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This review applies to trying Rosetta Stone for Japanese. Rosetta Stone is simply a solution of the past. There are way too many modern language learning applications that have been proven to work better than this one and are far cheaper. Rosetta Stone is a relic that focuses on rote repetition of out-of-context words and phrases; it was designed back when people studied language using cassette tapes while driving to work and they have never updated their methodology. The intent is that you learn by being “immersed” in a language, however to Rosetta Stone, immersion means “here is a rather ambiguous picture, now figure out this sentence using words and grammar you haven’t been taught.” This isn’t how to truly learn a language, it’s how you memorize outdated phrases and look like an idiot when you try to speak to locals. As for the app itself, the voice recognition feature is indescribably bad: I literally started to say “blah blah blah blah” and was marked as correct half the time. The play back of phrases is clearly English-speakers reading from phonetic scripts, so the pronunciation is horrid. On top of all this, the price is ridiculous for such a poor tool. The great reviews here must be from old timers who don’t know better options exist. There is no reason for this to have more than two stars.
This app is weird, stupid, obscure and terrible. I think the reviews that are positive are fake. Deliberately confusing seems to be the modus operandi. I have learned much, much more from the free version of Duolingo. One thing you need to know about Duolingo is you can get health back by practice. This app seemed good during the small free part, it’s no surprise they want you to pay for the whole thing upfront, no one would continue if it were a monthly plan. Save your money! Ridiculous scenarios are given with vague pictures and you’re supposed to supply the dialogue, I couldn’t provide the dialogue in my native language let alone in a foreign language. Stupid stupid stupid deliberately vague aggravating, and they know it and don’t do anything about it. The microphone works only intermittently sometimes the speakers don’t work either, supposedly the app is saying something but you don’t hear anything and it Marks you wrong when it’s never said anything. Incredibly aggravating makes my blood boil. I don’t know why I ever spent any money on this app. It pisses me off to read all the reviews and they tell you to go inside the app and report the problem. I took the time to tell you what the problem was- go fix it don’t tell me to go report it somewhere else!
The teaching on this app, I love. It's a great idea. I wish I'd went month to month at this point though rather than pay for two years. It is the buggiest app I've ever used. In fact, it's so buggy the uncommon word "hate" comes to mind. I went all the way thru module three recently and got to the last lesson. I get a pop-up that says, skipping ahead? You didn't finish all the lessons. I go back and look and sure enough, the Review lesson I'd done said I'd not done it. This particular one I knew I'd done...8 times! You see, for the Review lessons, you can't retake and fix one card, it makes you retake the entire lesson! I wanted a 100% so I retook it until I did. Guess what... It apparently lost all progress. I ended up taking it two more times, finally getting everything right. When I finished, it said I missed one anyways. What!? I have another Review that I know I'll never get right because despite voice set to easy and having taken a year in college of German from a native German, it says I cannot pronounce one word. I gave up. In some lessons I can use the wrong word entirely when I'm trying to guess the dialogue and get a 100% but in the Review, which you must fully retake if you miss something, it won't get the single word right. In short, if you are a perfectionist or have limited time to waste on bugs, this is not the app for you. There are better ones for free that won't make you cuss in front of children or want to throw your phone.
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