My boyfriend Drew is such a sweetie. On Valentine's Day, he invited me to Le Petit Hérisson - a local French bistro that I love. For dessert, the server brought me a plate with two handmade chocolates and an elegant Valentine's card. As I opened the envelope, my heart fluttered - two roundtrip tickets to Paris in early May. I couldn't believe it. Paris in the Springtime - How romantic!
I'd never been to France, never studied French, but I've adored Paris since I read the Madeleine books when I was a kid. If I was heading to Paris, I wanted to be able to speak the language. Drew's high school French is pretty good, but I only had 9 weeks and so much to learn! I had to go into training mode - tout de suite.
I did some online research and noticed people raving about Rosetta Stone. Founded over 25 years ago, it's known as the “gold standard" of language learning because its cutting edge contextual lessons and interactive activities optimize learning. Plus, it has a near-five star rating in the app store. Sounded great - I signed up.
What immediately caught my eye was Rosetta's “Your Plan" which allowed me to tailor my lessons based on my particular goals and proficiency. I loved how flexible “Your Plan" is, I selected “Beginner" (or course) and “Travel" because that's precisely what I needed to focus on.
However, work is so crazy, I worried that I couldn't keep up with the program. But their app combines all their language teachings and breaks them into small 10-minute segments. I could do it on my own schedule, online or offline. So I built time into my calendar and started in.
At the end of my 1st lesson, I couldn't believe it was over already! It was so simple and crystal-clear. Each exercise teaches you different aspects such as pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. It's never boring.
One of my favorite features of the Rosetta Stone app is the TruAccent speech-recognition engine, which is AI-powered. TruAccent provides real-time pronunciation feedback and rates everything you say on a 1-100 scale. It's super easy, you speak and get an instantaneous score.
Another great feature is Rosetta Stone's Stories - I can read, listen, or record a story by a native speaker while strengthening my grasp of French. All the while Rosetta Stone lets me know where I went wrong and how I can improve. Not to mention, the stories are terrific - a great way to expose myself to French.
On the weekends, Drew and I maximized my learnings by putting Rosetta Stone's Dynamic Immersion method to the test. We only spoke French. We practiced vocabulary, asked for directions, ordered meals - using conversational phrases I'd actually say on our trip. I couldn't believe how many phrases stuck in my head. I was making so much progress - Rosetta Stone was really working.
As I watched my country fade away beneath the plane, I turned to Drew.
Thanks so much for the perfect Valentine's Day present, honey. I'm ready for Paris.
Yes, but-- Is Paris ready for you? He answered.
Paris was - and welcomed me with open arms. Drew and I wandered through Les Lilas - the scent of lilacs filled the air. Everywhere we went, I spoke with people - in French! I was shocked by how confident I was, how natural my accent felt, and how much I understood what the Parisians were saying.
Whether you want to learn the basics of a language, become more proficient in a language, or reach your full multilingual potential, I'd recommend Rosetta Stone - it helped me fulfill a lifelong dream.
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