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Wednesday, August 17th
Rosetta Stone has been around since the 1990s and remains one of the most innovative products on the language-learning market. It teaches language in a most familiar way, believe it or not, the way in which we learned our first language. Rosetta Stone believes that since we're communicative in our first language, why not learn other languages the same way our mother taught us? It's definitely a method that works.
The Rosetta Stone story
A man named Allen Stoltzfus had a challenging time learning Russian in his youth. After quite a bit of frustration, he wondered why he couldn't learn an additional language when he had already learned his native tongue proficiently. The answer had to be in the way he was being taught - or not being taught. His first language, German, was learned through a mother's natural technique of matching sounds to images or objects. This is how we all learned our first language, and we're pretty good at it. Why not transfer this natural, immersion method to learning subsequent languages? Later when naming his brand, Stoltzfus wanted a name that would reflect this celebratory discovery. He remembered that the Rosetta Stone was the key to breaking the code of learning ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, and thought it the perfect name for his brand, as his own "Rosetta Stone" unlocked the key to learning languages, too.
Get started with the free trial
You can have a free, three-day trial with Rosetta Stone. Since you might have experience learning a second language through a textbook or other traditional methods, Rosetta Stone might not be what you're accustomed to. Give it a try for the three days to see if this method sits well with you. Create an account, choose your current Hindi level, and then select why you want to learn Hindi - such as for family or travel. Before you know it, you're on your way.
Start speaking right away
If you choose beginner level and family as your reason for wanting to learn Hindi, for example, you'll learn common words associated with a family or daily life, such as man, woman, boy, girl, eat, and drink. You'll see a photo of a boy, the word boy in Devanagari script, they'll pronounce the Hindi word for boy, and you repeat it. When you repeat it, you'll see an image that shows how well you pronounced it. What's wonderful is that from the first minute you'll start to speak the language, and within about five minutes, you'll have spoken a few sentences.
Good for Hindi basics
Rosetta Stone does a great job of teaching Hindi basic vocabulary and grammar, as it's pretty simple to deduce the word or phrase based on the photo's context. There's plenty of repetition to ingrain it to memory. You can also choose to repeat the comprehension activity if you want a bit more practice or want a higher score. The words and phrases are spelled for you in Devanagari script so you can see what it looks like, but other reviewers have noted that there's just not enough information on how to read it. This causes problems. It would be like learning to read or wanting to learn to write in English, but not knowing anything about our alphabet. In addition, as the Hindi sentences represented in the photos get more complex, it gets harder to infer the meaning of that sentence from what you're seeing in a photo. It can be too much.
Are you speaking gibberish, or will you be understood?
Click on the speaker icon and you'll hear the Hindi word or phrase that matches the photo. Right away, you'll repeat it and as you say it, that Hindi word appears on screen. Where the section of the word is bright, you did well and people should understand you. If there's a shaded portion, you may not be understood if you say it like this to a real person. This method of feedback should give you confidence that you are truly speaking comprehensible Hindi.
Not your traditional, classroom method
Let's face it. Unlike when we were infants, as adults we have already mastered our first language and most of us have taken English classes since elementary school to learn about the workings of our own language. Given that we have had so much experience with learning grammar in English and maybe another language, we probably haven't practiced Stoltzfus' natural method since we were infants and toddlers. That said, some people find that using translation or wanting to learn about Hindi with reference to English or another language can be quite helpful for learning it. You just won't find that warm blanket of translation comfort in Rosetta Stone.
Give it a chance
If you're new to Hindi, give Rosetta Stone a try. Start with the free, three-day trial to get your feet wet. If you like it, continue with either the yearly or lifetime subscription. The advantage to the lifetime subscription is that you can learn not only Hindi, but all of the 30+ languages Rosetta Stone has to offer. Just keep in mind that while studying with Rosetta Stone, if you progress into the advanced levels of Hindi, complex sentences can be tricky to learn without the aid of English translations or explanations of how Hindi works. In addition, some have complained that Rosetta Stone doesn't teach the Devanagari script well enough to be able to understand its intricacies without help of English explanations. Rosetta Stone's Hindi lessons are great to get you started, even if you have to switch to a different platform as your fluency progresses.
Did you know that Hindi is the second-most spoken language in the world? Hindi is also the most spoken Indian language in the U.S. with more than 800,000 speakers. Adding this language to your portfolio could make you more attractive to your business or sharpen your resume. Some companies, universities, and governments offer significant opportunities to those with fluency in Hindi.
If you're interested in movies, many people think of Hollywood, right? But Bollywood is India's robust film competitor, known for their flashy costumes, beautiful dances, songs, and drama. Although you can see these stunning Hindi films dubbed in English, watching them in the Hindi language - with or without subtitles - might add a dimension of enjoyment, especially if you have taken a few Hindi classes.
When choosing to learn Hindi, the first thing you'll ask yourself is how you want to learn. Do you miss the traditional classroom and feel like that's the best learning environment for you? You can have a similar experience with some of the online platforms in our reviews. You can match Hindi words to photos to learn words and phrases, you can study flashcards, look at conjugation charts, learn how Hindi grammar works, and practice dialogs.
Maybe you're a gamer and like the experience of avatars, bright screens, and leaderboards - we have that for you, too. Or perhaps you're just tired of the virtual world and need a break. You might want personal, one-on-one lessons or tutoring from a real person in a chat room, where you get help with a Hindi assignment from your own Hindi class. There are even options to take long-term lessons from a professional educator. You'll find highly-rated Hindi lesson platforms for whatever your style may be.
You'll want to take into consideration how much Hindi you may already know. Some programs focus on the beginning student while others cater to those with a bit of spoken experience with Hindi with the Devanagari script, which is their equivalent to our alphabet. Find the program that works best for where you are at with your fluency.
Are you a rule follower or a free spirit? Some programs offer Hindi lessons in a set order, so you can gradually increase your proficiency step by step. Other people like a bit of freedom to choose their topic of study. For example, if you're learning Hindi for travel and aren't interested in medical vocabulary, skip that unit and stick with those that focus on travel. And if you want complete freedom, choose a live tutor. You can discuss your purpose for study, your current proficiency level, what type of learner you are, and work together to create a plan of study from there.
Once you've considered your learning style as well as how much Hindi you may already know, there are a few more factors to consider before making your decision:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best choices for learning Hindi with an online program. We're sure you'll be ready to make the right choice for your goals and learning style in order to become fluent in Hindi. Let's begin!
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