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Rosetta Stone Italian Review
Determine whether Rosetta Stone Italian is worth it in this detailed review
If your goal is to learn Italian and reach an intermediate to advanced level of fluency, there are plenty of good options to learn. You can choose between language apps, hiring an Italian tutor, signing up for live online classes, or just getting immersed. However, despite the choices, Rosetta Stone remains one of the most popular routes. In this review, we analyze the pros and cons of the Rosetta Stone Italian app.
To help make navigating this detailed review a little easier, we have included jump-to links above for your convenience.
Video Review: Is Rosetta Stone Italian Worth It?
In the video above, John from the TPI team covers the pros and cons of the Rosetta Stone Italian program. For more detail, be sure to continue reading our full, written review below.
How The Rosetta Stone Italian Program Works
From a high level, there are 20 learning units within the Rosetta Stone Italian program which cover different topics. Then within each unit, there are four lessons.
Drilling down further, within each lesson, there are four different sections:
Core Lesson = 30 minutes to complete
Pronunciation = 10 minutes to complete
Vocabulary = 10 minutes to complete
Grammar = 10 minutes to complete
To recap, you have 20 learning units in total, four lessons per unit, and four sections per lesson. In order to complete all four sections, you’re looking at around an hour or so from start to finish.
Rosetta Stone Italian Learning Method
As far as learning framework goes, Rosetta Stone takes a slightly different approach to learning than most other Italian language apps.
In short, the company believes in removing translation from language learning. In other words, it’s an immersive approach. There are no easily accessible translations or English moderators to hold your hand (unlike the Rocket Italian course).
Instead, you are expected to rely on your intuition. Throughout each lesson, you’ll be introduced to words, images, and the voices of native speakers.
You will advance naturally from words and phrases to full sentences and conversations, and along the way, you’ll learn correct grammar and syntax by reading and listening to examples of native Italian speakers.
Rosetta Stone Italian Price
Rosetta Stone is among the more affordable language learning apps on the market to learn Italian (along with Babbel and Mondly).
The company offers three different options to choose from: a 3-month plan for $48, a 12-month plan for $170, and a lifetime subscription, which includes access to all Rosetta Stone languages (not just Italian) for $400.
However, it’s important to note that the prices above are simply the MSRPs, and that’s noteworthy because Rosetta Stone is very aggressive with sales. In fact, our team frequently sees Rosetta Stone discounted by 40% or more. In most cases, you can expect to snag one of the monthly subscription options for around $10 per month, and the lifetime option for around $200.
For comparison purposes, the Italian course from Pimsleur costs around $20 per month, and the lifetime package from Babbel Italian costs around $350. All in all, Rosetta Stone is a pretty solid value compared to other options in the industry.
Strengths Of The Rosetta Stone Italian Program
Now that we’ve covered pricing and how the Rosetta Italian program is structured, let’s get into what our team likes and doesn’t like about this language app. Let’s start with the positives.
Good Choice For Visual Learners
First and foremost, Rosetta Stone is an excellent choice for visual learners. In fact, almost every single exercise or drill within the lessons revolves around images or some sort of visual element. Then on top of that, Rosetta Stone also provides supplemental, on-demand video lessons as well.
As such, if you’re the type of person who tends to absorb information better through visual aids as opposed to someone explaining it to you through auditory means, then Rosetta Stone should be an effective match for your learning style.
Immersive Learning Experience
Our team really likes Rosetta Stone’s immersive learning framework and we think it’s an effective approach for learning Italian.
Sure, it may cause some frustration at times for individuals, especially in the early stages of language acquisition, but ultimately, by cutting out English as a go-between, we think it helps you learn and understand the language faster.
Next, we have to mention Rosetta Stone’s TruAccent speech recognition technology, which is integrated into pretty much every lesson. This tech allows you to receive immediate feedback on your verbal practice exercises in order to improve and perfect your Italian pronunciation.
In our opinion, this is a clear highlight of the Rosetta Stone Italian program, and quite honestly, we think it’s one of the best speech tools in the entire language learning community (along with Babbel’s software).
Rosetta’s TruAccent speech tool is quick, easy-to-use, and overall we found it to be pretty accurate. Therefore, given the fact that learning is typically most efficient when you speak words out loud, we have to give Rosetta Stone two thumbs up in the speech department.
Supplemental Learning Resources
Rosetta Stone provides a plethora of supplemental resources in addition to their standard lessons (e.g. on-demand videos, stories, phrasebooks, audio companions, and more).
Of all these extra resources, our favorite has to be the stories feature, which is kind of like a parent teaching his or her child. That’s my best analogy.
Essentially, a short story is read to you, and then you are asked to read it back so you can practice your pronunciation.
Plus, what’s nice is that the short stories cover a wide range of entertaining topics. For example, one of the first stories is about a small farm in which you learn about ducks, cows, and butterflies (silly, but actually kind of cool).
Overall, the stories are just a great way to hone your listening and speaking skills.
Live Italian Classes
Lastly, I should mention the live classes from Rosetta Stone. Now to be clear, these live lessons are not included in the standard Rosetta Stone packages.
However, if you have the money, we think the classes are flat out awesome. Not only do you get to interact with peers that are at the same learning level as you (that way you can chat with other learners, exchange tips and tricks, and practice your conversational skills), but you also get live feedback from expert Italian coaches.
The classes span all learning levels (novice to advanced) and they are offered at different days and times throughout the week so you can easily fit them into your schedule.
Overall, the live lessons are an excellent complement to the standard lessons and a great way to boost your progress quickly.
Weaknesses Of The Rosetta Stone Italian Program
Now that you have a better idea of the areas in which Rosetta Stone excels, let’s turn the tables and discuss some of the negatives of using Rosetta Stone to learn Italian.
Repetitive Lesson Format
Unfortunately, the Rosetta Stone lessons do get somewhat repetitive. It’s basically the same three or four image-based practice exercises over and over again.
There’s just not a ton of variety so the lessons can get boring at times, which is why the supplemental resources we mentioned earlier are so important. They really help break up the monotony of the standard lessons.
Rosetta Stone does not provide explicit or detailed Italian grammar instruction. Instead, staying true to their learning framework, Rosetta Stone wants you to rely on your intuition and common sense to learn grammar, which may be an issue for some people.
There are people out there who appreciate having grammar rules and explanations spoon fed to them, so if you fall into that camp (you want easy to understand grammar explanations and rules right at your fingertips), then Rosetta Stone may not be the best fit for your situation.
However, to be fair, many linguists believe that studying grammar is not necessary for language acquisition. In fact, many experts argue learning grammar can be detrimental to the learning process, especially for beginners.
Instead, these linguists argue that exposure to language chunks is more effective than memorizing grammatical rules. As such, when it comes to grammar, it seems there is no right or wrong answer.
Basic Verbal Practice Exercises
Lastly, the verbal practice exercises within lessons are somewhat elementary. They just don’t progress into the intermediate or advanced realm.
Really, you’re just asked to repeat words and phrases independently in order to improve your pronunciation, which is fine (as we mentioned earlier, we think the Rosetta Stone’s speech tool is awesome), but the verbal practice exercises themselves are missing context.
Ultimately, we just wish the exercises were more advanced and actually mimic real world dialogue in which you need to think on your feet and respond at the proper times (similar to what Rocket and Pimsleur offer with their simulated conversations).
Unfortunately, in order to get this type of practice with Rosetta Stone, you’ll need to sign up for the live lessons that we referenced above. The only issue is that these live classes can get somewhat pricey.
Verdict: Is Rosetta Stone Good For Learning Italian?
Time to answer the question that everyone wants to know: is Rosetta Stone a good app for learning Italian? In short, our team thinks the answer is yes—if you are a visual learner.
Unfortunately, if you’re more of an auditory learner and looking for more traditional audio-based lessons, Rosetta Stone might not be the best fit. Sure, the company does offer stories and audio companion lessons, but that’s definitely not the core focus of this course.
Instead, Rosetta Stone is tailored more towards visual learners and teaching Italian through through an immersive learning framework.
All in all, we do like Rosetta Stone and think it is an effective program for learning Italian, especially considering the budget price tag and bonus resources that come bundled with the standard lessons.
The monthly subscription options from Rosetta Stone cost between $10 to $15 per month. However, the company’s subscription plans can often be found on sale for much less. Rosetta Stone also offers a lifetime subscription option for $400 (often found on sale for around $200).
How fast can I learn Italian with Rosetta Stone?
Expect to spend around 120 to 150 hours learning Italian with Rosetta Stone. If you complete all of the lessons within the course, you should be able to reach an intermediate level of fluency.
How many levels in Rosetta Stone Italian?
The Rosetta Stone Italian program is comprised of 20 learning units. Within each learning unit, there are several lessons to complete.
Is Rosetta Stone Italian worth it?
Yes, our team believes the Rosetta Stone Italian course is worth it. Not only is the course very affordable, but it’s also highly effective for learning Italian, especially if you are a visual learner.