Rosetta Stone Japanese Level 1, 2 & 3 & My Piano. June 2008 . Vol. 14 No. 6

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles.

June 2009 - -Adobe Contribute CS4, Adobe Soundbooth CS4 & After Effects CS

May 2009 --Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, Adobe OnLocation CS4 and Adobe Encore CS4 plus My Electric Guitar and My Violin from eMedia


Rosetta Stone Japanese Level 1, 2 & 3 and My Piano from eMedia

Rosetta Stone Japanese Level 1, 2 & 3

By Howard Berenbon

If you or any of your kids decide it would be a challenge to learn the Japanese language, then you can get help with the latest software from Rosetta Stone.  Their new 3-level Japanese language software, Rosetta Stone Japanese, offers a real-world approach to learning Japanese, and after a few weeks of testing, it does work!  Basically, Rosetta Stone teaches language by connecting words to objects, with real life events.  They help you learn to think in the language by offering native speech along with images and events, just the way you’d learn if you born into the region.  They cleverly use voice recognition to analyze your progress, and include a quality headset, with earphones and a microphone, just for that purpose.  In the past few years, computer processor speeds and memory size has increased to the point where voice recognition is more reliable.  So, Rosetta Stone “hears” what you’re saying and can correct you.  And by repetition, you’ll eventually speak the language like a native.

We did have an idea of how the software might perform because of our review of Rosetta Stone Hebrew last month, and was highly praised.  So, we were slightly biased before running the software, and it did work out the way we thought.  It’s an excellent program.   Open the box and you’ll find 4 CDs with the program and 3 lessons, a detailed, printed, User Guide, the very important headset so you can interact with the software, and also a quick start 4-page printed card with clear installation instructions and course setup.  If you need help later, they offer an excellent Help feature while you’re learning.  Also, a Help icon is on the top of each page so you an get specific help for that screen.  And more help is available online if you need it.
Japanese is not an easy language to learn, because it consists of symbols, called Kanji, and letters, and lots of rules you need to know to get it right.  It’s not like learning French or Spanish, especially when your native language is English using the same familiar letters. Japanese uses a combination of symbols and letters, which makes it so much more difficult.

My 16-year-old daughter, Sarah, who is studying Japanese in High School, has been using Rosetta Stone Japanese for the past two months and it seems to be helping.  Here’s what she has to say:

“Rosetta Stone Japanese is very similar to its Hebrew counterpart. The
native speakers were a definite plus, and the option to display the
kanji was my favorite feature. The only downside is the interface,
which is a little slow on my 3-year-old computer. Regardless, I'd highly
recommend this software to anyone learning another language."

So, you can’t go wrong using any of the Rosetta Stone language products, especially for the more difficult languages.  We highly recommend their products.

Rosetta Stone Japanese Personal Edition Level 1, 2 & 3 sells for a street price of $449.10 with a no risk 100% money back guarantee for six months.   It will run on any multimedia PC, 1 GHz or faster processor, 512 MB RAM with Windows 2000/XP/Vista, 600 MB of disk space and a CD-ROM drive.  It will also run on an Apple Macintosh, operating system 10.3.9 or later.  For more information, or to order, visit

new versions available:

Rosetta Stone V3: Spanish (Latin America), Level 1, 2 & 3
Rosetta Stone V3: Chinese Level 1, 2 & 3
Rosetta Stone V3: German, Level 1, 2 & 3
Rosetta Stone V3: French, Level 1, 2 & 3
Rosetta Stone V3: English (U.S.), Level 1, 2 & 3
Rosetta Stone V3: Italian, Level 1, 2 & 3
Rosetta Stone V3: Arabic, Level 1, 2 & 3
Rosetta Stone Hebrew Personal Edition Level 1,2 & 3
Rosetta Stone V3: Portuguese, Level 1, 2 & 3
Rosetta Stone V3: Spanish (Spain), Level 1, 2 & 3
Rosetta Stone V3: Russian, Level 1, 2 & 3
Rosetta Stone V3: Japanese Level 1, 2 & 3

My Piano from eMedia Music Corporation

By Becky Berenbon

In February 2008 I reviewed My Guitar from eMedia Music Corporation, and this month I had a chance to review My Piano, another music instruction program from eMedia.

After a quick installation, I was immediately greeted by Pam the Piano, a cheery animated piano. She was there to guide me throughout the program with tips and instructions. The interface was easy enough for a child to navigate, especially with Pam's help.

First, the program gave some insight on the different kinds of pianos. Then, basics like positions and finger numbers were taught. Also, it gave lessons on reading music, including notes, rests, and rhythms. It then teaches the names of the keys, with many games along the way.  Soon enough, I was playing simple songs. By sprinkling in fun songs, the program can keep a child's interest. As the course went on, harder concepts were introduced, like time signatures, tempos, ties, and shorter notes.

Near the end of the course, young musicians are even taught to play songs with a both melody and harmony (two hands).

My Piano has an audio recorder so you can record and listen to what you play. Also, the built-in metronome helps keep your rhythm steady.  One of the neatest features of this software is its ability to connect to a MIDI piano. Once it's connected, the program can inform the student of what mistakes he or she made.

My Piano from eMedia is available for $29.95 for the PC or Mac.  For more information, or to order, visit

Program Requirements

Pentium II PC
Windows 98/2000/NT/Me/XP/Vista
64 MB of free RAM, CD-ROM
CD-ROM drive, sound card, 256+ color display
speakers or headphones

Power PC G3 or better (Intel OK)
Mac OS X 10.1+
64 MB of free RAM, CD-ROM
CD-ROM drive, 256+ color display
speakers or headphones

Software Companies Mentioned

Rosetta Stone
Harrisonburg, VA
Phone: 1-800-788-0822

eMedia Music Corporation
664 NE Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98105
Phone: 206-329-5657