I am in reviewing mode this week, so today you can read my Memrise review. And how it enabled me to learn 2000 Romanian words in one month, spending only 5 to 10 minutes daily and without paying one cent. But let’s start at the beginning!
Memrise review: What is Memrise?
Memrise is an online learning platform. You can either learn by using their website or by installing their app. As of today, they support Android and iOS. They use a freemium model, meaning you can use them for free or decide to buy a membership opening a few more options for you. As a paying member, you can see more statistics about your learning behavior, for example.
Like other online learning offers, they have a wide variety of courses to pick from. The topics range from languages over history and geography to professional and career. As I haven’t really used anything but the language courses, my Memrise review will focus on those.
Memrise review: What is special about Memrise?
So far, it doesn’t sound mindblowing, right? I know. And to be honest, I would’ve probably stayed with Duolingo if not for two very important factors.
1. Course variety:
Memrise enables users to make their own courses. This can be a disadvantage, as obviously the quality control is not the same as with a curated language course. For me, it was a huge advantage though, because I had decided to learn Romanian. And guess what, at that time that course had been in development on Duolingo for YEARS. The estimated release date was another few years down the line. So clearly I needed an alternative. And there was Memrise, with hundreds of Romanian courses to pick from.
2. learning efficiency through science
(Yes, I mean efficiency, not effectiveness. Even though it’s also effective, of course. Efficiency = doing something without wasting anything, like TIME. Effectiveness = good at achieving results. Rambling over.)
Memrise prides itself on having a very clever learning algorithm. Do you remember learning for a test in school? Repeating everything a hundred times, until you knew everything? Well, that can be effective. But it is not efficient. And Memrise has a really cool solution for that.
When you start learning vocabulary, the algorithm will remember how well you do with every single word. And depending on that it will make you repeat that word sooner or later. This means not wasting any time on words that you already know very well. Instead, you focus on the ones where you’re still struggling.
Naturally, this was a HUGE selling point for me. I love learning and I love efficiency. This way you can combine both!
Memrise review: Learning 2000 words in 1 month
Coming back to the title of this post. Yes, I really learned 2000 Romanian words in one month. And it only took me 5 to 10 minutes a day. Although I have to admit, that I played more with the app on weekends. Because it was so much fun! But the goal of 2000 words would have been reached without that, too.
In case you are wondering, 2000 words in any language mean to have a pretty good basic vocabulary. So if you have been planning on getting to know a new language for a while now, listen up. (Read up? Does that work?) I will tell you how exactly I made it happen and how you can, too!
Steps to Memrise success
1. Install the app. While learning on the website works totally fine, I just don’t carry my laptop around all the time. And for making it easy for yourself to keep learning, you just want to have the material with you.
2. I made “reviewing” part of my morning routine. Just the words that Memrise showed me as “ready to review”. That doesn’t have to mean taking extra time out of your morning for learning. Use the idle time you already have. Waiting for public transport? Time to review vocabulary. Bathroom time? Learn a few words! (Come on, you have your phone with you anyways, admit it!)
3. Make sure to get a balanced mix of reviewing and learning new words. If you haven’t used Memrise yet, this might sound confusing. What I mean is this: the app will prompt you to review words regularly. Depending on your setting you will get a notification. For learning new words, that doesn’t directly happen. You will need to open the app without a reminder and learn a little. At least if you want to achieve a certain number of words.
4. Keep at it for a month. As usual, consistency is important. As a result, it will be easier to remember the words. Plus, you know what they say about habits. Doesn’t take an active effort to keep them. Still, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. Unless you miss a whole week, your goal will still be absolutely doable.
Memrise review: Conclusion
And that’s it! You are well on your way to learning a new language! By now, I also refreshed my French with Memrise and even tried Arabic. (Unfortunately, I wasn’t very consistent with that one. The different characters threw me off my game.) Consequently, I will keep recommending Memrise to everyone who asks me about language learning. Compared to the tools I have used before, this has been by far the easiest and most enjoyable way to learn new vocabulary. And I haven’t even told you about the Mems! I guess you will have to find out all by yourself…
So tell me, are you gonna try it?