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Rosetta Stone

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Tech Toy Feature

Do you dream of someday learning to speak another language fluently? I have, and decided to give Rosetta Stone a try, purchasing all five levels of Spanish (Spain dialect).

The first lesson starts with a man waving at you (“Hola”) and proceeds with images keyed to Spanish-only audio describing the photo. It’s as if you’re a child perusing your first “word” book.

At the same time, you speak into the headset’s microphone. If your dialect or pronunciation is off, a ping alerts you. But you can listen to the proper pronunciation in slow speak, which is extremely helpful for pronouncing those rolling Rs and back-of-the-throat words.

Rosetta Stone’s software offers free games, online tutoring with a native speaker and stories that help you learn.

Because it’s trying to emulate the country of the language’s origins, there is no help in understanding the words, but you eventually figure out the grammar through categorical photos.

Each level costs $179 on the website; packages are available.

I’m far from fluent, but Rosetta Stone has given me the confidence I once lacked to truly learn another language.