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on 13 June 2011
After having read countless reviews & compared many products I chose this Spanish learning programme, with the idea that my 19 yr old son could start with the basics as a complete beginner and I could pick up at a higher level having spent several years studying the language in the past (but become very rusty).

At first my son could not manage the programme without my help, though we then realised we should have loaded another disc too. He seemed reasonably happy after this and I left him to it (although I note he already seems to have lost his intial enthusiasm to learn the language).

After completing an online test I was placed at level 4 and was keen then to start learning and improving. The problem is, I don't feel I'm actually learning anything? All I seem to be doing is completing a serious of tests - filling in blanks in sentences, word association, crosswords, answering questions on a listening exercise. I mean, I'm sure this must help me revise my previous Spanish, but if for example I am asked to do something in a tense I either didn't learn before or never got to grips with, there doesn't seem to be any explanation of its correct use. True there are some explanations of sorts, but I am no dim wit & yet I struggle to understand them.

I'm afraid so far I have not been impressed at all & find I get bored and / or frustrated easily. To be honest I'd rather have saved my money as this is by no means a cheap programme. I did contact the support team to check I was navigating the programme correctly, but they were no help at all. I just feel I am trying to answer questions that should follow some sort of teaching element?

I have given the programme 3 stars though as I do appreciate there is a lot on it. And given that is has such good reviews I am going to persevere with it, perhaps by dropping a level or two to see if that helps. Failing that I'd rather have been offered a money back guarantee!
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on 23 August 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
***First impressions***
Wow! £400 rrp for a language course...this had better be good.

Opening the box, I'm a bit surprised at how little is in here. A thin user guide (this tells you how to set up the programme, but nothing about the programme itself), one DVD, one CD, a headset and a warning to update the software. I'm not sure what else could have been included, but I feel a little short-changed.

***Installing the product***
It's not clear which CD/DVD you should use. The DVD describes itself as 'comprehensive', offering all 10 levels of spanish. The CD describes itself as 'Espanol de America' 'Start Here' 'new introductory level'. Which to install? The user guide gives no clue, just telling me to insert the CD/DVD in the drive.

I have some basic knowledge of Spanish, so went for the 'comprehensive' DVD. I guess I can install the 'new introductory level' later if needed.

Installation was trouble free, took me about five minutes and then launched Tell Me More automatically. On the advice of the 'warning to update the software' included in the package, I went to the help menu and downloaded a 'Dec 2009' update. This takes another five minutes or so to install on my computer.

***Creating a user account and activating levels***
The programme itself has a very intuitive interface, and after creating a user name and being offered the opportunity to register, I was invited to take an online level test to assess my language needs. As I'm not a complete beginner, this really appeals - I can start wherever I need to with the language. The online test takes around 20-30 minutes, and is a series of audio and written questions to test my vocabulary and grammar.

Once the test is complete, its onto the learning proper. I'm assessed as 'level 2' and the software quickly takes me into a screen detailing a series of lessons and exercises I can take associated with that level.

Another plus is that it's possible to create more than one user account - so other people using the software can learn the language at their own pace.

***The exercises***

The progress screen for 'level 2' shows a whole range of exercises, and the estimated time it will take to complete them. I can see there's well over 40 hours worth of learning in level 2. That starts to explain the price tag (with 10 levels that's a lot of learning!)

The exercises are fun, varied, intuitive and help to make it as easy as possible to motivate yourself to come back to the programme regularly to progress. I have noticed my progress after only a week.

However, based on a week's usage I don't think the price is justifiable. As a comparison, a 10 week evening course in Spanish is readily available in my home city of London for under £200. Alternatively, you can buy Michel Thomas' excellent Michel Thomas Foundation Course: Spanish (Michel Thomas Series) combined with Michel Thomas Advanced Course: Spanish (Michel Thomas Series) for well under £100.

I can see the added convenience of an in-home programme over an evening course, although for me the benefit of the evening course is that you actually get to interact with real people in Spanish (and it's harder to let your learning slip). I can also see the added benefit of the interactive, varied programme over Michel Thomas' audio CDs. But they have worked very well for me in the past.

***Usage over the long-term***
The text above was written after a week or so using the product. Now after a month or two I have found that I am not using the product as often as I ought to for the price. This is not at all the fault of the product, which I would still rate as very high quality. However, I find my motivation to learn a language on my own is not sufficient to keep me working at it in the evenings and weekends. For me an organised course would be much better value, as I would be forced to keep up the learning.

This programme is great, but at the price there are better, and cheaper, options available. If you have a specific reason for wanting to learn Spanish in your own home, in front of your computer, and are prepared to pay over the odds for it, this product is excellent. However, for most potential buyers I would suggest there are better options out there.
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VINE VOICEon 12 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
OK, so I can't review this product fully as learning a language takes time. But in a world where speaking more than one language is becoming more important, you have to try and do something to set you apart from the masses. Here in this pack you get the chance to learn Spanish. Yes it is quite pricey but the sheer amount of information on these discs allow the user to start from scratch which will give you the chance to pick up the langauge that your child is learning and help them on their journey to their exams. Not only will you learn the basics but pretty soon you'll be up to if not exceeding thier level and helping them with thier homework.

Its beautifully put together, it has online updates and above all else, its a set of discs that will be useful time and again as the language is taught by a native so that you get the nuances of pronunciation.

Add to this that it's designed for all levels of users, loads up pretty quickly and is pretty much idiot proof and its something that will be a product for a number of years to come. You really can't put a price on learning a language but for this one, its definitely worth the outlay.
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VINE VOICEon 26 August 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having studied Spanish about thirty years ago I was pleased to have an opportunity to try a refresher course. With so much time between learning the language the first time and not being able to practice much in the years between then and now I decided it was a good thing to get back to basics.
The software loads effortlessly and updates just as smoothly. Everything is gadget based so there are no books - just a little handbook to get you started. I'm using this programme just on my laptop but there are ways to use it on mp3 players and other mobile devices.
All language learning depends on how much you put into the study and boring bits like memorizing stuff. But this is a very up-to-date way to get you to put some effort into the process.
I'm writing this review now after the initial stage. It's going to take me many months to work through the whole programme but to date I am very satisfied.
It has a whopper of a sticker price which will put some people off buying it unless they absolutely need to learn Spanish. I've not used any other computer-based language learning software before so I can't compare it. That said, if you can't go to a Spanish language class or don't have a tutor, this is really the next best thing. All things considered I would say you get very good value for money with this Spanish-language learning course by Tell Me More.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have used this course for a couple of weeks and also tried it out on my son but there is a lot of content here and you need to use it for much longer to be able to offer a complete review. Inside the double sized box is a set up guide, a rather cheap looking headset with seperate 3.5mm jacks for headset and mic, the main DVD and an introductory level CD worringly called Espanol de America!

The installation onto Windows 7 was simple and straightforward with the application updating to the latest version via the Internet which took approx 15 mins in all. I then had to create an account and register a user name followed by an online level test to assess my language skills which took about 30 mins covering both audio and written questions. I was able to create an additional user account for my son to use the the software, useful as he is better than me!

There is a lot of content which is varied covering wider subjects such as culture geography as well as key elements of grammer and repetitive drills. The interface is intuitive and I found the program useful especially with the focus on speaking rather than just grammer which gets a bit boring. The speach recognition seemed to work surprisingly well although I chose to use my own headset.

My main reservation is around the cost and also if you are willing to spend this much whether evening classes interacting with real people may be better. However for those who wish to learn at home and are willing to put the time in this is a comprehensive and effective package.
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VINE VOICEon 4 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Spanish set for Tell Me More is arranged and organized exactly like the English set. The makers have produced all of these packages in the same format and contains all of the same features, which is extremely user friendly and easy to get the hang of. I commented in my English review that it was a good way to home-school kids on the English language (instead of less engaging lessons in school). The Spanish set is so straight-forward that it can also be used this way, and is especially good for young kids as they can learn faster than adults, so if you want them to have a second language then now is the time and Tell Me More is a great investment for this purpose.

For language learning software, you'd be hard pushed to find something better than Tell Me More.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 December 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I think I should start this review by putting my cards on the table; I'm Dyslexic (specific area of weakness is comprehension - grasping new information can be a challenge) hence, that should be borne in mind whilst reading the review as it could be an influencing factor. Although, what I find confusing is that I score well in IQ and reasoning tests whilst spelling and eventual sentence structure (it can take several attempts) is all pretty good but at times acquiring new knowledge can be a real chore.

Therefore, with that qualifier in mind I have to say I do not like this programme, almost not at all, and for the money they're after that should not be the case.

What I need in a language (as with any learning) programme is that it should be clearly explained and with clear signposting. In this way the focus of the ACTUAL LEARNING will be the language (topic) itself and not be about the process by which it's delivered. If I can easily follow what I`m meant to be DOING I can then concentrate on what I'm meant to be LEARNING. This is why this programme doesn't work for me; it drops you straight in without guidance and you have to rummage around clicking random buttons or hovering the cursor over them just to find out what it does (very much like taking stabs in the dark but this presentation style is diametrically opposite to the learning styles that work for me).

In this regard, the review by 'Debzy' 13th Jun '11, is the one which most closely matches my own experience; I too took the online quiz and also scored as a level 4, and up until this point everything seemed to be going well, but then it all quickly fell apart. A long stream of tests where you use guesswork to have a go at what a question might mean, followed by guesswork to select what the correct multiple-choice answer might be - without at any point being given the translation - quickly became a tedious, tiresome and frustrating process.

I 'downed tools' and gave up at that point, but over the next few months I returned to the software another couple of times as I felt guilty about quitting just because the programme enhanced strong feelings of stupidity (not universally accepted as being a conducive mindset to effective learning) but my progress languished as before.

I've just finished my final attempt; I installed the CDs again from scratch into my newest PC and this time instead of selecting the online assessment test I opted for the complete beginner level, hoping the quality of explanation would be different, but I can't really add much to what's already been stated as it's just more of the same. I was moving the cursor around the screen to different buttons until I realised I could perform the same thing just by right-clicking on the chosen text (e.g. translation, listening, and pronunciation practice), which made a big difference but there is still a definite lack of fluidity to the process.

Incidentally, I'd recommend viewing the male-voiced instruction video for this software as listed on Amazon it's clear to follow and would have saved me some time. However, the female-voiced video is little more than an extended sales-pitch explaining why TELLMEMORE is so 'good'.

If this programme retained an easily accessible, informative running commentary to guide me through the process (like in the male-voiced video) I'd feel confident about pursuing it, perhaps even giving it 4 maybe even 5 stars, but as it's sorely missing I'm afraid I don't feel confident in recommending this to anyone.
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VINE VOICEon 25 October 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As with most of us poor kids of the UK, we are subjected to the arts of "Learning a language" at school, usually by a stressed out teacher who cannot cope with the annoying noisey kid in the class, so we spent most of our time listening to him getting a telling off and then maybe learning "Hola" and a few other words. In fact ive probably learnt more from Dora the Explorer with my little neice and nephew that i did at school.

So what is it exactly. Well its a language teaching software package that not only teaches you to speak the lingo, but to read it, write it and understand what it is your saying and hearing. This is what makes it stand out. Your not just sat repeating something thats spoken to you, your actually working out why it is your saying it and what it means.

The package comes with a free headset, a starting CD and some advanced stuff on another 2 cds and some manuals etc.

The software revolves around exercises such as repeating sentances and being marked on your ability to speak it fluently, also word exercises such as word jumbles etc, all designed to make you "think" in the language your learning.

I know some pople will scoff at the price, but if you need to learn the language, especially for jobs etc, there is NO other substitute, it is quite simply the best out there.
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VINE VOICEon 16 September 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'll just say this up front: I have not completed this course. I am pretty bad at learning languages, so my progress is very slow.

There's not a lot in the box here but there's a reason for that. There's an okay headset here for the speech recognition aspect of the learning programme - which works reasonably well, though is absolutely no replacement for a real tutor. Beyond that,the majority of the content here is on the disc.

There is A LOT of material here at each level, and though I have not really gone further than level 1, even at that stage I feel like I've learned a large amount. There's simple reading, writing and speech exercises, and the program mixes it up to keep things interesting. The problem here is you really have to be motivated to do this. It's a solid commitment that is hard to maintain without the encouragement that a class can provide.

This program does what it does very well, but it is a big commitment of money, and then of time. If you need to learn Spanish, and you need to learn it at home these Tell Me More packages would fit the bill. Maybe you would be better picking up a smaller early level package before making a purchase like this. By the time you get through this, seems like you'd be a fluent speaker.
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on 21 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Without this trying to sound like a justification on price it's always going to be when you have something that costs this much! To try and get away from this all I am going to say is that if you were to pay for private tuition or attend a language class just imagine what you would end up spending... This is as good if not better than a human private tutor as it's at your beck and call 24/7.

The headset that comes packaged is about as poor quality and head pinching as the usual culprits are that you get bundled with any voice package - disappointing but that's life, it's acceptable but you kind of expect something a little better quality for the amount the package costs, the cost is obviously going towards all the extra lessons that you get online each week (the news exercise for example).

Installing was a real pain on my XP virtual machine (Mac os X 10.6) and never did get it to work so ended up using my Windows based laptop which it installed onto very easily (one you decide on the correct of the two CD's to insert! This has been mentioned in other reviews and I thought yeah just wait I'll know which one to pop in first, hmmm I was wrong and you will be confused. One disc is a sampler for extras and the other is the actual install). The other issue for me is the old style leave CD in the drive for it to run as I'd much prefer to pop it back into the box to prevent damage, heck I wouldn't like to shell out a second time!

Because the package is so vast and if you're a complete beginner I would whole heartedly advise not to bother with the online test to view your level of expertise as this won't be needed, I would also recommend leaving the automatically teach you via the advised learning path rather than switching on all the functionality as this will just blow your due to the amount of content to take in. The company behind this has certainly done their homework and it shows once you've spent more than 4 or 5 hours dabbling with it. All the lessons you do get ticked off as you progress but there is the option to redo and course or module at any stage. A great piece of software if you are a little self conscious, the software won't judge you - everything is at your own pace.

The one thing that this cannot do as well as a language course you attend is that you have the flexibility to learn at your own pace as and when you like, I find it a good idea to put a certain night aside to ensure I spend a few hours using this properly however you are able to skip a week because you can't be bothered if you're week willed which if you'd paid to attend class chances are you would be going to learn.

So to come back to the justification - heck yeah it's worth every penny so long as you can dedicate the time and ensure your will power is top of its game.
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