Is Rosetta Stone Arabic any good?

supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
edited August 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
Has anybody out there had any positive experience with Rosetta Stone Arabic? I’ve gone through the first unit of level one and it still just feels like a big guessing game. Because there is no English explanation of any concepts it is really hard to keep track of the different plural, masculine, feminine, etc. variants of every word. And many of the pictures I am supposed to be learning from are entirely ambiguous. Some key concepts are only explained in the form of a conversation or monologue that’s too long to make sense by the time I get to the end. And the font they use is awful, which makes reading the vowel marks a PITA. At this point I am pretty suspicious about the volume of positive reviews this product gets and I want to hear from someone who isn’t shilling for the manufacturer.

supabeast on


  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Have you ever learned a language that was drastically different from English?

    I found a big portion of the program to be completely undecipherable. But in my experience with different languages The initial bump was the greatest hurdle. After using the Rosetta Stone program for French I picked up on things right away but there are just certain similarities that make it much easier.

    The program is wonderful in my opinion but it may take more time for things to firmly gel together.

    DasUberEdward on
  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    Have you ever learned a language that was drastically different from English?

    Nope. I think that’s part of the problem—Rosetta Stone seems like it would work well for Western European languages just because of all the cognates. But with Arabic there’s often just nothing to grab onto.

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    I'd suggest taking at least a structured class or two with someone (preferably a native speaker with experience teaching Arabic to native English speakers) who can answer your initial questions and then circle back to Rosetta Stone after you've got some foundation.

  • naporeonnaporeon Registered User regular
    I learned Hebrew by combining Pimsleur audio lessons with the Rosetta Stone computer program. I don't think either would work well for me on their own, but since they both seem to use different vectors, they worked very well together.

    Also, it's possible your local library may carry a Pimsleur Arabic series.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Rosetta Stone is great for speaking and reading, not so much for writing. Those were the worst parts of it. Going from English to German, I'd imagine someone going from English to Arabic would be royally aggravated.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • AxisAxiaAxisAxia Registered User
    Rosetta Stone is something I'd recommend to someone who is taking classes in a language and wishing to bolster their vocabulary. Having learned two foreign languages, my experience is that without understanding some of the fundamentals of grammar (and having them taught to you by someone who knows what's up, not guessing at it by yourself) you can't realistically begin speaking a language in anything other than disjointed nouns.
    So yes, that means you need to take a class. Or find a tutor, or someone willing to teach you socially. can be a good resource for that!

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Doesn't the new version have some sort of web class with a live person? I remember one of the Giant Bomb guys talking about it at length. Won't really help with the font issue, but maybe can get some direction on the basics.

    Echo wrote: »
    Something working on the first try is a source of great suspicion.
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah it does, free for 6 months I think.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    I think Rosetta Stone can work just fine if you take some time to look elsewhere and understand the basic concepts of the language elsewhere. That should really put you ahead.

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    I highly recommend you find someone local to you that is willing to speak conversationally to you (perhaps using CouchSurfing as Axis suggested).

    When I was learning German, the best thing I did was find a local guy willing to have coffee with me and speak German. It was like a language boot camp. We still talk to this day, and if I am having trouble or need to brush up, I'll call him and we'll talk about our days in German. Super handy.

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