The British are famous for their lack of skill when it comes to learning new languages - the stereotype of a Brit abroad being someone who just shouts louder to make himself understood. Rosetta Stone language-learning software aims to set us straight by providing an innovative means of learning a new language on your computer.
We tried out the first two levels of the French edition of Rosetta Stone Version 3.0 (a third level is available once you've mastered the first two). Level one is designed to provide a foundation of essential vocabulary – the basics you need to get by. The software teaches all the language skills you need - writing, reading and speech - with the ability to test your accent against the native speakers used throughout.
Rosetta Stone Version 3.0 comes with a headset, which allows you to both listen and speak to practise these two essential skills.
Rosetta Stone Version 3.0 takes a 'dynamic immersion' approach, aiming to teach you a new language the way you learnt your mother tongue as a child. There is no translation and you learn by matching up words and sounds to images onscreen. As you progress the software's adaptive recall remembers the areas where you've struggled and flags them up again so you can brush up your skills even in areas where you have been weak.
To get the best results from the software you have to choose which gender voice you have and set up your headset so you can listen and speak into your PC
The second level of Rosetta Stone Version 3.0 builds up the vocabulary and essential language structure that you have created in level one. You move on from simple greetings and questions to more sophisticated sentences, allowing you to use transportation, dine out or even hold a simple conversation.