Memrise is a language learning app that is the antithesis of traditional textbook instruction: it’s fun and useful. Since its founding in 2010, Memrise has experienced rapid growth, and today, around 60 million individuals in 189 countries use the platform to learn languages in order to improve their lives, connect with others, and understand the world.
Memrise can be good for Vocabulary and phrase learning, useful for travelling
I actually used it to help with my Portuguese
I have been using the memrise app on my phone for nearly a year now, at $59/year, it wasn’t a bank breaker. I walk my dog daily (he’s a great boy that doesn’t need much input from me) so use the app while going around. Please be carful if you do this and be aware of your surroundings.
How it works
Registration is easy and straight forward, but one annoying aspect is that whilst you can use the app for free, it is extremely limited and there is no pricing displayed. This gives the impression that it is completely free, but of course it is not unlike us. However, to have full access to all the features and courses is a very reasonable as follows: yearly subscription costs $59.99 ($5.00 per month), or you can get a lifetime subscription for $119.99.
Language and course selection
You can select from 23 languages in which to interface the app and what language you would like to learn. There are many different courses available ranging from conversational, number learning and grammar to name a few. It can be a little overwhelming at first to which one suits you best, but it’s easy to switch and change. One thing I really liked was the differentiation between Brazilian Portuguese and Portugal Portuguese, many do not offer that, but it’s also a personal benefit!
The Memrise app uses a combination a of flash cards, videos, sentence completion and spelling exercises to embed the language vocabulary. It uses a combination of revision from mistakes and AI to enforce the approach onto the learner. Memrise has also recently released an AI Membot based on ChatGPT which is interesting, but at the time of writing, not fully enabled or available to review.
Some people can be frustrated by the repetitive nature of the app, me included! But repetition is also a very useful way to learn vocabulary, however, there is a way to avoid some of this. Memrise does allow you to “mark this word as known” and will not repeat it. Very useful functionality.
Learn with Locals
“Authentic” or “life listening” is also used (only available in the paid version and Memrise calls it “learn with locals”) where short videos of real people saying sentences are shown, then Memrise will follow-up with comprehension exercises. Spelling, sentence formation and translation options reinforce and embed the actual language used to help the learner.
Only on the phone app version, you can test your pronunciation by speaking into the phone and they will analyse if you said the word or phrase correctly. This can be a useful tool to simply force you to say something as very often this is overlooked, however, I would question how good it really is. I deliberately said things in a way that any native speaker would struggle to understand, but it accepted it.
I would recommend Memrise to help you with your vocabulary and learning basic phrases. Beginners and low levels will appreciate and benefit, whilst higher levels could use it to help reinforce and practice vocabulary. Just be clear about it’s limitations on language learning, if you really want to learn the language, Memise will only give you the basics. The free version is capable, and the pro payed version will not break the bank. Why not give it a try www.memrise.com