Rosetta Stone vs. Pimsleur: An Honest Review
Today’s match: Rosetta Stone vs. Pimsleur!
They’re two of the most popular and widely shared language learning apps. Both offer easy and fun game-like lessons. Both provide additional reading material. Both are available for Android and iOS.
The premium version of one is less expensive. One offers an online tutor. One uses advanced voice recognition software.
But which is better? We’re here to compare these two language apps. We’ll give you an honest review with pros, cons, and our ultimate verdict.
Keep reading to see which one comes out on top!
Table of Contents:
What is Rosetta Stone?
No one has more experience developing software for language learners than Rosetta Stone.
Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone Inc. has taught 25 languages to millions of people with its cutting edge “language, literacy and brain-fitness software.”
In 2017, they released an app that stands on the shoulders of its widely used software to make language-learning more accessible.
Rosetta Stone’s app is visually appealing and easy to use. It helps you prepare for everyday interactions through tons of lessons, from the basics of a language to specific real-life scenarios.
The key to Rosetta Stone’s method is that it immediately immerses you in the new language. For example, the app shows you a phrase and a photo, and you must figure out what the words mean.
Admittedly, this can be daunting, but you can simply enable the app’s translation if you get stuck.
Rosetta Stone offers typical app courses: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. For instance, the app’s voice recognition software compares your pronunciation to that of native speakers, and you must sound the same if you want to progress. It sounds complicated, but that’s because Rosetta Stone believes that people only reach fluency through intensive immersion.
Still, you can step away from your course and do quick exercises called “Seek and Speak” to help you improve. Think of it as a video game: it’s almost like taking a side quest before fighting the big boss. Also, it’s all available offline.
When you sign up, you have access to reading material and an extensive phrasebook with categories such as meeting people, staying in a hotel, and health and safety.
One of the app’s most useful features are its “Stories” to read, listen to, or record yourself reading aloud. And finally, if you get Rosetta Stone’s paid app, you can log into Rosetta Stone Live to take one-on-one classes with language experts and join group coaching sessions.
What is Pimsleur?
If Rosetta Stone is the queen of language learning software, Pimsleur is the forefather of language learning.
The Pimsleur app is part of Pimsleur Language Programs, a US language learning company founded in 1963. It released an app in 2018 to high praise, and its main focus is to teach how to talk and interact with native speakers.
It’s a user-friendly, dynamic, and deeply engaging app, full of exciting content and challenging exercises and lessons. The company advertises its app as “50 years of training in the palm of your hand.”
First, unlike other apps’ bite-size lessons, Pimselur’s are 30 minutes long. You only progress once you complete 80% of the lessons correctly.
Pimsleur’s lessons and extra activities include reading lessons, speak-easy challenges, digital flashcards, speed round games, and “light-bulb moments” where you “connect culture and history to your language learning.”
You download these lessons and complete them anywhere, anytime, even if you’re not connected to a Wi-Fi network. With Pimsleur’s free trial, you have access to one free lesson per language, and it includes 51 languages.
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If you’re a subscriber, you have access to 60 to 150 lessons per language—that’s at least 75 days’ worth of lessons. And before or after each lesson, you can practice its contents, similar to Rosetta Stone’s “side quests.”
Unlike other apps that teach many words and grammar, Pimsleur’s lessons are focused on everyday interactions and specific conversations. It has a hands-free option, so you can use it while at the gym, cooking dinner, or driving. Remember, although you can practice reading, writing, and listening skills, Pimsleur mainly aims to improve your speaking skills.
Some of Pimsleur’s additional materials include digital flashcards with audio included and close to 150 booklets available for free here.
Recommended reading: 8 Most Effective Apps to Learn Spanish While Driving
Rosetta Stone vs. Pimsleur: Which Is Better?
See also: Our Favorite Translation Apps
Put The Phone Down and Let HSA Help You Become an Expert
Apps are indeed helpful, but if you’re interested in learning with a real person, then Homeschool Spanish Academy (HSA) is for you. Sign up for a free trial class and hear yourself improve right away. We’re eager to help you reach fluency. Our flexible and affordable programs—taught by experienced, certified Guatemalan teachers—are perfect for taking you from beginner to fluent. What are you waiting for? Give it a try today!
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“I love that my children have the opportunity to speak with a live person. They get to practice Spanish in a 1-1 setting while improve their speaking, writing and reading skills during their lessons. HSA is a great way to learn Spanish for all ages! My children are 6, 9 and 11. My oldest two (9 and 11) have been taking classes with HSA for almost 2 years now. They love seeing their teacher each week. They understand the importance of learning several languages. I’ve seen them grow and learn with HSA. I’m excited to see how they will improve the more classes they take. I highly recommend them. You can’t bet learning and speaking with a live teacher. I’ve tried other programs. It’s just not as motivating.”
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