Half a month ago, I registered for the Rosetta Stone Language Program. It is offered to Fisher students as a language program through the Fisher international programs office. Since there are many kinds of languages which can be learned, I chose French. Before I logged into the program, I learned that the Rosetta Stone Language Program has an advanced speech recognition technology which can compare the learner’s voice with a native speaker and guides him or her to more accurate pronunciations.
With curiosity, I got into the program. There are five levels from the fundamental stage to the advanced stage. I look through the content in level 1 and what comes into mind immediately are several colorful pictures accompanied with native speaker’s voice. When I click one of the pictures, I hear the pronunciation of a word or a sentence that is illustrated in the picture. After a review of all the pictures, it is my turn to engage in the interactive, life-like conversation based in-context. The first word I have to read is bonjour (hello). After a demonstration from the system, I followed the pronunciation and accent to make sure it comes close to the native voice.
Although the single word can be simple to imitate, it is actually a hard process to speak out complete phrases and sentences fluently. For instance, la fille court means that a girl is running; le garcon court means that a boy is running. There are many subtle differences among the french words. However, if the speaker does not pronounce an accent correctly even in a small phonetic symbol, the interactive system will not differentiate the context. The unique and personalized quality of the program stimulates the learner to produce completely new spoken or written language as a born native person starts to learn his or her home language. The brand new language environment causes me to study quickly. Nowadays, I feel like I get much more benefit from this program because as soon as I see the image, I can speak out sentences without translation in my mind. What a wonderful experience! One of my goals is that I will continue to study and try to learn a romantic french song as soon as possible!