France is a place I’ve visited many times before, but this last trip was an extra special one for me ????. Not only did I tour throughout the country this time, I prepared to do so by learning French with Rosetta Stone! Learning this beautiful language had always been a dream of mine. Plus, France was one of those places that kept calling me back. So with visit #5 approaching, I knew there was no better time to tackle this goal!!
To give a little (honest) backstory- the French language has always intimidated me. It was the one thing holding me back from really connecting with the people and country as a whole. Here’s this place I kept returning to, yet everytime still felt as foreign as the last. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I loved the excitement that came with this unfamiliarity. But I also wanted MORE! More connection, more comfort, more diving into the French culture. I hoped this “foreign” feeling would dissipate every time I returned, but I couldn’t shake it.
After learning French with Rosetta Stone though, my experience felt so different this time around. Simply being able to read menus and street signs, and communicate with locals just made France feel so much more like home. I finally got the connection I was yearning for ????
Language and communication are so key in bridging the gap between foreign and familiar. It took me learning French with Rosetta Stone to fully understand and appreciate this!!
If you’re looking to deepen your travel experiences through language, keep reading to see if Rosetta Stone‘s is a good fit for you!
Learning French with Rosetta Stone: What to Expect
My entire experience learning French with Rosetta Stone was nothing like I thought it’d be…but in the best way possible!
At first I was hesitant. I honestly thought it would resemble my boring high school Spanish classes ???? And don’t get me wrong, I’m so appreciative of my [beginner] Spanish speaking skills, but the journey to get there was LONG (and a bit dull).
On the contrary, Rosetta Stone teaches language in a natural and entertaining way I didn’t even know was possible. Here’s some insight on the lessons & features, and what I loved about each…
Visual lessons, taught in a game-like format
Rather than a boring verbal lesson or an info-dense textbook, think matching games between phrases and pictures and repeating phrases aloud after a native speaker.
This is what hooked me. No reading. No lectures. Just learning games and actual verbal practice. I noticed I was learning so much more nturally because I was actually having fun while studying! I also absorbed the information on a much deeper level being the visual learner that I am.
TruAccent Speech Recognition
TruAccent judges how well your pronunciation and accent are when you repeat words/phrases aloud after a native speaker!
This was hands-down my favorite feature of Rosetta Stone. What intimidated me most about learning French was the prononciation especially. The rolling of the tongue, using parts of the throat I’ve never used before to make sounds I’ve never voiced before…It was frightening and something I’d be shy to practice in front of a classroom! Also, think about it- in a classroom, how much do you actually get to practice the language aloud? With the TruAccent you get to perfect your speaking skills for an entire lesson, with individual attention, and in the comforts of your own home.
Key Word Phrasebook
The phrasebook was a game-changer for learning every day words and phrases you actually need to know in real-life situations. You can listen and learn how to pronounce each, then download it to have it with you on the go!
I remember taking Spanish vocabulary tests in high school where we had to memorize 50 words a test, 3/4 of it being words I rarely used in everyday life. That was a huge difference I noticed when learning French with Rosetta Stone. It’s teaching you how to speak in the real world, not inundating you with information you’ll probably never use in conversation.
Both Phone & Desktop Versions (and you can download lessons offline!)
This feature made it super easy to practice whenever, wherever- especially on travel days without WiFi!
Flexible learning that fits your schedule.
You can spend as little as 15 minutes studying a day and still learn at a swift and natural pace!
I started learning French with Rosetta Stone one month before my trip and dedicated 15-30 minutes a day on the app. By the time I got to France, I knew enough of the language to really feel comfortable translating the basics and communicating my needs.
Rosetta Stone vs. Textbook Learning
Learning French with Rosetta Stone compared to learning Spanish in a classroom was like night and day. For starters, I found Rosetta Stone to be much more conversational, natural and entertaining. And for once, I felt CONFIDENT with my accent and pronunciation! This was something I never experience with Spanish.
Even after hundreds of hours in Spanish class, I still travel to places like Spain and Mexico and feel anxious to speak the language. It’s not that the knowledge isn’t there. Instead, it’s the abundance of unnecessary vocabulary words and the focus on all the language rules that paralyze me. And it didn’t help that I was always too shy to practice speaking aloud in a big classroom ????
So in the end of the day- do I know Spanish? I know conjugation rules and proper sentence structure. But do I actually know how to speak it fluidly in conversation? Eh…not so much.
Rosetta Stone has a much more practical and natural approach that prepares you for actual real-life situations and conversations. Plus, the information sticks so much better when you’re enjoying yourself and going at your own pace.
Using Rosetta Stone Throughout France
First stop: Paris!! The true language test finally began ????
My first order of business whenever I land in another country is always stocking up on groceries for my AirBnB. When my boyfriend and I went to the local market, I actually floated through the aisles with ease!! I knew exactly the type of milk I was buying, how to read the nutrition labels on my snacks, and how to tell the cashier we wanted two grocery bags! Words cannot describe how gratifying this first day was. I felt instantly rewarded for this new little skill of mine ????
A day later I successfully ordered the seafood tower I witnessed on an Anthony Bourdain show at Le Dome, even though the menu was all in French and there were multiple options to choose from!!
I finally found the famous cafe Le Consulat after speaking with a local taking her early morning walk.
Then when it came time to leave Paris and move on to the countryside of Provence, my new skills really came in handy. I quickly realized how rare English became as we grew farther away from the city.
One day in particular I’ll always remember….The day we got stranded at a vacant chateau ???? We luckily found a local who told me in French about a nearby chateau, and how to get there. What came next was one of the most scenic strolls of the trip, past cherry blossoms and rolling fields of grapes! An hour passed and we finally made it to Chateau de Beuapre and got our much-deserved glass of wine.
Knowing the language in this situation made the whole experience, what it was- an EXPERIENCE! I was so much more confident going into tricky situations, and could actually remain present because of it.
Next came the French Riviera and another highlight I’ll never forget- the afternoon we spent haggling for antiques at the local Cours Salaya Antique Market in Nice! We bought about 30 pounds of antiques- a 1930s leather suitcase, old French magazines and post cards, gold watches ???? Learning the backstory of each piece from the vendors made every purchase even more special.
I ended my trip in Menton, a colorful little seaside village in the French Riviera that borders Italy. It was this day on the beach where it all truly hit me. This trip was so different than the rest.
Learning French with Rosetta Stone was transformational in a lot of obvious ways of course. It made traveling easier with less feelings of stress and more feelings of comfort. But what sticks out the most are the not-so-obvious connections that happened along the way. Seeing an appreciative smile on a locals face as they patiently waited for my replies in their language ???????? Being able to soak in the sounds of nature in the countryside, rather than stressing how to get from point A to point B. And the most meaningful to me, that feeling of home that’s simply too hard to put into words. A feeling that truly can only be felt when communication is present.
Being an English speaker, we often take this feeling for granted, with English being so widely spoken throughout the world. It makes it easy to forget just how magical language is in connecting us as a species and with our surroundings. I’ll always feel such a special connection to France after learning French with Rosetta Stone. This experience went so much further beyond simply learning a new language. I connected deeply with the French people, their culture, the landscapes, and their way of life. What a powerful lesson it’s all been ❤️
If you’re interested in deepening your travel experiences and connections, I highly recommend Rosetta Stone for actually learning a new language. I think it will change the way you see any “foreign” place!
Learn more about Rosetta Stone here & get 40% off any subscription through April 18th!
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*This post is in partnership with Rosetta Stone, but all opinions are my own.