What is Memrise ?
Memrise is the language learning app that’ll take you from “learning a language” to “using it in real life” fast! Our unique talk-first approach will get you speaking the language authentically from day one. Hear the phrases spoken through thousands of videos of native speakers.
Our smart algorithms will know your learning levels and will keep you challenged. Take control of your learning journey and choose the phrases that are most important to you. Why be forced to sit through hours of grammar when what really excites you are phrases that’ll help you with your travels?
- All lessons unlocked
- Full access to every language
- 30,000 video clips of native speakers
- Remove all ads
Languages offered by Memrise
- Memrise features an immense option for learners.
- From popular foreign languages like French and Arabic to rarely taught tongues like Polish and Mongolian to some challenging languages, such as Cantonese and Persian, you have all the choices at your fingertips.
- You can also learn Spanish dialects, for example, Mexican or the one from Spain, or learn Russian Cyrillic or one of the artificial and sign languages.
- If we merge official and community-driven courses, it will be more than 200 language courses in dozens of different tongues.
- Memrise offers lessons in Bahasa, Dutch, English, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Finnish, Japanese, Turkish, Vietnamese, and Nordic languages, among many others.
- The list is endless, and many are in development, too. Whatever you need, the chances are you will find one on Memrise.
Types of activities
- When you start a program on Memrise, you get introduced to new words: their spelling, definition, pronunciation, and/or translation into your native language.
- The practice of new vocabulary includes the following types of exercises: match the word to the correct translation and interpretation or vice versa; spell the words (you can use the keyboard or a smaller set of letters provided by the app); match the terms to the correct pronunciation.
- There is an activity for learning new vocabulary and revising what you’ve acquired.
- Memrise uses spaced repetition for language learning through daily lessons and quizzes. It means that the app regularly brings words up for revision.
- If you keep making mistakes on a word or phrase, it will keep coming up for revision again and again.
- But if you make it all correct, you will see it less often. It allows you to concentrate more on the trickier words.
- Other activities include speed review, challenging words, pronunciation practice, listening skills through audio and video, learning with the locals, voice-enabled speaking practice, and grammar.
- Apart from the speed review, these are available in the paid version. Not all the activities are available on all courses.
- You can choose how many words you want to learn or revise in one go.
- It tracks your progress and gathers some learning statistics (although most are only available in the pro version). You can also set daily goals and reminders to track your progress.
Pros and cons of Memrise
Like any language learning resource or method, Memrise as a language app has advantages and disadvantages.
The free version offers everything
- Many apps are free to download but have a paid subscription and a limited free version, which is more like a trial version.
- On the other hand, the free version of the Memrise is not too limited: you get full access to all the courses, just not all the activities.
- You can only do the first few exercises in a course and need to pay to go on.
- If it is flash-card software, only a couple of initial sets of cards are available for free.
- With Memrise, you can explore everything as a free member.
It uses a spaced repetition system
- The strength of Memrise lies in two things: Spaced repetition system and mnemonics. It enables you to memorize language material more effectively.
- That is how our brains work: we must repeat words a few times before remembering them well. Memrise provides it.
- It helps you focus more on the complicated words that need more repetition and move the terms you have learned well ‘out of the way.’
- It relies on plenty of activities that encourage connecting words with their meaning through associations.
Plenty of programs, languages, levels
- Although Memrise is generally vocabulary-focused, it still has a lot to offer. This app allows you to learn several languages concurrently for different levels and on diverse topics.
- The interface is appealing, and the program is also a game-based system that makes learning enjoyable.
- You can move from beginner to intermediate to advanced without changing to another app.
- You can find courses on specific subjects that may interest you, like travel or business vocabulary.
Quality of user-created content varies a lot
- Memrise offers courses curated by the staff. But also, any user can create their own program. And that results in too much content – you can quickly lose yourself in the sea of courses.
- While it creates a welcome variety, these lessons differ in quality, sometimes a lot. There is no authenticity or quality check.
- While it depends on the language, the audio quality of the words’ pronunciation can vary with strange voices, which can be unclear for many.
- Some can have brilliant examples and detailed explanations, while others have barely anything – and even, occasionally, mistakes.
- Plus, it covers only a small language section and leaves a lot to be desired.
The exercises can get repetitive
- For any course, word or phrase, the exercises are the same (see ‘Types of activities’ for more detail).
- They expand it a little in the premium version. But anyway, after a few repetitions, it may get boring and annoying.
- It is one area Memrise failed to improve. You will get exhausted by doing the same thing again and again.
- Despite being a big team, they didn’t care to optimize their lessons. And that is the one reason I had to quit midway.
Memrise is only vocabulary focused
- As mentioned above, it is not necessarily a con if you all need to brush up on some vocabulary.
- But it is worth mentioning that the Memrise format is not suitable for much else.
- You can find the courses with ‘grammar’ in their title. But it is not proper grammar training – just the same flash cards, but with grammatical constructions instead of vocabulary.
- There is also no speaking or listening and seldom any reading and writing.