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Martin Barrett
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Rosetta Stone Vs Duolingo

Rosetta Stone Vs Duolingo (Comparison 2023)

The process of starting to learn a new language can seem incredibly intimidating, especially if you are going in blind.

Of course, if you have a class to sign up for this will give you the guidance which will help you, however, not everyone has access to tools like these, and often classes can be one of the most expensive options available.

This is why language learning apps have become so popular in recent years.

These apps let you learn at your own pace and are often aimed at beginners making them a super accessible option, many of them even have free versions meaning there is very little of an investment needed.

So, in this article we will compare the differences and similarities between Rosetta Stone Vs Duolingo to help you work out which of these language learning tools will suit you better.

However, since these apps have become so popular, there is now a massive amount of choice available which can be quite overwhelming and makes picking the perfect one for you quite difficult. 

Two of the most popular options for language learning apps are Duolingo and Rosetta Stone.

These are both widely used and are very popular with their audience, they both work on mobile as well as desktop computers, so no matter which device you prefer using, they are available to you.

But because these are both such popular choices, people who are new to learning languages are often stumped on which one will be the better choice for them.

So, if you are looking to learn a new language, and you are unsure if Duolingo or Rosetta Stone will be a better choice for you, keep reading to find out which you will prefer.

Duolingo


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What Languages Are Available

On Rosetta Stone you will be given the choice of over 25 different languages to choose from, so you are given a wide variety of choices with some language learning tools having a much more limited selection.

Some of the most commonly used language on Rosetta Stone include; Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Greek, Italian, Korean, Spanish, Russian, and Vietnamese. 

There is even the option to learn more obscure languages like Latin using Rosetta Stone, however, some of these lessons will only be available if you are using the web browser app, however, mobile app integration could be added at a later date, but currently this is not possible.

Duolingo has a wide variety of languages to learn, but the number which is available to you will be based on your native language.

So while some languages will have access to a wide variety of different languages being taught in their native tongue, in other languages, there will be a much more limited number of languages available to learn.

The best example of this is a comparison. If you only speak French, you will have a choice of around 6 languages to learn from currently, however, if you are an English speaker, you are incredibly lucky and you have the choice of 38 languages which is sure to keep growing.

So, if you are a native English speaker, learning languages on Duolingo will give you a massive variety of choice, but if you do not speak English, depending on the language you are fluent in, the choice will be a lot more limited.

On Duolingo in English you have the choice of plenty of popular language choices like; Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Russian, and even more. Duolingo is also popular for the fun options of fictional languages to learn like High Valyrian, and Klingon.

What Is The Lesson And Learning Structure

Using the free version of Rosetta Stone, on the app, you will only get a certain amount of time to learn before you will have to pay.

This unfortunate limitation is not present on Duolingo where you can learn practically indefinitely, however, you will also have to deal with advertisements which can be obnoxious and will break up the flow of learning.

On Rosetta Stone, one of the most common methods used to learn language is by using word and picture matching, and this is especially prevalent using the app.

The languages taught on Rosetta Stone will have a built-in number of units which are topics which vary depending on what is being taught.

For example, some frequently used units over different languages are; basics, greetings, work and school, or shopping.

In these units there will be specific core lessons which you will need to complete, as well as exercises to practice your pronunciation, grammar, and specific vocabulary.

While Rosetta Stone offers a wide variety of lessons for you to complete, they are all quite formulaic following a similar structure, with the only difference being the different words and pictures which are being used.

There are some differences to break this up however, like hearing a voice read out a word or phrase and then matching this to a picture, or sometimes you will be asked to read out and correctly pronounce words shown to you.

The Rosetta Stone app will also include some interesting features which are often overlooked by language learning tools, for example, learning the culture behind a language and using this to practice your conversational skills.

There is also the presence of the On-Demand feature which will let you access blog posts which have tips in conversing and different insights into the local culture.

The Rosetta Stone app also has the Extended Learning section which features 3 sub-sections being;

  • The Phrasebook where you will be able to listen to a native speaker who pronounces commonly used phrases so you can practice them too.
  • Stories where you can listen to scripted stories to aid you in your comprehension.
  • Audio Companion which will need an internet connection to work, but will let you download lessons using only audio for you to listen to.

One oversight which is often recognized when talking about Rosetta Stone is the focus on pronunciation and lack of insight into grammar which can make it feel a little unbalanced, especially if approaching a language from a grammatical perspective helps you learn.

Duolingo however, will give you a slightly more well-rounded approach to learning the language, however, the approach used by the app will usually not end in you being fluent and is more focused on slowly picking up on foundational and conversational language skills.

When you start learning a new language on Duolingo the whole course for that language will be laid out for you, and while you will not be able to skip lessons to make quicker progress, you will be able to see all of the classes and exercises you will eventually be able to access.

Throughout a Duolingo course you will eventually be able to access lessons which cover both grammar and vocabulary, and there will also be hints and tips in between to help further consolidate your skills.

The exact number of modules you will have in a module in Duolingo tends to vary, but each of the units will have 5 different levels until you reach the mastery level.

Each of the levels in Duolingo has somewhere between 4 and 6 lessons usually. Because of this Duolingo gives you plenty of material to cover, and you will not run out of reasons to log in quickly.

One of the ways which Duolingo helps you remember what is being taught is through the repetition present, so certain phrases will become natural to you.

For example, you will hear certain words or phrases quite often and you will need to repeat them back to ensure correct pronunciation, doing activities like this helps the language feel more natural.

Something which is quite common in some language apps, but is especially prevalent in Duolingo is the gamification features which are used to make using the app feel more engaging.

Rosetta Stone Vs Duolingo (2)

If you are unaware of how gamification effects services like Duolingo, you will see it in apps including achievements, or sub-goals to make using the app feel more like a game, and feel more fun instead of feeling like a chore.

These elements of the design are why so many people choose to log into Duolingo daily.

To summarize some of the gamified features in Duolingo, you can see;

  • The daily streak, which will be broken if you do not do a lesson on Duolingo every day, by having this it encourages you to keep logging in and partaking to ensure you do not lose and extended streak.
  • There are achievements which are used to motivate you to reach certain foals, some popular examples are having a 365 day streak, or being able to understand 2000 different words in your course.
  • A very gamified element of Duolingo is the service featuring experience which you will gain once a lesson has been completed. To further help this contributes towards incentivization, you will get experience goals every month to give you something to work towards.
  • There are also leagues present in Duolingo, which are also referred to as gem ranks, which are competitive and range from the bronze to the diamond rank. If you are able to get enough experience to get yourself in the top 10 of your league, you are likely to move up a league, but if you are in the bottom 5, you are likely to get demoted.

Forums And Online Communities

Something which makes a service a more appealing choice, especially with technology, are the resources and support which is present surrounding the service.

The Rosetta Stone website features some resources where you are able to get support with using the service, unfortunately there is no forum which can make getting answers to specific qualms more simple.

In place of this, there is an official blog for Rosetta Stone which can help you with getting answers to any specific questions.

You are able to easily get any answers to questions about the language you are learning specifically. There is also an official Rosetta Stone FAQ as well as a support page.

For Duolingo, there is a ton of data about learning languages on the service available, and there used to be a lot of forums to help learning with Duolingo.

Unfortunately, these forums were are erased in early 2022 making the service a little less appealing. In spite of this there are a few community features built into the Duolingo app.

An example of this is being able to add friends and watch their progress in leagues and look at their weekly progression.

This leads to a sense of camaraderie being built between friends using Duolingo which is an appealing aspect to using the app.

While there are no official forums, you can also use the Reddit page r/duolingo if you want to ask specific questions, but this is unofficial.

Rosetta Stone


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Pricing Options

Due to Rosetta Stone being around for a while, we can understand why it is quite pricey, but it does not make it sting any less.

You can pay every 3 months at $11.99 monthly, or yearly at a $7.99 monthly rate. If you know you want lifetime access, you can get this for $179.

While you can experience a lot of Duolingo for free, it is worth getting the premium if you have gotten a lot of use out of the free version.

The best option for this is the years plan for around $7 monthly, but this is by no means a necessity.

Which Is Best For You

While both of these services are attractive options, it is unlikely that you will be able to become fluent in any language through just using Duolingo or Rosetta Stone, and if you want to become fluent in a language, you will need to immerse yourself into an environment where you are frequently speaking in the language.

But, if you want to have a more fun experience, you will likely get this from Duolingo due to all the gamified features.

For Rosetta Stone, this will help you slightly more with getting serious with the language, but the price is very off-putting for some people.

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