When comparing Rosetta Stone vs Lang-8, the Slant community recommends Lang-8 for most people. In the question“What are the best sites for learning foreign languages?” Lang-8 is ranked 5th while Rosetta Stone is ranked 24th. The most important reason people chose Lang-8 is:
Where many programs will have you writing single sentences at most, Lang-8 encourages you to write short stories or diary entries. Having to actually write in the language rather than simply remember vocabulary is a really beneficial feature for improving real-world use of the language.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Speech recognition technology
Instead of teaching word recognition, Rosetta Stone uses speech recognition technology to make sure that students are learning to pronounce the words correctly.
Pro Provides immersive learning without uncomfortable experiences
While trying to cary a conversation in a foreign language can be an effective way to learn, sometimes it causes a lot of stress. Rosetta Stone takes this concept and applies it to a stress free environment.
Pro Real human contact
At the end of each lesson, students are able to review live with real teachers.
Pro Games with other students
When learning another language, a learner from that language can be invited to play a game for mutual learning purposes. Unfortunately, Rosetta Stone hasn't spread very much to countries outside of the US, so this game system isn't very developed yet.
Pro Gain experience writing in your target language
Where many programs will have you writing single sentences at most, Lang-8 encourages you to write short stories or diary entries.
Having to actually write in the language rather than simply remember vocabulary is a really beneficial feature for improving real-world use of the language.
Pro Get feedback from native speakers
Native speakers of the language you are learning will give you pointers on your writing, such as grammar corrections and advice on word choice/sentence structure.
Pro Self-directed learning
Write as much or little as you like, about the subject of your choice, at the level of difficulty of your choice, taking as much time as you wish. Intermediate and advanced learners can benefit the most from this, but beginners can still use the site to practice what they've learned elsewhere.
Con Makes no use of native language
While Rosetta Stone tries to emulate "learning by immersion," many people find the inability to find direct translations of words to be an unnecessary an ineffective part of the program.
Con Uses the same course for learners of different nationalities
For a user learning English, the course will be the same whether they are Chinese, Russian, Italian, etc.. While this is a good way for the company to remain efficient, many cultural differences are overlooked.
Con Inconvenient meeting times for teachers
For users in the US, it can be easy to find a teacher to work with. In any other country, it can be extremely difficult to find an available teacher because of the differences in timezones.
Con New sign ups are currently put on hold
They are not accepting new registrations now, and it is not clear when will they accept them again.
Con Not a good starting place for beginners
The site doesn't teach you your language, instead it allows you to get advice on your writing in your target language. It's better if you have a basic understanding of the language at first.