Rosetta Stone, Semantics, and the Dark Unknown

Dominic Balbed is a first year student at Georgia State University studying applied linguistics.

Learning more about the vast universe of languages is important to me for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, language is fascinating, and the exploration of this unknown world drives me toward not just discovery and knowledge, but enlightenment; enlightenment about the human condition. Everything we humans do is driven and determined by language, by interaction and communication.

Being able to communicate with someone who speaks a foreign tongue is rewarding and gratifying, but more importantly, it opens a window into a different world of different cultures and perspectives. This to me is the most amazing thing about life and living with other people. Immersing yourself in a new world is like visiting an extra-terrestrial planet, or diving to the bottom of the ocean, into the dark unknown. I love learning with Rosetta Stone because I feel truly immersed in a new world when I’m using it, and I know that when I actually go out and explore these new worlds for myself, I’ll be ready.

Rosetta Stone gets it. Learning language is not about memorization or tedious worksheets and tables. There’s so much more to language than that. Rosetta Stone develops a core principal of the language learning experience; semantics. To truly discover a foreign language, the brain must assign meaning and feeling behind words and pronunciations. Words are not just scribbling’s on a sheet of paper; they are ideas; they are perspectives. To truly capture the essence of a language, one must explore all its aspects, not just the dogmatic, narrow view of some prescriptive linguists. Language is always in flux, and is constantly changing the world, therefor we too must be willing, ready, and able to change and adapt.

Rosetta Stone offers the most complete, dynamic approach to tackling a foreign language, other than living in the foreign country itself. The program encourages critical thinking in the language of choice and promotes the inception of novel sentences, unique thoughts, and innovative problem solving that is exclusive within any given foreign language and essential to the true development of semantics in that language. Languages are what determine our reality, and this very real, very exciting network of people all starting to connect with each other through the internet and high speed travel, opens many doors in the job field.

Being able to communicate with people of other cultures and languages makes you more than just American, or Chinese, or Russian; it makes you a true child of Earth herself. Personally, in the long run, I plan to use my language skills to travel the world, maybe work as a teacher in countries across the globe, or translate encoded messages for the CIA. The possibilities are vast and encompassing. However, in the short run, I can use my skills to get exciting internships, excel in my school work for classes where languages are subtly embedded, like math with Greek characters like lamba and sigma assigned to different number or function values, or classes where language is the primary subject, like my Spanish or English classes. Let’s not even mention the extra money employers are willing to offer to people with language experience.

Dominic says, "Words are not just scribbling’s on a sheet of paper; they are ideas; they are perspectives."

Dominic says, “Words are not just scribbling’s on a sheet of paper; they are ideas; they are perspectives.”

Whatever the future holds in store for humanity, one thing is certain; language will shape and define our world, and will continue to light our way into the great unknown.

-Dominic Balbed,

Marietta, Georgia

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