Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone Italian review

Welcome to our Rosetta Stone review. We speak not of the stele composed of granodiorite that contains a trilingual decree from Memphis in 196 BC (that unlocked secrets of ancient inscriptions). No, we speak of the language-learning software that drew its name from that black rock.

Is Rosetta Stone that expensive course that’ll cost you an arm and a leg? Well, it used to be costly. But they have been lowering their price consistently, and currently, their price tag is similar (even lower) than most language-learning courses.

A distinctive feature of the Rosetta Stone platform is that it is one of the most innovative language-learning products (even though it’s been around for years). It’s got all kinds of fancy research backing it up. So when you purchase a Rosetta Stone subscription, you’re paying for the research that went into building the approach.

However, some people have a bone to pick with Rosetta Stone’s approach to language learning. They think the whole “intuition over explicit grammar” thing is a load of baloney. However, to each their own. Maybe Rosetta Stone knows something we don’t. Or they’re just really good at marketing. Who knows?

Is Rosetta Stone a scam?

So, here is the age-old question: is it worth the money, or is it just a big ol’ scam?

If you search for Rosetta Stone reviews, you’ll find a ton of them. But most are either super negative (telling you to run for the hills), or they’re trying to sell you on the product (and earn themselves a sweet commission).

So, what’s a fence-sitter to do? That’s where we come in, folks. Here is a balanced opinion about Rosetta Stone (and you decide).

Rosetta Stone Italian Review

Rosetta Stone offers language courses in a bunch of different tongues. But the effectiveness and quality of their courses vary depending on what language you’re trying to learn.

In this post, we’ll examine how Rosetta Stone teaches Italian. So, let’s get into it and see if Rosetta Stone’s Italian course is worth your time and money.

Rosetta Stone Italian is one of the best in the series!

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this before. But rumor has it that Rosetta Stone was designed for one of the Romantic languages – probably Spanish, because let’s face it, everybody and their grandma wants to learn Spanish these days.

But then, they got greedy and just copy-pasted the course structure for all their other languages. Talk about scaling up, am I right? But here’s the kicker – that move sacrificed quality for quantity.

However, we have a silver lining here because Italian is one of the Romance languages. Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian all work better with Rosetta Stone because they pertain to the languages targeted in the original design.

Now, here’s the thing – Rosetta Stone doesn’t explain anything. They expect you to use intuition. So, Romance languages (similar to English) make it possible for users to figure things out themselves. But intuition isn’t gonna cut it when you’re trying to learn another language (Arabic, Chinese) that’s lightyears away from English.

Italian is mostly a phonetic language. You can usually figure out a word’s pronunciation just by looking at it written. It’s like a cheat code! And Rosetta Stone takes advantage of that like a pro.

Plus, the Romantic languages share similar alphabets with English. So if you’re trying to learn Italian with Rosetta Stone, you’ve got an advantage over the poor souls using Rosetta Stone trying to learn a language with a completely different script.

So, if you’re going to use Rosetta Stone, stick with Italian or one of the other Romance languages. 

The Rosetta Stone Philosophy

Rosetta Stone does not use your native language to teach you a new language. They toss you right into the deep end with your target language.

Now, at first glance, this might seem like a good idea. Rosetta Stone says its founders learned languages in immersive environments. And they want to emulate that for people who can’t travel. So, they figured, why not just ditch English altogether? They make you learn using pictures and audio without any explanation.

However, here comes one of our first complaints! There are better ways to learn as an adult than just using pictures and audio without explanations. Learning like a baby has benefits, but we’re adults and can handle complexity. So, receiving other inputs (besides the ones given inside Rosetta Stone) can accelerate the learning process.

You can test Rosetta Stone for a few days. And one of your conclusions will be that you could’ve learned the same things so much faster with other approaches. The devotion to simplicity might sound good in theory, but it just slows your learning down to a snail’s pace.

Rosetta Stone attempts to create a stress-free environment!

A concern may cross your mind when you’re getting ready to dive headfirst into your target language with Rosetta Stone. What if jumping into the deep end with your target language is overwhelming? Well, don’t worry! Rosetta Stone won’t overload you with too much information. They take it so seriously that they end up going the other way.

Rosetta Stone is interconnected. They first repeat the input many times before asking you about it. Thus, they only ask you about words and phrases you should already know. However, do not expect to learn a bunch of new vocabulary every lesson. Progress is slooowww.

But on the other hand, because they are so careful, the lessons are not stressful. They are enjoyable.

Krashen’s Input Hypothesis

Rosetta Stone explains they base their language learning technique on the Comprehensible Input Hypothesis of Stephen Krashen. Krashen’s research was a big deal in the 20th century. He came up with five ideas to help people learn a new language:

  1. The first idea is called the input hypothesis. Krashen explains you acquire language better when you try to comprehend language input slightly more advanced than your current level.
  2. The second idea is called acquisition–learningIt means there are two ways to learn a language, one is subconscious (which means without trying), and the other is conscious (which means you are actively trying). The subconscious way is better.
  3. The third idea is called the monitor hypothesis. It states that when you speak a language, you can use your conscious knowledge to check if it’s correct, but you can’t use it to speak fluently.
  4. The fourth idea is called the natural order hypothesis. We have a specific order in which we learn a language, and it’s the same for everyone, even if we receive explicit instructions.
  5. The fifth idea is the affective filter hypothesis. It affirms that if you’re feeling bad or scared, it can be harder to learn a language. Therefore, you need to be at ease and content during the learning process.

Rosetta Stone’s implementation of Krashen’s Input Hypothesis

So, you can see the angle from where Rosetta Stone is coming, gently easing you into the language.

However, after more than ten years of Rosetta Stone out in the market, we now understand where it went astray trying to implement Krashen’s theories.

First, let us examine Rosetta Stone’s features echoing Krashen’s hypothesis.

Rosetta Stone’s features echo Krashen’s hypothesis!

  1. They only feed you inputs that are slightly above your level.
  2.  Understanding requires conscious focus, but images and audio fill our day, soaking into our subconscious. Thus, to facilitate unconscious language acquisition Rosetta Stone forgoes explanations and delivers only pictures and sound.
  3. The Rosetta program is not challenging. It takes users by the hand as little children and feeds them baby spoons in their target language. This approach fosters a sense of accomplishment and motivation in learners.

Rosetta Stone’s implementation of Krashen’s ideas does not always have the intended results.

  1. When small children learn to walk, they proceed at a sluggish pace. Imagine measuring their step distance and obliging yourself to cover 10 kilometers at the same pace. You would walk slower than your natural ability, but eventually, you’d reach the 10-kilometer milestone. Similarly, Rosetta Stone provides language learning with baby spoons. It’s a praiseworthy approach at the start, but it can become onerous over time.
  2. Those who desire effortless learning may find the subconscious approach enticing, perusing pictures and sound without exerting themselves. But for those already committed to learning a language, a dash of conscious learning can rapidly propel progress. Why treat the motivated and the unmotivated the same?
  3. Children’s books are familiar to most. They present lovely pictures and easy-to-comprehend language, serving to capture the attention of young ones and teach them a thing or two. Nonetheless, having read a children’s book, a child remains incapable of reading a newspaper or tackling more intricate subjects. This children’s book example is comparable to the Rosetta Stone method. After completing the course, you may have learned a thing or two, presented with charming pictures in a delightful manner. Nevertheless, it has left you with the limited language abilities of a child, unprepared for the majority of grown-up scenarios you’ll face.

Rosetta Stone’s Live Lessons!

Rosetta Stone offers live sessions with native language teachers within the program. After finishing a lesson, you may schedule a 25-minute video conference with a friendly, patient, and highly professional instructor. It’s worth noting that these teachers refuse to switch to English, consistent with the program’s philosophy. Available time slots are typically abundant, with little waiting required. However, unlike private lessons on italki, all Rosetta Stone tutors follow a predetermined program. It’s all part of the program’s grand scheme, which is fair enough. Yet, some users may prefer the flexibility of chatting with their teacher instead. However, Rosetta Stone’s approach insists on fixed live lesson programs because the purpose of the session is to reinforce the particular vocabulary you just came across on the course before the session. Therefore, live lesson teachers feel random questions are not ideal since you would be unprepared to answer them. Again, this speaks to the aim of creating a stress-free environment.

Rosetta Stone’s price tag

Rosetta Stone transitioned to an online and app subscription service (with lowered prices now comparable to its rivals). The three options are as follows:

  • Three months, one language: $35.97
  • Twelve months, unlimited languages: $119.88
  • Lifetime unlimited languages: $199 Their current prices are far more affordable than before – at one point, Rosetta Stone set buyers back $500 per language.

Is Rosetta Stone Good? Pros and Cons Summary

Our exploration has taken us to the depths, as we delved into Krashen’s hypothesis and how Rosetta Stone implements it. And we’ve scrutinized the efficacy of their approach, examining the results of students over a decade. And now, to recap, here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of Rosetta Stone:


  • The pricing has improved.
  • English is not used as a fallback.
  • Live tutoring lessons are on the table.
  • It’s a fitting option for those who lack drive and require encouragement, along with a relaxed setting for learning.


  • We do not approve of the one size fits all approach they took when covering vastly different languages.
  • They do not offer explanations along the course. And we believe explanations could propel users learning.
  • Upon finishing the course, students remain a novice in their comprehension. A comparison would be somebody reading a nicely illustrated children’s book is still unprepared to read more intricate subjects.

Wrapping Up!

Alright, folks, it’s decision time. What say you? Are you motivated to learn Italian? Or do you require an extra nudge to keep up the daily grind? 

Would you like to try Rosetta Stone and, further on, venture out with more challenging courses? If you have made it until this point in our review, it is a good idea to give Rosetta Stone a spin and experience the platform firsthand. See for yourself if it meets your needs, and take advantage of their three-day free trial. That’s right, no strings attached.

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  1. Hello! Your detailed evaluation was super helpful, and I loved how you broke down Rosetta Stone’s pros and cons. You’ve given me some food for thought before I decide on the best Italian course for me.
    Rosetta Stone is well-marketed but is way behind compared to other options (my 2 cents).

  2. Thank you for sharing your insightful review of Rosetta Stone’s Italian course, Jonathan. It’s helpful to see a balanced opinion on this language-learning platform. I appreciate your analysis of Rosetta Stone’s approach to language learning, and how it may work well for Romance languages like Italian due to their similarities with English. Your point on the effectiveness of the immersive environment for language learning is also well-taken. While Rosetta Stone’s emphasis on simplicity may slow down the learning process, their stress-free environment could be a draw for those who prefer a more relaxed approach. Overall, your review provides useful information for those considering Rosetta Stone as a language-learning option, and I appreciate your honest and thoughtful evaluation. 

  3. After using Rosetta Stone Italian for a few months, I have to say that I’m impressed with the program. As someone who already speaks English and Spanish, I found it easy to pick up Italian using the intuitive approach that Rosetta Stone uses. The program emphasizes repetition and gradually builds up your vocabulary and grammar skills. While some people might prefer a more explicit explanation of grammar rules, I appreciated the immersive experience that Rosetta Stone provides. Overall, I would recommend Rosetta Stone Italian to anyone looking to learn the language in a stress-free, enjoyable way.

  4. The article dives into the features and effectiveness of Rosetta Stone Italian, providing a detailed analysis of the language learning program. It highlights the strengths of the software, such as its immersive approach, interactive exercises, and emphasis on building vocabulary and pronunciation skills.

    What impressed me about the review was the author’s firsthand experience with Rosetta Stone Italian. They shared their journey of using the program, detailing the different modules and lessons they encountered. This added authenticity and helped me understand how the program is structured and how it progresses in difficulty.

    The article also addresses potential drawbacks of Rosetta Stone Italian, such as the lack of explanation for grammar rules and limited opportunities for conversation practice. The inclusion of these points offered a balanced perspective and allowed readers to make an informed decision based on their learning preferences and goals.

    Furthermore, the review provides additional resources and tips for supplementing the Rosetta Stone program, such as utilizing language exchange platforms or seeking out conversation partners. This demonstrates the author’s commitment to offering a comprehensive language learning experience beyond just the software.

    Overall, the “Rosetta Stone Italian Review” is a valuable resource for individuals considering using the program to learn Italian. The review’s in-depth analysis, personal insights, and practical recommendations make it a helpful guide for those looking to enhance their language skills. Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate learner, this article provides valuable information to support your Italian language journey with Rosetta Stone.

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