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How Good is Rosetta Stone for Learning Mandarin Chinese?

rosetta stone mandarin app lesson plan

Rosetta Stone needs to be one of many best methods to study Mandarin

I’ve a confession.  My Mandarin is fairly horrible.  Languages have by no means been my forté and regardless of my mother and father try and right this with the dreaded Saturday Chinese language faculty, and even my very own makes an attempt by spending a month in Shanghai, I’m sort of again to sq. one.  Now it’s to not say I don’t have any expertise in any respect however my Mandarin is conversational at greatest and contemplate studying and writing non-existent. 

When the prospect got here as much as brush up my expertise with Rosetta Stone Mandarin, I couldn’t say no.  I’ve recognized about Rosetta Stone for a very long time all the best way again once they used to nonetheless promote boxed software program on the cabinets.  At the moment, it continues to be the preferred language course available on the market with now the addition of the cellular app as nicely.  Having by no means accomplished a web-based/app-based language course, I needed to place Rosetta Stone to the check.

Maintain scrolling down for full trustworthy evaluation of Rosetta Stone Mandarin Chinese language.

Rosetta Stone Low cost

Rosetta Stone gives free on-line demos on their web site and full entry to the primary lesson on the cellular app. At present, they’re having a Vacation sale the place you’ll be able to rise up to 40% off a Rosetta Stone subscription!

Click on right here to redeem


rosetta stone mandarin course progress report on app

My Evaluate of Rosetta Stone Mandarin

I began taking this self-guided course with an open-mind and from the attitude of each somebody that utterly is aware of nothing concerning the language and in addition somebody that grew up with it but in addition actually sucks at it.  I hung out going by way of the teachings throughout my journey to New Zealand, and whereas at house so I’ve actually had an opportunity to make use of each the app model of the course and the desktop model by way of my laptop computer.  Let’s break down the evaluation into a couple of core areas that I feel will assist reply for you whether or not it’s value buying it or not.  

This is what we’re overlaying:

Why is Mandarin so onerous to study?

To begin with, it isn’t simply you.  Mandarin needs to be probably the most difficult languages to study once you think about all sides together with talking, studying, and writing.  Even Matador has Mandarin is among the prime 9 arduous languages for English audio system.

There are various causes for this.  Chinese language characters are pictoral to start out and has over 20,000 characters.  They’re primarily simplified drawings and also you virtually piece collectively totally different root characters to create the complete image.  On prime of that, there’s no phonetic connection between what you see and the way you pronounce it.

Subsequent, there are the four tones within the language.  Any change in inflection can change the entire which means of a sentence.  You possibly can go from saying one thing a few horse to how somebody cursed at you.  

Lastly, there are a selection of proverbs used fairly incessantly that simply haven’t any equal in different languages.

The one approach I used to be capable of move checks throughout my childhood Chinese language faculty days was to memorize characters such as you would a periodic desk.  Nevertheless, this imply that I wasn’t studying a lot in any respect and that’s why I feel the best way that Rosetta Stone approaches the educating of Mandarin to be rather more efficient.

How is the course structured?

rosetta stone mandarin lesson plan

The entire course is damaged down into 20 models that contact on very sensible issues you’ll want to know concerning the language:

  1. Language Fundamentals
  2. Greetings and Introductions
  3. Work and Faculty
  4. Buying
  5. Journey
  6. Previous and Future
  7. Pals and Social Life
  8. Eating and Trip
  9. Residence and Well being
  10. Life and World
  11. On a regular basis Issues
  12. Locations and Occasions
  13. Tourism and Recreation
  14. Professions and Hobbies
  15. At Residence and Round City
  16. Fashion and Private Wellness
  17. Enterprise and Business
  18. Arts and Teachers
  19. Emergency Conditions
  20. Household and Group

Inside every of those models are particular person bite-sized classes that target very particular mechanics resembling pronunciation, studying, writing, grammar, and vocabulary.  Every of those classes are extremely interactive, visible, and repetitive (in a great way).

The format sometimes seems like this though the order does change.  Every unit sometimes has four core classes after which it breaks down from there.

  1. Core lesson (20 minutes)
  2. Pronunciation (5 minutes)
  3. Vocabulary (5 minutes)
  4. Grammar (5 minutes)
  5. Studying (5 minutes)
  6. Writing (5 minutes)

The teachings are a gradual development of basis constructed on earlier and information is regularly re-tested.  

Rosetta Stone studying philosophy

Having gone by way of the teachings within the Rosetta Stone Mandarin course, it turns into fairly evident that there are variety of rules that make language studying so efficient with Rosetta Stone:

Sensible – That is evident from the beginning as an alternative of diving deep into “technical particulars” of the language or vocabulary vomit, you begin by studying the essential greeting 你好, adopted by the way to say man, lady, boy, woman, and so on.  The phrases and phrases you study are all meant to be helpful in real-life.  

Progressive and compound studying – From the very first thing you study, the whole lot is consistently thrown again into the combination.  Because of this the information you achieve from lesson to lesson and unit to unit will get re-used.  In language, repetition is vital and so I discovered this to be notably useful.  You won’t catch on the primary time one thing is requested however once they hit you with one thing the 20th time, one thing is sure to stay.

Interactive – The entire philosophy of studying right here is that it’s meant to be interactive and interesting.  You study by reply questions or as I’d wish to name it, finishing “challenges”.  Each piece of the lesson includes taking a look at footage, associating Chinese language characters to sounds, choosing choices in a number of selection questions, or chatting with your pc or telephone.  You get on the spot suggestions on whether or not you’re proper otherwise you’re fallacious and also you repeat this till you get it proper.  It undoubtedly beats studying a textbook.  

Simply brief sufficient to flee boredom – Studying a language could be a drag and it’s fairly straightforward to start out twiddling your thumbs or get distracted by one thing else.  You’ll discover Rosetta Stone to be extremely partaking and every particular person lesson to be on common 10-20 “challenges”.  The pacing is sweet and the hold curiosity excessive by continuously change up the kind of questions.  

Examples of classes

Listed here are a couple of inside appears into the kind of interactive questions that you simply’ll get requested as you undergo your classes.

Sort 1: Matching phrases to footage

mandarin multiple choice question

Right here, you’ll have a phrase learn to you and you must match it one of many footage down under.

Sort 2: Fill within the cleanfill in the word selection challenge in rosetta stone mandarin

Through the use of the photograph for reference, work out what’s the right phrase that matches the sentence.

Sort three:  Character recognition checkreading test in rosetta stone mandarin

The trainer reads a phrase/character and it’s a must to decide the appropriate one.

Sort four:  Pronunciation checkrosetta stone pronunciation test in mandarin

Your pc or telephone will join together with your mic and for every of the phrases right here, you’ll be challenged to pronounce them appropriately.  In the event you fail, you need to maintain making an attempt till you get it proper.  The emphasis right here is to study phrases however follow every phrase separately.

Expertise on desktop

rosetta stone mandarin tourism and recreation unit on desktop

For Rosetta Stone, this has all the time been the normal option to entry the course materials and that’s why it’s so polished and most full in relation to options.  For me, that is how I did a lot of the course since I spend most of my time on my MacBook.

Utilizing Chrome, the one small factor you need to do originally after you launch the course is to provide the browser permission to entry your mic, and you then’re off.

The great thing about the desktop model is that you simply get a variety of actual property to work with.  Not one of the photographs or textual content ever appear too crammed and it’s fairly straightforward to navigate round.

Expertise on cellular app

To my shock, the Rosetta Stone cellular app is designed rather well.  I assumed it will be clunky and awkward however the handoff between a lesson began in your telephone to your desktop and vice versa is so seamless and the training experiences are very shut to one another.

The distinction in fact is that you simply’re coping with a a lot smaller actual property however they’ve adjusted the format to make it work.  All the things else is identical.  You possibly can faucet to make the identical alternatives as you’d to reply a query on the desktop, and it makes use of your telephone’s mic in the identical approach as your laptop computer to seize your pronunciation.  

What you need to know is that the lesson is all achieved in horizontal format so that you do have to show your telephone over.

I really like that they’ve this feature and is one thing that undoubtedly units Rosetta Stone above the competitors due to how straightforward they make it to study on-the-go.


Solely one by one: You’ll be able to solely be logged in at one place at a time so in case you’re doing a lesson in your desktop, you possibly can’t seamlessly change over to to the app.  You must sign off first after which log in by means of your telephone.  

Some issues lacking: I observed that the writing classes have been omitted from the app, presumably as a result of they couldn’t recreate the expertise on iOS in my case.  

Offline: One factor you are able to do on the app which you can’t do on desktop is the power to save lots of classes offline.  When you obtain them, they’re out there for 30 days.

Modes for several types of college students

One factor I undoubtedly appreciated having was the power to toggle totally different show languages within the course.  What I imply by that is that there’s a approach to toggle between having the lesson taught with the language displayed in Pinyin solely (alphabet characters to characterize Chinese language characters, also called hàn), Chinese language characters solely, or a mixture of each.

rosetta stone mandarin language display toggle

By default, it’s Pinyin solely however in case you look to the underside of the display the place the lesson progress bar is, you’ll discover the toggles above.  All it’s a must to do is click on any of these choices to vary the show mode.

For many college students, I like to recommend having each hàn and Chinese language characters up as a result of finally whenever you’re in the actual world, you gained’t discover alphabet characters on the restaurant or in shops.  

For somebody like me that basically needs to strengthen my character recognition and writing, I’ve switched to Chinese language characters solely which considerably elevated the problem of the course as a result of I wanted to actively study the characters as an alternative of “dishonest” with the Pinyin.  

Distinctive options

Let’s speak about a few of the different differentiators that I discovered constructed into Rosetta Stone.


rosetta stone live tutor session to practice mandarin

scheduling live tutoring session in rosetta stoneStay Tutoring – Rosetta Stone has made it extremely straightforward to truly get reside periods with an actual teacher.  In the course of the 20-30 minute session, you’ll be in a classroom with as much as 60-70 different college students though in my case it was simply the 2 of us and we went by way of comparable course materials, working towards primarily pronunciation, vocabulary, and asking one another questions.  It was truly useful and altered issues up from doing the course by your self and seeing how others are progressing.  One factor is that there isn’t fairly time to ask any questions.  Your teacher will undergo the slides that are all photograph based mostly and whenever you’re completed, the lesson ends.  

rosetta stone platform chat tool

Chat and Associates – In all probability the lesser of those two distinctive options however nonetheless one thing that lets you group up with different buddies and study collectively or meet different college students from around the globe.  I personally didn’t discover it that helpful because it appeared to be a haven for trolls however the function is there.

rosetta stone mandarin extended learning options

Prolonged Studying – There’s a function on desktop and on the app referred to as “Prolonged Studying” and this offers further alternatives to study by increasing past simply the course materials.  Right here you’ll discover video games, means to have conversations with different college students, tales, and self recordings.

audio companion downloadable lessons with rosetta stone mandarin

Audio Companion – Not capable of do the interactive classes and need to take heed to the course such as you would a podcast?  They have you ever coated right here as nicely with downloadable audio companions on the app or accessible on the internet platform as nicely.  

How a lot does the course value?

The best way Rosetta Stone works is that it really works beneath month-to-month subscription service mannequin.  You pay to get entry to this system for a time period.  They promote their programs in increments of three months, 6 months, 12 months or 24 months.  

Your selection will largely depend upon how lengthy you assume you’ll want to finish the course and in addition how lengthy you’d wish to hold it to proceed working towards.  

One of the best worth comes from the 24-month interval the place it solely comes out to $5.99 USD per thirty days for a complete of $143.76 USD.  Undergo all of the pricing choices out there.  

All of their plans include a 30 day money-back-guarantee so in the event you’re discovering that it isn’t working for you, you’ll be able to cancel your plan.  That is in all probability the easiest way to really check whether or not you want Rosetta Stone Mandarin. 

Rosetta Stone Low cost

Rosetta Stone presents free on-line demos on their web site and full entry to the primary lesson on the cellular app.  Presently, they’re having a Vacation sale the place you’ll be able to rise up to 40% off a  Rosetta Stone subscription!

Click on right here to redeem

Is it straightforward to study?

Rosetta Stone’s strategy of what they’ve dubbed to be Dynamic Immersion is very efficient to dive proper right into a language and never get pulled right into a black gap of language semantics and mind-numbing syntax guidelines.  As an alternative, work on contextual classes which are interactive and sensible.  

Mandarin is a language that fits this mannequin very nicely since you actually have to be repetitively hit with totally different examples how phrases can be utilized, what the characters seem like, and pronunciation.  Utilizing your mic, it will possibly just about forces you to maintain making an attempt till you get it proper.  If it senses that you simply’re having hassle, it’ll routinely repeat it to offer you one other crack at it.  

What I observed is that this can be a course that’s actually good for anybody that acknowledge patterns.  By way of the sensible examples they supply, Rosetta Stone actually performs on the delicate modifications of 1 aspect akin to him vs. her, constructive vs. unfavourable, or particular person vs. group.  

The opposite factor that may show you how to study Mandarin shortly is that it’s designed to be straightforward to select up and put down.  What I imply by that is that for one it’s extremely moveable as a result of you’ll be able to flip between your pc and telephone.  Secondly, the teachings are created to maintain you and engaged.  That’s so key in an academic product like this as a result of it’s really easy to surrender.  Half the battle is to maintain going all the best way to the top.  


I personally assume Rosetta Stone has created an awesome product with the Mandarin course.  The software program is intuitive and straightforward to make use of which suggests anybody can decide it up and begin studying instantly.  By way of the in depth programs, it covers a variety of subjects that hit on a regular basis life encounters and enterprise subjects that’ll get you began.  

That’s the important thing.  This isn’t a course for somebody trying to grasp the language from prime to backside.  That is for somebody that’s within the language (or has to study it) and has a brief time period to select up the fundamentals.  It’s additionally undoubtedly geared extra in the direction of the conversational facet of the language and fewer on studying and even much less so on writing.

For somebody like me, Rosetta Stone was an excellent refresher and there have been definitely methods to set it to permit me to focus extra on recognizing widespread characters.   What it’s not good at doing in any respect is precise character writing so if that’s what you’re in search of, this isn’t the best product for you.  

For an entire beginner, I can see it being very invaluable and a cheap approach to study one of many hardest languages on the planet. It’s actually a crash course which you can decide up with ease and begin studying sensible issues for day by day use which is what’s the true energy of Rosetta Stone.

So how about you?  Have you ever used Rosetta Stone for different languages?  How did you fare?  Have you ever tried the newest cellular app?  Additionally, in case you have any questions concerning the course, drop a remark down under and I’ll make sure you get again to you ASAP.  

A thorough review of Rosetta Stone Mandarin Chinese including who is it for, the lesson units, why it's so good, app vs. desktop, and lesson examples.  

#rosettastone #mandarin #chinese #learningmandarin

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