Memrise is an extremely popular education app. The language-learning app is available online and on mobile. In this article, we’re giving our Memrise app review so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you to use to reach your language goals.
There are many different ways to learn a language – and you’ll learn quickly that some ways are better than others. One piece of advice that you will constantly hear is how important it is to practise the language every day. With the advent of the internet, this became a pretty easy task. You can read, listen or even talk to people in the language you want to learn on a range of websites.
But even easier than that, is the ability to practise through an app. However, with a whole bunch of language-learning apps out there, how do you know what one to choose from? Keep reading on for our review of Memrise, where we are going to delve into the features, how-tos and the pros and cons of the Memrise app.
Memrise app review – can you learn a language?
Off the bat, the Memrise app will not make you fluent in a language alone, but there is no single language-learning app that will. Learning a language requires learning from as many different sources as possible. But apps are definitely a good place to start. So, let’s explore the Memrise app.
Upon creating an account with Memrise, you’ll choose whether to go to the beginner or intermediate course of your chosen language. They do offer advanced courses, but you can only get into those once you move away from the initial set-up of the app.
The Memrise app definitely seems to be geared towards beginners. I used the Memrise app to learn beginner German and intermediate Italian. The app was definitely more effective for the beginner course.
The grammar explanations were a good point for the intermediate course, but not quite enough to really teach me anything I didn’t already know. The primary feature is the ‘drilling’ learning method. But I must say that Memrise has really perfected this. But once you’re already proficient in a language, the drilling technique isn’t really necessary anymore.
Features of the Memrise App
Firstly, you don’t need to pay for the Memrise app, although there is the option to go for a paid version.
The app is more than just a flashcard app, which, to be honest, was kind of what I was expecting. It’s a lot more interactive than that and offers quizzes and asks questions to help you learn your chosen subject.
Memrise offers 21 languages, which is more than Babbel offers, which offers 14, but less than competitor Duolingo which offers 31 languages.
Once you sign up for a language, you’ll be guided through the course. You’ll start off with the basic vocabulary and slowly build your way up to more advanced lessons. So nothing too different, but a good structure.
The beginner vocabulary lessons show short clips of natives saying the words and phrases, which is a nice touch when comparing to the audio-only vocabulary lessons provided on other language-learning apps.
A good feature of that app is the ability to skip lessons and move between levels. This is something that isn’t available on the free version of Duolingo.
Memrise will automatically choose an activity for you today, so it may be learning new content or doing a review, but you can choose whichever exercise you like.
Once you’ve enrolled in your first course, you can sign up for as many more as you would like. If you go to ‘Courses’ > ‘Learn Another Course’ > choose your language > then choose which course you would like to learn, it seems that most languages offer seven levels for you to choose from.
The free version of the app is an excellent tool to help learn vocabulary, drill pronunciation, to learn basic sentences and structures. So it’s definitely more useful if you’re a beginner trying to build the foundation of a language. But it could also be useful if you’re returning to the language after some time without regular practice.
With the paid version of the app, you get chatbots to help you learn by conversing, videos of native speakers of your chosen language, adaptive technology (meaning the app changes how it teaches you based on your performance), and some statistics that show when and how much you studied.
Memrise gives the choice of three payment plans, monthly, annual or lifetime.
One of the more unusual features of Memrise is that it offers user-created content as well as official Memrise content. While it may seem like a good idea, it just means that the quality of the content varies a lot. It also really feels like they favour quantity over quality within the app, which makes it more difficult to navigate and find what you’re after.
To be honest, I think that if you’re really serious about your learning, I think that there are some better options out there for you.
Pros and cons of the Memrise app
- A pro of the Memrise app is that the software is extremely useful for memorisation. Repetition-based learning techniques are really effective and are a great tool for beginners.
- Secondly, the range of content on Memrise is really impressive, even on the free version. You can choose from 21 languages to learn which is pretty good. There is also no limit to how many languages you can learn with the free version which is a great feature.
- Lastly, it’s much more interactive than other flashcard based learning apps. The videos in particular are a nice touch, compared with other apps that only provide audio.
- One of the cons of the Memrise app is that is a little harder to use than other language-learning apps like Babbel or Duolingo. It definitely feels a little clunkier and it takes a while to get used to it.
- Secondly, the Memrise app is easy to outgrow. Once you’ve gained a foundation of a language, there isn’t really a place to go as an advanced learner that will be very beneficial to you.
What languages can you learn with Memrise?
You can choose to learn French, Spanish (Spain and Mexico), German, Italian, Arabic, Turkish, Albanian, Korean, Russian, Swedish, Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil), Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Icelandic, Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian and Slovenian.
Can you download the app for Android and iOS?
Yes, Memrise has been available on Android and iOS since 2013, and there is also a browser version.
What’s the difference between the free and the paid version of Memrise?
There really doesn’t seem to be a huge difference between the free and the paid version of the app. You’re quite restricted with the free version of the app, in that you need to work through the levels to move on. Whereas the paid version offers a more customisable learning experience. It also offers the ability to learn from locals, and it also promised that you’ll learn as fast as possible. The paid version also allows you to download the courses so that you can learn online.
To round up, I had a good experience doing the beginner German course on Memrise and I would definitely use it again and recommend others to use this app if you’re just starting to learn a language.
However, if you wanted to build upon existing knowledge or wanted to refresh a language, I would recommend going for a more flexible and customisable language-learning app like Babbel. Although you do need to pay for it, it’s definitely worth it in my opinion if you’re serious about learning and perfecting your foreign language skills. For more app reviews, check out our blog reviewing apps on a range of topics.