Rosetta Stone Spanish (Latin America) Level 1 & 2 Set with Audio Companion
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- Rosetta Stone teaches you a new language naturally, by getting you to think, live and breathe the language
- Innovative solutions get you speaking new words, right from the start
- Rosetta Stone moves forward only when you're ready--you drive the pace, you set the schedule
- With Rosetta Stone, you'll discover a foundation of key vocabulary that you'll use to build into a whole new language
- Audio Companion lets you take the Rosetta Stone experience anywhere: in the car, at the gym, or on-the-go
There is a newer version of this item:
- Platform: Windows Vista / 2000 / XP, Mac OS X
- Media: CD-ROM
- Item Quantity: 1
Amazon.ca Product Description
Foreign language learning with Rosetta Stone Spanish (Spain) Levels 1&2 with Audio Companion you build a foundation and navigate your surroundings. Begin learning fundamental vocabulary and essential language structure, from greetings and introductions to simple questions and their answers. Gain the confidence and enter the intermediate level where you will be able to talk about your environment; give and get directions, tell time, dine out with self-reliance, shop, enjoy basic social interactions and much more. Now Rosetta Stone with Audio Companion allows the learner to take Rosetta Stone anywhere: in the car, the gym or on-the-go! What is Audio Companion? Audio Companion CDs are activities that correspond to the Rosetta Stone CD-ROM software lessons. The learner can listen to Audio Companion and practice what they¿ve been learning on the computer, turning travel time into productive language learning time. Audio Companion lets the student access the power of Rosetta Stone lessons whenever and wherever they want, they can play the CD¿s on a stereo, or download them to a MP3 player. It empowers the student and helps reinforce the lessons in any busy lifestyle!
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)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Okay, here's the review. I bought Levels 1 and 2 of Latin American Spanish straight from RS and have just finished Level 1. I felt that I needed to complete one full level to really understand the product before writing a review. I am in my 50's and have never taken formal Spanish, but I did take three years of French way back in high school and that has actually been mildly helpful. I am going to Peru in two weeks (as I write this) and wanted to be able to communicate basic ideas, order in restaurants, ask for help, etc. It took me just over a month to complete Level 1 and I have spent a lot of time doing that... probably averaging 45 - 60 minutes a day. Although that doesn't sound like a lot, it really is. I had hoped to have both levels finished by the time I went, but that's not going to happen.
My overall experience of the product is that it is very good, but that you need some supplemental material to get the most out of it. It's strengths are that the immersion concept does indeed help you to associate the words with the objects and actions rather than with English words. That is, you do learn to think in Spanish rather than to translate. When I hear the word 'mansana', I don't think of the English word 'apple', I see an apple in my mind. In my three years of French, I never was able to achieve that and I think that is a huge advantage of learning this way. The other major advantage is that it is fun and not intimidating and so you enjoy doing it. Since you enjoy doing it, you actually do it, and there's no substitute for that. You do actually learn.
The weaknesses are that you will not learn the rules of a language well with this method. Have you ever struggled to understand an immigrant to this country as they tried to communicate in a grammatically mangled form of English. Well, they learned through immersion, so I'm not buying the idea that it's enough on its own. In my learning with RS, there were many times when I was very confused about what something meant or why they said something is a particular way, and I would search for it on the Net to figure it out. You'll need to do that.
Another thing I recommend, if you decide to learn this way, is to pick up a copy of Practice Makes Perfect Spanish Verb Tenses, Second Edition (Practice Makes Perfect Series). That gave me the missing structure I needed to move from trying to just memorize that an 'a' goes in front of the noun sometimes, to actually understanding when and why. (It's called the personal a, it has no analog in English and it's used when you are refering to a particular person. You would just never pick that up from context.) So think of your learning as a system. RS is the heart of it and where you spend the most time, and you do a section of the verbs book every day or two, and you use Google Translate and other web resources to help you understand some of the more subtle things going on.
Now, am I fluent after Level 1? Absolutely not. You can't become fluent in a new language in a month. However, I can make my basic wants understood and I will be able to hold simple conversations when we travel. (I want to buy this. I'd like the chicken. Where's the bathroom? How much does this cost? Stuff like that.) I will say that I am enjoying it enough that I will probably go ahead and complete Level 2 when I get home. That should tell you something about my enjoyment of the experience.
Oh, and those reviewers who complain that the course doesn't give you real sentences to learn (the boy runs, etc.) that you might actually use, simply didn't stick with it. It does start that way, but well before you're half way through Level 1, you are learning things that you really can use. I think it's just comforting, when you don't stick with something you spent so much money on, to blame the product rather than your commitment. If you complete the course, you will learn actual conversational things to say.
The last thing I will comment on is the question of how many levels you should buy. That is something I really struggled with before the purchase because, as some have noted, the thing is gastly expensive and you get totally screwed if you buy Levels 1 and 2 and then want to add Level 3 later. These are my suggestions.
First, are you the kind of person who sticks with something? If not, then this may not be for you. It is a real commitment and it'll be a waste of money if you buy it and don't complete it. But if you are the kind who will see it through, then I would recommend only buying Levels 1 & 2 for casual travel. Those will get you through introductions, shopping and getting around. If you have less than 2 months before you go, then you should probably drop back to Level 1 only. If you think you really want to learn Spanish, and this isn't about a specific trip, then you might go ahead and add Level 3, but at that point, I would recommend getting your start here, then finding a real immersion course that gives you a chance to interact with people. There's only so far you can go talking to your computer, no matter how many levels you complete.
Finally, although I love Amazon and buy lots of lots of stuff from them, the uncertainty of this product for any individual probably makes buying from RS directly a wise choice. They will accept the product back for 6 months if you are not happy with it, but only if you buy directly. If you are worried about the higher cost, there are deals to be had even on the RS site if you can find them. I saved 20% by putting in a coupon code I found in a well-known magazine that has a cover the same color as the RS box, that publishes stories on geography and that has its own cable TV channel.
I would have given this product 5 stars, but I decided to give it 4 stars for the following reasons:
1. You are taught the language via process of elimination, viewing what the characters are doing, etc. In a few cases, its not clear to me what word is trying to be taught and I have to look up the word that I am not sure about.
2. The voice recognition technology works about 90% of the time.
These are minor reasons and I have no regrets about my purchase, but I just wanted to share my experience.
I am one person who gained tremendously because of the product. My spanish was low intermediate about 10 years ago, after having had 2 years equivalent of college spanish over an intensive program of 17 weeks. But not using it for 10 years and it got rusty.
With rosetta stone level 2 and 3, I got my spanish back to my former level over about 3 months. I went through the program twice... and I can imagine going through it a third time if my spanish were to go rusty again.
It is a quick, fast, and easy way to refresh your spanish. I am not sure if you can actually learn spanish from the CD's alone. It is completely lacking in didactics.
There are good free courses on the internet that can help introduce you to some simple spanish grammar rules ([...]), there is an inexpensive program here on amazon for [...] that introduce you to spanish grammar (read one of my reviews), there is a free conjugator download that I got from the internet that drills you on spanish verb conjugation that will complement rosetta stone well.
My guess is, if RS will decrease their price by 1/2 or 2/3, many people will love their program..... and profit might remain the same.
It is an innovative, intuitive way to learn, and I complement the company for putting together an interesting product that kept me to the program for 3 months. Compared to the price of "immersive" program - I still think RS is as close as you can get...
If you exercise like I do, look at the free MP3 downloads like FSI spanish tape (google it, it is free) or buy it from ebay for about [...], or a similar product like Pimsluer. I believe that FSI spanish has been redone in higher quality recording, but it is not free. This can complement your RS program also.
If it turned out to be too easy, they would exchange it for level 2 at not extra cost to me! Really! And they did call me some months later, ready to do that! Level 1 had been full of new words and grammar for me, so I paid for level 2. Using level 1 I was really surprised that I was able to read simple arabic in about two months.
When Windows XP came out, I noticed that my daughter's Spanish Rosetta was spelling some of the words strangely, so I called customer service again. I was told that XP needed the new version, and they sent it to me free! Both levels 1 and 2!
It sounds like the company has been taken over by aliens. I called two days ago to suggest that they offer Rosetta Stone at a reduced rate for families with children with autism, as the program can/could be very helpful. I did notice that the warm friendly feeling was absent the call.
The product is great. It is so much fun that it can be addictive; and it really works. Unlike the original version, the price is very high, with no more great end-of-the-year sales (which is why I gave it a 4-star instead of 5-star rating). The customer service sounds horrible now, which is sad, because it was wonderful to have a great product and great customer service.