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I have mentioned Memrise in other blog posts before but feel it needs to have a post on its own, so here it is:
According to Wikipedia “Memrise is an online learning tool with courses created by its community. Its courses are mainly used to teach language, but are also used for other academic and nonacademic subjects, including science, music, history, philosophy, and popular culture. Memrise uses flashcards augmented with mnemonics (known within the service as “mems”)”
You need to register, but then you can learn anything you like, including German. Learning happens mainly via flashcards and word or phrase recognition and memorisation, so very similar to Duolingo. Except, that there are lots of courses on Memrise and you can chose (unlike the prescriptive, structured Duolingo course).
I tried to take a screen shot of the German courses but there are too many to look at. I tried out some of the courses and found some very boring and other very helpful, but I think Memrise is brilliant to be used in addition to whatever method you already use.
If you use Duolingo, there are some courses which help you practise Duolingo vocabulary. Students who learn German at school with a textbook will most likely find a Memrise course to help them learn vocab specific to their coursebook – very useful for exams.
If you want more practise on a particular topic, you might find a course for that as well. There are long courses like 5000 German words, German musicals and even Basic German Medical Terminology or short courses like About German days and months, to name just a few. So, if you find a course boring, just chose a different one.
There are even some courses with German dialects and Swiss German courses.
One of the nicest features is that you can make your own course. If you need to learn a particular set of words and find it hard to remember them, make up your own flashcards and then practise them. You can keep the course private or you can make it public.
I’ve only recently tried making a quick course and found it fairly easy to do. So far I have made two quick courses to add to blog posts but will probably make more.
If you’d like to have a look, I made a listening practice for the German alphabet and a quick course with German question words
Quick summary if the pros and cons of using Memrise:
- Great way for beginners to learn new vocab
- It’s available as smartphone apps, so quick and easy to use when you have a spare moment
- You choose the topics, levels etc…
- No costs (although there is a premium option which I haven’t looked at)
- You can make your own flashcards to learn particular vocab
- A nice addition to whatever else you’re using to learn German
- It won’t be good enough on its own for learning German
- You may find it boring, especially if you’re not a beginner
- As the courses can be made by anybody you might come across more mistakes than anticipated
So, if the idea of learning more vocab appeals to you, give Memrise a try. If you like it – great! If you don’t, don’t worry, there are plenty of other online resources for you to try. And if you think you found a mistake but aren’t sure, take a screenshot and post it in my Facebook group Ask Angelika. We’ll have a look at it for you.
PS If there is a particular vocab course you would like me to make, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.