Okay, so you’ve probably heard it before, learning how to speak Thai with Rosetta Stone is not cheap. In fact, it’s quite expensive compared to most other Thai language courses. But, in the realm of “you get what you pay for”, yep, you get what you pay for and, with Rosetta Stone, you get one of the best language learning courses anywhere.
Ten years ago, when I first moved to Thailand, my Thai was abysmal. A tonal language, Thai was horrific to learn for me, not only could I not remember the five tones or get them permanently attached to the correct words, but I couldn’t read the language either, so that made it impossible.
Before I moved to Thailand, I even took Thai lessons for five months at a Thai temple in Los Angeles. The result? I could say the usual “Hello”, “Thank you” and “How much is that?” but that was it. And as far as reading and writing — forget it.
Then, after a year of living in Thailand, I decided I needed to speak Thai. I was losing out on so many opportunities, plus finding the country’s culture difficult to understand when I couldn’t communicate with the locals. So, after much decision, I plumped down a large sum of money and bought the Thai language version of Rosetta Stone at Amazon.com. At currently $159, it was a major outlay but, I decided if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.
Six months later, I was having complete conversations with people all over Bangkok – shopkeepers, bus drivers, secretaries, students, my boss — it was unbelievable how much I suddenly understood, and how easy it became to communicate. Plus, when people began to compliment me on my Thai pronunciation, “Phoot Thai chat” – “You speak Thai clearly”, I knew I’d made the right decision with Rosetta Stone.
For me, the reasons why Rosetta Stone’s Thai software worked where others didn’t, is simple:
a. Rosetta Stone uses pictures and sound — and the combination of the two sticks with me, where just sound never did.
b. Rosetta Stone is interactive – I don’t know about you, but I don’t do well with sitting there and just repeating what someone says. Rosetta Stone is interactive, meaning you’re constantly clicking on something, or responding to a command and that makes you learn Thai faster.
c. Rosetta Stone tests your pronunciation – the new version of Rosetta Stone has a speech recognition component, and it tests your pronunciation as you’re learning new vocabulary. I found this invaluable when I thought I was saying difficult Thai vowels correctly but I was so far off the mark.
d. Rosetta Stone doesn’t use translation – everything is in Thai from the minute you start, with nothing ever translated into English. That just made my brain remember the Thai a whole lot faster.
Sure, Rosetta Stone is not cheap and, just like anything, it’s not a 100% guarantee — you do have to study, to learn. But would I recommend it. “Jing jing, ka”. Absolutely