Latin Level 1, 2 & 3 with Audio Companion™
A helpful tool with significant flaws
I am now mostly finished with Rosetta Stone Latin (version 3 levels 1 - 3) having used it off and on for the last couple of years.
Having begun with Latin already in the 7th grade, I find that at some point in learning Latin I always get stuck sitting in front of a list of tables trying to learn, e.g., pronouns, by rote memorization. This is where Rosetta Stone shines: by learning enough sample sentences and getting a feel for the language, you know whether to use "ea" or "eam" from familiarity with full sentences. You don't just have to recall it from a table you've memorized. Along the way you also pick up a lot of useful vocabulary which, again, you might otherwise have had to memorize by rote.
On the other hand, you also "learn" a lot of vocabulary which appears to have been invented so that the makers of the product don't have to change their pictures, "Latin" words and phrases for "laptop", "computer", "cell phone", "euros", "the United States", etc. This is where the serious flaws with the product begin. I suspect that most people learning Latin are trying to do one of the following things: (i) read texts in classical Latin, e.g., works by Cicero; (ii) read medieval, renaissance, and early modern texts, e.g., works by Descartes or Newton; (iii) read Christian religious texts; (iv) pass high school exams. It seems to me that much of the vocabulary from Rosetta Stone is irrelevant to those aims. I think the makers of the product should get rid of all this "laptop" business and remake the product with its constituency firmly in mind. That means coming up with more realistic situations, taking new pictures, and finding corresponding descriptions of those situations in real Latin (perhaps even in earlier texts).
I think it should also be said that Rosetta Stone Latin is NOT sufficient to teach the language because Latin grammar is so complex. You will need to buy a proper grammar, otherwise you simply won't understand why the word endings and word order are as they are, and you'll be limited in your own ability to generate new sentences. That's not so expensive or difficult to do, but it would have been nice for Rosetta Stone to offer its own grammar together with the product. Instead you'll need to find one on your own. One popular choice is Wheelock's Latin. I find that in doing Rosetta Stone I need to consult it from time to time.
So do I really recommend this product? It depends on how much money you have to spend. I would not recommend it to friends on a tight budget, because they could probably do as well by putting in extra time with Wheelock or other textbooks. But for friends with the money, I do think it makes certain key aspects of learning the language easier.
This product is good enough already to be of some value, and I think it has the potential to be really excellent. But that would require a serious effort on the part of Rosetta Stone. Here's to hoping they'll do the work.
December 10, 2011
I am a 13 year old who loves to learn. Rosetta Stone is simply a great program. I can now speak and think basic latin. Not many 13 year olds can say that.
August 13, 2011
Awesome method for conversational Latin!
Rosetta Stone Latin is fun and easy to use, and the audio companion actually really useful because it gives you plenty of opportunities to hear Latin in your spare time, allowing you to recall what you learned earlier and engraining the language into your mind. With plenty of practice, this program really works.
The pronunciation used in the program, however, falls short. Rosetta Stone attempts to use what is called the "Classical" pronunciation of Latin (the way Latin was spoken by the Romans in the time of Julius Caesar), which is becoming standard in schools and especially among those who seek to revive Latin as a living, spoken language. Anyone who has ever studied Latin formally, however, should know that Latin distinguishs between "long" and "short" vowels, something of extreme importance to Classical Latin syntax. Rosetta Stone ignores this fact and treats all vowels the virtually the same, and therefore is inconsistent with the style of pronunciation used in the program. There are a few other nuances of Classical Latin pronunciation that are completely ignored by Rosetta Stone, which is slightly dissapointing considering the amazing quality of other languages they offer; more research should have been done in this regard. It would have been perfect.
September 2, 2010
GOOD SOFTWARE, NOT OFFICIAL LANGUAGE!
Rosetta Stone V3 is simply : AMAZING
The Language is NOT the language the Vatican people use! beware!
This is the ANCIENT ROMAN Latin...otherwise its 5 stars!
They need to label Latin better as its misleading! now i know why its not a popular item....we want the better Latin!
August 28, 2010
One big flaw
Rosetta stone is great except for one large flaw.(at least in the latin version) It dose not explain anything it only shows pictures which for a complex language like latin is a huge flaw and can complicate and confuse things for me. Because of this I have to use a separate program to teach me the fine grammar while I only use Rosetta stone for vocabulary expansion. That was upsetting as I spent 500$ for the program.
June 4, 2010
As a single father, working 40+ hours a week and taking 9-12 credits per semester in college I am always short on time. I decided to try Rosetta Stone and learn Latin on my own, and hopefully test out of the language requirement in school. After going through the program, I have almost finished the 1st disk, I am sure that I will not only be able to test out, but I am actually enjoying it. I am also in the Military, and I spent 3 years living in Germany. I have learned more Latin in 3 months with Rosetta Stone then I learned German by living there for 3 years.
April 9, 2010
Rosetta Stone is simple and easy to use. Start speaking your language in a few days. Rosetta Stone is so easy even a cave man can do it.
April 8, 2010
I am home schooled and got this for my language class and I love it. It is so easy to learn and I retain it all. This is a great program for anybody who wants to learn Latin.
January 4, 2010
I started Rosetta stone: Latin, I started it a few weeks ago. I take a break every couple of days. Now I think about it when I walk and talk. The immersion technique is dynamite. I know the basic verb tenses. Rosetta Stone shows only one and I get them all not to mention my increase of vocabulary and I am about to start German or Russian and I just can't make up my mind.
October 2, 2009
Best Method Yet
I was offered the chance to use Rosetta Stone while stationed overseas, and so chose Latin because I've always wanted to learn it. I took German for 5 years as a class, and learned and retained more Latin in one month than in 5 years of German. Now that I'm back in the states I plan on ordering the complete package. I can't wait to continue learning.
September 11, 2009
Best Learning Software Out There!
I ordered this product for High School because I will be taking Latin. And wanted to prepare myself so I wanted to learn Latin. I also wanted to learn Latin to improve my SAT score on Vocabulary. I did the program over the summer brake and finished it in about 4 months and now i can speak the langugae and write the langugae. I also carry a Pocket Latin Dictionary for some other words in Latin I don't know. All my friends envy me and think it's really cool I know Latin. Now I'm going to learn Greek to also improve my SAT score.
July 10, 2009