December 22, 2013 | Review Period

Memorize with Memrise!

I am probably one of hundreds of people to have come up with that headline for this product, but it is apt.

I have secretly been working on my Arabic. It is not on my official schedule, but I gave an informal talk a few weeks ago about my experiences studying Hebrew and Arabic, and to prepare I did a little studying, and then I got rehooked. 

One of Multiple Drill Types with Memrise

One of Multiple Drill Types with Memrise

Arabic was my second language in this project. I spent just two months on it in 2009. The writing system never really got beaten into my head properly, but two days ago I discovered Memrise. First impression: it is amazing, and I can’t stop using it, even though I really need to do some laundry and unpack from a trip to Boston earlier this week.

Memrise has lots of languages. I don’t know whether I personally would use it for a language with a Latin-based alphabet (maybe not), but it has intensive, varied drills for Arabic that are giving me reading and writing skills at a blistering pace compared to what I have experienced through other methods. The site claims to be based on scientific principles of memorization, and from these initial experiences, I believe it. In that sense it is Pimsleur-like: you learn, you are reminded, you are reminded again, and things gradually become a part of you.

If you are studying a language with an unfamiliar writing system—Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Hebrew, Hindi, etc.—check it out. I would love to know what you think. I am only 48 hours into my experiences, so I still have much to figure out about Memrise’s features.

By the way, I switched from the website to an app version and am currently using it on my iPad. I prefer the website in some ways, but no more clicking!

I neglected to mention a critical point: this is FREE!

Comments (5)

Shannon K • Posted on Fri, December 27, 2013 - 12:27 pm EST

I’m definitely going to check out Memrise. After reading this and your comments about it in the Polyglots group on Facebook, I’ve decided to give it a try. That and the fact that I’ve enjoyed most of your recommendations thus far. I wish you were studying Croatian - I could use a few resource recommendations! ;)

Shannon K • Posted on Mon, December 30, 2013 - 4:11 pm EST

I am now officially addicted to Memrise.

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Mon, December 30, 2013 - 4:19 pm EST

Me, too. I am in withdrawal right now because I have to go do something else this afternoon.

Katherine • Posted on Thu, January 09, 2014 - 10:28 pm EST

This looks cool!! Glad to hear your recommendation for it,  it looks fun, and I tend to think that anything fun looking cannot be useful for learning!!

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Thu, January 09, 2014 - 10:48 pm EST

I hopped off Memrise to post your comment, Katherine! Don’t worry, there is still some frustration and suffering involved in this product. I am going back now to do battle with Arabic nouns and verbs and adjectives.

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