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Rosetta Stone vs Strokes International

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ROSETTA STONE

If you've ever thought of learning a new language, you've probably come across Rosetta Stone. Aiming to teach students a new language in the same way they learned their native tongue - namely, through a process they call "Dynamic Immersion" - Rosetta Stone gives you new vocabulary, phrases, and sentences without constant translation between English and Russian.

You can get a small taste of how this works by clicking on the "Try a Free Demo" button near the top of the main Russian product page. You'll be shown several pictures, which will be labeled in Russian and accompanied by the matching pronunciation of the word. You match the sound and the written word with the correct image, which will then be paired with two verbs (boy, girl, the boy eats, the girl drinks). Unfortunately, that's the extent of the free demo for Russian; you can get a free 3-day trial for Spanish, English, French, German, or Italian, but that isn't as helpful as it would be to see how Rosetta Stone approaches teaching a completely different alphabet like Cyrillic, for example. But, you may find it useful to try out Rosetta Stone's overall approach to teaching languages, to see if it's a good fit for your learning style.

One plus is that Rosetta Stone's newer pricing makes them much more competitive with other providers of Russian lessons in the past, their programs cost $400 or more, putting them out of reach for many learners on a budget. But, at the time of our review, Rosetta Stone's Russian program was selling for $199 for a two-year online subscription and $179 for access via CD-ROM or download.

Similarly, their satisfaction guarantee/return policy has gotten an upgrade - 30-day, no risk, money back guarantee on all products, not just their CD-ROMs as the policy had previously stated.

Student reviews of Rosetta Stone are mixed. Some learners felt that the program didn't deliver a truly immersive language experience, and that their resulting level of fluency was lower than they had expected. Of course, no language program can be truly immersive; the only way to get that experience is to spend time in Russia or another Russian-speaking nation (or community). On the other hand, there are hundreds of reviews from satisfied language-learners who appreciate Rosetta Stone's attempts to teach languages in a more natural way and have used the skills they gained in a variety of settings, from school to work and travel.

Although we'd love to see a more complete free trial specifically of the Russian program Rosetta Stone offers, we appreciate their new and improved pricing and satisfaction guarantee, and we're confident that many students will enjoy learning Russian using their immersion-style approach.

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STROKES INTERNATIONAL

Strokes Easy Learning Russian lessons are available through download or on traditional DVDs for use on a laptop or other computer, and included in both formats are:

  • Up to 300 lessons with pronunciation training, vocabulary memory games, spoken dialogue interaction, and more
  • Strokes Reference Suite with 230 grammar topics, dictionary, and 1,400 verb conjugations
  • Learning tools such as a conversation trainer and flashcards

Strokes Easy Learning Russian revolves around EU standards for learning, covering levels A1 to C1, along with a program specifically for language used in business interactions for professionals who need to use Russian. Strokes allows site visitors to download a complimentary set of three lessons, but issues with the site left us wondering if the files would be reliable or safe to install.

For instance, when we looked for more details by clicking on the link for "Program information", it returned a page with no information at all. Also, the "Shipping & Returns" page provided shipping costs within and outside of Europe, but there was no return policy given. Most of Strokes' competitors have a clearly-established policy for returning products and/or getting a refund if customers are unsatisfied with the product. Lastly, we spotted several spelling and grammatical errors that raised concerns about the quality of the Russian language programs.

And, when we took a look at the learning apps offered by Strokes, we noticed that there was no app for Russian; for the languages available, the apps had not been updated in over two years and had only a small number of reviews.

For all these reasons, Strokes International received low marks in our review. We encourage you to consider one of the more highly-rated programs that we evaluated.

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Russian Lessons

To help you find the Best Russian Lessons, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Rosetta Stone and Strokes International.

Why learn to speak Russian? More than 270 million people speak Russian worldwide, from native speakers living in the nations of the former Soviet Union to students who have learned it as a second language. In fact, many federal agencies - from the US Department of Agriculture to the Department of Defense, as well as the FBI, CIA, NSA and State Department - have identified Russian as a priority language of national need.

It's no wonder, therefore, that speaking Russian can be a distinct advantage in one's career goals, international travels, or post-graduate studies. Modern technology makes it possible to learn Russian from the comfort of your home - or anywhere you choose to go with your mobile device and headphones - rather than trying to find a local class and fit it into your busy lifestyle.

From audio lessons to interactive multimedia programs on your laptop, beginning and experienced students alike can easily access the information needed to take their skills to the next level.

When deciding on a program for studying Russian, you should determine your overall goals and focus on a program that will help you meet your objectives while being a good fit for your learning style, available time for studying, and your budget.

If you learn best by listening, you may want to focus on lessons that are provided primarily in audio format, making it easy to learn on-the-go, during your commute, and so on.

On the other hand, if you're a more visual learner, you will want to choose a program with Russian lessons that are delivered through videos, images, and reading materials, whether that's delivered via CD/DVD or through an online download or subscription.

One aspect of learning Russian to keep in mind is its use of a non-Roman alphabet. Russian is written using the Cyrillic alphabet, which can take some time to recognize, understand, and master.

Is it important for you to learn how to read and write in Russian, or is conversational ability sufficient? If your reasons for learning the language include reading and writing, make sure to select Russian lessons that will give you experience with Cyrillic.

There are a few key components to evaluate as you consider which Russian lessons will be a good fit. These include:

  • Instructional Methods. Many language programs offer a free trial. Did the sample lesson or activity leave you feeling interested and educated, or frustrated? Is the structure of the program a match with your preferred way of learning (for example, auditory, visual, and so on)?
  • Skill Level. Does the program expect that you've already had experience with Russian or with learning languages in general? How much instruction is provided in the program package? Will you have full access to all levels for one price, or will you have to spend more to purchase more advanced levels as you progress?
  • Value. Have other people gained or improved their fluency in Russian with this program? Is it worth the price you will pay to purchase the download, CDs, or subscription?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Russian lessons available today. We hope these reviews will help you to find the perfect Russian program to get you on the road to fluency in no time!



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