Deciding that you want to learn a new language is easy, but knowing how to learn a new language properly is difficult, regardless of whether that language is French, Japanese or any other language.
Two pieces of language learning software that often pop into people’s minds when they are thinking about the topic are Duolingo and Rosetta Stone. But, which one of these is really the best option? Keep on reading to find out.
What is Duolingo?
Duolingo is one of the largest online platforms for learning languages. It works well as a piece of software because it recognises the fact that everyone learns languages in different ways. Duolingo has successfully analysed how millions of users learn in order to create a platform that can be tailored to meet the needs of each individual student.
This means that Duolingo will quickly realise what areas you are good in and what areas you are not so good in. For example, you could be amazing at learning new vocabulary, but you might not be very good at translating sentences.
A lot of people use Duolingo because it is free to use. It was developed so that everyone would be able to learn a language without paying the extortionate fees that are usually associated with learning a language.
What is Rosetta Stone?
Rosetta Stone is another language learning software that has been around for decades. It is also a name that most people will recognise when it comes to learning languages. It focuses a lot on immersion learning. When studying with Rosetta Stone, the only language that you hear and read is the language that you are learning because they believe that that immersion is the best way to teach.
Rosetta Stone starts off by teaching you about different sights and sounds, then it moves on to teach new words to expand your vocabulary; then it moves on to complete sentences and then it moves on to conversation. You can learn to speak a language in just four steps. Unfortunately, these four steps don’t really touch on rules that could be specific to the language that you are learning.
What languages do both services offer?
Both Duolingo and Rosetta Stone offer a number of different languages that you can choose from. This is important because variety can often help you choose a language to study if you are struggling to pick a new language that you would like to speak.
With Duolingo you could try a few different languages, but that would be much harder with Rosetta Stone because you would have to pay a fee each time. The languages that are available on both platforms include:
Duolingo also offers users a few “fun” languages, like High Valyrian and Klingon.
One of the main benefits of choosing Duolingo over Rosetta Stone is that it doesn’t cost anything. There are no adverts, no subscription plans and no payment options. This can make it a great option for anyone who simply cannot afford to pay the hundreds of pounds that each Rosetta Stone language costs to learn.
A scientific study was also done by an independent team to test whether or not Duolingo was more effective than Rosetta Stone. The study found that students took approximately 34 hours with Duolingo to learn the equivalent of what would have been a single term university course. The same study also found that the same thing took approximately 55 hours with Rosetta Stone. This proves that, in some cases, Duolingo is the more effective of the two.
Another benefit of using Duolingo is that it is mobile. You can use it in the comfort of your home, while sitting in the passenger seat of a car, or while on the train to work. Rosetta Stone does have a mobile option, but this option is not something that they focus on or market a lot.
One thing that you certainly need to consider if you are wanting to learn a new language is that Rosetta Stone only really works with “simple” languages. If you are learning Arabic, then Rosetta Stone would teach you how to speak the classical form of written Arabic that is different from the language used on the street. If you are learning how to speak Japanese or Korean, then Rosetta Stone wouldn’t touch on honorifics.
Honorifics are an important thing to think about if you are planning on learning an East Asian language. For example, in Japan, you would never speak to an elder in the same way that you would speak to a friend. There are different honorifics for different situations and not using them can sometimes be seen as impolite and disrespectful. But, at the same time, Rosetta Stone can be used to learn the basics when it comes to languages like Japanese until you are ready to move on to the next level.
Rosetta Stone also offers users more languages to choose from than Duolingo, making them a much more diverse platform. They also have different forms of very similar languages. For example, they have both British and American English. Rosetta Stone is also the only option out of the two that gives you a speech recognition option so that you can see whether or not you are pronouncing words correctly.
One of the things that we believe you should think about is that both Duolingo and Rosetta Stone work differently. Duolingo can teach you a lot about translation, sentence structure and vocabulary. Rosetta Stone simply focuses on language acquisition. In theory, using both Duolingo and Rosetta Stone at the same time would be better than using just one. That way, you would be learning a language while also learning about vocabulary, sentence structure and the way in which the language should be spoken.