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Memrise Review

Wednesday, May 29th

2024 Arabic Lesson Reviews

Memrise Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating
  • Priced $27.99 per month, $130.99 per year, or $80 for lifetime
  • Free features available
  • Video and audio lessons with native speakers in authentic contexts
  • Vocab library
  • 30-day refund window
  • App and desktop access
  • 4.5-star average from app users

Founded by Ed Cooke, Ben Whately, and Greg Detre, three friends who crossed paths while studying neuroscience and psychology at Oxford, Memrise was born out of their shared fascination with human learning and their determination to harness technology for more effective learning. Ed delved into memory techniques, eventually becoming a Grandmaster of Memory. Greg pursued a PhD in neuroscience at Princeton, while Ben experimented with his language acquisition theories in Qiqihar, a city on the Sino-Siberian border. Memrise is a platform that combines memory techniques, a profound understanding of neuroscience, and innovative approaches to second language acquisition, aiming to make the language learning process significantly easier and faster for your Arabic lessons online.

No preview lessons before signing up

To get started at Memrise, you just need to click the Start Learning button which takes you to a page where you select your starting language (which includes more than just English) and the language you want to learn (in our case, Arabic) from a list. From there, you're asked to make an account with your email or social media. While you can't preview full lessons on the Memrise site until you've put in your info and made an account, you can preview visuals from the lessons. For example, you can find audio/visual multiple-choice questions in still photos across the site. You can also preview the entire Arabic Phrasebook (all 252 pages of it) on the website before you start. However, to look into the actual lessons themselves, you'll have to do outside research or sign up with your personal details and try out the program for free.

100+ lessons with audio and video methods

With over 100 lessons covering topics such as Travel, Work, Abjad, Activities, and Basics, the Arabic course offers phrases commonly used by locals to help you prepare for real conversations. You'll learn 4,000+ words, and native speakers will pronounce them to help you achieve natural pronunciation. The Arabic Phrasebook provides additional support so you can review common phrases at any time. You can expect lessons to include videos, AI conversations, and step-by-step lessons crafted by linguists and backed by years of scientific research. Topics cover a wide range, from introductions and greetings to understanding song lyrics, discussing actors and celebrities, sharing favorite books, narrating film plots, exploring dos and don'ts, talking about meals, learning recipes, expressing feelings, and engaging in news discussions, with hundreds more included.

Best Arabic Lessons

Monthly, yearly, or lifetime access

Memrise offers a 100% free learning model, where you can get most of the features right away. However, there is also a Premium option if you want an elevated experience. Ideal for swift progress, this subscription unlocks features including extra vocabulary lessons, native speaker videos, and conversation practice. You'll also be able to enjoy an ad-free experience (while the free version will have regular ads). You can choose between three prices: $27.99 per month, $130.99 per year, or an $80 lifetime membership (depending on what promotions are in place at the time you subscribe).

Missing grammar and practical application

In terms of how you'll progress on this platform, Memrise allows you to choose your level upon registration, and Memrise promises that all videos align with the words you've learned, creating a cohesive learning experience. Memrise encourages you to challenge yourself. However, according to language experts in third-party reviews, Memrise primarily functions as an app for memorization and vocabulary drilling. It's not ideal if you're looking for a program that provides extensive grammar explanations or opportunities to apply language in practical contexts. There is no mention that Memrise will offer you fluency, but according to linguists, you might need to bundle Memrise with another language program to get a deep understanding of Arabic grammar and syntax.

Somewhat unclear refund policy

To qualify for a refund, you need to reach out to the company within 30 days of activating your subscription plan. We noted that Memrise didn't specifically promise a refund, but promised that they'd contact you about one if you reached out within that 30-day window. If you're past the initial 30 days, the service is billed in advance and becomes non-refundable no matter what.

Best Arabic Lessons

Mixed reviews depending on where you look

Third-party reviews for Memrise aren't particularly exciting, that's for sure. According to customers on Trustpilot, Memrise has just 2.3 stars out of 5. Customers note that while the site was better in previous years it has recently started to decline. The ads on the free version are particularly frustrating. However, on the mobile app reviews, Memrise does much better. On the Apple Store, Memrise has a 4.8-star average while on the Google Play Store, Memrise holds a 4.5. Customers who loved the program praised the quality of the language videos. They felt that the immersion in the language and native speaking was top-notch. Based on the features, the high-rated reviews may be for the Premium version rather than the free one.

Mid-tier but with lifetime access

While the lifetime access option is a huge bonus, the mixed reviews raise a few red flags. The mobile app stores show that Memrise is pretty popular, but with some extremely low ratings from third-party sites (and no rating from the Better Business Bureau to rely on), Memrise falls behind some of the other sites that have much more impressive feedback. For this reason and the fact that there's some question on whether Memrise can deliver advanced content and fluency, Memrise gets a mid-tier rating rather than something higher. But if you want something you can buy and own forever, you should still look into Memrise's lifetime membership for Arabic lessons.

Where Can You Find the Best Arabic Lessons?

Are you interested in learning Arabic? You may find yourself contemplating a relocation to one of the many countries where Arabic is the national language, or maybe you're just planning a trip to see Egypt. Whether you're looking to reconnect with your culture, learn more about a new one, or brush up on some courses you took in school, learning Arabic can be a truly worthwhile experience.

However, finding Arabic lessons that fit your busy life, include your preferred learning methods, and don't break the bank can be hard. For most people, in-person lessons aren't an option either for cost reasons or time commitments. Fortunately, the realm of online courses continues to grow, offering new Arabic learning opportunities that were previously unavailable.

The Best Arabic Lessons Compare Arabic Lessons Compare Arabic Lesson Reviews What are the best Arabic Lessons Best Arabic Lesson Reviews

Arabic Lesson FAQ

It is estimated that there are over 420 million speakers of Arabic worldwide, making it one of the five most commonly-spoken languages around the globe. This includes both native and non-native speakers.
Generally speaking, there are two basic forms of Arabic: standard and colloquial. The former is used by the media and in universities, literature and formal writing. If you take Arabic lessons from a Western school, this is probably the form you'll get. But, this isn't the way Arabic speakers use the language in their day-to-day lives! If you know that you'll be using Arabic mainly in one particular location (e.g. Egypt vs. Persian Gulf nations vs. Lebanon), it might be worth looking for an Arabic course that at least introduces the dialect of that area. On the other hand, of all of the Arabic dialects, Egyptian is the most widely-understood by all speakers (largely due to the nation's popular music, film and TV industry), so learning the Egyptian dialect is a safe bet too.
If your first language is English, be prepared for your Arabic studies to require some work! Ranked as a Category IV language by the State Department's Foreign Service Institute, Arabic is "exceptionally difficult" on par with Japanese, Korean and Chinese. But, if you're willing to put in the time and effort, it's definitely doable!
Your first step should be to learn the Arabic alphabet, so that you don't have to depend on transliteration into English. Arabic experts also recommend that you memorize the plural forms of every noun you learn, because they can be very different (no tacking on an "s" like we do in English!), as well as the verb forms and any prepositions that go along with them. Finally, as with learning any language, give yourself plenty of time to study regularly; a few minutes here and there won't get you speaking Arabic fluently!
Availability, affordability and access: for those three reasons alone, you should consider studying Arabic online. Many colleges and universities don't offer courses in the language, and there's no guarantee you can secure one of the coveted seats in the class if your school does. Studying Arabic online can be done according to your preferred schedule, and at a fraction of the cost you'd pay per credit hour at a local school.
If you're studying Arabic online, you will probably need to take a few extra steps to enable the language on your computer. The steps depend on whether you're using a Mac or Windows-based PC, so search for the instructions according to your operating system. There are also online Arabic keyboards you can use without changing your computer settings.
No! They're definitely less costly than taking in-person courses. Some programs charge a one-time fee, while others use a month-to-month subscription format. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 for a one-off software purchase, or between $10 and $30 per month for an online course that lasts up to two years. You've got lots of options!
That depends on the provider you choose. Some offer satisfaction guarantees ranging from 30-60 days from the date of purchase or start of the subscription plan, while others only allow you to cancel future months without refunding past payments. We recommend that you use any free materials offered by the Arabic lessons platform prior to making your choice: you can often take full sample lessons or watch a demo of how the program works, which will help you get a feel for which Arabic lessons are the best fit for your preferences and learning style.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Whether you prefer hearing, writing, or speaking, various Arabic programs are designed to offer a range of skill-building exercises. Modern audio materials cover syllables, words, phrases, and sentences for effective repetition.

Alternatively, for visual learners, there are Arabic language platforms that cleverly gamify the entire learning process. These platforms not only cover grammar and writing exercises but also often integrate speech recognition software, allowing you to compare your pronunciation directly with that of a native speaker.

Nearly every Arabic platform offers cultural and historical aspects in their programs. Given the rich historical background and symbolic importance of the Arabic language, a thorough grasp of it requires exploring its historical origins and understanding its contemporary applications. Many of today's language-learning options also emphasize Modern Standard Arabic, mirroring the language you would encounter in general conversations. And, some companies focus on local dialects too.

As you navigate the wide array of online Arabic lessons, it might seem a little daunting to pick the best fit. To help you find the best Arabic lessons for you, we've put together some helpful criteria:

  • Teaching methodology. What type of learner are you? Are you inclined towards auditory learning, finding podcasts or narrations to be your favorite? Perhaps you enjoy engaging in written or gamified exercises to support your learning experience? While several Arabic lesson programs integrate various learning modalities, some platforms prioritize one style over others. Consider your preferred learning approach so you select the most suitable platform for how you learn best.
  • Free trial option. Top-notch Arabic lesson programs allow you to explore the program without making a payment. Look for platforms that offer free trials and pay attention to their duration. You should also look for sites that provide example lessons or preview videos on the site so you can see what you're getting into at a glance. Exercise extra caution if a company doesn't have these important details.
  • Cost vs. value. The cost of the subscription (or one-time payment) is a significant factor for your Arabic education. But you'll also want to assess the value you'll receive. Consider how much fluency you'll gain from the program and whether you can learn Arabic from one program or if you'll need two or three to supplement others that are less complete.
  • Reputation. While many Arabic lesson platforms aren't listed with the Better Business Bureau, there are reviews on third-party sites, linguistics blogs, and mobile apps to consider. Check-in on the ratings for your chosen Arabic lesson provider to make sure you're getting a language source with a great reputation.

To make sure you have the best possible experience learning Arabic, Top Consumer Reviews has assessed and rated the top options for Arabic lessons. We hope our reviews help you achieve your desired level of fluency, whether your goal is travel, cultural understanding, or simply enjoyment of a new language. Enjoy your continuing education in the beautiful language of Arabic!

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