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Sunday, April 08, 2012

Language lessons - something you should know about Rosetta Stone.

Moving to a different country that speaks your own language still has cultural differences, but when moving to a country with a whole new language brings with it some further challenges.
Some embrace the language and seem to be naturally gifted in this area, whilst others really work hard to achieve what they know.  Some are happy to just not even give it a go! I say you have to do what you feel happy doing. Feeling pressured to do anything isn't the best motivation for me. Well I, myself, don't fall any of the categories I mention.  Maybe I am happy to put other people in boxes and not myself! haha  Well, I am certainly not naturally gifted and I do not work anywhere near hard enough to achieve a level of communication I would love to have!! Although when I look back to how I started over three years ago - I have come a long way!

I've attended classes almost from the moment we arrived here in Germany.  In the first year we had quite a few changes of teacher and some teachers were better than others.  My favourite is Evelyn Holzmann.  I have been one of her students (I wonder if I really deserve the title of student!? ... anyhow) at Bad Homburg Volkshochschule (local college to me).  I like her style of teaching, although I am aware that it isn't for everyone.  For a list of their courses click here.

Bad Homburg Volkshochschule

I like the classroom environment, I like to meet people from all over the world trying to figure out this foreign language! haha I think a classroom environment gives the advantages of widening your vocabulary and the opportunity to practice conversation in a 'safe' environment.  

Here is Evelyn with some of our class.
(This was before I found a good hairdresser!! Mwaahhh)
However saying that, I also find that learning at home from software also has helped me.  I learn by repetition as most of us do.  I found a great piece of software online.  There is a lot to download for free.  It's from a company called Transparent Language.  

The acronym BYKI means 'before you know it!'  Giving us the confidence that we'll be speaking the local lingo before you know it!! The phrases and vocab I have learned and used from my software have really stuck!! I like that you see it, you hear it, you repeat it, and you produce it by typing it ... so exposure from different angles really helps me to retain the information. There are also games and tracking available on there.  Click on this link, where you can get the free downloads.  They give you so much to learn from for free.  I didn't finish all of the free stuff before I wanted to buy the software itself.  

Here is a screen view. 

My husband opted for the well known Rosetta Stone (RS).

This is pleasing to the eye and user friendly if you are fortunate to get it activated and don't change your computer or have a computer crash on you.  You must make sure if you do change your computer that you DEACTIVATE this software first.  Rosetta Stone only give you two chances to activate their software, after that you can face losing a lot of money.  This is also worthwhile knowing if you are purchasing this second hand.  After my hubby had some changes made to his lap top, where he had loaded the RS software, he tried to reinstall it again onto the same machine only to find it wouldn't work.  Now he has problems regarding getting this loaded again.  I searched the internet for solutions but came across a lot of information about negative experiences people have afterwards with the rules of Rosetta Stone.  Hubby is still awaiting the outcome of his situation but it could mean that almost £500 worth of software isn't usable.

Here's a link that gave us some insight.  The comments below are very helpful too.


Besides all of the technical side of learning a language - it is a real sense of achievement to be able to have a conversation with your neighbour - no matter how small!! One of my favourite moments with the language was being able to understand a joke a stranger had made to me about pulling my son on his sledge.  I loved understanding what had been said and being able to share a smile and a chuckle in return!! It also provides others with a chuckle.  We were invited to a friend's home on Monday and to help us get some practice with our German they suggested we speak German at dinner.  I ended up telling her that I had had eggs and dice to eat earlier in the day instead of eggs and sausage!! haha

Wurst = sausage
W├╝rfel = dice

Repeat after me ....

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