Rosetta Stone Review: Is It Really Worth It?

December 10, 2020

In this Rosetta Stone review, I will try to give you as much useful info as I can. I hope that you will at the end of the day find out this language learning program is or not effective as many people say and is it really worth the money.

Language you can learn with Rosetta Stone 

SpanishArabic Hebrew Portuguese 
FrenchChinese Hindi Russian 
GermanDutch Irish Spanish (Latin America)
ItalianEnglish (American) KoreanSwedish 
EnglishFilipinoPersian Turkish 

If you want to learn Thai or Swahili, unfortunately Rosetta Stone doesn't support these courses yet.

What I like about Rosetta Stone

I used many language learning platforms and always knew about Rosetta Stone, but never tried it because of the price. I wanted something harder than DuoLingo or LingoDeer, so after reading reviews - good and bad - a trial, I took a steep dive. I purchased a lifetime subscription while it was on sale for $200.

Learning System

Till today, I feel Rosetta Stone has been worth it. It isn’t cute nor is it addicting, so it isn’t a game in my eyes. If you ask me, those are good things because I’m using it because I want to learn, not to keep a streak up, collect hearts and gems, or reach the top of the leaderboard. I sincerely find Rosetta Stone to be challenging, especially when it comes to the conversation exercises. I hate them - I hate speaking since it feels awkward and I sound clumsy - but they work. This learning system taught me more in a week than DuoLingo or LingoDeer taught me in the one year I used it. 

As I already said in this Rosetta Stone review, I had tried other programs that were teaching me to transliterate into English first. It was slow and I wasn’t learning much because my eyes always went to the English transliteration rather than the letters of the language I was learning at the time. I also tried a sample lesson with another company that used only audio as the “best way” to learn a language. I realized I am a visual learner, so just listening to audio did not work for me. But now with Rosetta Stone, I am reading the words in the Hebrew alphabet and understanding what I am reading. I awake in the middle of the night with Hebrew words and phrases running through my mind. 

The content

The pictures are enjoyable and help me to understand words and phrases. My vocabulary is amazing! I think my pronunciation is getting better and better as well. It is such a natural way of learning. Right now, I am studying the past tense, and I thought it would be difficult, but I am understanding it just fine. 

The customer service is easy and quick, and I have only had to call them twice, which both times I have had short and concise experiences. 

Rosetta Stone Review

What things Rosetta Stone team needs to fix?

The app’s content is great. I am really happy with how it works and how easy it is to learn. One of the problems with it is that the app has a few bugs that need to be fixed. Sometimes randomly when you’re asked to speak into the mic, for some reason it doesn’t work unless you exit the unit or sometimes even the app. Also, sometimes when you click on a section in a unit, it shows a loading screen that never goes away unless you refresh the app. 

Also, sometimes when you finish a section in a unit, it takes you back to the beginning of the unit instead of the next section that you’re up to (this one isn’t such a big bug). 


The other problem with the app is that it is sometimes way too slow. It’s not a bug that makes it slow, it is the way the app was made. I personally tend to be a fast learner and it is very frustrating when a section says that it takes 10 minutes when I could finish it in 3 minutes if it didn’t take so long to process your answers and go to the next slide. 

The animation of matching the answer to the correct box is unnecessary and I think there should be an option to turn off the animation and replace it with a simple and fast checkmark or x. 

I use this app for many months now and after so many updates one of the main bugs of the app is still unfixed. In the iPad and Mac (only when in full-screen mode) the daily lesson will be unreachable after doing the first one. They scroll up and out of the screen! And reinstalling the app does not fix it. (As they said in the feedback I sent them)

Rosetta Stone Review


The other problem with the app is that the tutorials are confusing. Every time I recommend this app to somebody, I should sit next to them and help them understand the basics. I think the reason tutorials make everyone confuse is that when there is a tutorial on the screen, clicking on the correct answer does not work. You should first close the tutorial text and then try to answer. They all keep touching the right answer with no result and if I do not help them they dismiss the app as “confusing” and return to their old friend, the green owl.

And for whatever reasons, stories and audio companion lessons are marked undone and do not sync between devices.

The iOS app doesn’t sync as it should. I have to uninstall and reinstall it for it to sync if I redo a lesson. I sincerely hope that issue is fixed someday soon.

Rosetta Stone Review: Pros and Cons

Easy to use High price 
Research-basedCulturally irrelevant images
Thoroughly tested and refined by expertsMethod makes it difficult to study grammar 
Many features Content needs to be more compelling 
TruAccent™ voice recognitionLack of explanations
Great for beginners who need a slow paceSome features are still buggy 
Many languages to choose from Inappropriate formality in some languages
30-Day Money Back Guarantee

Rosetta Stone Review: Pricing

You can download the app for free, and even do a lesson. Then it asks you to sign up for a subscription. If you wait a day or so, you get an email with a special offer of $5.99/month. Turns out though, it's not $5.99 a month, it's $147, paid all at once, which gets you a subscription for 24 months. Yes, that comes out to $5.99 a month if you don't understand finance, but it's a lot different if you don't want to pony up that much all at once.

Worse, after the term is up, they'll automatically re-subscribe you at their full price, no discount.

I hate this underhanded method of taking money from anyone who's not paying attention, and a bunch of people is going to pay a LOT of money for something they don't want. It's close to thievery, and it makes Rosetta Stone nearly dishonest.

Rosetta Stone Review

Final Thoughts

I have been using Rosetta Stone for almost a full year now. I started learning Spanish first. Rosetta Stone caught my eye because I hate learning through translation, and this app only uses association. Ahora, a sido un añoesos, ¡y casi soy fluido en Espanol! I progressed so rapidly through the program that my brother ended up buying a subscription as well. 

As I already said in this Rosetta Stone review, my big complaint with Rosetta Stone is the billing system. The “x dollars a month” is borderline false advertising. You have to pay all upfront for the subscription - there is no option to pay monthly.

Other than this complaint, the app itself is amazing, and I highly recommend it. I would suggest to anyone wanting to learn a language as fast as possible with as many associations made rather than translations made as possible to get a subscription. 

If you prefer more fun and game-like approach to language learning, Ling App can be a great option for you.

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