The History of Rosetta Stone


Rosetta Stone is a tool used to learn languages. It was created by Allen Stoltzfus, who began studying Russian in the 1980s, but felt like he wasn’t progressing as quickly as he’d like to. As a result, he turned to a new study tactic: immersion. Years before, Stoltzfus had successfully mastered the German language through immersion in the country. He felt that he had been able to thoroughly learn German not by sitting in a classroom, but instead through experiencing the culture in a natural way, without translation.

This is what sparked Stoltzfus’s idea that eventually grew into the Rosetta Stone we see on the market today. From Rosetta Stone Spanish to French, Italian, and Rosetta Stone English, there is now a range of language options available, all based on the concept that traditional classroom experiences aren’t the best way to teach a new language.

Rosetta Stone became a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2009 and has continued to grow since its original inception to now include more than 30 different language options available in over 150 countries. Rosetta Stone is based in Virginia but has offices in major cities throughout the U.S. including San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, and Boston, as well as around the globe.

While it has become a global leader in language acquisition as well as literacy promotion, many people still wonder, “Does Rosetta Stone work?”

They may be cautious to leap into this product, as they’re unsure of whether or not it will truly be helpful as they work to learn a new language. For that reason, we compiled comprehensive information about the company and its products for this Rosetta Stone review, to ensure you’re able to make an informed decision before purchasing any of these products.



How Does Rosetta Stone Work?

With so many different language programs available, you’re likely wondering how does Rosetta Stone work in a way that makes it more compelling and distinctive than the competition?

The primary concept is that from your very first interaction with the product, you’re learning only what you would actually need regarding hearing, speaking, and using the language.

Image Source: Rosetta Stone Reviews

The interactive immersion experience progresses through a sequence that is meant to make it faster and also easier to learn a language. Once one step of the process is mastered, learners then move to the next.

This sequence includes:

  • Sights and sounds
  • Words
  • Sentences
  • Conversations

The goal, according to the company, is learning through intuition and a natural sense of moving forward, rather than merely repeating words and sentences over and over. By replacing memorization with the recognition of patterns, the hope is that users will be able to naturally learn a language in a way that will then translate into real-world usage.

You won’t just be speaking the language: you’ll be comprehending it.

Through active learning, users are also meant to retain the language skills they acquire.

Some of the most commonly purchased Rosetta Stone language programs include: Rosetta Stone Spanish (Latin America), French, Italian, German, English (American), and Chinese (Mandarin).

Other available language programs include:

  • Arabic
  • Dari
  • Dutch
  • English (British)
  • Filipino (Tagalog)
  • (Greek)
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Indonesian
  • Irish
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latin
  • Pashto
  • Persian (Farsi)
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Russian
  • Spanish (Spain)
  • Swahili
  • Swedish
  • Turkish
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese


The learning process is differentiated by levels, which are:

  • Level One (0-50 hours): During level one you’ll learn the foundation of a new language. This is where you’ll gain an understanding of conversational basics such as greetings and introductions. Once you’ve completed level one you should be able to do things such as exchange simple greetings, introduce yourself or visit shopping places and make simple requests comfortably.
  • Level Two (51-100 hours): Level two progresses beyond the fundamentals and equips you to make what Rosetta Stone calls “connections.” You can successfully “navigate your environment” by doing things such as asking for directions or giving others directions, using public transportation, telling time, and other basics of living or visiting within a particular culture.
  • Level Three (101-150 hours): During the exploration phase of Rosetta Stone you’ll start being able to share your feelings and talk about yourself and your everyday life in a more detailed way.
  • Level Four (151-200 hours): The clarity phase lets you go a step further in sharing your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. You can also talk about things such as your profession and interests.
  • Level Five (201-250 hours): The final level of the Rosetta Stone process is called “Conversation.” This is where you can talk about essentially anything, and you can then move toward refining your conversational skills to become more like a native speaker.

As so many people wonder about when exploring reviews of Rosetta Stone, it’s important also to understand what’s included when you make a purchase, which we detail next.



What’s Included with the Rosetta Stone Cost?

There are two different ways you can purchase and utilize this product, and there are some big differences between the online subscription version and the instant download/CD-ROM version.

With the online subscription you have instant access, and you receive a license lasting anywhere from 3 to 36 months. You’re allowed one user and you receive the following:

  • Interactive course
  • Speech recognition
  • Live online tutoring
  • Games and activities
  • Mobile apps

With the Instant Download/CD-ROM version you receive forever access, as well as the ability to include five users.

You also receive:

  • The interactive course
  • Speech recognition
  • A 3-month trial of live online tutoring
  • A 3-month trial of games and activities
  • A 3-month trial of mobile apps

The Live Conversation Sessions are online meetings with native speakers of the language you are learning, designed to help you refine your skills in a natural setting.

The games included with some of the Rosetta Stone products aim to enhance your skills in a fun way as you progress toward proficiency, and the mobile apps are an interesting integration into the program, which lets users learn even when they’re not at their computer.

With Rosetta Stone mobile apps you can utilize the innovative Rosetta Stone technology from most mobile devices including smartphones and tablets while your progress will sync automatically so you can learn from anywhere.

Also included with the Rosetta Stone price are several extras. Depending on the package you select you may receive things like a USB headset with a microphone, which can facilitate simpler interactions with native speakers and live tutors.



How Is Rosetta Stone Different From Other Language Programs?

Rosetta Stone varies significantly from traditional language programs by focusing on interaction.

Rather than solely relying on instruction regarding grammar rules, word memorization and structure, the Rosetta Stone immersive solution asks learners to interact actively with the language and then show they’re able not just to remember things, but use critical thinking to effectively use their skills.

Rosetta Stone Review

Image Source: Rosetta Stone

The method utilized by Rosetta Stone is called “Dynamic Immersion,” backed by science based on how we naturally learn languages. It’s about constant interaction with a language, as well as beginning to think in that language, much as we do when we’re learning our first language as a child.



Rosetta Stone for Individuals, Classrooms, and Business

Rosetta Stone offers a variety of different product packages tailored to individuals, for classroom use, and business settings.

Classroom solutions include products for K-12 settings, as well as higher education. These products are used by more than 22,000 educational institutions around the world and include Rosetta Stone English as well as other world language solutions designed to prepare students for the demands of a global economy.

Rosetta Stone business solutions are designed for public and private sector organizations and are created with the idea that competitiveness can be improved through the creation of a diverse workforce. One of the most important elements of diverse employees is language proficiency.



Is Rosetta Stone Right For Me?

While you may have an understanding of the foundations of this product from this and other Rosetta Stone reviews, you may still be on the fence about whether or not it’s something that will be valuable to you.

One of the most important takeaways from this and any other reviews on Rosetta Stone is to understand that it does require self-discipline to use this product. You’re working at your own pace and within your own environment, and while the concept maintains this is more effective than traditional classroom training, you may find that it’s difficult to concentrate or motivate yourself to complete lessons.

If you’re someone who has no trouble with self-motivation and discipline, this can be an excellent product for you.

It does also require some significant time investments—it doesn’t promise you’ll learn a language overnight or even in a few days, as that is essentially impossible.

The length of the lessons varies depending on type:

  • Core lessons teach new material, and they take about 30 minutes each to complete.
  • Focused activities are designed to reinforce and expand on the concepts you learned during the core lessons, and they usually last anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
  • Milestones are simulated conversations, with each lasting about 15 minutes.

Each level of Rosetta Stone is estimated to take learners about 40 hours total, although this number can be much higher or lower depending on the person.



To complete levels 1-3 typically requires about 120-150 hours of study time. To complete all of the content from levels 1-5, you should expect to dedicate upwards of 200 hours.

What’s critical to consider in the decisions of whether or not to purchase Rosetta Stone is your personal learning style, as well as the amount of time you have available to dedicate to the program. The users who have the best results are often the people who recognize the time investment and are willing to go above and beyond to complete all coursework and utilize some of the extras available in the Rosetta Stone price, such as the live tutoring sessions.

So, does Rosetta Stone work? Yes, but only if you’re willing to put in the necessary effort. If you’re unsure of whether or not it’s a product that will meet your time and learning needs, we suggest taking advantage of one of the frequently offered free demos to get a feel for the style and interface. You can also opt for a three-month online subscription, which gives you access to all of the features but isn’t a long-term commitment. Rosetta Stone can also be purchased in individual levels.



Technical Considerations

As part of this Rosetta Stone review, we thought it was important to offer information about the system requirements, which are important in terms of whether or not the product will work well for you.

For the online subscription, you must have a device that meets minimum system requirements.

Operating System (you need one of the following):

  • Windows: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 or higher
  • Mac (Intel based only): Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion (OS X 10.6 or higher)
  • Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 4, Safari 5, Chrome 11 or greater
  • Adobe Flash Player version 10.3 or greater

Computer Hardware (all of the following are required):

  • On Windows: 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor OR Intel® Atom™ 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbooks
  • On Mac: Intel Core™ Duo 1.33GHz or faster processor
  • 1 GB of RAM or higher
  • 1024 x 768 display resolution
  • High-speed Internet connection (at least 768Kbps)
  • USB headset with microphone

If you’re accessing online services, you need a standard broadband Internet connection, and you must be at least 13 years old.

For the Download and CD-ROM version of Rosetta Stone:

Operating System (you need one of the following):

  • Windows: Windows 7, 8, 10 or higher
  • Mac (Intel based only): OS X 10.7 (Lion) or higher

Computer Hardware (all of the following):

  • On Windows: 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor or Intel® Atom™ 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbooks
  • On Mac: Intel Core™ Duo 1.33GHz or faster processor
  • 1 GB of RAM or higher
  • 3 GB free hard-drive space (per level)
  • 1024 x 768 display resolution
  • Broadband Internet connection
  • Available port for headset with microphone

As with the online version, you will also need a standard broadband Internet connection, and you should be at least 13 years old.

For the CD-ROM, Version 3 & Homeschool version, you need a Windows 2000 or later operating system or for a Mac, a Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard or Lion OS.

All of the following computer hardware is required:

  • 1 GHz or faster CPU, 512 MB RAM
  • 600 MB free hard-drive space (per level)
  • Internet or phone connection for activation
  • 16X CD-ROM Drive (for installation)
  • USB headset with microphone

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Where Can I Buy Rosetta Stone?

This language acquisition program is widely used and has a long reputation for effectiveness, which is why where to buy Rosetta Stone is an easy question to answer.

You can purchase Rosetta Stone directly through their website, and this is where you can find the online subscription services.

Click the link below to save 50%

You can also buy the CD-ROM versions of the programs at kiosks located in shopping centers around the country, and at big-name retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Barnes & Noble, as well as Best Buy.

It’s our hope that this Rosetta Stone review wasn’t just informative, but was also helpful in your buying decision. It is our goal to provide you with an in-depth overview of this product and how it works, so you can determine if it’s a purchase worth making.



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