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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am impressed
It took a little time to set it up and the first exercises were a little confusing as to what I was expected to do (what to click on, what was happening etc.) and not understanding completely what the saying was (nouns pretty obvious from the picture but the words either side were not revealed as to their meaning). But perseverance pays off and I got through an hour's...
Published 9 months ago by Keith Lawson

versus
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not an alternative to face-to-face lessons
The software takes the approach of immersing the learner in the language with no translations and leaving the learner to figure out for him/herself what the Italian words mean. You can practice your pronunciation using the included USB headset and listen back to see how well you can emulate a native speaker. You can also log on and undertake a live online tutorial session...
Published 10 months ago by TheProf


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am impressed, 24 Nov 2013
By 
Keith Lawson (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course (PC/Mac) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It took a little time to set it up and the first exercises were a little confusing as to what I was expected to do (what to click on, what was happening etc.) and not understanding completely what the saying was (nouns pretty obvious from the picture but the words either side were not revealed as to their meaning). But perseverance pays off and I got through an hour's worth of exercises the first time. It was only the next day, when walking the dog, I realised I had retained phrases and enunciation - the stuff had sunk in. Previous attempts at learning a language from books (with phonetics) were not as effective as this. So, this is early days and it is up to me to continue at regular intervals and see how quickly and how much I pick up. I will have to update this review at stages to confirm it is as good as first impressions make it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not an alternative to face-to-face lessons, 4 Nov 2013
By 
TheProf (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course (PC/Mac) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The software takes the approach of immersing the learner in the language with no translations and leaving the learner to figure out for him/herself what the Italian words mean. You can practice your pronunciation using the included USB headset and listen back to see how well you can emulate a native speaker. You can also log on and undertake a live online tutorial session after a module - this may be why the licence agreement includes info about minimum age for the product. I imagine the rationale behind this approach to language learning has some basis in academic research in psychology on how second language acquisition occurs, but nevertheless, it can be a frustrating process to go through and at times you are left feeling a little at sea and sometimes questioning the occasional odd choice of phrase and words to learn. You have to weigh up the convenience of learning sitting at your computer versus the valuable interaction opportunities offered by attending face-to-face lessons at something like a night class. I still feel that the latter would be a more rewarding approach, not least because you can share your learning experiences with other learners and get lots of feedback from the tutor. Instead, what we have here is software + USB headset + some online tutor interaction. It's a good package if you really can't get to night classes I guess, but quite expensive. I imagine you could do a 12 week course at a local college for maybe less money than this - I'd much rather do that. As others have mentioned, it is also rather annoying that the manufacturers make you jump through hoops just to ensure they don't use your email for marketing purposes. Perhaps if you combined this approach with another - e.g. classes or a DVD/video based course, this would be good. At this price it is a bit of a shame that a good companion book doesn't accompany the lessons.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good if you can afford the high cost, 3 Nov 2013
By 
John Boy (Bristol United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course (PC/Mac) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My secondary education was in the 1950's when we Brits rarely saw the need to speak other languages. When my work required trips to Germany I relied on the BBC's excellent course to give me a smattering of German. So my foreign language exposure is minimal. That probably makes me a good candidate to review this Rosetta Stone course, as if it works for me it is likely to work for most people. The complete package includes five levels so the review will be a work in progress.

What's in the box?
There is an application CD plus five CDs - one for each level of the course - and, two CDs with the course audio content in .mp3. There is also a brief quick start guide. Each course is split into modules and with each module split into sub-sections. A microphone / earphone USB headset is included; it's quite a tight fit over the ears.

Setting up
The application CD only installs into the C drive. Registration is necessary and must include your month and year of birth - the T&C / EULA has restrictions on use by children less than 16 and 13 - but strangely the birth month and year can be deleted after registration. Opting out of information being passed to third parties requires an e-mail to Rosetta Stone and, arbitration is only in Washington DC. Once this is complete the course CD is loaded. Note that in Windows 7 the course CD needs to be opened via the Windows Start Button / All Programs / Rosetta Stone to launch the CD. Clicking on the CD in Windows Explorer only opens the file list, but that can be useful as there is a .pdf of all the phrases on that CD. Headset speech recognition is really quick; just count 1 to 5 and its set.

How does it work?
Labelled pictures are shown with pronunciation voice overs that progress through various activities with singular and plural use. New words are shown without a definition and require recognition and intuition. This is fine for "corre" run) but "legge" (reads) is used with a young girl sat reading, so it isn't clear whether legge means sitting or reading. Legge on its own translates as law, but you would need to translate the complete phrase "il bambina legge" to understand that "the little girl reads". Some of the photos are not as clear as they might be; for example it was hard to tell whether a lone female swimming was adolescent or adult. The software remembers where the user finished at the last session, but there is an option to run it from the beginning.

On the positive side, I didn't run the course for 48 hours but I could remember most of the words and phrases whilst shopping.

The complexity of the courses increases and at the end of each level there is a "Studio Session" that is a live link to an Italian speaker. There appears to be four Studio Sessions included in the cost.

Anti-virus alert
My AV detected Win32/APSB08-11.gen!A in C:\ProgramData\Rosetta Stone\TOTALe\Content\data\84\e\ which is an exploit that uses a vulnerability in older versions of Adobe Flash Player. The Rosetta Stone Support web page states that AV can [wrongly] detect some of their files as malware, so these are false-positives.

Comments
I would have hoped that I could install the application into a partition other than C. Additionally I wasn't impressed with the T&C / EULA that can't be read until after the package is purchased and opened. The headset speech recognition works well but the fit needs to have less pressure on the ears to improve comfort. Course presentation could be improved, but I was pleasantly surprised how much I'd remembered when I was away from the course material. I'm happy to continue learning Italian with this package.

I will be using this to prepare for a holiday in Italy and I'm grateful to Amazon for the chance to review this language course. I'm not a fan of evening classes so the chance to work on my own and have the Studio Sessions with an Italian speaker is a plus point. However, given the cost I would only buy this course if it was necessary for work in Italy; that's the only reason that I've given four stars and not five.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's good, but I'm not convinced, 29 Oct 2013
This review is from: Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course (PC/Mac) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Rosetta Stone is one of the biggest brands in language learning in the English speaking world and prides itself on being an immersion tool that never uses L1 translations or explanations. Instead it forces users to rely solely on their own intuition while gradually acquiring the language content necessary for the next level. In order to do this successfully it's expected that you move through the program in a linear progression, expanding on the initial one or two word building blocks at the beginning of level 1 to some long, grammatically complex sentences in the higher levels. People who enjoy the convenience of looking up grammatical explanations and always having the answer at their fingertips simply won't appreciate this approach however.

You start with a list of words like man, girl, apple and so on. This approach appears to makes sense when you are buying the software from an airport kiosk, but it's not the best way to start. After you learn a list of vocabulary words you will go on to phrases that are not especially useful. For example, in the Rosetta Stone Russian program, there is a picture of a boy lying face down in a park with a soccer ball balancing on his back. The sentence you are supposed to learn is: "The boy is under the ball." How many times in your life will you need to say that? There are some practical phrases like "What's your name?", but the problem is that they aren't anywhere near the beginning of the program.

Once you complete a unit in the program, you can go to the "Studio" and schedule a 50 minute session with a teacher where you can see them by video feed (they can't see you) and both of you talk via the headset. The teachers are friendly, patient, very professional, and clearly excellent and experienced teachers of the language. There are four units per level, so this could ultimately mean 12 very distinct (or more if you feel like repeating a lesson) private or very small group lessons included in the price. I did indeed find each spoken session to be incredibly helpful, varying a bit depending on if I was the only student or with others.

Overall the teaching studio sessions form the best contribution to the Rosetta Stone Package. Weather this is a better option than paying for classroom style language lessons...I'm not convinced.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Italian at your own pace..., 1 Dec 2013
By 
John "John75222" (Leeds, Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course (PC/Mac) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Over the years I've shied away from the Rosetta Stone language series because for me they were too expensive in terms of an investment all in one go - and I'm only able to write this because I have a review copy.

Since I was a child I've learned to speak a number of languages over the years using several different methods. At school it was the traditional form of learning and that way I managed to pick up a reasonable knowledge of French and German. After a number of years I started again, on that occasion using the `Michel Thomas Method' Total French with the Michel Thomas Method (Michel Thomas Series) (MTM) to re-establish French and I also learned to speak Dutch using this method a few years later. More recently I started Swedish lessons using a university night school course that taught both conversational Swedish and written. Of all those methods the one I liked the most and felt the most effective was the Michel Thomas way of learning, although despite being interactive it provides no on-going feedback on pronunciation which is its main drawback.

Trying out the Rosetta Stone Italian is an interesting experience, bear in mind I've submitted this review whilst only five weeks into the course - I'm just coming to the end of level 1. But so far I'm finding the course structure easy to follow and the way the level is structured I can follow the progress I am making and like MTM it sticks. The discs are easy to load, it comes with its own headset and the ability to load part of the course onto MP3/iPod means I can listen to it whilst in the car or out walking, which is useful given the number of books I read. The course is really quite good at developing interactive skills in conversation, more so than MTM, as you get feedback on your performance when using the headset and attached to your PC/Mac.

So far I'm impressed. This course seems to me the best of several worlds: Similar to MTM in the way it builds language simply rather than throwing complex grammar at you from the get-go, interactive in the way it listens to and corrects what you are repeating and it's individual - you're not sat in a class of 20+, you learn at your pace; when you want, where you want. I still feel it's a tad on the expensive side to buy as a block - even though these days you can pick it up for half what it used to cost, but if you're serious about learning the basics of a language to good conversational level it seems worth the money and less than you'd probably spend on a night school, and always on hand to refresh. As I progress through the course I will update this review.

In Avanti e verso l'alto.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best value to really learn the language but will take some time, 5 Dec 2013
By 
Vinman666 (Essex, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course (PC/Mac) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This set contains all 5 levels of the Italian course so is better value than buying them individually, although you need to be sure how far you want to go in terms of depth of language. In order to get by on holiday in Italy the first couple of levels are probably enough to understand and make yourself understood. Further levels are intended to make you more conversant and confident in the language.

How effective it will be in the longer term is difficult to say as it will take a while to get that far. I've tried several times to learn Italian through the normal phrase repetition methods and have been largely unsuccessful. The Rosetta Stone interface and methods are slick and well designed plus the speech recognition features are really helpful (a USB headset is included in the pack); it looks and feels professional right from the installation process.

It's hard to rate something that will take months to complete when you're still on Level 1 but I've enjoyed it so far and my pronunciation is far better (according to one of my colleagues). It's not cheap but quite good value and better than anything I've tried previously.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but expensive, 19 Dec 2013
By 
Basement Cat (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course (PC/Mac) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This course is easy to install, but takes quite a while, as there are six discs, and each takes around seven minutes to download.
It's a very long time since I learned to read, but it looks to me as though this is using a similar process, with simple words and pictures. At no point is there any English to help you out, so when a new word is introduced you have to use your judgement (or guess) as to which picture they are referring to. I wondered if this lack of English assistance is due to Rosetta Stone selling this pack to people of every language who want to learn Italian. This is fine, but sometimes some of the accompanying pictures are a little ambiguous. Are those men cooking? Is that the word for 'some'? Is that a boy or a girl? All this questions are important. You learn to say the phrases, and the pictures show you what is happening, but I would prefer just a little bit more explanation of the differences between the words for male/female or one/more than one, etc. Maybe these things will become apparent as the course progresses, or maybe I will have to look this up elsewhere. I am only on the first CD at the moment, so have a long way to go. I am certainly remembering the verbs and nouns, but having a bit of trouble with the other parts of the sentence structure.
A headphone set which plugs into the USB socket is provided for you to speak the words so that your pronunciation can be checked. I know that there were a couple of words I mispronounced, but the course seemed happy with them, and some that were correct but rejected. It is certainly better than just reading words or hearing them, and is probably the main reason why I would have considered joining an adult education course. Hopefully this course will be sufficient at the moment, although I think it might be something I would consider as my skills increase. The main advantage for this course over face to face lessons is that you can go at your own pace, and once you've paid for it you will always have the information you need. The course is very expensive, so you would need to be quite committed to learning Italian to feel that you've not wasted your money. I would really love to learn Italian, not just to book a hotel room, and am really hoping that this will help me succeed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good starting point..., 29 Nov 2013
This review is from: Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course (PC/Mac) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having studied a few languages including Latin at school and always understanding a few words when in Italy I really wanted to try and consolidate and build on what I already knew.

The pack includes discs which are simple to install and follow and you can take it at your own pace as well as including some access to online "live" tutorials which I haven't yet tried at this stage.

So the long and short is that I feel quite pleased with this - yes it does start of pretty basic but this is perfect. The learning style is intuitive and it really does seem to sink in. I'm fairly early in the course but looking forward to getting at least to a reasonable conversation level.

It's hard to say whether this is better than real life classes, but I think it is good for those of us who have very busy schedules and sometimes have to dip in and out of teaching (I have in the past missed bits of courses due to work commitments etc so in some way this is better). It is however fairly procey though I think probably still cheaper than going to classes.

I will update this later in a couple of months once I have completed more of the course!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better and cheaper than the OU, 5 Dec 2013
This review is from: Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course (PC/Mac) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an excellent, very well structured, enjoyable and easy to follow course that, like Michel Thomas's method, will have you forming your own sentences in Italian much more smoothly than memorising and simply parroting words.

The price can be off-putting, but look at it this way, it replaces real classes, will last you quite some time and can be turned to again by you and your family. If you are serious about learning then it will make things even more difficult for you to rely just on a standard book/cd for ten quid.

I wish I had plumped for this earlier, rather than go for more expensive, time-consuming OU courses, which are less helpful and informative (with one exception, the separate mini-course for a week in France was superb, the French still know how to teach properly - the OU's approach is totally focussed on making you find out for yourself, so you end-up using non-course books anyway).

The practical applications in Rosetta Stone more than adequately replace the standard 2 hours a month tutoring with the OU. Students forming their own study groups? I did four OU language courses, no group ever did get going, apart from the lack of interest it doesn't help that people are spread over a 50 mile radius.

And Rosetta Stone truly allows you to work at your own pace, of course you do still need to commit time to it, but if anything serious comes up half-way through, you aren't wasting over £1,000 and a year to drop everything for a while. And can't make class that Saturday morning? No worries, you can turn to it Saturday afternoon, or any other.

Only one or two minor niggles, this version of Rosetta Stone does not allow you to install on the drive of your choice, it must be the main drive. The interface could be improved.

Rosetta Stone isn't better than a great teacher, with great methods in a regular and supportive class (conveniently timed to my schedule), but even if I could find that particular nirvana I would still buy this course now knowing it is certainly worth the money.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rosetta Stone Italian -A great and Effective Learning Experience, 13 Nov 2013
By 
Champollion (Shropshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course (PC/Mac) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having visited Italy, many, many times over the years and 'got by' with phrase books and some stock elementary script dialogue, I embarked on the Rosetta Italian Complete Course, and I have to say, I was not disappointed.

The course is structured, starting with the most simple of words and phrases and it gradually builds until you have a command of the language. There are levels and you can advance as slowly or quickly as you wish. The conversational elements are particularly good.

The course is simply set up on your computer, and comes with a headphone set, with which you can test your speech and it is validated so that you know that what
you are saying is correct.

As you work through the levels, it develops your performance, and of course practice makes perfect!

There are audio discs which you can load onto your iPod and take with you to listen to and re-inforce your progress. They can of course be played in your
car CD player so that you can refresh your learning on the move.

There is the facility, if you get into difficulty, to use a helpline - which I have not used , but it is there as a back up.

From my point of view Rosetta seem to have cracked the ability of learning a new language, by making it easy and fun. It is certainly not tedious and I found that your progress advances quicker, the more you apply yourself.

It certainly helped on a recent visit, when I was able to respond from an answer to my original question!

If you do not have time to allocate to personal attendance at a language school, this, for me would be your ideal solution as you can select the place and time
to suit you.

Rosetta Stone have built a fine reputation over the years and it is easy to see why.

Whatever your reason to learn Italian, whether holidays, the challenge, personal development, or as my friend did, (to understand Opera!) this product is an excellent way to achieve your goal. Recommended.
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Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course (PC/Mac)
Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course (PC/Mac) by Rosetta Stone Ltd (Mac OS X, Windows 7 / 8 / Vista)
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