Make learning easy and fun with the free Memrise App! This review will analyze its pros and cons and show you what it’s all about.
Memrise is a learning tool, mainly used for languages and other academic (and even nonacademic) topics. Their website explains the science behind their methods to help make learning effortless and fun.
But let’s take a quick look at the free Memrise App, available for both Android and iOS.
The free Memrise App
I have only been using the Memrise App for a few weeks, but I feel that I’m already getting good results. The course I’m taking is basic Italian, and I have already learned 74 words!
The concept behind the Memrise App is basically like using flashcards to memorize words. That makes it is easy to use and easy to understand.
It works like this: You get a word with its respective meaning, and a set of cards, or what they call “mems”. Mems are made of pictures and sometimes just sentences that will help you tie in the word or phrase you are trying to learn with a visual. And they can get very silly. VERY silly. In fact, they encourage that, because it makes them more memorable.
Mems can be created by other users. If you have an easier way to remember that word or phrase that you are trying to learn, you can make your own mem.
After memorizing a few words, you’ll get exercises to test your learning. You will be reminded daily to review what you have learned and plant new memories.
The Memrise Garden is a fun way to understand how memories are planted in our brains, and how we have to help them grow. Otherwise, they’ll die! In other words, we’ll forget.
Each word is a new seed. They will be symbolized with a hand planting a seed. The more times we review that same word, the more the plant will grow. Even when it has fully grown and bloomed, reviewing it will keep it alive.
In the following screenshot you can see some of the words I’ve learned on Learn Basic Italian‘s 3rd Level. To the left of each word there is a cute little flower. Some are just starting to grow, while others have already bloomed.
[Since we are talking about the FREE Memrise App, we won’t be talking about the last three modes, which are exclusive for PRO users. You can learn more about the PRO Memberships here.]
The free Memrise App includes two reviewing modes. First, there’s the Classic Review. In this mode, you will get random words you have already learned or memorized, some of which need to be strengthened. On the top right you can see each phrase’s progress with the plant symbol. If you get one wrong, they will show you the mems associated with that word so you can refresh your memory.
The exercises will help with both writing and listening skills.
The second mode is Speed Review. This one is a little bit more difficult. You will get multiple choice exercises, but you have to answer fast, before the red bar on the background reaches the top. If you get one wrong, you’ll lose a heart.
Each time you learn new words and strengthen memories by reviewing them, you earn points. These will determine your Memrise Rank. Also, you can get Badges by achieving goals, like getting a 10 day streak. Tapping on the course you’re on will allow you to see which level you are on, according to how many words you have learned. You can also see the words you’ll learn on each level and the status of the memories you’ve planted, or words you have learned.
Memrise is mainly focused on learning languages, but they also have a lot of other interesting topics to learn about. I can’t talk much about them because I have been concentrating on learning Italian for now, but I checked out an art course and it was pretty much the same concept and learning methods.
[I saw on their site that you can also create your own course for others to take, but I can’t find anything about it on their free app.]
Does the free Memrise App really work?
Although I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely the best way of learning a language, it really does help. Like I said, I have already learned 74 words in just a few weeks, and I can say I actually have memorized them because I didn’t just learn their meaning once and forgot them later. The constant reviewing and the daily reminders have helped a lot. Also, I love that every word or phrase has an audio clip to listen to the correct pronunciation, and the variety of exercises.
However, the free Memrise App does have some cons. First of all, something that has been bothering me is the audio’s volume. It seems like some audio clips are loud and clear and others have very low volume. It doesn’t stop me from using the app, but it is annoying.
Another thing I dislike is some of the mems. Like I said, they encourage them being silly, but sometimes they get too silly or even inappropriate for learning.
The one thing I would definitely ask is to be able to change the main language of the course. Since my first language is Spanish, and Italian is similar to Spanish, it would make it so much easier if I could learn Italian from Spanish, not English. I tried changing the settings to Spanish, but it only changed the language of the app, not the course I’m learning. (If anybody knows if it is possible to change this, please let us know!)
The cons I have found during my few weeks using this app have not been too negative to make me stop using it. Overall I would say it is an easy and fun learning tool, which can be a great complement to other learning tools!
To get this app, click on the Android or iOS buttons below:
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