Photos. In the very best of cases, it is not always easy to learn what a photo is trying to indicate. For instance, it takes quite a bit of creativity to provide the contextual clues that show the difference between say, a sister and a friend. The quality of photos in Rosetta Stone is uneven. Some photos are not only pleasing to the eye but very clever in their design. Others are poor in quality (both composition and lighting). This is not a fatal flaw, as either way, sooner or later we begin to uncover the meaning of the puzzle. Perhaps Rosetta Stone could provide, hidden under an icon, the meaning of the word or expression in the target language. It would be wonderful if the photos had more face validity, so that one could imagine that the people in the photos are from the target language one is learning.

Vocabulary. Rosetta Stone would be even more powerful if it was designed to increase or decrease our exposure to words and expressions as we make mistakes or learn them. For all practical purposes, one has to repeat the complete lesson rather than focus on target vocabulary.

Speed. Rosetta Stone moves somewhat slowly to the next screen after receiving our input. Although we are talking about fractions of a second, it sometimes feels like the lesson is dragging.


Rosetta Stone provides the lessons in audio files. At first I was surprised that these were completely in the target language. At one time I had used Language 30 audio, which would provide the word in the known language, and repeated twice, after a pause, in the target language. Over time, I have come to find great value in the Rosetta Stone immersion approach and the importance of listening to these audio files. As we listen to the audio files during commute, exercise or at other times, our brain will pick up certain words and expressions. It does not matter at all if we know what a particular word means. As we come across that word or expression during our regular computer practice sessions, we will learn these faster. Also, these audio files are an excellent review of materials learned.