Rosetta Stone Language Software

Teach Yourself One-Day French, Italian or Spanish

Teach yourself One- Day Italian

Teach Yourself One-Day Spanish
Elisabeth Smith showed up on the language scene some time ago with a series of "Bare Bones" language books. In an age when nary a grammar point was left undiscussed in the typical text, her books provided a refreshingly clear view of languages and what they are for: communicating. Smith's "Bare Bones" books taught four or five hundred words, which is usually enough to help you get through day to day life before you start to pick up the local tongue. You can still use Smith's "Bare Bones" approach with the Instant French, Italian and Spanish books below.

However, in an age of "less is more," now there's something better: One-day courses. In these courses, Smith is on the plane next to someone who doesn't know a word of the language in their destination country. In seventy-five minutes, she teaches him 50 words and a dozen basic sentence constructions that will see him through as a tourist.

This is the greatest thing since Pimsleur, and at a fraction of the cost - ten bucks! I'd give the discs two or three listens before heading out - one listen isn't enough. And if you want to become proficient, you need to look elsewhere. But if you're looking for a cheap way to learn enough to stay out of trouble and even participate in what's going on now and then, this is a great program. Also recommended if you're studying a foreign language but just can't make it come alive. As for the "Instant" books, they'll teach you a little more - not a lot - and are worth a look if you're staying more than a week but not long enough to pick things up on your own. But with all due respect they're just not as marvelous as the quick and simple "One-Day" programs.
- Geoffrey Barto