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Duolingo or Rosetta Stone

Hi, I'm just stared to learn French and would have to say that Duolingo is one of the most useful free learning sites for learning a language (and I've looked at many). So my question is, shall I continue to use this Duolingo or should I purchase lets say, Rosetta Stone and use the combination of both. Ideally, I would like to reach a standard where I can look at a menu, have a simple conversation in french .. whats your thoughts..

June 3, 2013



I wouldn't buy Rosetta Stone as an addition to Duolingo. I recommend adding podcasts (Learn French by Podcast is great and free if you can do without pdf transcripts, Coffee Break French is somewhat slower but also fun), grammar resources (http://www.laits.utexas.edu/tex/gr/index.html is rather good) and later books. If you can afford to spend some money, better buy a really good textbook or grammar book.

For improving your writing and conversational skills try busuu.com, verbling.com, italki.com, lang8.com.


Thank you for your reply, I'll try the podcast also. Would you also recommend listen /watching French TV. I can get TV5MONDE Europe via Sky..


Won't you watch it without my recommendation? ;-) Of course if you like TV or movies, it will only do you good to watch them in French. Have fun!


Yes, I will do.. As I'm new to this, how many hours would you set aside a day would for studying ?


First of all listen to yourself and your lifestyle. How much do you need French? How quickly do you have to achieve some level? How much free time do you have every day and which part of it are you willing to dedicate to French? Finally, how much do you like the process of studying itself?

For me, a minimum is a full coin stack on Duolingo every day. Everything on top of this is great if you feel like it. But, again, listen more to yourself, not to me. I'm not a standard you have to comply with!

When I started to learn French on Duolingo I spent almost all my free time on it because I was so hungry for knowledge and enjoyed my studies :-)


I agree. Before I had heard of Duolingo I used to listen to Coffee Break French, and they're fantastic. If you pay the $40 you can get the PDF files with all the words and bonus vocab that go along with the pod casts. They have an interesting way of approaching things though, and I found it very VERY difficult to write anything down when first learning french purely from listening because I had no idea how to spell anything (and if you've done even a little french, almost nothing sounds like it is spelled!).


News with Slow French / Spanish is also a cool podcast! You can buy the transcripts too!


My primary means of learning French is Duolingo. I am also watching French In Action, which you can find on You Tube. This series goes about the same pace as I learn from duolingo, This TV series presents a beginning-intermediate course in French in 52 half-hour programs. I do Duolingo each day, at least 1/2 hour, (wish I could do more!) and listen to one or two FIA programs two or three times each, during a week if I can.


Thank you. I'll have look at 'french in action' on YouTube. I'm looking to put around two hours a day so hopefully by the time we go to Amiens and Honfluer next month, I would be able to order/read from a menu / bar and have a simple conversation, that sort of thing..


There is also a workbook by the French in Action people that I recommend; I started learning French with French in Action; the textbook, workbook, and videos are really helpful. FIA starts out with simple conversations, so it and duolingo should accomplish your goals.


Got to agree with the others here. Rosetta Stone, especially for it's price is just trash. I tried using it and got through a couple of weeks at a time before my interest in it would wane. The lessons aren't necessarily bad but and I found it was quite helpful for developing pronunciation if you go through it slowly. However, with some of the lessons taking 45 minutes, it's more like taking a class and going through a 45 minute lesson slowly you will surely die of boredom.

I won't try recommend anything specific as you've already had some great suggestions. Just stay away from the price inflated junk-ware that is Rosetta Stone at all odds.


I'm using both Duolingo and Rocket Italian. Duolingo is best for rigor and vocabulary drilling. Rocket is better for conversation, pronunciation (the one thing I dislike about Duolingo Italian), and lots of interesting culture connections.


I have done Rocket Spanish as well - and somewhat concur with what you say - there is the culture and the clearer pronunciation, sure, as well as some explanation of basic grammar - which Duolingo does not give. But the weakness is that there is no sentence drill. Its all copying what someone else says and offers little progression with conversation. After two years of Rocket Spanish I still could not hold a fairly basic discussion. Duolingo, on the other hand has you constructing sentences from the word go, tells you when you are wrong and drills you mercilessly! And it is fun! I have progressed more with Duolingo in two months than I have with all my Rocket Spanish. I cant do without Duo - that's for sure.


I agree. That's why I chose to do both, after trying the free trials of all the other available methods online. I also test myself rigorously in Rocket using the "Know it" drills over and over until everything is natural, and I don't let myself pass to the next unit until I've got it. Duolingo doesn't even let you move on until you've got it.


Yes - and I still use both. Rocket Spanish has interesting situations to share and an easy listening learning - I drive a fair amount for my job and continue to listen while I drive. That is just another dimension to the learning, as are Spanish films (I put on Spanish sub-titles instead of English), Spanish e-books, News in slow Spanish (http://www.newsinslowspanish.com) and the odd magazine I can lay my hands on as well as watch Spanish TV on-line (http://multilingualbooks.com/online-tv-spanish). They all give a broader perspective. But that having been said - duolingo is still my Number ONE!!


just duolingo, it´s more specific


DL is one part of my language-learning exercises. I also study by listening and responding to French Pimsleur audio lessons. They are affordable (~$120 for 16 hours of audio) when purchased online and downloaded as MP3 files. I play them with my iPod while commuting. http://www.pimsleur.com/

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