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dealnews Learns Italian: The results

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(Page 2 of 2)

In the end, here's how it broke down:

Editor
Jeff Contray
Louis Ramirez
Jeff Somogyi

Method

Rosetta Stone Online
Anything Free
Price

$199.95 per
6 months

$274
Free
Exam Score
14/15
10/15
11/15

What's the best bet, price-wise? Well, if you think of our results in terms of "price-per-correct-answer", you'll see that Pimsleur cost us $27.40/correct answer; Rosetta Stone Online cost $14.28/correct answer; and, of course, the free method set us back $0/correct answer. Free is quite an attractive price to pay to yield "OK" results in my book, so perhaps I'd recommend that route.

Of course, if you don't have the willpower — when left to your own devices — to force yourself to learn, Rosetta Stone is the clear winner in the pay-to-learn category. The thought that you are wasting money by not learning the language might just be the motivation you need. However, you'll have to remember to learn all you need to in the six month period of the subscription, otherwise, the flat-fee of the Pimsleur CDs starts to become a bargain.

Some additional thoughts: Each of the editors that participated had prior knowledge of other languages. Jeffrey Contray studied French (and knows how to order a beer in dozens more), Louis is fluent in Spanish, and Jeff Somogyi took many years of French throughout his academic career. This may have aided each of them, when reading the Italian portions of the test, to be able to pick out Latin roots and muddle through better than someone without any prior knowledge of another language could have. In future experiments (although we are not doing this again) it would be ideal to have participants who know no language other than their native English.

That being said, we stand behind our conclusion that it looks like you can't go wrong with the free versions.

Of course, if you REALLY want to be cheap, and not put in ANY time, but are still planning a trip to Italy, just learn to say this phonetic phrase: BEH pee-eh-CHER-eh. Non PAR-lo ih-tal-ya-noh. SO-no ah-mare-ih-cah-no. PAR-lah in-glay-zay?

Jeff Somogyi is dealnews's Media Editor. Allorah, a tutto per oggi!

For a more detailed look at each of the editor's thoughts on the experiement, head on over to their blogs, where you'll hear all SORTS of excuses about their performances!
The Somogyi Perspective; LouieVille Tech; Contray's Dictions.

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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