I’ve been wanting to learn a new language for months. However, I don’t want to take a in-person class, primarily because of time and money constrictions. I tried out different audio CDs and free online courses, but nothing stuck with me.
Finally, though, I’ve come across one website that has caught my interest. It’s called Memrise, and it makes learning a language fun. My gosh, I just realized how much this post is starting to sound like sales pitch. It’s not, I promise. I just really like the site, and I originally found it via Lifehacker.
Memrise uses a three-prong approach to teaching you languages: science, fun, and community.
“We’re obsessed with using brain science to help you learn faster,” reads the site’s About Us section. “This isn’t a marketing ploy–we’re really experts in this stuff. And from day one we’ve built Memrise to embody the very best knowledge about how your brain works, and so help you learn as quickly and effortlessly as possible. We use ‘mems’ to help you form vivid, sensory memories. We test you continuously, always making sure to give your brain just the right workout. We remind you of what you’ve learned at scientifically optimized times so your memories are always growing stronger, and never forgotten.”
Concerning the fun part: ”We want to make learning your favourite playtime activity. That’s how it should be: we learn best when we’re relaxed, curious and confident, and, after all, the world is a very interesting place. So we’ve turned learning facts and language into a game where you grow a colourful garden of memory. You grow and water your memories in a garden of memory, you zoom up the leaderboards, and you learn alongside your mempals. It’s like a guiltless video-game.”
Finally, let’s find out about the community part: “We believe learning should be as rich and varied as the world you’re learning about. So with our community we’re building a kind of multimedia wonderland of learning, where videos, audio, usage, mnemonics, etymologies and much more bring your learning to life. We believe that every learner is partly a teacher, and we hope that once you get started, you’ll soon be supplying little nuggets of wit and wisdom to help the rest of the community as they learn!”
I’ve been interested in learning French for a long time (I’m not sure why), and Memrise has been the most helpful learning site I’ve come across in learning it. There are many other languages and courses available on the site, so I’m sure you’ll find something of interest. Check it out, and please let me know what you think about it in the comments.