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Update to Popular CD-ROM Software for Learning Spanish, French, German and
 Italian Now Includes Speech-Recognition Technology

FREMONT, Calif., July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Learning Company, a subsidiary of SoftKey International Inc. (Nasdaq: SKEY), today launched "Berlitz(R) Think & Talk(TM) 2.0," an update to the popular CD-ROM software for learning Spanish, French, German or Italian. With a focus on building introductory conversation skills, "Think & Talk" is based on the proven Berlitz Method(TM) for learning foreign languages. This complete course immerses users in the foreign language, making learning a language a more natural process. The "Berlitz Think & Talk" CD-ROM for Windows and Macintosh is available now for an estimated retail price of $119.00 with street prices ranging from $95.00 to $105.00. (Think & Talk Italian will be available this Fall.)

Now with speech recognition, "Berlitz Think & Talk" brings sophisticated computer technology to the world-famous Berlitz teaching method. This new feature (available only in the Windows version) allows the software to actually understand and evaluate the users' pronunciation on a sliding scale from tourist to native. A record-and-playback feature enables users to record their voice, play it back and learn from their mistakes. Other improvements in this latest version of "Think & Talk" include an easier-to-use interface, better graphics and new audio, which has dramatically improved the quality of the sound, and has enabled the program to fit on one CD-ROM.

Berlitz Think & Talk features 50 language lessons and 150 real-life situations that help prepare users for conversing in a variety of interactions. As they learn, users develop conversation skills by advancing from listening, understanding and speaking to reading and writing. Material is presented in easy-to-understand segments that enable users to learn a little or a lot at a time. A 10,000-word dictionary is always available to assist with corresponding English words, definitions and pronunciations.

"Berlitz is world-renowned for its outstanding foreign language instruction," commented Diana James-Cairns, vice president of premium product marketing for SoftKey International. "Now this approach comes alive with speech-recognition technology, making the learning process interactive and more comprehensive for the user." Designed for learners from ages 14 and up, "Think & Talk" features lively dialogue, sound effects and graphics to keep the learning process fun, while audio recordings of native speakers enable users to hear correct pronunciations.

The Learning Company's Family of Foreign Language Software

Learning a new language is fun and effective when innovative learning
methodologies are combined with leading-edge technology. As the world leader in foreign language software, The Learning Company offers a complete line of programs for learning Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese and English. The "Learn To Speak"(TM) series is a comprehensive program that develops speaking, comprehension, reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary skills, with instruction in the users' native language. The newly-revised "Berlitz Think & Talk" series, based on the world- renowned Berlitz method of immersion in the target language, develops introductory conversation skills. "Practice Makes Perfect"(TM), which focuses on vocabulary and pronunciation, is a perfect complement to either program.

Pricing and-Availability

Berlitz Think & Talk 2.0 CD-ROM software is available for Windows and Macintosh for the estimated retail price of $119.00.

System Requirements

"Berlitz Think & Talk" requires an IBM or compatible or Macintosh computer with a hard drive, 4 MB of RAM (8 MB recommended), and a double- speed CD-ROM drive. The Windows version requires a 486DX/33 MHz processor or better; SVGA; MS-DOS or PC-DOS 5.0 or higher; Windows 3.1 or higher (including Windows 95); Windows-compatible sound card; and microphone (optional, but recommended). The Macintosh version requires a 68040/25 MHz or better; 256-color monitor (13" or larger); System 7.1 or higher; and a MacRecorder or microphone (optional, but recommended).

Berlitz, the world's premier language services firm, was founded in 1878 and incorporated into Berlitz International, Inc. in 1989. Berlitz is an independent, publicly-held company headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey (NYSE: BTZ). The company operates more than 320 Language Centers in over 30 cities around the world. Berlitz offers instruction and translation services in virtually all living languages, cross-cultural training for those facing international business travel or expatriate assignments and a wide variety of travel and language books, tapes and self-study courses. For more than a century, people from around the world have been coming to Berlitz to learn the languages they need for business, pleasure, travel, as well as to improve their ability to communicate with people of other cultures or nationalities.

The Learning Company is located at 6493 Kaiser Drive, Fremont, Calif., 94555; telephone 800-227-5609 (Customer Service), 800-852-9952 (Technical Support), or 510-792-2101 (Main). The Learning Company's web site is located at

SoftKey International Inc. develops, publishes and markets more than 500 consumer software titles in the education, productivity, reference and lifestyle categories, targeted at home and school users. According to the 1995 PC Data Annual Report, SoftKey is the number one publisher of consumer CD-ROM software by unit sales. SoftKey's products are sold in more than 22,000 stores across 40 countries through multiple distribution channels including retail, direct mail, OEM, school sales and more. The company's product offerings include The Learning System from The Learning Company (including the popular Reader Rabbit family of products) and Learn To Speak(TM) series, and such top-selling titles as Compton's(R) Interactive Encyclopedia, The Oregon Trail(R), the Calendar Creator(TM) family, BodyWorks(R) 5.0, American Heritage(R) Dictionary series, KeyCad(TM) Complete, Mosby's Medical Encyclopedia(TM) and the Platinum(TM) and KeyKids(TM) jewel case lines. SoftKey is headquartered at One Athenaeum Street, Cambridge, Mass. 02142; telephone 617-494-1200, fax 617- 494-1219.

NOTE: All trademarks and registered trademarks are the properties of their respective holders.
 -0- 7/29/96

/CONTACT: Stacy Pena, 510-713-6011, or e-mail,, or John Suske, 617-494-5816, or e-mail,, both of SoftKey International/


CO: The Learning Co.; SoftKey ST: California IN: CPR SU:

GZ-DC -- SFM018 -- 0445 07/29/96 08:05 EDT
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Date:Jul 29, 1996

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