If you've just started your Italian language learning journey, then you will have examined ways on how to learn Italian.
And more often than not, you will have heard about the Rosetta Stone Italian language learning software, which is known all over the world as one of the world's best-selling language learning software titles ever.
Some will swear by it, some detest it, and some are on the fence about it, but here's my take on it - as a legitimate Italian language learner who's tried a myriad of ways to reach my goal of attaining Italian language certifications, from someone who is about to become a certified B2 (upper intermediate level, based on the Common European Framework for Lanugages) speaker who's actually tried the software. Let's examine whether the Rosetta Stone works.
I opted to purchase the online download of the Rosetta Stone Italian program from their website - having tried an earlier version of this program (for Spanish), I wanted to know whether the program has improved from its initial inception, or whether its subsequent acquisition of other language learning platforms and software have improved the overall quality of its programs.
I was mildly surprised at the new interface of the program, with full, robust screens that allow you to either study Italian using its formulaic method, now with the added mobility of mobile apps as well as featuring the opportunity for you to practice with an Italian native speaker online. The software has come a long way from its inception, and I was very pleased with the quick technical support as well as the supportive community. The language course itself remains largely unchanged, and will be immediately rewarding for beginning Italian learners right away - because you can hear yourself speak, understand, and pronounce words and phrases as though you were a native speaker yourself from the get-go. And that's the primary selling point of the software itself! It's excellent for absolute beginners who prefer to learn deliberately through small chunks, and there are numerous success stories for those learners who completed the course and now working in the language they learned...Italian included.
I do have a mild problem with Rosetta Stone - and that is primarily due to its slow pace. Now this slow, deliberate pace may be great for beginners who want to get their feet wet, but to language learners who need a fast-paced style of learning to maximize their aptitude will find it too slow, and rather repetitive. After all, how many times can you repeat the sentence, "The cat is red" in Italian? Another problem is the same structure that made it famous in the first place - differnt learners have different tastes in learning, and one of the most important factors for language learners to determine at an early stage in their journey is learning how THEY themselves learn. This means that language learners who find themselves learning Italian easier and faster by learning from native speakers, and you don't necessarily have to break the bank in order to do so (thanks to social networks like italki and busuu). And lastly that brings me to my last point - the price. Now this may not be too much of a problem for many, as it is packaged in an affordable price range, but comparing it to free (or freemium) resources like italki makes it exorbitantly priced.
My verdict is that the Rosetta Stone Italian package is an excellent resource for Italian language learners who prefer their learning in a structured, deliberate, and proven method that they can do over a few years towards their desired level of fluency - but more fast-paced, intensive Italian language learners may prefer to use tools such as italki or busuu in terms of learning Italian over the internet with a native speaker (or professional teacher) over a few sessions to build vocabulary, conversation skills, and listening skills as fast as possible. That being said, it's great value for money if you're the former, and an exercise in futility if you are the latter.