Our days of high school French may be far behind us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still pick up where we left off — or let’s be real, start at the beginning again. Like most things worth doing in life, mastering a second language is all about putting in the time and effort. But there are programs and software out there that make the best possible use of the time you spend practicing. After all, who wants to put in hours conjugating verbs you may never use in a conversation?
One language-learning software that has long been a favorite of ours is Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone lessons are bite-sized and interactive, with many clocking in around the 10-minute mark. The software is reactive (it corrects your pronunciation in real time) and mobile friendly, so you can take your education on the go.
And best of all, Rosetta Stone is currently offering up to 50% off subscription prices through September 2, and our readers can take an extra 10% off their Rosetta Stone program with promo code CNN10 when purchased between August 13 and 15.
- Rosetta Stone Unlimited Languages, 12 month subscription ($95.88, originally $179; rosettastone.com)
- Rosetta Stone Unlimited Languages, 24 month subscription ($143.76, originally $249; rosettastone.com)
- Rosetta Stone Unlimited Languages, lifetime subscription ($199, originally $299; rosettastone.com)
- Rosetta Stone, 3 month subscription ($35.97; rosettastone.com)
After three decades of perfecting language software,Rosetta Stone continues to innovate. Case in point: its improved iPhone app, which taps into machine learning and augmented reality to put students at the center of new words, phrases and the voices of native speakers. Think of this update as an enhancement of Rosetta Stone’s immersion-based learning method. The four major updates to the app are:
- Enhanced TruAccent speech recognition, which helps students improve their pronunciation. This feature doesn’t use simple pattern recognition; instead, it taps into thousands of hours of recorded speech data to help you understand the nuances in the spoken words of native speakers. The result is that you sound more like a local and less like a tourist.
- Seek & Speak, which lets you use your iPhone camera to point at an object and then receive a translation (in English, French, Spanish, Italian or German), as well as practice using that term in an everyday conversation.
- More extensive “Embedded Translation” that gives students a more in-depth translation of vocabulary words they might find tricky.
- An updated Phrasebook, which showcases over 164 useful phrases you’ll want in your back pocket as you travel. Think of this as a cheat sheet to conversing when you’re at a restaurant or hotel, or meeting new people. It also works offline, so even if you don’t have cell phone service where you’re traveling, you’ll still be able to use it as a resource.
And this is just the start of the new, helpful additions on the horizon. Rosetta Stone constantly redesigns and refines its approach on its iPhone app, along with its PC and mobile-friendly software, to stay at the forefront of language learning in this digital age.