Unlike Rosetta Stone’s other language software titles, Latin Level 1 is the only language that is not spoken natively. Spanish, French, Greek, and the other language titles offer a much more practical result, the ability to use the language in the learner’s daily life. Not surprisingly, Latin Level 1 uses the same formula for language learning that makes Rosetta Stone’s other titles so popular with individuals, educators, institutions, and government agencies. As a dead language, Latin is far less useful as a learned language. However, with Rosetta Stone’s approach to immersion and learning, the language comes alive for the Latin student in a way other Latin programs cannot.
For several decades now, Latin has been replaced in educational environments by more practical languages such as French, Spanish, German, etc. However, a core group of students seems to emerge every year at various high schools, college campuses, and websites to spark interest in learning the language of the Romans. Many of these traditional programs such as those that use Jenney’s textbook or Wheelock’s approach rarely include speaking the language conversationally as a component to learning. Hence, these programs focus on translation as the main force behind learning. Although most traditional programs encourage speaking Latin aloud for learning purposes, few include conversational Latin. The purpose of this article is to review several aspects of Rosetta Stone’s Latin Level 1 language software to explore its place among other Latin programs. Rather than focus specifically on Rosetta Stone’s already-established formula for language acquisition, I will look at the software from the lens of a Latin educator and make observations about this software’s usefulness among other programs of study.