16.02.2008
by Esa Turtiainen

I started sudying Chinese using RosettaStone. I selected the on-line option because I planned to use the program from several computers, including Linux ones.

The program does not give very clear requirements for the on-line option. It turned out that I can forget the Linux option.

Chinese course is version 2 which is implemented using Shockwave. There is still no Shockwave for Linux.

The previous course I have used was version 3 which is implemented using Flash. Still, I have not managed to get it working in Linux but there is still some hope. And still the speech recognizion is a Windows program.

Maybe I have to invest in CrossOver Linux:

http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxoffice/

I have tested it couple of times, it looks good but I have no need to run M$ Office in Linux. OpenOffice.org is much better. But the seamless integration of Shockwave is something I still need occasionally.

RosettaStone is still the best language program I have tried but the Chinese version is occasionally very bad. It obviously is not translated by someone who understood the principle of the program.

RosettaStone tries to make you to invent things by comparing simple sentences, like:

old man - old woman - young man - young woman.

The problem with the Chinese version is that this is translated to something like:

one A honorable person
one A honorable honorable honorable
one B assistant something
one B year-thin woman

Where A and B are different count words which confuses everybody totally. This is totally unaccurate example but I guess that you got the point. There is nothing to compare and invent and understand. With these example words "old" and "young" are different words for man and woman. And "man" and "woman" is a different word for old and young ones. You have to learn the sentences totally by heart.

They should re-write the beginning totally.