a couple of different individuals, you quickly come to understand these people don't fully understand the Mac. The first individual had to pass me on once he discovered my Mac issues. The second was very polite and patient and we finally got my set up to work. But it wasn't easy for them since I was on a Mac. And I bet if you call you will get the same two people, They are, after all, not a help desk, but a language learning software company.
CONCLUSION OK, so that's it. I hope this review was helpful. I've tried to share my experience for other Mac users so they know more of what to expect before they buy the program. A program that has (from my research) no other comparison as far as best in class for learning a foreign language, but a program that--in it's implementation and presentation as far as on Macintosh computers is concerned--leaves a lot to me desired.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
V3 Spanish Latin America running VistaFeb. 17 2008
Ronald R. Riesbeck
- Published on Amazon.com
Rosetta Stone V3 Spanish (Latin America) Level 1&2 Personal Edition (Win/Mac)
I have completed CD 1 and have waited until now to comment. I have version 3 Spanish 1 Latin American on a Toshiba laptop with Vista home basic. It runs perfect. I had problems with the mic being way too loud. If you run into a problem, go to their (rosetta) web site support. Its well done. I found an answer and its a microphone setting in Vista that allowed adjustments for mic input. The program is well thought out. If you can't pronounce a word, it allows you to go into a speech analyzer. You see and hear your recorded word and the native speakers voice. If you still can't get it then PASS it up. You will have more opportunities to work on it during the course. Don't kill yourself. It took me 2 months to finish the first CD. I plan to go over it again before I go onto the 2 CD. I don't think you'll get by without a translator. I find that I am not 100% sure what they are trying to show me, so I look up the word to be sure. It would be real nice if you could right click on a work and see a translation and conjunctions, if selected. Bottom line is that I enjoyed the first CD and can make my point when getting around in a Spanish speaking environment. You need to start somewhere and this is it. It's a start in the right direction.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Slow and SteadyJune 5 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
I have tried almost every single product on the market to help me learn a second language and nothing really worked. Rosetta Stone V3 is so far the best product I have tried. I am not speaking fluent Spanish yet and if you're in a huge rush this might not be for you. However, I am making slow and steady progress in the right direction and enjoying the process. I love the way the program is repetitive and has you learning in several different ways. It will say the word and you have to match up the picture. You hear the word and then must find the correct picture. You are also required to say words and it evaluates and can really assist you in working towards saying the word correctly. At times, you are also required to choose from a list of two or three words to finish a picture. A major complaint that many people have had is that the program does not tell you what a word means, but just shows you a picture. This is true, and makes learning tough at times; but I do believe it may be a wise and effective method. Most languages do not translate word for word. This does requires you to think a little harder, but I believe that only enhances your learning. Despite the fact that I have 3 or 4 Spanish translation books lying around, I have never felt it necessary to look up any words. That alone speaks volumes. I find the sessions enjoyable, especially compared to all the CD's and books I own. You get a score, can repeat lessons and there is loads of review and feedback that makes me stick with the program longer then other methods I try. No matter any perceived faults, my desire to continue working on my language skills is the most deciding factor in my approval of Rosetta Stone V3.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Vista/Rosetta StoneMarch 22 2008
Richard L. Fringeli
- Published on Amazon.com
I agree completely with Andrew Mullen. If you're using Windows Vista DO NOT buy Rosetta Stone. Larry Flowers explained in a previous post a very lengthy way to correct the errors. 1. If you're paying over $300.00 for a program it should install seamlessly since Rosetta Stone claims it's Vista compatible. 2. I installed all the updates as Larry explained and contacted Rosetta Stone Tech support over six times. They even sent me TWO new CD'S.The program would still not install. I wonder when Rosetta Stone will wise up and update their program. I'm certain all new computers will come pre-installed with Vista.