My Nine Year Old Son Was Able to Converse with A Couple from Sweden

My nine year old son became interested in the country of Sweden and wanted to purchase the Rosetta Stone Program he saw on a TV commercial. He saved enough money to purchase Level 1 (Swedish) and finished this level in two months.

swedish this is my sonOn a recent family vacation to the east coast, we met a couple visiting from Sweden. My son begged me to introduce him to the Swedish couple so he could practice his newly learned Swedish language skills. My husband and I watched our nine year old son engage in an entry level conversation with this couple. He was able to express himself and comprehend the Swedish language from the couple. The couple was very pleased, of course, and my son was beaming with pride.

After returning from our vacation, my son requested levels 2 & 3 of the Rosetta Stone Swedish program. We bought these levels immediately and promised him a vacation to Sweden next summer if he completed the program and increased his conversational skills. As a parent, I am thrilled to see my son learning a foreign language at such a rapid pace. I think the Rosetta Stone Program increased his motivation and interest because he was able to apply his new skills with only two months of using the Level 1!


Cypress, Texas

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  • Kendall Linn

    This is so incredible! And so encouraging. And how great is it that you end up meeting someone from Sweden? It just goes to show what can be done with determination, desire and the right tools!

  • Isaac

    Wow. Talk about a great kid.
    Perhaps we should all use Rosetta Stone in our schools, and encourage students to pick a country and language they like to study, and we can all learn about other people living here on Spaceship Earth too.
    Good for him! 😀

  • Tmp

    That is wonderful!!! I’m excited to buy Rosetta Stone now!! I can’t even imagine how thrilling it must have been for him and it’s such a compliment to that couple that he engaged. What a wonderful experience!!

  • Erik

    wow. how amazing this inspirational story about Rosetta Stone and its success is being published on–guess what: ROSETTA STONE’S WEBSITE.


    • Rosetta Stone

      Hi Erik, this was a review written about our product. We didn’t write it. Members of our community submit their own experiences through this link:

  • johnb3950

    It’s sadly so typical that Americans think the youngster’s early basic grasp of another language was “incredible.” The early years are actually the best time to learn. Growing up in Scotland I had basic French around that age and no-one thought it was anything special. My early-teens granddaughter in London has been doing Russian and Mandarin at school for a few years now.

    Wake up, USA! Join the world. Incidentally, while I am sure Rosetta Stone is an effective teaching tool, there are others out there that work in much the same way and cost much less (perhaps because they don’t spend such huge amounts on advertising/marketing.) . IS this blog run by the R S makers? – looks like it

    • Rosetta Stone

      Hi John, this is the Rosetta Stone corporate blog–we didn’t mean to trick you. In our articles, we hope to explain our methodology, explore breakthroughs in linguistics, hear the stories from our users, and explore endangered language research.

      You say that the US should, “join the world.” In our eyes, that’s exactly what this small boy is trying to do. His mother was inspired to post this story–not because her child was the first to learn a new language–but because the experience felt meaningful to her.

  • Mary

    Swedish is a beautiful language. I worked at our Embassy in Stockholm and enjoyed every moment. Be sure to vacation during Summer when the night stays light throughout. Stockholm is built on five islands so the air is sparkling clear. The Smorgasbord food is delicious and the music is lively.
    An important phrase is Tack Tack, Tack so mycket (Thank You, Thank you so much).
    Hurrah for Rosetta Stone which my traveling daughter also finds helpful and effective.

    • Rosetta Stone

      Thanks for your kind words and travel advice, Mary!

  • Bob

    What a great idea. RS has been soooo successful, why not use it in the schools. But no, the teacher unions would be opposed. They might have to retrain one of there members. The defined word success is not in the unions volcabulary.

  • trent french

    sounds a bit sketchy on details.

    speaking so-called ”entry-level swedish” would include being able to ask ‘how are you’, or say ‘my name is ____”.

    that does not take a whole lot of effort or a special program and its not really amazing in any way, although to a parent, their 9 year old child doing anything they cant do is going to be portrayed as a wunderkind.

    Sounds mostly like the kid used a couple of prepackaged introductions or prepared phrases, and knew the meaning of the three or four word responses that one would expect from the prepared phrase that he learned.

    It pretty inaccurate at a minimum to describe that type of exchange as a miraculous fluency, since the child does not seem to have any ability to really converse.

  • Mike

    It would be pretty difficult to find a couple in Sweden that he couldn’t converse with, since almost everyone over there speaks English!

  • JCON


  • michael sanchez

    does Rosetta stone have anything in Chichewa?

  • stevia

    I think it’s fantastic that lesa’s son wanted to learn a new language. I, too, am learning Swedish and have to say that it is not easy at first but the immersion is a great way to learn. Some may think it’s “pre-packaged” phrases but they are sadly mistaken. Sure the level 1 is saying easier sentences and words but isn’t that how any language is learned? ! got all three levels at once but have spend a longer time on each level to make sure I understand the grammar element (verb before pronouns in some cases) and not just focus on vocabulary words which is pretty important. At one point it becomes pretty obvious that it all starts coming together and making perfect sense! So to him I say: ‘Ha det så bra!’ = ‘Have a good time!’

  • Chicky23

    Hey! Maybe we should use these in schools, especially in high school to teach ENGLISH….because…have you ever listened to the kids talk today? They have NO GRAMMAR SKILLS!! Why they pass these kids from grammar school past 4th grade is beyond my understanding. Those who pass them, should be fired…’s disgusting. They can’t spell, they can’t speak proper English….they can’t punctuate correctly….and these are college kids too! It’s disgusting.

  • Mark

    Why waste time to learn swedish, because it is mostly useless language just like other Skandinavian languages.

  • Kelley

    LOVED this, Lesa!
    Your neighbor (almost),
    Kelley from Tomball, Texas 🙂

  • Lady Tinker Wolf

    I’m learning Swedish, too, because I have family members who speak it. As a native Finnish speaker, I should already know it, but I don’t and it’s a shame.

    Now… in response to John, who says that it’s nothing special for your son to be picking up Swedish – I think he misunderstood the point of your story.

    Now, if there is one thing I’ve learnt in all of my travels across the globe, it’s that people are generally the same everywhere. Everyone loves, hates, admires, hopes, worries, panics, relaxes, stresses, etc.

    Living in Europe, I have found that Europeans really aren’t that much different than Americans. The cultures are mostly the same, with some differences. There are stupid people in Europe just as in America. There are people in Europe who are ignorant of the politics of their own country and/or neighbouring nations just like in America. There are people who pig out on fast food in Europe, too. There are artsy intellectuals in America. You get my point, I’m sure.

    So, to the point:

    American teens complain about learning a second (or third) language in school. I’ve heard friends bitch about Latin and Japanese and German and French. In Europe, it’s the same way. A lot of my friends don’t care about English. In my country, Finland, a lot of my classmates didn’t want to learn Swedish or Russian. But they did anyway. Because they had to to graduate from their schools.

    This happens all around the world. Why? Because learning a language takes work. Effort. Time. And youth all around the world like to be lazy. Even the smart ones.

    The fact that this nine year old picked up Swedish, even at a basic level, isn’t wholly remarkable. I started speaking English when I was 11 and, already, I’ve accumulated better grammar skills than a lot of people raised speaking it. But the point is… this kid WANTED to learn Swedish. He wasn’t forced to do it through school. It was a desire of his. And through that desire, Rosetta Stone made the language learning process fun and exciting! It’s not like my friends (or myself) who have sat in long, boring classes, discussing diacritics and aspirations and conjugations, etc.

    Most people learn a language through necessity (enforced in school, for business, to get a neighbour to cut down that tree that looks like it’s going to fall over into your yard…). Not many people actually learn a language (and study it) for fun, even if they have the desire. The fact that a nine-year-old boy wants to work at learning another language is quite cool, indeed. And that sort of behaviour should be encouraged, in all ages, in all cultures.

    Oh, and John… growing up in Scotland and speaking French at a young age is NOT impressive because… all European schools have that. It’s enforced. But if I had picked up Scottish Gaelic at the age of 9, simply for fun, and I had a decent accent and acute grammar, I can tell you a lot of Scots would be surprised. Many of the Scots I met when I was over there were even impressed that I knew anything about the language. And yeah, if I told someone in Romania or Italy that I could speak Chinese… as a blonde haired, fair-skinned Northern girl…eyebrows would certainly be raised.

  • ed

    i talked to a lot of people from sweden and never learned a bit of their language. denmark also….not a problem at all.

  • M

    @ Lady – met a girl from Finland once who couldn’t speak english. I ended speaking to her in norwegian and she spoke in swedish… worked out well.

    @ Mark – becoming fluent in norwegian (standard and multiple dialects) + swedish + danish has given me access to 20 million people and has kept me employed through 2 recessions with a high paying job in the tech industry.

  • Warren Ward

    At least he didn’t learn a dead language like French…

  • Cecilia

    I absolutely loved this story about the boy learning Swedish! More power to him! I have a Swedish Bible I inherited from my Great Aunt Rachel, who was Swedish and I would like to read it. I know a little German, and Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Since I am a teacher, I think there are hundreds of ways to learn another language. I lived in China and taught English, so I had to learn to speak some Mandarin to get around. You really learn a language when you have to communicate, buy things, travel, buy a stamp or a ticket. I live right in the middle of the USA and I hear over 10-12 languages spoken in the schools or in the grocery store. Its amazing! We could use Rosetta Stone in the schools, I think it would be interesting to try it.

    • Rosetta Stone

      Hi Cecilia, you may be interested in learning more about our Education products. Rosetta Stone is already being used in tons of schools in the US and abroad. You might also want to check in with our education page on Facebook:!/RosettaStoneEducation. You’re right, there are definitely many ways to learn a new language! We like Rosetta Stone because it’s efficient and gives a student flexibility, but complete immersion is definitely ideal!

  • Michael rodriguez

    Lady Tinker Wolf, your written English would have me believe it was your first language, had you not mentioned that you are Finnish. I remember speaking with a Norwegian woman online that had similarly advanced English grammar.

  • Dr Dalvi

    I would love to see a Rosetta stone in Kokani.

  • Anonny

    You’re all very silly and easily fooled. Children learn languages at a younger age, VERY FAST, it has nothing to do with rosettastone. :/

  • Aunt Raven

    Most universities have dropped their Classics (Latin & Greek) Departments; however if one starts ones young children (age 5+) in these languages, they will be garanteed a scholarship for Classics at Oxbridge universities, and have job security for life as teachers and historians doing original research on most of European history which until a couple hundred years ago was recorded in Latin. If a people is cut off from reading original texts they are effectively cut off from accessing not only history but culture. Basic Latin and Greek are actually rather easy to learn, and young kids enjoy exploring Ancient Rome and Greece in these languages, We (a home school cultural outreach group in Houston TX ) started a young children’s course in Latin –, later, Greek — and the homeschool kids not only loved it, but when given standardized tests, most scored well ahead of their “age group”. Plus it improved their command of the structure of English, and made learning Spanish a snap. Parents take note: In an age of austerity, any tool, such as “Rosetta stone” will help very young children get an advantage which can gain them a scholarship and superior life job prospects. –RW, retired teacher and homeschool network volunteer

  • yurman2003


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