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Community Forums › General › General Discussion Groups › Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone?

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Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone?
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Eleven
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

Thats why my mother didnt teach us..so she could talk without us knowing what she was saying. Also, I think once her mother died when she was 12..they all spoke english. My grandfather was here from age 14. He was a barber, turned scalp specialist in NYC.

My aunt claims he spoke english with no accent...so its my guess, once he learned, he stuck to that unless he was with non english speaking people. All of his children married english speaking people..plus it was only the older children that spoke the italian..the last 5 (out of 9) were on my level. They didnt speak it either. This is why I think the italian stopped in that household when the mother died..these younger kids were all under 10.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

My parents did the same thing with us when we were growing up. It was quite comical because mom was speaking a Naples dialect and dad was doin the Calabrian thing. I don't think they understood much of what they were saying toeach othger, but I think they got some kind of satisfaction from the situation because we knew NOTHING. Oh, the Italian swear words we knew, but these were gleaned from classmates at school. Mom's favorite cuss word was (in English) "dirty rotten snake in the grass." Dad's was "for cryin in a bucket." Lots of action in my household. Such drama.
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DonnaPellegrin
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:20 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

Last week I completed Level I of the Rosetta Stone Italian program and I wrote up a detailed review of my experience. It is a long review and repeats some of what I have already posted, but I thought I would go ahead and post it here in its entirety.

Rosetta Stone lessons consist of a series of images which convey ideas visually. The user learns the language by seeing the image, reading the word(s), hearing the word(s) and speaking the word(s). Immediate feedback is given on the user’s speech as the program utilizes a speech analysis tool which compares the user’s voice to the native speaker. There are 16 “core” lessons in Level I (four core lessons in each unit). Each core lesson introduces new vocabulary and grammar. Each core lesson is followed by a series of shorter lessons which emphasize different aspects of the new material, such as: pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, writing, listening, speaking and review. I found the repetition to be very helpful to the learning process. It is not a passive learning experience as throughout each lesson the user is prompted to interact with the program by speaking, typing or choosing the right word(s) or image.

I found the lessons very pleasant. The images were vivid, memorable and often creative. A variety of native speakers were employed and their voices were clear and pleasant. I chose to devote about 30-60 minutes each evening to the program but there is no limit for those who wish to progress at a faster pace. It took me about two months to complete Level I.
The total immersion method was surprisingly effective for me. It was more fun than anything else. There was really an effortless quality to the learning process that I would not have predicted until I experienced it. After only a few lessons I actually did find myself “thinking” in Italian. For example, one day when I noticed a toddler playing with a Matchbox car, I found myself thinking, “La bambina ha una macchina.”

Level I teaches about 200 various nouns, including among them: some foods; some animals; some electronics; basic items of clothing; some furniture and household objects; family members; a few professions; rooms; seasons; days of the week; times of the day, meals; a few countries; a few stores; a few sports and activities, and a variety of other everyday items. Along with learning the nouns came the concept of gender and matching adjectives by number and gender.

The adjectives included basic colors, big, small, clean, dirty, tall, short, heavy, light, cheap, expensive, sick, tired, new, old, broken, fast, slow, same, different, open and closed.

Level I also teaches the numbers from 1-100.

A variety of verbs are introduced in present tense. These were always presented in sentences. The verbs included: eat, drink, run, read, cook, swim, write, drive, walk, have, be, sleep, wear, buy, play, do, embrace, kiss, watch, listen, live, inhabit, call, work, eat lunch, eat dinner, visit, taste, smell, stink, smell good, teach, study, speak, wake, wash, sell, shop, like, pleasure, cost, pay, go, want, and come.

Because the program often presented full sentences with the images, the user is also introduced to pronouns, prepositions and other articles of basic Italian grammar. Most of the time I had no problem picking up the grammar. Occasionally, though, I did get confused. There are no explanations of grammar rules in the program. There were four or five times when I decided to get help outside of the program. I found that having a book on Italian grammar was really useful. I am glad that I “cheated” instead of struggled through in confusion.

In the course of the lessons, the program teaches how to ask and answer a lot of basic questions such as the following examples:
What is it? It is an apple.
What do you have? I have a sandwich.
What is the girl doing? The girl walks.
How many fish are there? There are three fish.
Who eats? The policeman eats.
Where are you from? I am American.
What is your name? My name is Sara.
What color is her sweater? Her sweater is blue.
Are you hungry? No. I am not hungry.
How are you? I am fine.
How much do the carrots cost? The carrots cost three dollars.
I found the questions and answers to be the most useful aspect of the program.

My overall opinion of Rosetta Stone was very favorable. I found myself looking forward to it every day. There was something very pleasant about immersing myself in the beautiful language. I found the benefits of the program useful almost immediately. I cannot honestly say that I am ready to converse in Italian yet. But I am on my way. When I try to read Italian websites I can often get the main gist of the paragraph without resorting to a computer translation. I can string together basic phrases and sentences on my own ( in present tense). And I believe that my pronunciation is usually very good. I have a lot to learn before I can claim to speak Italian, but I am on my way and I am enjoying the journey. I very much look forward to continuing on with Levels II and III.

Donna
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:26 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

Donna thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Grazie!

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Eleven
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:55 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

You make it sound like fun.
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DonnaPellegrin
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

Prego, Nuccia! You know, Eleven, for me it really was fun. I took a week or so off but I am anxious to get back into it. I'm going to make use of the review lessons and then start up on Level II. There is something fantastic about speaking the language of my nonni. I'll let you all know how Level II works out in a couple months.
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Carole
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:08 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

Join Skype and you can call me and practice your Italian conversation in a safe, fun and free environment!


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DonnaPellegrin
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:42 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

Thank you Carole, I would really love to do that...but...I don't think I am ready yet. Can I take you up on your offer down the road, when I am more capable? I just started Level II yesterday. Looks like I will be learning some past and future tenses. I'm both excited and nervous about that.

I did log onto the skype website to check it out. Looks like fun. My computer is 5 years old and barely meets the requirements to run skype but my son might just love me enough to let me use his gaming computer. Smile

Donna
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

DonnaPellegrin wrote:
Thank you Carole, I would really love to do that...but...I don't think I am ready yet. Can I take you up on your offer down the road, when I am more capable? I just started Level II yesterday. Looks like I will be learning some past and future tenses. I'm both excited and nervous about that.

I did log onto the skype website to check it out. Looks like fun. My computer is 5 years old and barely meets the requirements to run skype but my son might just love me enough to let me use his gaming computer. Smile

Donna

Sounds like a plan....

But I do speak English (and gobbledegook) too - so no pressure with Italian and gibberish... peep


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

Level II

Hi everyone! A few weeks ago I completed Level II of Rosetta Stone and I thought some of you might be interested in hearing a further review of the program. While I finished Level I last summer in just a couple months, it took me a good six months to complete Level II. This was in part because I spent only 15-20 minutes per day on the program. And also in part because the material is more complicated and I had to spend much more time repeating and reviewing lessons. I went slow by choice. This was the pace that I found I could best retain the material. I’m not in a hurry and I have no deadline. Although the material was more difficult, it was still a lot of fun and I still looked forward to it every day.

Level II has four units titled: Travel, Past and Future, Friends and Social Life and Dining and Vacation. The travel unit was very simple and very much like the units in Level I. I learned about going to common places like the bank, hotel museum, café, library, etc. I learned directions such as in front, behind, beside. I learned about taxis, planes, trains, subways and buses. I learned the times of day and phrases for departure and arrival. I learned how to ask about cost. I learned about beaches, mountains, lakes and woods, rain, snow and sunshine.

It was during the next unit, Past and Future, that the level of difficulty increased. In this unit I was introduced to one way of expressing the past tense ,actually present perfect tense: I have run, you have run, she has run, etc. Almost simultaneously, I learned the future tense: I will run, you will run, she will run, etc. In Italian these tenses are pretty easy and I was doing pretty well with it. But then, without much practice in these tenses they added yet another new tense, the imperfect tense: I used to run, you used to run, she used to run. At that point I really felt an overload. I really could have used more time to practice the other 2 tenses that I had just learned. And so I was confused. The verbs in the imperfect tense seemed so similar to those in the future tense. For example, I used to run is correvo and I will run is correrò. I decided at that point that I really needed to slow down and repeat some lessons so I did and gradually I was able to work through it. Frankly, I think it was a mistake for Rosetta Stone to have added the imperfect tense at this point in the program, but I got through it by shear determination.

Remarkably, in the third unit, Friends and Social Life, the program goes back to teaching the new material primarily in present tense. Of course, the program continually makes you review previous lessons, so I was able to keep practicing the other tenses in the review lessons. In this unit I learned about singing and dancing, starting and finishing, coming and going, helping and meeting, early and late, here and there, these and those, ugly and beautiful, good and bad, free and busy, the months of the year, higher numbers, dates, addresses, phone numbers, parties, birthdays, more foods, how to answer a phone and how to say I’m sorry. I was also introduced to sentences with direct and indirect objects. These really slowed me down. This is just difficult, whether you are learning it with Rosetta Stone or in a regular class. Italians form these kinds of sentences in a very different way than we do. For example the English sentence, “I threw the ball to him” would be “to him threw the ball” in Italian. And to top off matters, the pronoun for him is a little word that has many meanings: a, the, him, to him, for him, it, to it, for it, them, to them and for them! For this unit was it really quite necessary, at least in my case, to have a book of Italian grammar rules handy. I hate Italian pronouns!

In the last unit, Dining and Vacation, all of the tenses are again in use and there is a lot of much needed review and practice of the previous material. But as always, new material was introduced. In this unit I learned: waiter, napkin, utensils, statue, painting, photo, fountain, hill, stairs, movie, zoo, downtown, musical instruments, antique, modern, famous, lost, found, smile, laugh, church, mosque, temple, emotions, up and down, ski, sail, shorts, sandals, bathing suit, some, many, there are, it is, how to ask for something in a restaurant, how to make a hotel reservation, and how to rent something.

Overall, I am still very excited about Rosetta Stone. It is still the highlight of my day. Level II was not the piece of cake that Level I was. I had to struggle with parts of it to learn it. But I did learn it! I continue to be impressed by the creativity of the images used in the program. They are often delightful and memorable. Each day after I do my Rosetta Stone lesson, I practice my Italian by translating a few pages of a novel written by a friend of mine in Italy. I use the combination of skills that I learned from Rosetta Stone, my computer translator and my unabridged Italian-English dictionary to get it right. (At least I hope I’m getting it right!) The program is really quite fun and fulfilling for me. An enchanting place to escape to each and every day. I still give the Rosetta Stone Program two thumbs up. On to level III.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

Donna,
I'm glad you have chosen to keep updating us on your thoughts about the program. My son recently mentioned he wanted to learn Italian (God help us) and I immediately thought of you and of Rosetta Stone. He's young so my question is, do you think the program is interesting enough for a teenager or young adult to use? I really would be interested in any suggestions you or any one else might have on this. Thanks

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

Well, I'm sure it depends on the kid and the level of commitment but my first inclination is to say yes. My son is in the 9th grade this year. I knew that he would be taking Spanish in school this year so last summer I bought him the Rosetta Stone Level I Spanish program. He got about half way through it before school started and then got too busy to finish it. However, now that he is 3/4 of the way through his year of high school Spanish, he says that what he learned with Rosetta Stone has stayed with him and what he is learning in class is not staying with him. He says that he will definitely go back to Rosetta Stone next summer.

On the other hand, my daughter is 8 years old. She wanted to learn Spanish too since her big brother was learning it. She was really excited about the Rosetta Stone and was very anxious to try it. It was not long at all before she was over her head and frustrated. I personally think that she was trying to go to far too fast.

Thats really all I know.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

Ok, thanks for the input. My kids are all older and the oldest WANTS to learn so maybe it might help him. I may just try it and see. I will let you know how it goes.

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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:28 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to chime in a bit re: Rosetta Stone. I actually won a contest a couple months ago where the prize was a 1 year subscription to their new online learning service, TOTALe. It incorporates the lessons from the CD's with interactive games and coaching sessions with native speakers. I think the program is pretty good overall. I doubt it comes close to a complete immersion environment, but I think the interactive component is really great (and lots of fun!!). They also have an interactive game site that is completely FREE as well! (It helps if you have studied some Italian first, though). You can access the game site at: www.rworld.com

Anyway, just thought you all might like to know about the free games since they don't really seem to be advertising it anywhere.

-Jill
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