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Rosetta Stone v4 TOTALe Review, Demo and Discount

Author: Naota
Product: Rosetta Stone v4 TOTALe
Product Aliases: Rosetta Stone v4, Rosetta Stone TOTALe
Prices: $750 to $200 depending on combination
Date: 10/02/2010
Rating: 4.5/5
OS Used in Review: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit Edition
Languages/Discount Purchase Links (Courtesy of Amazon): Rosetta Stone V4 TOTALe Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Danish, English (American), English (British), Rosetta Stone v4 TOTALe Filipino (Tagalog), French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi (Hebrew), Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Rosetta Stone v4 TOTALe Japanese, Korean, Latin, Pashto, Persia (Farsi), Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish (Latin America), Spanish (Spain), Rosetta Stone v4 TOTALe Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, Welsh

*NOTICE* Amazon is running a sale on Rosetta Stone v4 TOTALe 3 packs and 5 packs right now. Click one of the links above or below to view the items.

Save on Select Rosetta Stone V4 TOTALe Language Learning Titles For a limited time save up to $200 on select Rosetta Stone V4 TOTALe language learning titles. Discount is reflected in current price. Applies only to products sold by Amazon.com; does not apply to items sold by other merchants on the Amazon.com website. Offer good through February, 15 2011 while supplies last.

Pros: Truly unique approach. It is a fun and simple language program. Learn the way you learned your first language. Used by the United States Government. The program is organized in a great way that you can pace yourself. New features help fix old Rosetta Stone woes. Language and program updates available to fix any errors in learning. Rosetta Stone is Mac and Windows compatible.

Cons: Hefty price tag (see price links below to save a little). User can misunderstand grammar/vocab at times (see new features to fix this). The speaking portion could be a little stricter. You won’t be fluent.


Key Takeaway: Rosetta Stone v3 and v4 definitely have fixed a lot of problems of the previous Rosetta Stone editions. This new version gives you more outside assistance of learning and community involvement. If you don’t mind learning language like you did when you were a baby, I definitely recommend giving Rosetta Stone v4 TOTALe a try.

Rosetta Stone TOTALe Review

Rosetta Stone TOTALe Review

Rosetta Stone last month launched a new version of their infamous language learning program. This new version of Rosetta Stone, titled v4 TOTALe (pronounced toe-tally) promises several changes to help fix many problems that people have with its teaching method.

Difference between Rosetta Stone v3 and v4 TOTALe:
For those of you who just want to get down to the specific differences between version 3 of Rosetta Stone and v4 TOTALe I can break it down pretty quickly.

New Features from Rosetta Stone v3 to Rosetta Stone v4 TOTALe:
• Updated vocabulary
• Updated photos
• Live online lessons (Tutoring) from well-paid native speakers
• Brand new games and an online community
• iPhone/iPod Touch add-on to practice on the go
• Improved compatibility with new operating systems
• Updated language packs to fix language errors
• Miscellaneous fixes/updates
• New Interface

Okay now I will get into the details of the program to explain it to you all.

Rosetta Stone TOTALe Package

Rosetta Stone TOTALe Package

Rosetta Stone v4 TOTALe starts out very simple. After launching the program, you will be required to make a user account and to test your equipment to make sure it works with the program. Afterwards you can choose what kind of language learning you want, as you can do all the exercises, listening exercises, speaking exercises, etc. For all new users I would recommend you do them all of course as this is what makes up Rosetta Stone’s patented Dynamic Immersion process which consists of intelligent sequencing, actionable feedback, natural discovery, speech activation, and native socialization.

Rosetta Stone sets its learning program up so that users can learn at their own pace. Lessons are set up in chapters and cover a variety of material. Rosetta Stone TOTALe breaks things down into three sections, the Rosetta Course -the learning program itself, Rosetta Studio – the online tutoring environment, and Rosetta World – the community with games for you, you and another person learning the same language, and you and a person learning your native language.

Rosetta Stone TOTALe Rosetta Course

Rosetta Course is your launching point to a new language

Learning to read the language:
Rosetta Stone has various methods of teaching you how to read the alphabet of a language. Languages such as Japanese can display sentences in Romaji (English), Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji by clicking the language buttons. Other languages do not always give you this flexibility.

Our Opinion about the ease of learning how to read a language:
It is very helpful to have the language buttons but they might not always be there or it might not be enough. I have seen people learn how to read/write Arabic just by using Rosetta Stone but I am sure it is hard. Depending on the language and your language learning ability you may or may not need to learn how to read/write before going into this. With that said, I believe that almost all languages won’t require you to seek additional resources to learn the alphabet… just a few like Thai or Arabic.


Languages:
The TOTALe Version 4 is offered in a variety of languages, as is v3, and version 2. Here is the current available languages with direct links to purchase them with a discount:

V3 or V4 Arabic
V3 or V4 Chinese (Mandarin)
V3 or V4 Danish
V3 or V4 English (American)
V3 or V4 English (British)
V3 or V4 Filipino (Tagalog)
V3 or V4 French
V3 or V4 German
V3 or V4 Greek
V3 or V4 Hebrew
V3 or V4 Hindi (Hebrew)
V3 or V4 Indonesian
V3 or V4 Irish
V3 or V4 Italian
V3 or V4 Japanese
V3 or V4 Korean
V3 or V4 Latin
V3 or V4 Pashto
V3 or V4 Persian (Farsi)
V3 or V4 Polish
V3 or V4 Portuguese(Brazil)
V3 or V4 Russian
V3 or V4 Spanish (Latin America)
V3 or V4 Spanish (Spain)
V3 or V4 Swahili
V3 or V4 Swedish
V3 or V4 Thai
V3 or V4 Turkish
V3 or V4 Vietnamese

Learning vocabulary, sentence structure, and putting it together
When you start off they may show you a picture of a boy. Afterwards they will have you click on a picture of a boy, displaying the word and saying the word to you. After following the same steps for a few other words (girl, juice, water, man, woman, etc.) they will then show you a picture of a boy drinking water. You will find that since you have learned the word for water and boy, you have now just learned the sentence structure for “The boy is drinking water”. Over time this gets very comprehensive till you somehow get to the point where you have learned more complicated sentences with a large vocabulary.

Our opinion on learning the vocabulary, sentence structure, and putting it together:
I found that Rosetta Stone starts off at a great pace. The images they use are clear most of the time. Every once in a while you might wonder what “word” or “action” they are trying to portray to you though. That is why a dictionary or using the online companion is really helpful. This was a pretty enjoyable way to learn. I didn’t feel overwhelmed like I did with the Pimsleur Method since I could easily replay words and sentences.

The writing, listening and speaking portion:
You will have a keyboard displayed up on the screen. This allows you to practice writing words and spelling them. During your normal learning, you will be stopped frequently to listen and repeat words and phrases back. As you speak them Rosetta Stone will grade you on how well you pronounced the word and how good your accent is. There are different levels of sensitivity that you can choose in the options. This allows you to build up your accent over time.

Rosetta Stone allows you to work with tutors

Rosetta Stone TOTALe allows you to work with tutors at no additional cost

Our opinion on the listening and speaking portion:
In my opinion this is one of the greatest features that a person can ask for. The only way you can get this kind of learning is by working one on one with someone. Rosetta Stone really shines here. I recommend that you turn the sensitivity to the max. You may find that maximum difficulty for language pronunciation is not strict enough. But trust me… if you can get it to that level, native speakers can understand you with no problem. As for the writing portion, I believe more could be done to reinforce this. They do make a good attempt at this, but more practice will be needed.

Adaptive Recall:
A great feature of Rosetta Stone is its patented Adaptive Recall. Adaptive recall makes the program review activities that you performed in the past. The beauty about this is that it is completely dependent on how well or how bad you did. If you did poor, the reviews will come to you sooner and more often. If you did well, reviews get pushed off further and are less frequent. The program will automatically alert you of when it is time to learn.

Our Opinion on the Adaptive Recall:
This feature is a necessity for learning a language. It definitely prevents you from forgetting what you learned when you are a lot further on in the program.
All of these above features are part of the Rosetta Course part for Rosetta Stone v4 TOTALe. Now that we have covered Rosetta Course in great detail we can talk about the other features.

Rosetta Studio allows for you to receive tutoring

Rosetta Studio allows for you to receive tutoring

Games, (Rosetta World) Tutoring (Rosetta Studio), the Audio Companion and the iPod/iPhone Application:
Rosetta Stone offers an audio supplement to reinforce your learning. The audio companion matches the lessons that you have gone through on Rosetta Course. It also lets you hear and repeat questions. This has been an additional feature that costs extra for some time. Some of the new features that are part of the standard package however, are games (Rosetta World), an online community (Rosetta World), tutoring (Rosetta Studio) and the iPod/iPhone application.

Rosetta Course is an online environment where you practice with a studio coach and other people at your language learning level that help stimulate your learning. This is done after you finish a unit of Rosetta Stone. The studio coach takes you through exercises and asks questions through a live webcam feed. She has been trained to guide you along the way. Rosetta Stone pays these studio coaches up to $20/hour for their services to help you all with your learning. These coaches are all local to the United States as well so they are already familiar with conversing with other cultures.

Rosetta World opens you up to games and a community

Rosetta World opens you up to games and a community

Rosetta World lets you do duo and individual games. Solo games include games like memory, where users must match a phrase and picture. Duo allows you to work in groups while conversing with others. The third option in Rosetta World is simbio. In simbio you are practicing talking with people learning your language.

With such a large user base it makes sense that Rosetta Stone has added an iPod/iPhone application. This program allows users to go back and reinforce information learned through the course. It is an easy pocket-sized way of continuing you learning.

Rosetta World has many multi-player games

Rosetta World has many multi-player games

Our opinion of Rosetta Studio, Rosetta World, the Audio Companion, and the iPod/iPhone Application:
The audio companion works well and addresses gripes that people have with not being able to learn on the go. It acts as a great reinforcement for what you will already learn in the Rosetta Course. It however is an additional cost if you want to get it. Rosetta Studio is a much welcomed feature that will help solidify your learning. Do not except to learn a lot of new material here, but do expect to get better at using your language conversationally. The tutors are high quality and the users are serious about learning the language. Rosetta World brings you fun games that will encourage your proficiency and a lot real life interaction.
These additions will help a lot but only if you use them. As for the iPod/iPhone application, we did not get a chance to try it out.

Rosetta World has one player language learning games too

Rosetta World has one player language learning games too

Conclusion:
Rosetta Stone keeps getting better and better. They are cleaning up their language packs to be more accurate all the time. With older versions, the sentences you learned use to sound a lot more awkward and could even be rude. These new features are definitely welcome and help address weaknesses associated with older versions. The program is definitely more enjoyable than learning by a text book, or by a tape.

Current Users
If you currently have Rosetta Stone v1 or 2, you may want to upgrade. If you have v3, it really is a matter of whether or not you feel that Rosetta World and Rosetta Studio are worth it to you.

But will you become fluent?
Sadly to tell you, the answer is no. However, Rosetta Stone definitely lays out a great foundation for you to be on the right path to fluency. Many people are afraid to even attempt learning languages. This program breaks through the initial language learning barriers and can motivate you to go on further. You will have a better accent than if you used a tape or a text book. You also will have lots of verbal exposure to the language. If you can afford it, I definitely would recommend giving Rosetta Stone a try. That is why we rate Rosetta Stone v4 TOTALe 4.5/5 because we believe it is the best alternative to taking a course or going to the country itself.

Want a FREE quick and easy demo of Rosetta Course? Click here and choose the “Try our interactive demo online” option in the center. Don’t worry… you don’t need to put your real email address.

What are you waiting for? Go give it a try and use the buy links below to get it for a discount rather than pay full price from the vendor.

Amazon typically sells Rosetta Stone upwards of $25 off what you would pay through Rosetta Stone directly.

Discounted Links to Rosetta Stone via Amazon:
Click here to access the Amazon Rosetta Stone Discount Database

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8 Comments

  1. Comments  Rosetta Stone v4 TOTALe Review, Discount, and Demo – Geek Montage   |  Saturday, 02 October 2010 at 8:14 PM

    [...] can read our review of Rosetta Stone v4 TOTALe here as we tell you about the strengths and weaknesses of this award-winning [...]

  2. Comments  V.H.   |  Sunday, 03 October 2010 at 9:03 AM

    I looked at the link to buy this and could not find Thai! Am I blind or could they really have not made a new Thai volume?????

  3. Comments  N.W.   |  Monday, 04 October 2010 at 2:19 AM

    FYI, the iPhone/iPod app costs extra, too. They give a temporarily free subscription but at the end of it, you have to pay $30/month to keep using the app (and other online features). Sounds like false advertising to me since they market it as a free add-on feature for the newer version of the software.

  4. Comments  Naota   |  Monday, 04 October 2010 at 2:34 AM

    You raise some good points there. Well they gotta figure out how to pay their language coaches some how I guess. =)

  5. Comments  edward magliocco   |  Tuesday, 02 November 2010 at 2:48 PM

    Where is the duo game option. I can’t find it.

  6. Comments  Jim620   |  Sunday, 14 November 2010 at 5:00 PM

    I had V3 and now have V4 and I think this is an excellent review that describes everything well.

  7. Comments  Naota   |  Sunday, 14 November 2010 at 7:48 PM

    Hi Jim. Thanks for the kind words. I hope that your language learning is going well.

  8. Comments  Nina   |  Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 11:08 PM

    Can it only be installed on one computer? V3 v4

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