The Rosetta Stone Challenge is a language course that I developed over 34 years ago in response to an actual challenge presented to me when I was told that to teach Spanish using just 150 words and minimal grammar is an impossible task.
From 1978 – 1981, I studied and learned the Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs and read about the discovery and translation of the Rosetta Stone by Jean-François Champollion, I decided not to look at existing books and references at the time, but I researched the Spanish and Portuguese languages themselves to see how a language will teach itself. My first clue was in the book “Native Tongues” by Charles Berlitz:
André Maurois has recounted an incident between soldiers who met in the trenches during WW1. A Portuguese soldier offered to teach a French soldier a thousand words of Portuguese in less than one minute for 100 francs. The French soldier accepted. ‘Look,’ said the Portuguese, ‘all the words you have in French that end in -tion are the same in Portuguese, except that they end in -ção…there are over a thousand of them and they are all feminine gender, just like French. That took less than a minute, didn’t it? One hundred francs, please.”
Because of that one paragraph, I went to look for other clues to make vocabulary easier to learn. Eventually I came upon a book titled “The Mother Tongue*” that gave me the information I needed for “stripping” grammar to the most basic, yet important, points to defeat the challenge and bring the Spanish and Portuguese languages within the reach of students. In 1984, The Rosetta Stone Challenge was born and made available for the Spanish and Portuguese languages.
But it doesn’t end there. I went on to study other languages, applying the Rosetta Stone Challenge format to them (of course, some languages need a little more fine-tuning to make it work) until I was able to expand the challenge to over 65 languages.
What this challenge is not
The name of this challenge is not affiliated with the Rosetta Stone language software or app. Mine is an original course designed for students to build a solid foundation in any language they wish to learn and has been offered since 1984. This challenge is guaranteed to help you see these languages in a new light and can be learned in just six months with highly satisfying results. Rosetta Stone software and app is just a terribly altered copy of this challenge.
* now out of print