Even though I said no more technical babble, I have one more technical thing to mention. It’s a neat feature of Rosetta Stone that really caught my attention when I first read about it (… and that sounded a bit like an ad, but it’s true). One of the draw backs of learning a language over the computer is you loose the face-to-face communication of learning in a classroom or a real life setting. Even if the program has videos or you can do a webchat with a teacher, it’s still not quite the same. So I was really interested in the voice recognition-type software that Rosetta Stone has.

In many lessons, you have to repeat the words or phrases you’re given. For the most part this isn’t a terribly different task as long as you’re paying attention (and sitting up straight – you can’t do this lying down, as I found out). But some of the words, at least in Korean, are really tough. I have so much trouble with the word ‘fish’ (bul-ko-gi), it’s really just a coin toss if I’ll get it right or not. But if you’re not saying it correctly, you can click on a button and  be presented with a voice pattern of the native speaker saying the word. Then your job is get your voice to look as similar to the native speaker as possible. For visual people like me, it can be helpful. It shows you where you need to hold a syllable, or where you need to raise your tone. It’s still tricky sometimes, but it’s just another useful tool. I guess it’s kind of similar to having your pronunciation corrected in person, just more technical.