Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

Rosetta Stone Review

Monday, June 17th

2024 Portuguese Lesson Reviews

Rosetta Stone Review 3 Star Rating

Rosetta Stone

3 Star Rating
  • $47.97 for 3 months, $167.88 for 1 year, $399 for lifetime access to all 25 Rosetta Stone languages
  • Uses a combination of images and sounds for teaching
  • Units, On-Demand Videos, and Stories
  • Includes Phrasebooks to help navigate situations in Brazil
  • Teaches basic words and phrases, gradually introducing more complex grammar
  • 30-day money-back guarantee in place of free trial

When considering Rosetta Stone for learning Brazilian Portuguese, you might recall those iconic yellow boxes with CDs, once a staple before the digital age. Rosetta Stone, known for its promise of teaching languages "the natural way" through immersion, attempts to mimic how you learned your first language as a child, linking words with images and sounds instead of relying on translation or grammar rules.

Lots of guesswork

Rosetta Stone employs a slideshow-like lesson structure, starting with basic vocabulary like "girl," "boy," "woman," and "man," and gradually introducing more complex words and grammar. While the program encourages guessing meanings akin to how children learn, this method may not be efficient for adults already fluent in English. Most of us tend to want to map our Portuguese learning onto the language we already speak: English works well for us, so why ignore it when trying to pick up another one?

Frustration with unclear concepts

The "Explore All Content" feature offers units covering various topics, including stories like "A pequena fazenda" (The Small Farm). However, some vocabulary lacks image associations, leaving you to either guess or seek outside help. This can hinder comprehension and impede your learning progress, especially with more abstract concepts. For example, Phrasebooks aim to assist in real-life scenarios, but ambiguous imagery, like a woman looking at a menu for the phrase "Entende?" (Do you understand?), can lead to confusion and slow your progress.

Lack of true immersion

While we're at it, let's debunk the idea of Rosetta Stone's "immersion" . True language immersion involves complete immersion in the language, such as spending a semester in Rio de Janeiro (and NOT spending all of your time with English-speaking friends there!). Merely spending an hour a day with a computer program like Rosetta Stone falls far short of genuine immersion, which you would only really experience by living and working in a Portuguese-speaking country.

Best Portuguese Lessons

High cost for lessons

Rosetta Stone's pricing includes options like a three-month subscription for $47.97, a twelve-month subscription for $167.88, or lifetime access to all Rosetta Stone languages (priced roughly between $200 to $400, depending on if you're lucky enough to buy during a promo period). However, that makes this program one of the most expensive you'll find in our review.

No free trial for you

We're also aggravated that Rosetta Stone no longer seems to offer a free trial. We couldn't find the free lesson link on the main page anymore, so we turned to Google to find it for us. But, on that linked page, no matter how many different email addresses we entered (some authentic, some fake), every time it gave us this message: "There's already an account associated with that email address, and our free trial is for new users." Nice try, Rosetta Stone, but we know for a fact that our 75-year-old grandma has never created an account with you! Even the free trial link we finally found in the FAQ... took us back to the main "Choose Your Plan" page. You'll be relying on their 30-day money-back guarantee if you don't like it after you buy it.

Left us disappointed

Considering these factors, Rosetta Stone is not our optimal choice for a Portuguese learning journey. Despite claims of mimicking childhood language acquisition and providing genuine immersion, the program's reliance on guessing, lack of true immersion, and high cost make it less appealing. With numerous alternatives available, many of them with easy-to-access free trials and sample lessons, we encourage you to look at other higher-rated programs before settling on Rosetta Stone for learning Portuguese.

Where Can You Find the Best Portuguese Lessons?

Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language in the world, with over 260 million speakers spread across several continents. And with today's technology, there are a number of online resources and platforms available for learning Portuguese. These range from interactive apps to comprehensive language courses tailored to different proficiency levels, from beginner to advanced.

For those who seek a more immersive learning experience, tutoring sessions with native speakers can be arranged through live video calls. These give you the opportunity to practice speaking and listening skills in real-life situations. Learning Portuguese online gives you the ability to learn the language in all of these ways.

The Best Portuguese Lessons Compare Portuguese Lessons Compare Portuguese Lesson Reviews What are the best Portuguese Lessons Best Portuguese Lesson Reviews

Portuguese Lesson FAQ

Portuguese ranks seventh overall among world languages, with approximately 223 million speakers. 150 million speak Brazilian Portuguese, but it's also the official language of Portugal, Angola, and Mozambique.
Yes, but fortunately they're all mutually understood. Depending on the Portuguese lessons you select, you may learn European (as regulated by the Sciences Academy of Lisbon) or Brazilian (which is more commonly used worldwide). The differences between the two are similar to British and American English, with variations of accents and vocabulary but essentially the same grammar and structure.
E facil! For most native speakers of English, especially those that are already familiar with Spanish or Italian, Portuguese is one of the easiest languages to learn. And, with Brazilians being known as some of the most warm, friendly people on the planet, you should have no shortage of "helpers" with whom you can falar portugues.
The good news is that the alphabet is almost exactly the same, with the exception of accented vowels and one letter - so start by learning how the Portuguese letters are pronounced differently from English. You can also pick up some basic vocabulary based on how you'll be using the language: for travel, for business, or just for fun. Finally, it's a good idea to start watching movies and TV shows in Portuguese: it's the quickest way to develop a more native accent and learn new words and phrases naturally.
It's not easy to find Portuguese lessons in person unless you live near a university. Lucky for you, there are a wide variety of online providers that give you fun, informative instruction at your convenience. You don't have to fit a class into your busy schedule when you can study whenever and wherever you like!
Most smartphone keyboards make it easy: you may have to enable Portuguese in your language settings first, but from there you can usually select the base letter (like "o" or "c" ) and the accented options will pop up. On your computer keyboard, most systems have shortcuts you can use; alternately, there are online keyboard websites that let you copy-paste Portuguese characters as needed.
Not at all: you can learn basic Portuguese for less than $100, or under $25 per month with a recurring subscription. It just depends on the lesson platform you choose and how many features you want (e.g. basic words and phrases or a certificate of completion and live help from language instructors). No matter which type of Portuguese lessons you select, you'll pay much less than you would for a college course.
Possibly. If you're using a month-to-month program, you can almost always cancel future payments but you might not get any money back. With one-off purchases of Portuguese lesson packages, it's common to get a 30- or 60-day satisfaction guarantee with a full refund. It's a good idea to see if the Portuguese lessons you're considering have a free sample lesson or trial period before you make your choice: put it to the test and see if you like the way the class is taught and if it feels right for how you learn best.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

One of the primary reasons for learning Portuguese is its importance in international business and trade. Brazil, with its rapidly growing economy, is a major player in global markets, making Portuguese a valuable asset for professionals seeking opportunities in sectors such as finance, agriculture, technology, and energy. Additionally, Portuguese proficiency can open doors to cultural exchange programs, academic research opportunities, and international collaborations.

Another compelling reason to learn Portuguese is its rich cultural heritage. From the captivating rhythms of Brazilian samba and bossa nova to the haunting melodies of Portuguese fado, the Portuguese-speaking world boasts a diverse tapestry of art, music, literature, and cuisine. Learning the language provides a deeper understanding and appreciation of these cultural treasures, allowing learners to engage more fully with Portuguese-speaking communities around the globe. Why not order feijoada in fluent Portuguese when you visit Rio?

Learning Portuguese can be an enriching experience for various reasons, including its cultural significance, global relevance, and the potential for personal and professional growth. Portuguese is the official language of Portugal and Brazil, of course, but did you know Portuguese is also spoken in Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and Sao Tome and Principe, with cultural importance in regions such as Macau, East Timor, and Goa?

Ready to get to it? Muito bom! Let's take a look at some criteria you can use to choose the right Portuguese lessons for your learning style and fluency goals:

  • Levels offered. Consider your current fluency level and what you're hoping to accomplish. Do you need to start from zero, or do you have a background in Spanish or another Romance language that will give you a head start into a more intermediate difficulty level?
  • Mode of instruction. How do you learn best? Is it with lots of audio files with native speaker accents for you to imitate, direct grammatical instruction in English, total immersion from the get-go, or a combination of all that and more? Are you looking for classroom-style lectures or a fun app to keep you motivated? You'll find all of that and then some in today's most popular online Portuguese lessons.
  • Cost. What will you pay to access the Portuguese lessons you need? Many services give you something for free, with the hope that you'll buy or subscribe later. Pay attention to monthly vs. annual billing, automatic recurring subscriptions, and charges that may apply after you sign up for a free trial.
  • Effectiveness. How well will you be able to speak, read, write, and understand Portuguese after putting effort into the lessons? What do other students say about their fluency levels after using the program?
  • Satisfaction guarantee/refund policy. If you pay for access to the Portuguese lessons and wind up not liking them, can you get your money back? Is there a time limit to requesting a refund?

Whether for business, travel, or sheer curiosity, acquiring proficiency in Portuguese opens doors to a vibrant and dynamic world, enriching the lives of learners and fostering connections across continents. To help you on your language journey, the experts at Top Consumer Reviews have tried and ranked some of the most popular Portuguese lessons available today. Boa sorte!

The Best Reviews of Portuguese Lessons