iTalki VS Rosetta Stone: Comparing 2 Fascinating Apps

Virtual human interaction or technology-driven learning? As the search for the best language app continues, a detailed italki VS Rosetta Stone review is detailed.

In the hit American series called The Big Bang Theory, there’s a scene where Sheldon Cooper (played by Jim Parsons) turns himself into a mobile virtual presence device to avoid the dangers of human interaction. This scene proves how far technology can go.

Technology provided us with a lot of software to make life easier. There’s business management software like Trello. There are shopping apps like Amazon and language learning software like Rosetta Stone.

In this blog, we will explore two unique products of technology – Itlaki and Rosetta Stone. These two apps are popular platforms that take language learning to the next level. 

But, even if it is a product of technological advancement, there are still many things to consider. Which of these two apps is an effective tool for language learning? Since iTalki and Rosetta Stone are very differe


iTalki VS Rosetta Stone: What Are They All About?

We are all digging for an easy and convenient way of learning a new language. Thankfully, technology did its magic and gave us language learning platforms like iTalki and Rosetta Stone. These apps can help us in exploring beyond our native language.

The question is, which between iTalki and Rosetta Stone will match your learning style and needs? Let’s find out in this iTalki VS Rosetta Stone review.

iTalki Overview

italki VS Rosetta Stone

iTalki is a platform for finding language teachers in hundreds of languages or native speakers who can practice with partners. It was founded by Kevin Chen and Yongyue Jiang in 2007 but only in 2012 has it been known and skyrocketed to success as a platform.

With iTalki, language teachers and learners can connect whenever and wherever they are. It is a platform for booking private lessons and practicing with the community. 

The iTalki platform has been one of the most popular marketplaces for finding language teachers who can help learn a foreign language and develop language skills. Big companies such as The New York Times, Business Insider, Investopedia, and The Washington Post have also recognized it.

Until today, iTalki has been gaining popularity all over the world. Many reviews, videos, and blog posts from teachers and language learners about it. It’s impossible not to come across iTalki when searching for the best language learning software. 

If you want further information about this app, read this iTalki review.

iTalki: Everything You Need To Know

After learning iTalki’s background, let’s now move to what you need to know.

iTalki Doesn’t Offer Online Courses, Lessons, Or Any Educational Services

The first thing that should be clear to you is that iTalki is only a platform to find teachers, book private lessons, or find language partners. It doesn’t offer any educational services at all. Think of it as a marketplace to find a teacher or tutor who can provide relevant lessons for your target language.

iTalki doesn’t have built-in lessons or learning materials for independent learning. Besides, your booking procedures, scheduling, and payments will be easier. In addition, the teaching and learning process will happen on video conferencing platforms like Skype or Facetime.

Two Types Of Teachers In iTalki: Professional Teachers And Community Tutors

The next thing you need to know is that in iTalki, you can find two different kinds of teachers/tutors. If you’re entering the platform as a teacher, you’ll need to sign up and undergo a comprehensive registration process.

Professional Teachers

These teachers are those with educational degrees or certificates in teaching languages. Most of them have undergone several pieces of training and professional development procedures while they are studying.

There’s a particular procedure that iTalki requires professional teachers to undergo. There are rigorous requirements for the teachers to land in this category. It may require them to upload files and proof of your degree or certificate. Because of this, expect more structured and formal lessons. Professional teachers usually have higher rates, but it’s not always that way.

Community Tutors

Community tutors refer to those native speakers or near-native speakers with that you can have informal conversations. They can serve as your language exchange partners to help you learn a conversational language and practice your language skills.

Remember! Professional Teachers Aren’t Always Better Than Community Tutors

Degrees and certificates don’t always define the teaching methodology and quality a particular teacher can provide. Sometimes, you can find a community tutor that is way better than those with a professional degree.

Professional teachers learn through training and can be somewhat outdated on the current language developments. On the other hand, community tutors are more immersive because they use the language. Sometimes there will be more relevant lessons learned with community tutors because they know the language used in daily conversations.

The teaching and learning process is not a one-size-fits-all thing where every learner can learn using the same strategies, approach, and learning materials. It will depend on your learning style and preference.

iTalki Has A Huge Community For Language Exchanges

One of the reasons why iTalki is one of the talks of the town is because of the significant community that is a free feature. What iTalki does is facilitate building connections between people to help learn from each other.

This may sound like just a typical social media platform, but it can actually be helpful, especially for immediate concerns and clarification about your target language. You can simply post using the language you are learning. Since almost all the major languages are available in iTalki, you can quickly get a response.

Use this feature to gain new friends and practice the language you are learning. After all, those features are completely free. Nowadays, it’s hard to find free language learning software with the same benefit, so make the most out of it, especially if you can’t afford paid lessons.

Learn Lots Of Languages And Dialects

There are many languages to learn using iTalki because anyone can register and join the community. This ensures that whatever language you are learning, you have a teacher who is way better than the limited languages offered by other language learning platforms. Even those not-so-popular languages are there.

Aside from major languages, there are also lots of dialects available. For example, if you want to be specific on what Chinese dialect you want to learn, you can choose between Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, and others. The catch is that the less popular language/dialect has fewer available teachers.

Rate And Prices Are Set By Teachers Or Tutors

Language learning apps could be expensive, primarily if you did not research properly. In iTalki, the teachers set their rates which means they are the ones who will determine the price of every private lesson, not iTalki.

In iTalki, you will notice price competition, especially for beginner teachers. They need to lower the price to attract students, gain reviews, and build a reputation. The rates range from pretty incredibly expensive down to unbelievably low prices. Here is where you have to be critical.

What Are The Factors That Affect The Teacher’s/Tutor’s Price?

The first factor is the kind of teacher. Professional teachers usually have higher rates compared to community tutors. Then again, it’s not always that way, which brings us to the second factor: the length of experience and the number of lessons conducted.

The third factor is an unfortunate and disturbing one: the origin country. Teachers from third-world countries usually choose to make their rates cheap to gain students. Outstanding teachers are offering lower rates because they are beginners.

There are also teachers who have unreasonably high rates, but the quality of learning you’ll get is not good. In short, the rate if the teacher has nothing to do with the quality of learning you’ll get.

There’s no shortcut to learning languages. You have to invest time, effort, and even money. What good can you get from taking advantage of low-rate teachers to learn languages? You can pay more or give them tips if you want.

These are knowledge workers whose capital is gained through years of hard work, so why not give it back in exchange for a quality language learning experience?

iTalki Uses Credit Currency System

In place of payments, iTalki uses a credit currency system to buy credits that you can use to pay for lessons. Once you have bought credits, you can’t withdraw them anymore. You can also gain credits by referring a friend to use the app.

Finding The Right Teacher Needs Patience Being Critical

The real challenge of using iTalki is finding the teacher that best suits your needs and preferences. Luckily, iTalki offers a lot of filters that you can use to find your teacher. You can search according to the type of teacher (Professional or Community Tutor), price, location, teacher’s language, and skills.

Once you have filtered the teachers available, you will see teachers’ profiles. You can use the reviews from past students, number of lessons completed, video previews, number of returning students, or attendance and response rate. But, reviews are not always reliable because some students just accept a bad lesson/experience.

Aside from the things mentioned above, the most effective way to find out if the teacher suits your preferences is by booking a trial lesson. 

Yes, iTalki offers trial lessons that you can use to find the teacher you want. It’s a 30-minute lesson that enables users to have a glimpse of the teaching style of the teacher/tutor. It is a feature that not all existing systems have.

In choosing a teacher/tutor, remember to be always critical. Make sure to choose the teacher who can fit the learning quality you want. Do not choose a teacher who is not a native speaker or does not have a professional degree in the language. Unless you have seen something that might be helpful for you, it will be just a waste of time and money.

In learning languages, every second counts. The teacher you’ll choose should know how to make every second meaningful and worthy. Beware of those who want to earn but do not care if their students are learning or not.

You will also encounter teachers that will teach you what is entirely written in the book. If you have encountered them, consider looking for another one because they just want to avoid all the hassle of preparing different learning materials. You need an individualized learning plan based on comprehensive assessments. You need a teacher who will develop your language skills and let you grow through meaningful learning experiences and opportunities.

Like in the corporate world, organizations boost employee engagement when they are treated right and get what they deserve. If you find yourself in a session where you are not motivated and didn’t learn anything at all, it’s a sign that you should look for another language teacher.

The Quality Of The Lessons Lies With The Teacher; iTalki Is Out Of It

The last and the most important thing to know about iTalki is how the lessons progress. Again, I want to reiterate that the iTalki platform doesn’t offer any educational services. It’s just a platform to look for teachers; therefore, lessons are in the hands of the teachers. But how does a typical lesson starts?

First, you’ll need to schedule lessons. In scheduling, just simply go to your teacher’s calendar and find the schedule that works for both of you. The lessons are not immediately booked because the teacher still needs to approve them. They have limited time to approve or deny the lesson. When the lesson is approved, you can now begin your class with your teacher using video conferencing apps like Facetime and Skype.

The teaching and learning process is a two-way process. Both the student and teacher should be active in the ongoing learning experiences. It’s important to clear all your expectations first. You exactly know how you learn best, so do not be afraid to speak your mind about the activities, especially it’s online learning.

Maintain clear communication with the teacher and tell them if you’re not satisfied. Just make sure that you’re doing it respectfully. After all, you’ll be the one paying. If you didn’t like the lesson, you can’t ask for a refund on iTalki; you can just leave a review, move on, and be careful the next time.

Rosetta Stone Overview

italki VS Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is a language learning software that uses an immersive learning approach to learning languages—named after the ancient Egyptian artifact, the Rosetta Stone. The failure of the founder, Allen Stoltzfus, in his language learning journey became the key to the creation of the Rosetta Stone. In 2003, Rosetta Stone went global, providing learning solutions even today.

An immersive language approach is a learn-like-a-child. Rosetta Stone provides seamless learning of language skills like comprehension, grammar, speaking, listening, and reading. The main goal is to immerse the learners in real-life scenarios through audio from native speakers, pictures, interactive activities, and more.

With millions of users worldwide, Rosetta Stone continues to take language learning to the next level. It also has partnered with IXL, and Wyzant to push more transformation and developments.

Rosetta Stone: Everything You Need To Know

Now that we know a bit about Rosetta Stone let’s discover more. Here is the must-know information about Rosetta Stone. Check out the Rosetta Stone Review and other reviews like Rosetta Stone VS Mondly and Rosetta Stone VS Duolingo.

Immersive Language Learning Approach

The whole Rosetta Stone concept is to learn languages like how you learn as a child – immersion. Rosetta Stone does not use L1 or your native language for translations in learning a new language. You will never be given translations; you just have to use your intuition and understand the patterns as you progress.

The lesson runs through a linear progression. It will start with a basic beginning vocabulary level down to more complex sentences and grammatical structure. If you are a learner who relies on explanations and translations, Rosetta Stone will be too challenging for you.

But, putting the fear and doubt aside, Rosetta Stone’s approach, the natural acquisition process, is a proven way of learning a language effectively. It may not be as easy as you want it to be, but it can work for you. Immersion backed with repetition, intuition, analyzing patterns and visual cues enables you to reach your language learning goals.

Rosetta Stone Has TruAccent™ Voice Recognition

Another thing that learners love about Rosetta Stone is the high-quality speech recognition technology. By using TruAccent™ voice recognition, learners will be able to practice their speaking skills. Remember, language learning aims to use what you have learned in communicating with others, so this feature is a significant contributing factor to Rosetta Stone users’ language success.

Grammar Is Introduced Gradually; Don’t Expect Explanations

As mentioned above, grammar isn’t taught through explanations. It is gradually but meaningfully introduced as the lessons progress. You will have to analyze and pay attention to the patterns and the progression to understand the grammatical structure.

Rosetta Stone Doesn’t Consider The Speech Styles Of Other Languages

Some languages have different speech styles and politeness levels, like Korean and Japanese. The hierarchy determines the form of speech they should use when talking to other people. Rosetta Stone does not totally neglect this part, but it should be reiterated more.

You may think that this is a simple thing that people can easily rule out, but respect and courtesy are a big deal in other countries like Korea. Failing to understand these things will make you sound rude to the locals. Remember, language and culture cannot be separated from each other!

Some Images Are Culturally Irrelevant

Pictures are visual material to support learning, but for Rosetta Stone which doesn’t have explanations, pictures are more than just visual materials. Rosetta Stone has used some culturally irrelevant photos that sometimes confuse the users, but it’s that big of a deal. You can focus on the lesson.

Has A Reputation To Be Expensive

The price of Rosetta Stone is known to be incredibly expensive. Buying an online subscription to Rosetta Stone is unjustifiable if you can buy a CD that you can own for life. Of course, there’s the talk of convenience but is the 24 months of paid access worth it?

Rosetta Stone’s developer reads reviews and feedback from users because they lowered the price from its original price when it was launched. Still, some are not that satisfied because there are apps that can offer better features and experiences with that amount of money.


iTalki VS Rosetta Stone: Which Language Learning Software To Choose?

italki VS Rosetta Stone

iTalki VS Rosetta Stone: Features And Interface

The features and interface are essential. For iTalki VS Rosetta Stone, both platforms have an intuitive user experience. The software is highly-developed and easy to use. It is also aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, which is a contributing factor to positive learning.

iTalki VS Rosetta Stone: Languages Offered

Of course, when it comes to the languages offered, iTalki has much more to offer than Rosetta Stone. Simply because it offers you, various language teachers, while Rosetta Stone offers language courses, you can find a language teacher even for those languages that are obscure or not that popular. There are also many dialects in iTalki, which is very commendable.

iTalki VS Rosetta Stone: Language Learning Experience

The language experience between iTalki VS Rosetta Stone is entirely different. First of all, iTalki has the presence of an actual teacher or tutor, which facilitates the learning process, while Rosetta Stone promotes students’ learning.

There are different types of learners. They learn differently. The language learning process that is effective for some may not work for others. Sometimes, beginning learning a new language with a teacher can be too much and too challenging, especially when done online. Others may prefer to start learning independently using other resources and tools like language learning apps.

People with a busy schedule and inconsistent learning time can enjoy Rosetta stone because they can learn anytime and anywhere they want without scheduling a lesson. Then again, the question will fall back on your goal as a language learner. How serious are you about language learning?

As a platform, iTalki can offer language learners a better language learning experience. It doesn’t mean that Rosetta Stone can’t but with the presence of a teacher and a large community, iTalki can provide more chances to learn languages effectively.

iTalki VS Rosetta Stone: Pricing

The pricing between iTalki VS Rosetta Stone is also very different. In iTalki, the price depends on the rate of the teacher, while Rosetta Stone offers a monthly, lifetime, or annual subscriptions.

If you ask which app is cheaper, I can say that iTalki is the one. In iTalki, you’ll find language teachers with low rates. Rosetta Stone has a reputation for being very expensive, but it has improved its prices today. But still, the amount you’ll pay for Rosetta Stone’s plan can land you in a session with a language teacher in iTalki.

For beginners, it’s hard to invest in something that you’ll try for the first time; that’s why to choose wisely and maximize all the things you can control. Before paying, do your initial research because language learning apps can be expensive.


Final Thoughts

Comparing iTalki and Rosetta Stone is choosing between learning with a teacher and learning with technology. As a language teacher, I know the value of human interaction and the importance of the presence of an expert in the teaching and learning process.

Rosetta Stone has improved many features to make language learning fun, convenient, and effective. In learning languages, you’ll need to have a series of activities and approaches that will be effective. That’s when meaningful learning will occur.

Meaningful learning refers to an individual fully comprehending the learned knowledge and understanding how that specific truth relates to other stored data. Meaningful learning is achieved through making meaning of the content, self-testing instead of rote memorization, and giving frequent, low-stakes assessments.

Technology learning apps

It will be hard for students to achieve meaningful language learning without the presence of an expert that facilitates learning. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s more complicated. With the various resources and approaches, you need an expert to help you build your foundation and free you from distractions to focus on what’s essential.

In the end, I think comparing iTalki VS Rosetta Stone is not necessary. They are different platforms with different learning goals. Rosetta Stone and iTalki can be used simultaneously if you can do so. But, if you’re choosing only one app between this two, go for iTalki because technology can never replace a teacher. Like George Couros said, “Technology will not replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational.”


Looking For Alternatives?

According to Mark Anderson, learning with technology is a bit like carpentry. It is essential to have the right tool for the job. So, if you’re still looking for an affordable and practical language learning app, try Ling App.

Ling App was developed in 2017 and started to gain popularity in learning the Thai language. It did not take long for Ling App to grow to more languages and start helping language learners from different parts of the world. 

With fun mini-games, quizzes, and bite-sized lessons, Ling App guarantees a fantastic language learning experience. Chatbots and dialogues will also help you learn essential and daily life vocabulary. No need to worry about grammar explanations because Ling App offers extensive ones.

Learn Languages with Ling

You might think that Ling App is just another language learning app like the usual you see in the market, but the millions of users and the high reviews tell otherwise. So, why not see it for yourself and let Ling App do the magic for you?

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