Arabic Level 1, 2 & 3
Needs a transliteration option
What this language learning packet lacks, and other Rosetta Stone products (Chinese, Japanese, etc.) have, is the option to have a transliterated (romanized) version of the Arabic script. Many of us are visual learners. The product, as it currently stands, is more of an aural learning package. Yes, the Arabic letters are taught, but only 3 or 4 per lesson, so it's very slow-going, and of course each letter has at least 3 forms depending upon where it is in the word (beginning, middle or end), so associating the same aural sound with each letter is difficult. A transliteration option would help one learn that, yes, those 3 Arabic letters all sound like "meh" or "tu", or whatever. Meanwhile, you're learning a lot of vocabulary, but retention is a problem, because it doesn't stick without being able to associate a visual representation with the aural one right from the beginning. As you proceed, you could always switch back to the Arabic script. Please consider improving this product by adding a romanized script to bring it up to the standards of other Rosetta Stone products. Finally, I also agree with another reviewer who suggested a larger font. We're not all 10 years old anymore!
June 13, 2013
Seems most dont understand how the program works
Seems that many people are saying that you must already have an understanding of the arabic writing to use the course. This is a misunderstanding of how the course works. These people are angry because it starts off from the beginning only showing the words written in arabic, and they think that they are supposed to understand everything they see before moving on. But (fortunately) Rosetta Stone doesnt work that way. You should focus on learning the vocabulary they are teaching you, and just pay attention to the words they are showing you. You start to develop connections with certain sounds, and then they start teaching one or two letters at a time. as you start seeing those letters, and noticing them, they start working in a few more. before you know it, you are able to recognize all of the letters fairly easily. I have no problem reading anything written in arabic now, even though I dont always know what the words mean. I highly recommend rosetta stone, and suggest that you stick with it, and just keep going. Don't worry about what you dont understand in each lesson, if it says you pass, then keep moving. you will not know the new vocabulary after only the core lesson. It is designed to familiarize you with it, and the following lessons will cement it into your head a little at a time. Hope this review helps! Good luck with your language studies!
March 26, 2013
This program is not worth the time. First section starts without teaching you the basic alphabet and the different sounds of each letter. Even though I have had years of speaking Arabic, I could not use this program to try to teach my son. Very bad program
February 21, 2013
The course is worthless unless you already know the alphabet and some vocabulary.
The translation added is not correct.
It is not possible to put the course on a usb-stick so you have to carry the discs when you travel abroad.
A refund is not allowed because this is software that you bought.
February 11, 2013
Horrible if you are a beginner
Rosetta stone negatively shocked me with this product. It was purchased for me as a gift and I want a refund. This is definitely not a beginners course. For goodness sakes the alphabet is not correctly introduced. Instead of making me feel motivated to learn Arabic, this product did the complete opposite. ZERO STARS. VERY DISAPPOINTING ROSETTA STONE!
January 28, 2013
If you have not had prior instruction of Arabic Rosetta will not help you learn or truly understand Arabic at all. Period.
You may learn two or three vocab words, but Rosetta Stone gives no instruction on the alphabet (!), and no actual instruction on verb conjugation or tenses, or vowels for that matter either.
I already speak/read/write Arabic at an intermediate level. I scored 98% on Level 1, BUT only because I already a) knew the simple vocab, b) knew the verb conjugation, c) knew the correct tenses/pronouns etc...- NONE OF WHICH ROSETTA TEACHES YOU!
After you complete the product, you will be virtually where you started: without any genuine, comprehensive understanding of the Arabic language. It is essentially a children's picture matching software program. Sure, you will memorize certain words associated with the pictures, but you will not understand the language in any way.
January 24, 2013
I had higher expectations
All I can say is wow. This product is worthless unless you have prior Arabic experience training. Period. I can't stress this enough. I would not recommend this product at all unless you have other resources to learn from. No grammatical explanations, I don't want to learn how to say the man is swimming right away... Id would rather learn the basic hello, goodbye, thank you, your welcome, my name is, etc!!! And I think many people would agree with me. No explanations of Arabic alphabet either.
I am not impressed with Rosetta stone.
December 25, 2012
Product really needs improvements
Overall this could be a great product, the main problem is that nobody speaks like that in the Arab world.
Rosetta Stone is focused on everyday life interactions, though in everyday life interactions nobody speaks like that: the dialect is different in every country. The oral language is different from the written language. It's like learning latin in order to speak italian.
So after finishing this program, people will somehow understand you, but you will most probably understand nobody, except highly educated people who will be able to adapt to your level of language.
I have to say I had high expectations, and I am really disappointed. An improvement is really needed.
December 18, 2012
Intuitive and Flexible
After the Korean War, my father was completing his language training at Rikkyo University, obtaining a masters degree in Japanese history. So, I grew up in Japan, with Japanese as my first language. It is family lore that upon returning home my father would address me in English and I would respond in Japanese. Switching languages, he would address me in Japanese and I would respond in English. It was / is a game we continue today. Having grown up in Japan, I eventually moved back to the United States and upon completion of my Ph.D. now teach at a Major University.
I am now travelling to Cairo, Egypt, on my sabbatical, to teach at the American University of Cairo. While it is an English speaking University, I feel that living in Egypt for a semester affords me the opportunity to see the new theatre of Egypt and experience the culture as only the understanding of language provides. I have undertaken the study of Arabic to reach these goals.
What is interesting to note is the similarity between Japanese and Arabic. On the surface this sounds absurd but, in linguistic practice it is a viable statement. The language is complex yet very similar in sentence structure, ‘honorifics’ (sexuality & social rank), and in pronunciation. The written language is also similar in that the ‘radicals’ that define Japanese Kanji are no different than the intermediate steps of the Sanskrit Alphabet. I am obviously engaged in my studies. Rosetta Stone is helping make this so. It is easy to use, intuitive, and on my busy schedule available for learning when I am.
Thanks to Rosetta Stone I am accomplishing my goals.
November 28, 2012
Good if you already have experience
This product is great for people who already have experience in Arabic. Fortunately, I am one of those people, but there are many grammatical aspects and words that I can imagine would be quite confusing to new people. A way to greatly improve this product would be to at least give an option to show a translation of a word, so often I had to rely on Google Translate to tell me the definition of a word I didn't understand. In essence, Rosetta Stone is a good tool for memorizing specific phrases, but it's difficult to construct your own sentences from the minimal explanation provided. If, however, you already know some Arabic, I would give this product my recommendation.
October 6, 2012
I am a an Arabic major who graduated about six months ago. This program is overall a very good learning tool that will give you the foundation for building upon your Arabic since it caters to visual, vocal, audio and writing learning styles. In my case, this learning program is also effective in helping to maintain Arabic vocabulary already learned. One improvement that can be made with this product is for it to adjust the lesson plan according to the performance of the user. Also, a vocab list at the beginning of each lesson would be very helpful.
January 13, 2012
I need to become fluent in Arabic as I will be moving to Morocco. My friends and family speak Arabic, so I was already familiar with the language somewhat. Arabic is an EXTREMELY difficult language to learn as it has sounds not found in English language. The writing...wow..completely different. I wasn't even aware that the Arabic version of Rosetta Stone also teaches you to read Arabic writing as well until I visited a kiosk in the local mall and the sales person showed me the demo. While this version of Arabic that Rosetta Stone teaches is the Modern Standard Arabic, it will really give you a solid base for different dialects. I have several friends from different Middle East countries who speak different dialects, but still understand the MSA. I looked into taking a class at the local college but it was about the same price as the full set and was only Level 1. I like this product as I can repeat the levels as many times as necessary. I also like how the product gives various methods of how to pronounce the word given. Yes it is expensive, but I do not regret the purchase! I plan on getting the French version once I have mastered Arabic.
October 10, 2011
My parents speak arabic and it has been hard to learn/retain since I have not been living with them for years. I have visited my family in Egypt and have trouble understanding/conversing with them. This product is already helping me achieve the ability to retain my roots and strengthen family ties through the use of knowing a foreign language. thanks
April 10, 2011
Everything I hoped for
Rosetta Stone is not just one of those programs that are hyped up all over the place and then fail to meet expectations when you try it out yourself. It's amazing! It's a fun way to learn a language and it's really easy to do. I really enjoy the grading system they put up, too because it provides everyone the chance to take pride in how they do at the end of one lesson. Overall, it is a great experience that I would definitely recommend to my friends and coworkers.
April 8, 2011
So far, I could not be happier with this program. It is very effective, and unlike other language programs I have tried, the lessons really do stick with me. Rosetta Stone has definitely provided me with a sense of confidence when speaking Arabic that I lacked with using other programs. The games are very fun and extremely useful tools to help reinforce the lessons. In addition, the practice sessions with native tutors are wonderful. I highly recommend this program to any one!
April 8, 2011
Great way to learn
At first it was hard, but then the more I worked on it the more natural it felt and the easier the learning became. I would recomend Rosetta Stone to anybody interested in learning another language. I seen other products that offer or should say they say they offer the same thing that Roseta Stone offers but they didn't. They don't even come close.
April 7, 2011
nothing is ever perfect
i have been enjoying my arabic lessons a lot and learning (which is the whole point). there are also some areas i would like to have more options.
1. to be able to pause the exercise whenever i need to, especially to write down a new word.
2. a call-up screen for grammar so i could see the pattern of conjugation for a verb.
3. an on-line (i.e., on demand) conversation session. i have difficulty scheduling the interactive sessions.
4. larger print!!!on the arabic.
November 13, 2010
2 weeks in and loving it!
I've been learning Arabic for a little over two weeks and I am already very comfortable speaking, listening and reading this language that is so very different from my own.
November 9, 2010
I picked up this Arabic course after a trip to Turkey, during which I was being woken up in the early morning hours with a call to prayer that I didn't understand...it was both beautiful and haunting. I then returned to the U.S. and a job opportunity came across my inbox for which my background matched all of the criteria except for the Arabic language. So when I happened upon the Rosetta Stone kiosk in the Time-Warner center in New York a few days later, I bought it on a whim wanting a new mental challenge to tackle.
I had never tried a Rosetta Stone product before, and Arabic seemed especially daunting because it has an entirely new alphabet and sounds to learn to pronounce. The program is challenging because it forces you to actually *listen* to the sounds and break out the patterns in the sentences and phrases. It requires the same sort of memorization as though you are a kid learning your mother tongue for the first time. It's been an entirely different experience from learning French (in school, concentrating on written form) or Italian (while living in Italy amongst the Italians). The Rosetta Stone experience so far - I have just completed level 2 - is much more like my experience with learning Italian in Italy. It's much more like learning the language from a native then from a high school teacher.
If you miss a few days, as I did for my brother's out-of-state wedding, the program allows you to go back to any point to re-do the lessons to freshen your memory, or to make sure that what you learned stuck. Sometimes, I'll listen to a lesson over and over until I can decipher the exact nuances of the sounds. The program also comes with a microphone, and it forces you to actually speak - and it won't let you go forward until you say the words more or less correctly.
I haven't yet used any of the many online activities offered. However, all the same, I find myself addicted to using the program regularly. I even picked up a supplemental book on learning the Arabic alphabet, to familiarize myself better with the Arabic letters and their different forms.
I look forward to working on Level 3!
November 8, 2010
More than meets the eye...
I have studied Spanish in many different ways. I took classes in junior high, high school, minored in it in college and have been working for nearly two years as a Spanish tutor for one of the largest distance education purveyors worldwide. I spent two years in Argentina and am certified by the CRLA to tutor at any college campus in the United States.
I bought Rosetta Stone Version 3 Levels 1-5 in Spanish for my wife to help her get excited about learning Spanish and it has really blown my mind how intuitive the program really is (when combined with grammar instruction). This program gets you to SPEAK which is the most important part of language learning.
I myself have just purchased Rosetta Stone Version 4 TOTALe Levels 1-3 for Arabic and I am very happy with the character instruction. Also, though the Rosetta Studio sessions are challenging, they help me learn Arabic the way that I learned Spanish in Argentina.
November 8, 2010
Good but could be better
It is a good program and has the right approach but at times it is confusing and doesn't seem to teach quick enough. Also it is very expensive.
November 8, 2010
Nothing like what Arabs speak
I like the Rosetta Stone format in general, but I really dislike the Arabic program in specific.
This is nothing like what Arabs speak. In Arabic there are different levels of formality, comparable to the difference between the English you hear on the street, the English you use in a college paper, and Shakespearean. Rosetta Stone Arabic is Classical Arabic, like Shakespearean English. It is only used in classical literature, never spoken. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is what is typically taught here in universities, and is less formal. Arabs will understand this, but do not typically use it. Then you have colloquial, the dialect spoken in that particular country. The words are very different. For instance, Rosetta Stone gives the phrase 'How are you?' as 'Kayfa haluka?', but if you say this to an Arab they will laugh at you, as it is similar to telling an American 'How art thou?'.
I am in Level 3 now, and I think it is overall a good supplement to a university education, if you are learning Classical Arabic and MSA; but if you want to go to an Arab country and speak with the people there, YOU WILL NOT LEARN HOW TO DO SO FROM THIS PRODUCT. Rosetta Stone desperately needs to produce several more versions of their Arabic program, and label each according to its level and dialect; similar to what they did with Spanish(Spain) and Spanish(Latin America). The current version would suffice for Classical Arabic, but they need to produce versions for MSA, Egyptian, Levantine, Gulf, Iraqi, and Maghrebi.
July 17, 2010
A Good Mental Workout
I purchased Arabic 1, 2, and 3 for both immediate and long-term reasons. The purchase was made partly in preparation for an upcoming trip to the Middle East. I also saw the purchase as a long-term investment to broaden my skill set. It's been a great introduction, but I certainly have gone slower than I expected. It's a challenge, which is great, but it can be mentally taxing, especially after a long day at work. This is not a program you can cram. Overall this is a fantastic purchase and the digital immersion is unique and effective. I am surprised at how the program often triggers my own intuition to figure things out. There are, however a few things I wish the program provided. One would be more basic greetings and travel-oriented phrases up front. I was several lessons (and several days) in before I learned how to say "How are you." I've joked with my friends that I won't be able to greet anyone on my trip or ask for directions, but I will be able to tell everyone that "the girl drinks milk." Another thing that would be helpful would be more explicit grammar lessons. There are separate "grammar" lessons, but they aren't markedly distinct from the other lessons. When I'm trying to learn new words, a new alphabet and script, and new sounds all at the same time, it would be helpful to see clearer illustrations of grammatical rules, such as gender endings and nominative sentences. I finally figured out what was going on once I found some free Arabic lesson podcasts to supplement my studies. Overall, this is a great purchase. It has served me well and will continue to do so. However, checking out supplemental materials to confirm intuition or solidify understanding may be helpful.
April 23, 2010
I enjoy this way of learning it works very well looking at the pictures and answering just when I get bored of that another method of listen then repeat starts up and the cd in the car is wonderful I can actually visualize the dvd portion it lets me know just ow much I have retained.... I have told others about this....
April 18, 2010
I have just started using it, and I must admit, Arabic is VERY hard!! mainly becausethere doesn't seem to be a simple word for individual things, so it makes it hard to know what I am learning...and the sounds change depending on what is added to the first word, so I find it very difficult, not like the demo where I learned words in Turkish and remembered them for weeks! I'm going to keep plugging at it, but I don't think I will be speaking Arabic any time soon!
April 11, 2010
Not Sure Yet
So far I'm not entirely sure if this was the best investment I've made or the worst investment I've made. That's not to say it's a bad, or good, product but for me personally, I need to know the translation of what I'm saying because of the way my mind works. I have a general idea of what I'm saying but given the amount of training I've had in social research, the smallest differences in the pictures they show makes me wonder what exactly I'm saying. Anyways, I'm sure I'm about to hit the point where everything clicks but as of now I'm fairly indifferent to Rosetta Stone Arabic.
April 11, 2010
While I had read solid reviews of the product prior to purchase, I was still quite reluctant to make such an investment just on the basis of others' opinions. Was their experience level with the language different? Did they have a different learning style? These types of questions were quickly answered after my first few times using the program, as the style of Rosetta Stone teaches you the language in a much more intuitive fashion than you have likely seen in a classroom, and you quickly associate new words, phrases, and tenses with images that you see, more quickly facilitating your grasp of vocabulary and grammar. It is a more holistic method of learning a language, and I encourage all those who are enthusiastic about learning to use this program.
April 10, 2010
not for Egyptian Arabic
I had Egyptian Arabic CDs before. Whichever variety of Arabic this is sounds like almost a different language. It should say on the box which kind of Arabic it is.
Since I'm planning a trip to Egypt, I gave it only 4 stars. I think it's not much use to learn a drastically different form of Arabic. For someone looking to learn whatever Arabic variety this is, then RS should be fine.
April 9, 2010
The Rosetta Stone program is excellent. It integrates all levels of learning, from spelling, precise pronunciation, reading and verbal understanding.
April 8, 2010
Very Good Software
I recently purchased the Arabic Rosetta Stone software because I want to apply to be an FBI agent after I graduate college and knowing Arabic is a good way to get accepted. I was pleasantly surprised on how easy and fast it was to learn Arabic. I have the first edition of German and I think the new interface is a lot nicer and easier to view. The pictures are a lot more clear now too. I thought that I would need a dictionary because there were words that I didn't understand and couldn't figure out at first but as the program went along I did figure them out and that surprised me. I was also surprised after studying the program that I knew words that I thought that I didn't know. This program is excellent and I am planning on purchasing a few of the other languages as well.
April 8, 2010