What is the Rosetta Stone?
In 1799 a French soldier called Pierre-François Bouchard, who was part of the Napoleonic expedition to Egypt, discovered an unusual and fascinating stone being used a building material at Fort Julien, somewhere near a town called Rashid, (or Rosetta) in the Nile Delta. The stone was unusual in that it was inscribed with not one, but three forms of writing. This was significant as up until this point in time there had been no evidence uncovered that showed the Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs alongside any other script, which in turn meant must of our understanding of the language had been guess work.
When Bouchard found the Rosetta Stone, he could not have fathomed just what a discovery it was. With Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs alongside Demotic (a later version of Egyptian that preceded Coptic but came after Late Egyptian) and finally, Ancient Greek each decreeing the same text, this essentially gave historians and scholars a key with which to decipher hieroglyphs, many of which had been misinterpreted over the years.
The Modern World
The Rosetta Stone became a symbol of understanding, being adopted by many throughout the years to represent just this. Many of you may have heard of it before in the capacity of the language people Rosetta Stone.
Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone are a company that provide
Rosetta Stone is an interactive language learning solution that provides an intuitive and effective
way to learn a language—using technology to create an environment of complete immersion in the
language of choice
They have a wide and varied selection of language to chose from and ways to learn that will suit you, from online courses and downloads to CD ROMS. There is a lot of support as well, especially with the online version of the courses including chats with native speakers, games and a whole community of learners eager to help each other.
Learning with Rosetta Stone
Over the next few months you will be able to keep up to date with how I get on learning Japanese with Rosetta Stone, using their Totale Online Course.
Right from the very first lesson you are immersed in the language of your choice, there is no English explanation of what is occurring, you just jump in and find your feet. This is incredibly daunting, but by the end of the first lesson you feel at ease and the more you do the more you understand. It really is very clever.
There are a wide range of lessons which include listening, reading, speaking and writing. Each lesson builds on the knowledge of the last and before you know it you feel like you are starting to understand, it makes sense.
Completely accessible on your computer, there are even apps to aid you in your quest for a new language.
In the next instalment of our Rosetta Stone series, we will look at taking the first steps to learning a new language and I will talk personally about my experience using Totale for the first month.