I was raised in Canada and grew up reading English and French on my cereal box. Unfortunately, I never learned French in school, so, I missed the opportunity to become truly bilingual during my childhood.
For most of my childhood, I didn’t think of speaking only one language as being a deficiency. But, as I started to travel, I became increasingly aware of the beauty and diversity of the other languages around me.
Being busy with work and family commitments, I contented myself with learning only a few phrases in the languages of each country that I visited. But, I never took the time to dig deeper. Then, in the blink of an eye, my life changed. My son moved to Russia.
I remember the day that my son told me he was moving to Russia like it was yesterday. Apart from the usual concerns about visas and personal safety, I wondered what it would be like trying to communicate with my son’s friends as he became more integrated into the local culture. I decided that I needed to take control. I needed to learn Russian.
Determined to maintain a close relationship with my son and his friends, I asked my colleagues which software programs they had used to learn a second language. They gave me some wonderful ideas, but, one name that came up again and again was Rosetta Stone. “What do I have to lose?,” I thought. And, I ordered a copy the very same day.
From the moment that I started using Rosetta Stone, I was hooked. It honestly felt more like a game than a language course. Rosetta Stone is somewhat unique as learning programs go because it uses context and images to teach you rather than dry memorization. After 6 months with the program, I had a chance to test my newfound skills on a trip to Moscow. While I wasn’t fluent by any stretch of the imagination, I was happy to find that I could order a cup of coffee, give directions to my taxi driver, and more-or-less navigate the city’s famous metro.
Learning Russian was a life changing experience for me. Not only did it give me a new appreciation for the beauty and complexity of other cultures, but, it also brought me closer to my son and his wonderful Russian wife.
If you are interested in learning a language, I highly recommend that you give them a shot. Their online course offers a free trial, so, you really have nothing to lose.
Have you tried Rosetta Stone or another learning program? Please share your thoughts below.