Tandem VS Rosetta Stone: A Full And Honest Review

Last updated on November 16th, 2022 at 09:58 am

Searching for the best language learning app is like looking for a needle in a haystack. So today, we will narrow it down to Tandem VS Rosetta Stone.

Language learning platforms have revolutionized the way people learn a new language today. You can now learn languages through language learning programs and even find native speakers and build your language exchange community from the traditional books.

When you’re learning a foreign language, there’s a lot of language skills that you should develop. You need to read, write, comprehend, listen, and more. But, sometimes, this wouldn’t be so effective for you, and you’ll have to go out there, travel, and talk to native speakers, which might be hard for some language learners.

When language learning apps were born, they learned a foreign language skill and met someone who could help them in their online language learning. So today, we will compare Tandem VS Rosetta Stone. These are two favorite language apps that language learners highly rate.


7 Science-Proven Ways To Learn Your Target Language

Before we go over our topic, Tandem VS Rosetta Stone, let us first learn seven ways to learn your target language. These ways are science-proven meaning; these techniques are backed with Scientific processes and studies.

Start Learning And Remembering The Sounds First

If you notice, a child seems to learn languages easier than adults. This is because they have this unique ability to distinguish sounds and remember them fast. This is also what makes language acquisition easier for them. They are not yet introduced with technicalities such as grammar explanations and structure. This is how a native speaker becomes an expert in their native language.

So, if you want to learn a new language, you can still use this technique. You can focus on learning, remembering, and repeating foreign sounds rather than mastering vocabulary and grammar. There’s a study that if you want to master a language faster, you should listen and comprehend different voices and accents.

This is a Science-approved way to learn a new language. You should invest more time listening and repeating the sounds as they are spoken. You can also ask for immediate feedback from a native speaker or language exchange partners to correct you.

Take Advantage Of The “Spaced Repetition Technique”

Spaced repetition system or distributed practice is a language learning technique proven effective by experts. In this technique, lessons are retaken in increasing intervals until the knowledge is ultimately transferred from short-term memory to long-term memory.

How does it work? First, you must review the word or phrase in short spaced intervals. As you go further, you should increase the interval of the re-appearance of that word and phrase until it gets stuck in your mind well. Most language learning apps have spaced repetition technology because it is a proven effective way of learning languages.

Learn Before Bedtime

Studying before bedtime or napping after a practice session will help you store all of the material you’ve just learned in your long-term memory. Once there, the data is safely stored for a longer time. One of the most significant advantages of sleep is that it allows us to clear our active functioning memory, which increases our learning capacity.

Try the “Pinch Yourself” Learning Method

This is an unusual language learning technique, but it worked for some as science is behind it. This approach was introduced by Maneesh Sethi, who mastered four languages. He used the fact that negative stimuli boost self-improvement.

A study made by the  Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Sciences at New York University says that our body’s response to threats improves memory. Their testing meant those wrong responses were met with light electric shocks. The steps are easy:

  1. Get a pack of flashcards to help you remember vocabulary or grammar rules.
  2. Examine a set of flashcards in a specific category. At this point, don’t pinch yourself.
  3. Re-visit the same category, but include the pinch for each vocabulary word this time. Before going on to the next card, take some time to study it.
  4. Only pinch yourself on forgotten terminology throughout the future study sessions. Your goal is to concentrate your improved memory retention on the words you can’t recall. Spend some time with each card before going on to the next one.

Learn The Content, Not The Language

We tend to focus on learning many new words and phrases in language learning instead of learning them meaningfully. But, this doesn’t mean that learning vocabulary isn’t effective at all. A study shows that students who learn a language through learning a subject are more motivated and have better listening skills. On the other hand, students who learn vocabulary and words are better in writing and reading tests.

If you want to learn the content, strengthen your grasp of a language by including some content on themes you are interested in. Reading articles online, watching videos, or listening to podcasts can all speed up your learning process.

Mix Old Vocabulary To New Vocabulary

Learning a language can be too overwhelming, especially when you are learning a language far from your native language. So, mixing new words with old words is a great idea. This will help you create a meaningful connection of the new knowledge you have learned from your prior knowledge.


Tandem VS Rosetta Stone: Getting To Know Each Language Learning App

We can’t compare Tandem VS Rosetta Stone if we don’t discover what these two language learning apps are all about. So, let’s see if these apps will help you in your language journey.

What Is Tandem?


By just looking at its name, you will know how Tandem works. It is a language learning software that helps learners learn a new language by having a native speaker be their “tandem.” It was founded by Arnd Aschentrup, Tobias Dickmeis, and Matthias Kleimann and was launched in February 2015.

Tandem is relatively new to this industry compared to other language apps, but it did not stop it from being known to language learners and grew to have millions of users. It has a huge language exchange community, and it helps learners find someone to become their tutor or help them practice. This gave way for it to become huge despite being new. It became a part of PlayStore’s Best of 2017 and AppStore’s Best of 2015!

Tandem Pros

Easy-To-Use User Interface

Who doesn’t know how to chat or send a message, pictures, and voice messages? I think most people today who have mobile phones and social media accounts know how to do these things. Using Tandem, it almost doesn’t feel like you are having language lessons because there are no well-structured lessons to be followed.

First, you just have to set up your account. You can sign up or log in using other accounts such as Gmail and more. After that, you’ll be needing to set up your account. You’ll be asked to put your photo, the languages you speak, and the languages you want to learn. You will also be asked questions like “What do you like to talk about?”, “May perfect Tandem partner is …”, and “My language learning goals are..”. The app will review your profile first because they don’t want to have sketchy profiles in the app. This usually takes days.

After you set up your account and it was already approved, you are now free to look for a “Tandem.” You can use the ratings to decide if you want to talk with that person. Using different features, you’ll be able to start developing your language skills.

Helpful Features Perfect For Mastering Languages

There are lots of helpful features that Tandem uses to help learners learn a language. Here are the major tabs that you can see in the app or site:

  1. Community – This is one of the best features of the app. This is where you can find other people’s profiles and start a conversation.
  2. Chats – This is where the learning happens. This is the tab where you can actually interact, communicate, and even correct the messages if you want to. The app also uses speech recognition technology which helps you send voice messages to practice your speaking skills.
  3. Tutors – This is where you may find competent tutors, however, keep in mind that the fee will vary based on the rate listed on each profile.
  4. Goals – This is where you can add your goals to help you monitor your progress. You can also share it with the public.

Availability Of Language Exchange Partners

Once your account is approved, you’ll be exposed to the whole Tandem community from different parts of the world. Of course, the accounts that you’ll mostly see are the native speakers of your target language, but some people speak other languages as well.

What’s good about Tandem is that you are not just a language learner. You can also be a teacher of someone who wants to learn your native language or the languages you have to know. So, it’s a two-way kind of learning.

Enough Free Version

Many beginner language learners are looking for free resources on the internet to try to learn their chosen language. Tandem’s free version is enough to discover and experience the app, but if you want the additional features which are more helpful for your language learning journey, you should check out their subscription plan.

Tandem Cons

No Structured Lesson Guide

Learning a language through language exchanges makes language learning fun, but having no structured lesson can be challenging, especially for beginners. This kind of learning is more of an enrichment activity for advanced learners to help you strengthen what you have learned. You will develop your conversational skills, but if you’re looking for lesson guides, this isn’t the app you’re looking for. You may have to use other resources.

It Almost Looks Like A Dating App

It almost feels like you’re getting up a dating app profile when you start making your profile. First is the picture. They are pretty strict about the picture you’ll use. Your face should be clearly visible, which means you shouldn’t be wearing a mask or others that cover your face. Of course, this is only for the safety of the other users to make sure that all the members are legit, but for people who are not comfortable showing their face while learning, this might not be your cup of tea.

A lot of people are saying that it works like a dating app which makes sense because the main goal is to look for a “tandem” or a language partner but, the idea of learning the language from the actual native speaker is the goal of this app and the teaching methodology it offers.

What Is Rosetta Stone?

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is also a language learning software developed to help language learners learn languages through an immersive approach. This app came from the ancient Egyptian artifact called “Rosetta Stone.” Allen Stoltzfu invented it in 1992.

The goal of Rosetta Stone is for people to learn languages by simulating how people learn their native language. This includes graphics and sounds but without context and translation. This time, it is supported by technology to reinvent language learning.

With the millions of users that Rosetta Stone has today, it was hailed as PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Winner 7 years in a row. It also received the Edtech Breakthrough Award, BMA Platinum Award, and Tabby Award. It is indeed one of the most famous language programs that you can find online.

Rosetta Stone Pros

Well-Developed Software & Interface

Since it is one of the first language learning apps, Rosetta Stone’s interface and software had become stable. It is like a typical language textbook that uses basic colors and relevant stock photos. But, the good thing about it is that it doesn’t need much figuring out to use the app. Since the main interface is the Rosetta Stone courses, you just have to access the activities in a flashcard-like approach. These activities are suitable for 5-10 minutes only.

Learn-Like-A-Child Approach

Rosetta Stone focuses on learning a language the same way we have learned our native language. In Rosetta Stone, you will not be presented with translations. You will be exposed to your target language since day one since that’s how we learn our native language during that time. So, the core material is written in your target language without any context from your native language.

Varied Learning Activities

Aside from the course, Rosetta Stone offers other features that can help you learn languages and make them more engaging. Below are the features and learning activities that you might enjoy while learning with Rosetta Stone:

  1. Rosetta Stone Courses – The Rosetta Stone Courses are 5-10 minutes lectures/activities in pronunciation, listening, and grammar. It will never provide you with a translation from your native language, so you’ll only rely upon your intuition as you progress. It also gives emphasis to listening, where you have to match what you have heard from the pictures and words shown.
  2. Live Lessons – In this feature, you’ll be encouraged to interact with other language learners through polls, pronunciation practices, and more. This is also a perfect way to learn about the culture of the language you are learning. Using this feature, you’ll be able to have 25-minute lectures that focus on different themes.
  3. Phrasebook – Phrasebook has a variety of categories – shopping, greetings, dining, and more. It is a typical flashcard-flipping method of learning new words and phrases. You’ll also learn these terms while hearing the correct pronunciation.
  4. Seek and Speak – This is how it works if you’re familiar with the scavenger hunt. You’ll be “collecting” all the required items by going around your house and taking photos of them. After that, you’ll use it in conversations with native speakers.
  5. Audio Companion – This feature solicits feedback and comments from learners through repeating the words and phrases spoken by the native speaker. The app uses voice recognition technology to help you use this feature.
  6. Stories – Another way that we learn when we are young is through stories. There are different ways to use this feature. You can either read it aloud, have it read by a native speaker, or record yourself while reading it. This will help you learn about the culture of your target language and help you channel your love for reading.

Audio Are Professionally Recorded

Another thing that is commendable about Rosetta Stone is the audio quality from the native speakers. The app uses audio recordings from native speakers, and you’ll notice that they use actual native speakers so that the pronunciation, diction, and intonation are accurate and on-point.

Rosetta Stone Cons

No Beginners’ Lesson

Since Rosetta Stone focuses on an immersive approach, you will not be provided with beginners’ lessons. There will be no guides written in your native language to help you. You won’t have any content, and you’ll only rely on your intuition. If you’re learning a language far from your native language, it will take a long time, but it’s not impossible. But, if you’re looking for an app that has beginner lessons, this is the app you’re looking for.


Although Rosetta Stone offers different activities, the Rosetta Stone courses are the heart of Rosetta Stone. The approach can be too repetitive because it’s more on listening and matching activities.

No Manuals Or Explainers For Learner’s Native Language

As mentioned above, Rosetta Stone will never use your target language as a guide. You will be exposed to your target language from day one. Because according to them, this is how we have learned our native language. If you want translations, you may use other resources.

Photos Aren’t Fit For The Culture

Although mentioned above, it uses culturally fit photos; it is a more popular language only other languages do not. It is understandable because there are limited free pictures of these people on the internet. But of course, it wouldn’t hurt to hire people.

Limited Free Plan

Rosetta Stone’s free plan is very limited. You almost can’t do much in the free plan, but it’s enough to try what this app can offer.


Tandem VS Rosetta Stone: Which Is More Helpful For Language Learners?

Tandem VS Rosetta Stone

After discovering the language learning apps, let us compare Tandem VS Rosetta stone. Which do you think is more helpful for language learners?

Aesthetic And Interface

The first thing to consider is the Aesthetic and Interface. They are two different apps when it comes to interface. Tandem works like a dating app where you’ll look for people and interact with them through messages. That’s when how you’ll learn. On the other hand, Rosetta Stone has a well-structured lesson but doesn’t use translations from your native language. This lesson structure can be repetitive if you’re doing them for a while.

So, in Tandem VS Rosetta stone, it’s actually up to the user’s aesthetic and interface. If you’re comfortable with Tandem’s language learning method, then go for it. But if you like the typical language learning app method, Rosetta Stone is the one. They both don’t have beginners lessons, but the Rosetta Stone at least have well-structured courses.

Languages Offered

Another thing to consider in Tandem VS Rosetta Stone is the languages offered. Rosetta Stone offers 25 languages:

Chinese (Mandarin)FilipinoVietnameseKoreanJapanese
English (American)English (British)Spanish (Spain)Spanish (Latin America)Portuguese (Brazil)

On the other hand, Tandem doesn’t offer specific languages because they have native speakers of almost all the languages in the world. You can choose any languages you want to learn. It doesn’t have structured lessons, so they don’t have specific languages to offer. They just need someone who speaks a foreign language and can already share their knowledge with others.

Again, in Tandem VS Rosetta Stone, in terms of languages offered, it’s up to the learner which method they are more comfortable with.


In Tandem VS Rosetta Stone, they are different apps in terms of features. Tandem relies on people, while Rosetta Stone relies on the courses and lessons. But, if you’re going to ask me which of these two apps have more features that can help someone learn a language, it is Rosetta Stone.

With Tandem, you need to ensure that the “tandem” you are talking to has a legit knowledge of the language you want to learn by checking reviews and talking to them. Rosetta Stone uses activities and features that most language learning apps have. So, with this, I think Rosetta Stone is a safer choice.

Spaced Repetition System

The spaced repetition system, as mentioned above, is the interval of the re-appearance of terms you are learning. Since Tandem does not work this way, it doesn’t use spaced repetition system. Rosetta Stone uses this system, so if you want an app with SRS, this is the one to go.


The Gamification system is also one of the factors why language learning apps are famous for language learners. With the use of games and game features, learners are kept engaged and motivated. It will also give you a sense of satisfaction when receiving rewards and points, even virtually.

Tandem doesn’t have this feature, but Rosetta Stone has. But of course, there’s a different way to make learning fun for you using the Tandem app.

Operating System

Another thing to consider about Tandem VS Rosetta Stone is the operating system. Luckily, these apps have web and mobile versions that work for Android and iOS users. You can go to the website or download the App Store or Play Store.

Subscription Plans And Price

The last thing but one of the most important things to consider is the pricing. If you’re a beginner, you should use the app’s free version to discover if the language method matches your style. This is an important thing to do before you spend a dime on a subscription plan. Take a look at the pricing of these two apps below.

Tandem Pricing

Tandem Pricing


Rosetta Stone Pricing

Rosetta Stone Pricing


Final Thoughts

Tandem VS Rosetta Stone, what a comprehensive review! After reading different articles and using the apps, I have a personal view of which is more effective. Take note; this can be different from you because we have other preferences.

I think of Tandem’s idea as great because they filter the people you can talk to instead of going to social media and finding native speakers. It’s a lot safer, and you’re sure that you’ll learn something from talking to native speakers. I also enjoy teaching Filipino (Tagalog) to other people who wants to learn, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment as a teacher to share my knowledge.

I just noticed that not everyone would reply if you message them, which was disappointing at first. Sometimes you actually can’t learn anything from the person you are talking with, so you just really have to find people that you’ll have great conversations with.

The whole Tandem experience is enjoyable, but I need a more formal and well-structured approach like Rosetta Stone for language learning. It has more features than I need as a language learner, but the experience is not that easy. I started with a language similar to my native language so that I could draw from contexts and similarities.

In the end, I think these two apps can work hand in hand. I want to use Tandem when I am already geared up with the right skills and knowledge about my target language. It’s a perfect way to use what I have learned in conversation, which I think is the primary goal of language learners.


Want More Language Resources? Try Ling App!

Still looking for other language resources? The Ling App by Simya Solutions is worthy of trying. Who would’ve thought that language learning could be fun, engaging, and inexpensive?

Ling App is a language learning platform that native speakers and language experts develop. This app will give you access to interactive lessons with grammar explanations and quizzes backed by science. You can also practice what you have learned through talking to chatbots and participating in dialogues. You have to spend 5-10 minutes every day, and you’ll improve and develop your language skills in record time.

So, do not wait any longer. Download Ling App and start learning languages now!

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