My command of French has been in long-term decline since I graduated from elementary school and left the immersion program – with upticks in facility corresponding to some university courses and the Summer Language Bursary Program. Now, I am considering options to get back in stride a bit. I considered taking courses at Oxford, but lacked the time, money, and immediate reason for doing so.
One possibility I am considering is Rosetta Stone: interactive language software used by a number of branches of the American government and military. Buying the software is quite expensive but, due to an odd quirk, you can get access for $30 a year by getting a library card in Chattanooga. Has anyone used this software? I have seen mixed reviews, and am not sure if it is the best choice to resurrect my lumbering zombie French. I hear that the software is quite engaging, but also that it lacks cultural sensitivity and sometimes teaches words that are technically correct but rare in popular usage. Also, it is presumably focused on Parisian French rather than the Quebecois variety – though I might be forgiven for seeing the appeal of the former type of pronounciation, if only because it might be more easily understood when visiting other French-speaking parts of the world.
Other ideas would be appreciated. I really dislike listening to the radio, so French language news is largely out as a refresher possibility.