Custom Search

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Learning Language with the Foreign Service: FREEEEEEEEEEEEE

My colleague Merton--a linguist and all-around frugal guy--told me a while ago that Rosetta Stone--the ubiquitous language learning program--is based on material in the public domain: the language learning programs developed by the Foreign Service. Merton even dug out his old copy (looked like the dittos of days of yore) that he got in his Peace Corps days in the 1960s.

I've been sitting on this for a while. I really should practice my French. It is lurking just below the surface of consciousness. Mr FS listens to French radio, but his French is a lot better than mine, having lived in France for several years in youth and young adulthood.

I found the site that has the Foreign Service lessons. It looks like an on-line ditto! You can look at the book and listen to the lessons.

Does anyone know how this compare to Rosetta Stone? I've never looked at their materials.

The left-hand column gives you quite the assortment of languages from which to choose. In the meantime: Asseyez-vous!


Duchesse said...

I've looked at the FS course but not Rosetta Stone.FS is pretty 'workbooky' but hey, for free it's a resource. You might also like the BBC's "Ma France", a fun, post-beginner course designed for travelers, lots of videos, and also free:

The important thing is oral practice, so hope Mr FS is willing to talk to you every day, so you can try out your skills. The French in your head is completely different than the French that comes out of your mouth. Sometimes I just freeze up, and sometimes I can actually muster a conversation.

Duchesse said...

Oops, I should give you the link to the videos (online), not the podcasts: