Rosetta Stone German Language Learning Program Review

Rosetta Stone is a computer-based language learning software package that was designed by Rosetta Stone Inc.  The actual software itself utilises a mixture of visuals, texts, and sounds, and the levels become a lot harder as students make progress.  This is so the student can be taught the “Dynamic Immersion method” which helps them to learn a good range of vocab and the rules of grammar instinctively.  Drills and translations are not included in the programme.  The company believes that the purpose of their software is to teach a language that is identical to the way in which learners grasped their mother tongue.  


Rosetta Stone Inc. claims that Allen Stoltzfus learned how to speak German by actively involving himself in the language whilst he lived in Germany, which was fairly simple for him to do.  Around 1980, Stoltzfus started to learn Russian in a classroom environment; however, he found that it was a lot harder.  His aim was to mimic his German experience, so he made the decision to utilise computer assisted technology to create a comparable learning encounter. He requested help from his brother-in-law, Dr. John Fairfield because he has a PhD in computer science.

In 1992, Allen Stolzfus and Dr Fairfield started a business in Virginia because CD rom technology meant that they were able to complete their assignment, plus they publicised their software merchandise by the name Rosetta Stone.  

In 2003, Rosetta Stone went under fresh management and Tom Adams became the Leader and CEO; he was an entrepreneur with plenty of global experience.

In 2006, the companies name was altered to Rosetta Stone, Ltd and sold to investing companies - ABS Capital Partners  and Northwest Equity Partners.

In  2008, Rosetta Stone Inc. offered their programme to the  Securities and Exchange Commission.


4 TOTALe is the most up-to-date version, although you cannot get every language on this edition.  Certain languages are in the second and third editions only.  You know what version you are getting because it is specified on the outside of all wholesale packages.

Version 2

This version has been withdrawn at the moment. 

Version 3

The lessons are divided into four units for all the language levels. Every unit is then divided into four main lessons. Every main lesson lasts around 30 minutes and then a sub lesson follows, which includes: Pronunciation, Written activities, Vocabulary, Syntax, Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Reviews. A Milestone has to be completed after a unit finishes – this is an interactive exercise that assesses all the content in the main unit.

The application in the third version does not have the capacity to read older versions of the language CD's – the first and second version.  If you own several versions of this program then you will have to have all the applications installed so that you can use them. 

Home-school Issue

The home-school issue offers extra features that log the time students spend on each lesson, their results, lesson plans, plus teaching aims. This version has a supplementary CD that includes course books, puzzles, lesson transcripts and examinations. Unlike the personal issue, the home-school issue doesn’t suggest any lesson reviews. Apart from the small variations, the homeschool issue is basically identical to the personal issue – excluding the supplementary CD that has written activities as well as lesson plans. The discs are exactly the same in the Homeschool and Personal Issues; they can be switched if necessary. Some might contain three CD’s and others might have five. A lot of the data that’s on the supplementary CD can be obtained electronically through Rosetta Stone.

TOTALe – Version 4

This version was launched in 2010 and arrives with the usual Rosetta Syllabus that is in former editions.  There are 3 additional elements that are unique to this edition, they are as follows:

Rosetta Studio – native teachers are used in this version to instruct learners live whilst they are online.

Rosetta World – this is a fresh world of social games. 

TOTALe Mobile Companion

This is accessible on

iPhones, iPodTouches, iPads and specific  Android devices.  This edition has an exclusive rights security too so that piracy is reduced.  The software can be verified if it runs from a CD or an image that has been installed, nevertheless, it does not have the capacity to make the distinction between a CD that has been burned by a user or if it’s an original one. 

In 2011, The James Madison University partnered with Rosetta Stone and offered Rosetta Stone's Version 4 TOTALe as an official credited  Spanish language Conversation course. The course gives students a grounding in Spanish via a set of pictures that reveal vocabulary words when they are clicked.  Learners talk into a microphone and software that recognises speech corrects words that are pronounced incorrectly.  The program can be accessed by adults who wish to finish their degree, plus those who do not have the desire to finish a degree can qualify to take a class too.   The Rosetta Stone TOTALe accredited course is demanding and runs over 16 weeks.  Students can access the course all online and follow a course outline that has been endorsed by Rosetta Stone and James Madison University.


There are various lesson packages on offer. The complete course in all languages is split into 3 levels for the majority of languages.  In addition, the best-selling or popular languages have been have divided into five levels.  These include English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese.  All the wholesale software programs have the equivalent number of CD’s as levels. All discs behave like an install pryourogram. Also, the homeschool edition has a CD that includes a management package for learners.


Apart from Latin, every language utilises identical sets of words and sentences in an identical order, with identical pictures. A bit of the course content  is used again from one lesson to another so that it encourages students to retain it on a long-term basis. There are between 3 to 5 levels of tutoring for every language in the fourth edition ( Version 4). You can buy all the levels individually or as a bundle at a discounted rate.

Version 2 just offers two levels for the majority of languages, although a small number have three:

Level 1  has 8 units that begin with basic vocabulary like "boy", "girl", "man", "woman".  It then moves up to numbers,  past and future tenses and concludes with a section on how to give directions.  Units 1 to 4 contain 10 lessons and a review, units 5 to 8 contain 11 lessons and a review. There are 92 lessons in total in the first level.

Level 2 contains unit 9 to 19; nevertheless, there are just 9 units for practical purposes that are dedicated to instructions because unit 18 and 19  are “appendices” that are devoted to individual words that are related to specific topics like college, wildlife, cars etc.  The units in level 2 have advanced grammar concepts plus specific topics like travelling, shopping, and going to the bank.  These activities have a brief video footage too, which is formatted in QuickTime to show certain verbs.  Units 16 and 17 just have dated Saturday Night Post cartoons as well as their subtitles. There are 118 lessons in total in level 2.

Level 3 cannot be accessed on version 2 products, although when you could get it, it has longer  videos and writing clauses so that the teaching level can be expanded if needed.  In this version, languages have around 3 to 5 levels, however, everything that is covered for all the languages is varied; the  emphasis is on having a conversation and not as much on complicated grammar subjects. 

Level 1 has four units, that all have four lessons that last thirty-minute, plus several activities that last between 5 to 15 minutes each. It takes around 45 minutes to finish the level – it develops a solid basis of essential  vocabulary and key language structures. The learner begins with basic words like  "boy", "girl", "man", and "woman", and then moves to numbers, contrasts , adjectives, nouns, verb conjugation, and how to tell the time.  Every unit has a ten-minute replicated dialogue titled a "Milestone" too.

The units that are in level one include:

  • The Basics of Language
  • Acknowledgements and Introductions
  • School & Jobs
  • Shopping

Level 2 gives students around  twenty-four hours of study that intends to teach them how to  "find their way around their settings whilst they develop their vocabulary, plus core language structures in Level 1." Additional grammatical structures are covered that include tenses like the past and future, and imperative forms. Subjects like telling people how to get to places, writing a letter, terminology used in the work environment, and evaluating  art is covered too.  Similar to Level 1, every unit has a ten-minute "Milestone" once the lesson is complete.

The units included in the second level:

  • Travel
  • Past and Future
  • Friends and Social Life
  • Eating Out and Holidays

Level 3 gives guidance that is intended to assist students to relate to the world by further developing on the basics of language and conversation that they acquired in Levels 1 and 2.  Additionally,   to expand stundents’ grammar that they have learnt in the first and second Levels 1, the third level educates them about more detailed  vocabulary that includes: botanic and cookery  terminology, how to articulate comprehensive view points and opinions, plus how to have political, religious and business related debates. Similar to level one and two, every unit has a "Milestone" exercise that lasts ten minutes where the student takes part in a pretend dialogue.

The units in the third level include: 

  • Home and Wellbeing
  • Living and the Planet
  • Everyday Things
  • Locations & Events

Levels 4 and 5 are accessible in the following languages: American & British English, Latin American Spanish, Chinese Mandarin (just I the 4.0 edition), French, Spanish , Italian, German, and Russian .  In levels 4 and 5 students learn how to form more complicated sentence structures, gain insight into the higher verb  tenses, plus additional irregular verbs and vocabulary are introduced. 

Alternative packages

Explorer package  - this has the first three units from Level I and it is  does not cost as much as the complete Level I. You cannot get this product from the publisher anymore.

Traveller edition – this has a few lessons that focus on simple terminology plus essential travel vocabulary.  Unfortunately this package is not available anymore.  .

Free Demonstrations – you can access these from Rosetta Stone, Ltd directly.

Audio Companion – this was launched in 2008; it supports what you learn when you use the computer package. It can be transported and  you can play it on CD's or MP3 players.



Modern Arabic





Greek Hebrew

Hindi Indonesian










Spanish (Latin American & Spain)








Endangered Language Course

This course was designed in 2004 so that scare language communities could be involved in language revival. 

Companies that sign up to the Course to design customised software are given the sales and distribution dues over their end product, which allows communities to have the lead over this particular language source, hence it respects the rights of native intellectuals and their belongings.

Therefore, these editions are not promoted through the standard channels like bookshops or sales websites.

The above Course started to offer company grants in 2007 to fund the development expenses to the communities they were given to.  Rosetta Stone Ltd. Gave the very first reward to the Chitimacha Tribe from Louisiana, plus the Navajo Language Renaissance coalition. 

This course provides internships that are reimbursed to graduates who are keen to contribute to the program. 

American Government Usage

In 2007, the American Army gave troops an exclusive military edition of the Arabic language to assist those who were deployed to the Middle East to learn Arabic for conversational purposes when they were in the military.  Every single employee had access to the programme. 

America’s Army were given the complete third edition of the E-Learning Program, apart from a small number of languages. The Army’s E-Learning web site could be accessed by the majority of the  Army members as long as they had an authorised email address or access card

The US Air Force provides a comparable edition to some of their officers too.In addition, the US Marine Corps are offering Rosetta Stones software on line via their MarineNet Distance Learning portal.

The Department of State incorporates the third edition of Rosetta Stone in their classroom and distance learning language courses that are offered by the Foreign Service Institute. This course is free if you’re a civil and foreign service worker.


Rosetta Stone has been given plenty of awards from various software journals, language learning establishments and other professional organisations.

Learn with Rosetta Now

or read more on Rosetta.