Memrise Review: Gamified Language Learning for Beginners

Mobile Apps

In the age of the Internet, there’s more than just one way to learn languages. You can go the traditional route and sign up for a class with a teacher, classmates, and everything. However, if you prefer to stay at home or learn by yourself, there are always online alternatives just for that. Memrise is one such language learning app that just might help you master another language. Is it good enough to teach you? Let’s find out.

Our Verdict In a Nutshell

Memrise won’t make you fluent in foreign languages, but it will teach you the basic phrases to survive. It helps you memorize commonly used words, terms, and phrases using gamified and interactive techniques through flashcards and short clips. A true language learning app for beginners!


Inside this Article

  1. What Is Memrise?
  2. Memrise Subscription
    1. Memrise Pro
    2. Payment Methods
    3. Free Trial
  3. Memrise Features and How to Use Them
    1. Enrolling in Courses
    2. Content
    3. Company and Community-Made Courses
    4. Progress Tracker
  4. Pros and Cons
  5. Memrise Alternatives
  6. Verdict


What Is Memrise?

Photo by Memrise on App Store

There are all sorts of subjects you need to learn to truly become proficient in another language. Grammar, syntax, and tense are crucial to gaining holistic knowledge. Moreover, memorizing words and phrases is just as important as everything related to sentence construction. All of these are precisely what Memrise is here for.

Sure, the online language learning platform was released back in 2010 — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful today. The app, as it is now, is pretty handy because it provides language learners with real-life examples. Through the various videos of native speakers and conversations, you can immerse yourself in the language you want to learn. It’s not just a simple translation app because it walks you through in process of learning the language.

In addition, Memrise also gives handy written instructions to help you learn in multiple ways. It also incorporates tons of other engaging memorization activities that are sure to help you retain the lessons. Also, you can learn more than one language at a time if you’re extremely ambitious.

With that said, Memrise is a pretty handy little app if you want to build your vocabulary and familiarity. Moreover, because Memrise isn’t limited to language learning, you can learn other subjects on the app as well. Feel free to explore the culture, history, math, and other lessons if you need a break from languages.

For language learners specifically, Memrise offers 23 different languages through its “Courses” page. You can use Memrise for a Chinese review if you want to learn one of the most challenging languages. On the other hand, you can also use Memrise for a Japanese review if you want something slightly less extreme. Regardless, you’ll probably find the language you want within Memrise.

Visit Memrise


Memrise Subscription: Free vs. Pro

Thankfully, you don’t need to pay anything to use Memrise and enhance your foreign vocabulary. All you need to do is to signup for the service and start browsing their free courses.

The free version is pretty good for students who are just starting to learn. They’ll be able to access various free Memrise courses on the site. Most of these free lessons will be enough to simply let you gauge if the app’s teaching method suits you. However, you’ll exhaust these free features and lessons pretty quickly once you advance in a language. When that happens, you might want to unlock the full benefits through the membership. These come in three tiers: Monthly, Annual, or Lifetime.


Memrise Pro

Monthly Plan Annual Plan Lifetime Plan
$8.99 monthly $7.50 monthly / $90 yearly $139.99 one-time payment

If you’re serious about learning languages, then it might be worth considering Memrise Pro. It will give you access to all the app’s features on Memrise-created courses, including features on courses you’re currently taking and those you plan to in the future. Moreover, some of these features are exclusive to the mobile or web version. Hence, you might want to log in on different devices to get the full experience.

In addition, subscribing to Memrise Pro also means you don’t need to buy another subscription to learn another language. It should also give you access to offline learning when there’s no Wi-Fi available, such as on commutes.


Payment Methods

Memrise handles payments through multiple 3rd-party payment solutions. You can use your PayPal, Credit Card, or Debit Card to pay for a subscription if you’d like. However, registering on mobile will also allow you to pay via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.


Free Trial

If you want to try Memrise Pro for free, the app also offers a 14-day free trial for its users. You can sign up on the website or app and see if the Pro version suits you and your needs.


Memrise Features and How to Use Them

What are all the features and lessons you’ll gain access to when you use Memrise? Here are all the main features you can expect and how to use them from the website or app.


Enrolling in Courses

Memrise offers 23 different language courses you can avail of once you open the website. You can enroll in a course under any of these languages and start right away as you’re using the app. However, like other apps, Memrise will ask you for your skill level before you begin.

This will allow the app to gauge your proficiency in a language before it gives you lessons. Complete beginners will, of course, start with all the basics including alphabets, spelling, etc. On the other hand, more advanced students can jump right into grammar and sentence construction, depending on their level.

However, note that Memrise will not allow you to skip lessons once you’ve begun. Why does this matter, you ask? Let’s say you’ve chosen to use Memrise for Spanish but you’re already familiar with the alphabet. If you chose to be a complete beginner, the app will still take you through the alphabet lessons, regardless. You’ll have to bear with these lessons and their activities before you can jump into grammar or more advanced topics.

Apart from this, you’re free to enroll in any course you want within Memrise. Moreover, you can even take up more than one language course if you’re feeling up for the challenge. It all depends on you and how much you want to learn at a time. However, we do recommend sticking to one language at a time to prevent any sort of confusion or burnout.

Regardless of whichever course you take, you’ll face video, audio, and written instructions within each lesson. Prepare to train your ears and do a lot of listening because Memrise is full of various audio-based lessons.


Content: Vocabulary, Grammar, Drills, and More

Photo by Memrise

Contrary to what the name might imply, Memrise is more than just an app for memorizing words and phrases. Sure, that’s a large part of what you learn when using the app. However, it also teaches you grammar-related concepts that will certainly be handy in learning how to understand and construct sentences.

Memrise provides multiple non-traditional tools that could help all kinds of folks learn in many different ways. These include memory retention tools for difficult words, recordings to train your ear, and so much more. You can even allow the app access to your camera to develop even more of your vocabulary. Snapping a photo with it lets you learn the word for any object in the language you’re learning. It’s both great for learning and just all-around handy when you’re out traveling.

Furthermore, the app also has a handy “Learn with Locals” feature in certain languages. Through these, you can more intuitively learn a language by listening to or watching real-life conversations.

Lastly, the app also ingrains everything you’ve learned into your mind by providing various drills. These exercises make you review nearly all of the topics you’ve reviewed before, not just the current ones. Through them, you can more effectively hone your proficiency and memory, regardless of the language.


Company and Community-Made Courses

Most language learning apps usually come with pre-made lessons made by the company itself. However, what makes Memrise unique is that it not only incorporates company-made lessons but also community-created ones. Through this feature, you can take courses created by other Memrise members and access much more content.

Of course, Memrise-made courses are usually more robust and have tons of review features already included. Meanwhile, community-made courses aren’t always as polished and have fewer features tacked on. Nonetheless, if you want courses made by the community or make one yourself, it’s a handy feature to have.


Tracking Your Progress

Photo by Memrise

Learning a language can be difficult, especially if you don’t know how to structure your progress. That’s why Memrise also shows how you’ve been progressing as you go through each course. You can find this on your homepage whenever you go to the Memrise website and log in. However, this feature is, unfortunately, unavailable on the mobile versions, so make sure to check it on a browser.

In addition, Memrise also allows you to set daily goals depending on the pace you want to go at. Through this, you can learn a little or a lot every day to hasten or pace yourself during busy seasons. If you forget your daily routine, Memrise also sends you notifications to remind you to hit your daily goals. Best of all, you can customize these pop-ups and schedule them only during specific times.


Pros and Cons of Using Memrise

With all that said, Memrise is certainly a decent app to help beginners start their language learning journey. However, despite reading this Memrise premium review and seeing its benefits, it still has downsides you have to consider.



Firstly, the Memrise app is fun and engaging to use, that’s for sure. The content you find on the app is very interactive and even addicting for some people. Moreover, because of the nature of the app, it’s incredibly handy if your main goal is to learn vocabulary. That’s because memorization and repetition are key features in the app’s learning structure and are sure to help you there.

In addition, watching videos and listening to audio clips of native speakers is a big plus. It’s especially helpful for people who need some human interaction or immersion to learn. Moreover, it’s a great way to break the monotony of simply learning words through written instruction.

Memrise has pretty good customer service as well. You can easily ask to learn how to change the number of reviews within Memrise or inquire for other assistance. With this, you’ll certainly have a good overall experience using the app.



Unfortunately, Memrise has a number of downsides as well. For example, if you already have intermediate or advanced knowledge of a language, Memrise might not be as impactful. Moreover, while the community-made lessons are a good idea, they’re not quite up to par with official courses.

In addition, there’s the overall clunkiness of the website and app that might hamper your user experience. Some users have reported glitches and bugs whenever they use the app or website. Moreover, others say Memrise makes it incredibly difficult to cancel a membership once you’ve subscribed.


Memrise Vs. Other Language Learning Apps

Now, you may have skimmed this Memrise app review and find it a little lacking compared to what you expected. Thankfully, Memrise isn’t the only language learning app out there. Here are just some of the other best language learning apps you might want to consider.



Duolingo - Language Lessons
© Photo by Duolingo on Google Play

The first recommendation is probably already familiar to you because of how prominent it is in the community. That’s right — we’re talking about Duolingo. Through Duolingo, you can find various engaging activities to help build your vocabulary. With it, you can learn to read, write, speak, and listen to many different languages. Moreover, you can enjoy it for free and start learning without paying a penny.

Visit Doulingo

Also Read: Duolingo for Kids Review



babbel Language Learning Apps
Photo by babbel

If you like structured lessons, then the Babbel app might be worth a shot. It’s unique in that the app focuses on teaching culture along with giving learners more exposure to real-life local conversations. To add, the app’s activities help you practice speaking in order to make you more proficient in conversing like a native.

Visit Babbel

Also read: Babbel App Reviews



Busuu language leraning app
Photo by Busuu on App Store

Lastly, we have Busuu, a structured language learning app that takes you through 150 units to get to better proficiency. Through it, you can customize your lesson plan, track goals, and learn a dozen different languages in one app.

Visit Busuu


Verdict: Is it the Best App for Language Learning?

Overall, Memrise is a decent app to help propel beginner language learners into the intermediate or somewhat advanced level at most. Unfortunately, using Memrise won’t make you fluent in 3 months if that’s what you were hoping for. If you want something more robust that will teach you everything, consider different apps or real-life courses around you.

Nonetheless, if you want something simple and affordable, it’s a great way to start learning languages. At the very least, you’ll get to a relatively advanced level by the end of the premium courses. It’s structured well enough and is easily accessible regardless of the platform you use it on. Moreover, it’s great for audio-based learners who want to do more than just read.