Rosetta Stone and Life Skills

As you know, I am using Rosetta Stone to try to learn Spanish.  As you may know, if you have ever tried to learn a language, pretty much every scenario involves people being completely dumb and/or socially awkward.  Here are some of my favorites from so far in my Rosetta Stone journey.

Screen shot from Spanish language-learning software.  First box has a woman with her wallet in her hand asking "Cuanto cuesta." Second box has another woman holding up a sign that says $25 and saying "It costs $25"

The text reads “It costs $25,” but her body language says. “Bitch, read the sign.”


Screen shot from Spanish language learning software.  First box has an older woman holding a prescription bottle and talking to a younger woman.  The older woman asks, "Disculpe. Esta es la farmacia?" In the second box the younger woman replies, "No, esta es la libreria, el farmacia este es en el calle Fresno"

“Oh, here I am waving my prescription bottle around in your face.  Excuse me, is this the pharmacy?”

“Um, no, this is the bookstore as you can see because I am shelving books outside the bookstore. WTF is wrong with you?”


A Spanish-language learning graphic of a man carrying an old television with a broken screen in a TV store.  A man wearing a suit helps him.  Dialogue reads:

Guy: “Yep, I think I’ll just drag my TV to the tv store to go look at new TVs.  Like you do. Just takin’ my old TV to the TV store.  Excuse me, I need a new TV.”

Crack Salesman: “This is my day! The day I finally make a commission! Asking what kind of TV you’re looking for is overrated, I should probably challenge you and see why you need a new TV anyway.  Consumerism is what’s wrong with this country.”

Guy: “My TV is broken, dipshit. It looks I got a little carried away playing Wii bowling.”


Screen shot from Spanish language learning software.  First box has a white man in a bowtie with a clipboard asking "Cuando trabaja usted."  The second box shows a waiter in a restaurant saying "Trabaja por la manana."

They get all sneaky trying to figure out ways to ask questions.  Here they have a whole series with the dorkiest census taker ever asking random people when they work.  Everyone in the Rosetta Stone Universe is so friendly though and never suspicious, and this man is happy to let you know he’s working in the morning.  Maybe when I get into more complex sentences they will have people saying things like, “Why do you need to know?” because as a former census taker myself, I can tell you that it’s much more realistic.


Screen shot from Spanish language learning software.  First panel has a young boy looking at a dog saying "Por que huele mal el perro?" The second panel shows a woman and the dog, the woman says "Porque esta sucio y mojado"

Sometimes they use children to ask dumb questions, which is fine because kids generally ask dumb questions.  This one wants to know why this wet and dirty dog smells bad.  Turns out it’s because the dog is dirty and wet.  A revelation!



Screen shot from language learning software.  First panel shows a young man and woman sitting on swings.  The man asks, "Por que lleve sueter."  The second panel shows the woman wrapping her arms around herself, she says, "Lleve sueter porque tengo frio."

I’m sorry to break this to you girl, but if your boyfriend doesn’t know why you’re wearing a sweater (hint if you don’t speak Spanish: It’s because she’s cold), then it may be time to start looking elsewhere.


Image of a young boy smiling and looking at a case of cakes.  Spanish text reads, "El quiere torta pero no la necesita."

According to this picture, this little boy wants cake, but he does not need it.  I guess Rosetta Stone and I have different definitions for the word “need.”

I am almost finished with the first disk of Rosetta Stone. I can’t wait until more complex ideas and sentences lead to the dumbest interactions ever.  Right now we’re only dumb in the present, but soon we’ll be dumb in the past and the future and the past imperfect and every other tense!

Note: I first published the pharmacy panel and the TV panel on my tumblr.

17 replies on “Rosetta Stone and Life Skills”

Being dumb in the past could be fun.

My boyfriend didn’t understand the concept of putting on a sweater when you’re cold, so I dumped him. Then I needed a piece of cake, which seriously upset my stomach. Unfortunately, I was out of my medicine and was in such pain that I thought the bookstore was the pharmacy.

When it gets a little warmer and my money tree starts blooming I would like to get this for Russian. The idea of these scenarios in Russian makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. Strangers are not friendly to you in Russia.

However, if you were in an urban area, you could probably wave an empty prescription bottle in front of a random person and have it filled with something useful for a very reasonable price. There would also be many smelly but adorable dogs. Also, the cake there is fucking delicious and a definite need.

Anyway, despite the high price tag, would you say Rosetta Stone is worth it?

Beats the shit out of my French-class-taught-by-southern-baptist-preacher. He sincerely believed the only things we really needed to learn were the words we’d need to evangelize; he refused to teach us words for wine, beer, and other “nondesirable” substances, and the majority of my verb tense lessons came in the form of classic hymns.

Rosetta Stone all the way.

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