Rosetta Stone: A new tool to learning Navajo
I read earlier this year that the Rosetta Stone team was developing a Navajo version of their software to be release toward the end of 2010. Well it is here. In August, Rosetta Stone made the announcement on their blog and The Navajo Times also released an article a few months ago. A free version of the software is available at this link.
Rosetta Stone has a few other indigenous language projects through it’s Endangered Language Program: Iñupiaq, Mohawk, Chitmacha and now Navajo. The ELP worked with Navajo Language Renaissance who sponsored the software’s development and now is the organization to contact if you are interested in purchasing a copy for yourself. For lessons 1 and 2 it will cost you $200.00 or $75.00 for a yearly subscription. The money to be collected from purchases will be used to sponsor the next levels of the program. If this is something you would be interested in go check out their site or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Navajo Language Renaissance website gives this point however,
We want to stress that this software should not be thought of as a replacement for existing Navajo language programs, but rather as a supplement to help revitalize the language of the Diné.
I agree. I think there are wonderful programs that can be used to help you learn Navajo. This is not the one-in-all, end-all programs to fluency. Learning any language takes time and much practice. I’ve used a number of different avenues to learn Spanish. I still am. I look for something that is challenging and adequate for my level of proficiency. Try not to get hung up on one supplement to teach you everything.
I did try out the free trial version online. I am not familiar with Rosetta Stone and the structure of their language programs. To me it was more of a game than some actual studying that I like to involve myself in. It could be that I have to purchase the thing to get that far, but I can tell you right now that I don’t have the money to purchase this program. I am actually a little concerned if this is going to reach the audience it wants to at $200. For those of you who can purchase it…try it and let me know what you think of the program. I suppose it will be years before we will know what kind of effect this really makes.