As I’ve spoken about in a previous post, Memrise is an excellent resource for learning languages or just about anything else. I’ve been using Memrise almost every day for the past two-and-a-half years, and have taken courses in everything from history to biology and the Bible. I’m writing this as an introduction.


First of all, Memrise offers two kinds of memberships, free and paid. I’ve been using the free membership. However, the paid membership offers various options ranging from $9 per month to $59 per year. The paid option offers things like taking note of which words you’re having the most trouble with, and giving you extra practice with them. The paid option also gives you graphs that record your learning. 


The learning materials are organized into levels, and each level can have anywhere between 1 and 1000 items. Memrise courses come in many lengths. There are courses with as few as 25 items and some of the largest have 60,000. However, one of the few disadvantages to Memrise is that there are many courses on there which look interesting, but the authors seem to have abandoned the project after only putting a few items on them.


Once you start a learning session, you’re shown five of the items. Then you’re quizzed on each of the items six times. If you answer any of the items incorrectly, you’ll be quizzed on it again a couple more times during the learning session. Also, the question will be marked as only partly-learned and will be included in the next learning session. However, the ones which you got right all six times will be placed in line for review. The reviews are based on spaced repetition, and you’ll be quizzed on them again after 12 hours, then 1 day, then 3 days, then 6 days, 12 days, 24 days, 48 days, 96 days, and finally 180 days. Once you reach 180 days, you’ll be quizzed on it every six months afterwards.


One of the best things about Memrise is that you can make your own courses. As I described in my posts about word frequency lists  and sentence mining , I collect a lot of my own language materials from various places online. This kills two birds with one stone. I can both learn more about a lot of subjects that interest me while improving my language skills by looking up those subjects in the target language. This is a huge advantage over pre-made language courses, in which you’re often forced to work through material on subjects that bore you.


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