Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo: Unbiased Comparison!

Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo has become the most commonly asked question and comparison on the internet. Language learning can be intimidating and exhausting at times. Still, with the help of technology and specifically designed and structured platforms, it became effortless for people to learn a new language. 

Both have their own teaching methods with smart and modern approaches for you to immerse in the learning experience and acknowledge the language in a more simplified manner. Although both are developed for language learning, they share many differences and similarities in teaching. 

If you are on the verge of learning a new language and wondering to choose which platform might be the right fit for you among both, this article will help you understand everything about both apps in a detailed manner. 

Did you know over 1.5 billion people in the world speak the English language, and it is one of the most spoken languages in the world? Check our post on Language statistics to know more interesting facts about the languages.

Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo: In A Nutshell 

The table below will break down some of the major differences with pros and cons between both language learning applications helping you observe all at once. However, read thoroughly throughout the article for the detailed version of this comparison table. 

Parameters Rosetta Stone Duolingo 
Languages covered >25 ~40
Pricing $7.99, $11.99 and $179Free 
Method Word-image format Exercises and practices 
Lesson sessions45-60 minutes 5-10 minutes
Vocabulary and grammar Moderate Moderate 
Free trail Available for 30 days2 weeks for Duolingo super
Fluency level Moderate Moderate 
Community support Available Available 

While one is a fun and interactive language learning app that doesn’t cost a penny, the other is a paid premium course that has immersive teaching methods. Both have strengths and weaknesses and unique approaches to simplified teaching. 

From one perspective, Duolingo can be the best option for you to learn a new language because of its free offering and attractive lessons, but it has downsides, too, because of the same free offering. Stick to the end to understand better.

Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo: Overview 

Duolingo is an American educational company that offers language learning services with certifications. With bite-sized lessons based on science practices, Duolingo is one of the best applications globally for learning a language for free. However, there’s ‘Duolingo super’ that offers premium service without ads and additional support from the team. Their personalized lessons are effective and fun to be consistent in learning. The Duolingo English test is widely recognized by several universities across many nations today. 

Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo - Duolingo Overview

Rosetta Stone, on the other hand, is a paid product. It has been known for being expensive for years. Still, with an increase in customer base every year, the company reformed its pricing policy to make it available in a subscription-based (SaaS) service for a much lower price than its original cost. Rosetta Stone is everything about immersion; you can excel in your learning performance to become more fluent in the language. The visual representation and core explanations are popular in Rosetta Stone, its users. 

 Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo: Key Features 

Duolingo also works well with other native language speakers, but it’s a known fact that Duolingo is famous for English speakers or at least people who know English and are trying to learn other languages. There are no restrictions in language learning with Duolingo. You can learn multiple languages at once and complete as many lessons as you wish in one day. Duolingo is a subtle way of learning languages, but some might feel it is more casual learning. 

Rosetta Stone is built on word-picture representations and is well structured in format. Instead of translations and instructions for new words and sentences, the Rosetta Stone will allow you to understand the language by identifying the given set of visual clues. Their lessons are designed according to everyday exploration, like basic language communication, work meetings, shopping, etc. 

Despite their old learning method, the Rosetta Stone program is very effective and accelerates your language learning frequency. With stories, phrasebooks, live lessons, and an audio companion, you can become more familiar with the language to become more fluent. 

Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo: Languages Offered 

With a wide range of language courses, Rosetta Stone offers more than 25 languages. While some programs are structured precisely for you to excel in the language like a native speaker, some are designed for day-to-day communications. Rosetta Stone’s best offering unfolds here by offering language communications according to your choice of language exploration. Some notable languages they offer are Spanish, French, German, English, Italian, Japanese, Hindi, Arabic, Filipino, greek, Persian, Swedish, Russian, Vietnamese, and more. 

Rosetta Stone  - Course

Although Duolingo allows you to learn a language based on your native language, as mentioned before, it is more favorable for English speakers. For instance, french speakers with Duolingo have six languages to learn, but English speakers have close to 40 languages to explore. Everyone, however, can learn more than one language at once. Duolingo is working on adding some other languages to learn according to their popularity and speaker count. Some popular language offerings from Duolingo are Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Hindi, Italian, Chinese, Russian, Korean, and others. 

Duolingo Lesson Structure

Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo: Teaching Methods

Rosetta Stone’s free version is limited to learning, unlike Duolingo but has a constructive teaching method with a clear intention of making users more familiar with the language. You will benefit from their programs as lessons are based on everyday conversations with productive feedback. However, their expensive price tag for languages makes people stop, think and look for alternatives before subscribing to them. 

Duolingo’s fun teaching with game practices and five-minute snippet learning made language learning more effective than others. Vocabulary building became easy with Duolingo’s fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice answering, screen recording, and speaking activities. However, Duolingo has its limitations in language learning. You can become a moderate learner with basic communication speaking and all from a beginner, but you can never become a proficient speaker with Duolingo. 

Rosetta Stone Lessons and Program Evaluation 

Rosetta Stone’s teaching method hasn’t majorly changed since its inception. Every program starts with one core 30-minute lesson. In this session, you’ll explore communication basics to native addressing of the language as you move forward with each lesson. 

You have 3-5 supplemental drills after every 30 min lesson. These drills or practices generally last 5-10 minutes, covering all essentials like pronunciation, grammar, listening, and writing. 

All of Rosetta Stone’s lessons eventually combine audio and images to break down more in detail. It might take an hour to complete one full lesson, where you spend most of the time listening to words and phrases, repeating them, and matching them with the right images. Also, you have interactive flashcards and building blocks as you progress further. 

The four features of the Rosetta stone distinct from Duolingo are 

  • Visual learning.
  • Live classes.
  • Voice recognition technology.
  • Bonus resources (stories, phrasebook)

As discussed before, Rosetta Stone offers visual learning with heavy imagery. This technique works well by allowing you to make a mental connection between words with images. 

Rosetta Stone offers live classes and coaching to become more fluent in the language, but you have to pay additionally for this interest. With one-on-one sessions with master tutors and customized coaching sessions, this program is a big hit among Rosetta Stone’s subscribers. Customized learning with master tutors helps in better pronunciation and grammar. 

With voice recognition technology, you can ask to describe images along with words and phrases during the lessons, and it’ll also correct you in between if you misspell anything. Compared to Duolingo, Rosetta Stone’s bonus resources are more efficient as a paid subscription plan. With short stories, video presentations, phrasebooks, and an alphabet tool, the Rosetta Stone’s resources will definitely make you more fluent in your target language. 

Duolingo Lessons and Program Evaluation 

All Duolingo lessons are comparatively shorter than the Rosetta Stone. Each lesson lasts between 5-10 minutes with interactive exercises. Even an absolute beginner could complete lessons at a lightning-fast speed. 

From writing full sentences to filling in the blanks and matching pairs, each lesson is structured along with the inclusion of listening and verbal practices. Duolingo doesn’t offer much flexibility, unlike the Rosetta Stone. You cannot jump between lessons in the course program but choose different programs simultaneously. 

The three features of Duolingo that are distinct from the Rosetta Stone are 

  • Free version.
  • Gamified learning. 
  • Variety offerings (drills, streaks, leagues)

The best highlight of Duolingo is a free version for everyone. All their modules and exercises are precise for anyone to access. Duolingo is a great tool for budget-constraining users to learn a new language despite its limited offering. You might get frustrated sometimes as the free version is ad-supported. Also, the 5 five hours per day on Duolingo can be really disappointing. You could not move forward with lessons if you ran out of hearts. 

Gamified learning by Duolingo is a unique experience for its users. You have experience points (XP points) every time you complete a lesson with Duolingo’s currency ‘lingots.’ While XP points track your progress, lingots can be used to purchase additional features in the app. 

Lessons in Duolingo are majorly different from the Rosetta Stone. They offer the same lesson from different perspectives, like drills, practices, exercises, and more. One thing that everyone feels attached to Duolingo is that their lessons never get boring. Every lesson is interactive in its own way. You have daily streaks, leagues, achievements, and more that’ll encourage your learning efficiency. 

Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo: Grammar and Vocabulary 

Both offer moderate grammar and vocabulary practices with their individual programs. Rosetta Stone’s programs are crafted well to teach grammar and vocab to their users in an intuitive way. Instead of memorizing conjugation tables and complex grammatical tasks, their programs will make you remember grammar with pictures as they present word-image pictorial representations. 

Unlike others teaching with grammatical charts, the Rosetta Stone program will teach grammar in real sentences, so you never stop in between while taking. With native speech in stories and one on one sessions with master speakers, you have the opportunity to become more fluent in vocabulary and grammar. 

With more than 3000 vocabulary words in each course, Duolingo also offers different vocab practices in each lesson. Also, with a combination of explicit and implicit teaching in each lesson, Duolingo’s grammar learning patterns are fun and effective. Every exercise in Duolingo is associated with grammar that’ll make you more familiar with the language. 

Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo: Pros And Cons 

Now that you know about other primary differences between Duolingo and Rosetta Stone, it is time to wrap up with pros and cons! 

Rosetta Stone Pros 

  • Rosetta Stone’s high-level repetition is a great learning method for a solid foundation of the language. From simple words to complex sentence structures, this method could be beneficial in memorizing language efficiently. 
  • Rosetta Stone has many features like stories, phrasebooks, audio companions,s and others which are very helpful
  • You have more than 25 languages to choose which are completely structured from beginner to expert level.
  • Works on all devices 

Rosetta Stone Cons 

  • It is costly for its teaching method and features. 
  • High levels of repetition can be alarming sometimes. Also, you might get bored and frustrated when you repeat it more than the required no of times. 
  • There’s no native and cultural language teaching except with its feature ‘stories.’
  • Some of its other features aren’t fully effective even after paying an additional price. 

Duolingo Pros 

  • It is free and has nearly 40 languages to learn.
  • Duolingo is best for beginners who wish to explore different perspectives of learning a language.
  • Duolingo’s interface is easy to use and has many interactive fun exercises. 
  • Every lesson is quick, friendly, and engaging to absorb. 
  • This application also supports every device. 

Duolingo: cons 

  • While it may offer more languages than Rosetta Stone, Duolingo’s lessons are limited. You cannot become proficient with the language. 
  • Many of Duolingo’s languages aren’t fully developed. Also, some languages have unnatural pronunciations and unnecessary grammar corrections.
  • Duolingo has very few resources other than its regular teaching method. 

Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo: Fluency Preference 

Considering all the resources and the teaching method they provide, Rosetta Stone stands top among both in terms of fluency preference. However, people argue that you cannot become as fluent as a native speaker with either one of them. Although Rosetta Stone offers great grammar and vocabulary from beginner to expert level with structured sentence formations and others, it’s still not a great option to master speaking and writing skills.

Duolingo, as we’ve discussed, is a limited language learning application. You cannot keep upskilling your language proficiency with Duolingo even if you master every lesson. However, conversational fluency is possible with both the Rosetta Stone and Duolingo. 

Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo: Customer Support. 

Customer support for Duolingo is available 24/7, year-round. You are one click away from posting your doubt in the questionnaire chatbox of Duolingo’s help center. You’ll see hundreds of pre-answered questions from Duolingo while you are texting, and you’ll find the right match when you complete asking for it. If you are still unsure about the answers or didn’t find the appropriate one, there’s a bug report at the end of this page for you to address the question. 

Duolingo - Customer Support

The same goes for the Rosetta Stone. You have a help box to drop your questions and you’ll find the right match among them. But they differed questions based on common requirements like billing, login issues, and technical issues. Their support page also operates in various languages and it also works 24/7, year-round. 

 Rosetta Stone - Customer Support

Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo: Pricing

You have three subscription plans with Rosetta Stone, as you see. For a three months subscription plan, it costs you $35.97 ($11.99 per month), and for a 12-month subscription plan, it costs you a total of $143.88 ($7.99 per month).

With both these plans, you can have access to only one language, but for all languages and a lifetime subscription plan, it costs you $179 at once. You can also save a few bucks on your purchase with our exclusive Rosetta Stone discount offer.

Rosetta Stone - Pricing

There’s a three-day trial option with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Also, you will be charged separately for live coaching sessions with them. 

Duolingo Pricing Plan

You can access all of Duolingo’s languages for free, but to have ad-free sessions and unlimited hearts, you need to subscribe to the super Duolingo plan, which costs $6.99 per month.

Grab a discount on Duolingo Plus (now Super), and get 50% off on their plans.

Related Read:

Final Verdict: Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo

The primary difference between both would be Rosetta Stone’s immersive teaching techniques. As visual learning is always pleasing and it is already a proven method that people remember visual image learning better than written documents, they believe in real-life audio and image learning sessions for their users to experience the best. Try the free version first to acknowledge it better. 

Duolingo’s bite-sized lessons are also effective as they also focus on reading, writing, listening, and speaking, plus they are all free. Also, Duolingo offers different exercises and practices, unlike Rosetta Stone’s single teaching method. Ultimately, both excel in their own departments. 


Which platform works best for beginners?

For beginners, Duolingo might be the best as they offer many free language practices and tests. 

Can we become as fluent as a native speaker with either one?

You can never become as fluent as a native speaker with either of them, but you can develop more than everyday communication with the Rosetta Stone. 

Which is best -Duolingo or Rosetta Stone?

Both language learning platforms offer unique features and offerings. Depending on your needs and budget, you can pick either of them. However, users who don’t want to spend additional money on learning a language can go with Duolingo’s free version. 

Which platform is better for learning to travel: Duolingo or Rosetta Stone?

If you want to learn a language for traveling, then Rosetta Stone is a better option than Duolingo. The lessons are short and crisp, and you can easily learn the introductory level quickly and be prepared for your trip.

What are the main differences between Rosetta Stone and Duolingo?

The biggest difference between Duolingo and Rosetta Stone is that the lessons of Rosetta Stone are much better for visual learners than Duolingo. The lessons of Duolingo are designed for beginners, and they can help you learn the basics of any new language.

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