Here at Rosetta Stone, we’re pleased to announce the release of Version 3, Level 1 of Pashto, Dari, Urdu, Swahili, and Bahasa Indonesia for the consumer marketplace. Until recently, these languages had only been available in a version specifically created for our partners in the military. As Lorna Selley, our director of learner success, mentioned in her post on the creation of these languages, there were many challenges—but many more rewards—experienced during production. The close interaction between our external language experts and our in-house pedagogical experts educated all of us about each other’s cultural traditions and social norms. By building on this base of understanding and communication, we were able to carefully craft a thoughtful and engaging learner experience. This multinational effort is not unusual here at Rosetta Stone; in fact, it’s the norm for language-production efforts. It’s the Rosetta Stone way.
With the emergence of social media platforms, like Twitter, as international coordination tools, many professionals (historians, journalists, and commodities traders, to name a few) and casual observers are finding that if they want to be “in the know,” they need to understand multiple languages. I’m thrilled that Rosetta Stone enables people to get to know their neighbors, whether they be in Paramus, New Jersey, or Mazār-i-Sharīf, Afghanistan.
Personally, I’m excited about the opportunities that the release of these languages offers to the civil society and NGO groups working in Afghanistan, Pakistan, East Africa, and Indonesia. With the emergence of social media as an outlet for an engaged civil society in North Africa and the Middle East in the past few years, establishing casual interactions between people in the global north and south has become increasingly important in building credibility across national borders.
Creating language products that provide a fast and fun way to learn these languages is a real privilege, and knowing that they help people communicate and connect makes the effort more than worthwhile.