Memrise Review

Course Review

  • Official content and user-generated content, Flashcard Mnemonics
  • Ideal for absolute beginners and low intermediate level
  • Available on Android, iOS, Web
  • Available languages: English, Korean, Spanish, Japanese, French, German, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Arabic, Dutch, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Turkish.

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Editor Rating

3.7
3.7 rating
6th Place

Ratings

3
3.0 rating
3 out of 5 stars (based on 3 reviews)
Excellent33%
Very good0%
Average0%
Poor67%
Terrible0%

Review

Memrise, was the brainchild of two talented individuals, a neuroscientist who specialised in memory and forgetting and a Grand Master of Memory. Memrise is known for its version of mnemonic flashcards, which they refer to as “mems”.

They launched their first website in 2008, and by 2013 they had apps available for both Android and Apple users. In 2017 it won the Best App at the Google Play awards and was at the top of many Best App awards in Europe for iPhone. Memrise now has over 42 million users in 189 countries.

The website started as a free community-driven language learning platform where users could help each other by creating flashcard decks and other course content.

Memrise upset a lot of their long-term users by creating a free sister website called “Decks”, where they moved all the community-created courses. The curated material was kept on Memrise, but a paywall was added to access extra features.

It is for beginners who need a cheap way to improve their vocabulary in a fun environment. There are 21 official languages and many more user-created courses on Decks. If it is grammar and deeper language learning you are looking for, you will need to source this elsewhere.

Content

As mentioned previously, content access on Memrise has gone through some unpopular changes. With all the official courses now located in Memrise, and the old but popular user-created content on Decks.

This has resulted in a vast database of content which you can utilise to improve your vocabulary. When you create a free account with Memrise, you can go to their official courses, but the access is limited. The Memrise courses are usually better quality than the ones on Decks.

Flashcards

At times, Memrise feels like a simple flashcard app. However, they have managed to create more excitement by adding elements of gamification to keep you motivated. Your learning progress (located in Decks) can show how far you have progressed in the course, your total points, streak (how many times you have used it in a row) and your leader board position.

Mems

Mems are flashcards which have already been created, or you can create yourself if you don’t find any that work for you. On the app, you can easily add your images and any text.

The method is based on creating Mems with an image and text that are funny or unusual and will help jog your memory to remember a word. Memrise also uses spaced repetition, and everything is reviewed frequently to reinforce your learning.

The lessons are structured in different ways, and you have access to most of them on the free version.

Watch Videos Of Native Speakers

This is part of the official Memrise course. You can able to see how they talk as well as listen at the same time. It helps to immerse you more into the language and engages both your audio and visual skills at the same time.

Classic Review

This area is quite scant. But there are some activities that you can do so that you can practice phrases and your vocabulary. However, the developers should be encouraged to add more to this section.

Speed Review

This area is quite scant. But there are some activities that you can do so that you can practice phrases and your vocabulary. However, the developers should be encouraged to add more to this section.

Difficult Words

This area is only available on the paid subscription. When the app notices that you have struggled on words, it classes them as difficult and places them here for you. Also, when you come across difficult words yourself, you have the same option to put them here.

Chatbots & Grammarbots

These two areas are also only available on paid subscription.

Chatbots works like a chat online, and you are can also add emojis as you chat away. The bots can be quite funny when they are chatting, which adds to the fun. The Grammarbots focus primarily on grammar.

Pronunciation

This is a feature that helps check your speech using voice recognition software. Unfortunately, the Pronunciation section is accessible on the mobile app but not the website. This is also a paid subscription feature.

Listening Skills

This section is comprised of different audio activities. However, this feature does not seem to very well developed and the listening aspect is a bit vague as the answers are easy. It does not seem to help your listening skills.

Usability

User Interface

There are a lot of interaction with the flashcards, and growing flowers nicely illustrates this. A seed is classed an unlearned word. When you are planting the seeds, you are learning them. Then they start sprouting, and eventually, they flower. This process is very motivational and visually exciting. Who doesn’t love to grow something?

Also, when you start getting a word correct regularly, you will start seeing it less. This is smart way to increase your memory of the word.

Your learning progress (located in Decks) can show how far you have progressed in the course, your total points, streak (how many times you have used it in a row) and your leader board position.

There have been some negative reports about the search bar being practically useless. Sometimes when you search for something, it will bring up an item completely unrelated. This problem has led people to try the same search on Decks, and they encountered the same problem. It is safe to say they have search issues.

Due to the sheer volume of content, you can sometimes feel a bit lost. In the beginning, it is quite easy to follow, but as you advance, it becomes a lot more complicated.

Overall, Mimrise gives you lots of opportunity to practice all the different skills needed to learn a language, but a differing-levels. The Mems are by far its greatest asset, as it is can give the user an interactive experience and make it fun at the same time. The knowledge that you can increase your basic vocabulary and enjoy doing is a great pull for users.

The downside is that some of the more features are only available on the paid version, but the free version is still a useful tool.

Cost

With regard to the pricing for Memrise, there used to be a bit of confusion and complaints about accessing this information.  This cost confusion appears to have happened when they created the sister website, but things seem to be a bit more organised now.

Free Version

The free version of the Memrise app gives you access to early learning courses and content. But the access you receive on the website is different to the access on the app. Also, new app users have found that there are a few free lessons daily then the paywall comes in quick. There are also a lot of reminders to sign-up for a subscription.

Memrise Subscription

A subscription enables you to access all the mobile features.

  • Monthly €8.99 per month
  • Annual €5 per month. You must pay the full year upfront.
  • Lifetime €109.99 – one-off payment.

There is an option to try it for free for one week to see if you like it before you commit yourself further.

  • You get access to detailed statistics. A heat map that shows your peak studying times.
  • The difficult word section grants you time to practice any words you are struggling on.
  • You also have access to pronunciation sessions.
  • Offline downloads are also activated.
  • Grammarbots and Chatbots

Summary

Memrise has tons of content, both on the app and the sister website Decks. The content on Decks is community-created, so it is sometimes not the best quality. The sheer volume of content can make it feel a bit disorganised as you advance.

The system is based on using mnemonic flashcards. You can use existing ones or create your fun ones called “Mems”. This gamification adds another dimension to learning and makes it enjoyable. However, Memrise should be used alongside another language-learning option, as it does not provide any in-depth grammar explanations.

Stick with the free version as you do not get that much more with the paid ones. But if you want to check how good your pronunciation is and like looking at statistics of your progress, then you may want to consider paying for the subscription. You can also download lessons which is not possible on the free version.

Pros & Cons

Effective use of mnemonics, “Mems”, to increase your vocabularyNot much grammar, more focused on vocabulary
Gamification helps liven things upVery disorganised, no structure or path to follow
A vast amount of content available, curated and community-createdCommunity generated content is not always accurate
Must use sister website “Decks” to access community-generated content
Search function inaccurate
Customer Service very slow

User Reviews

great program

5.0 rating
March 22

this is my favorite language learning app which I greatly enjoy using. the pricing is very competitive and there are also many language available. I’m using it every day!

Richard Smith

worst customer service ever

2.0 rating
February 1

the customer support is the worst I have ever experienced! no reply to questions and if they reply it seems like they did not even read the question so you just get some canned answer. Never again!

George

better to use Anki

2.0 rating
June 13

If you want to learn vocabulary, just use Anki which is superior in every way and also free.

df100

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