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Memrise Review

Sunday, December 5th

2021 Chinese Lesson Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Memrise Review 5 Star Rating


5 Star Rating
  • No cost to use basic Memrise account
  • More features available with paid Memrise Pro subscription
  • Uses video clips of native Chinese speakers in authentic environments
  • Access user-created content as well as Memrise lessons
  • Several fluency levels available
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

For over a decade, Memrise has helped more than 60 million people in nearly 200 countries to learn a new language. Their Chinese lessons do a fantastic job of helping you remember what you learn, but without the stress and pressure you might feel when using other instructional platforms.

Fun and memorable native speaker video clips

One of the biggest ways Memrise stands out from other language programs is their native speaker video snippets. For instance, if you start with Memrise Mandarin Chinese 1 - The Basics 1, your very first lesson will consist of learning how to say hello, yes, and no: in Pinyin, with the characters, and with short video clips in authentic Chinese settings (factories, tourist destinations, random public streets, you name it).

Will you top the leaderboard?

As you master each word, you'll see a little plant icon on the page start to "grow" to represent your progress. At the end of each lesson, Memrise tells you how many points you earned, the time spent towards any daily study goals you've set, and where you rank on the leaderboard. You can ignore that if it doesn't inspire you, but lots of people find it motivating to do just one more lesson if it means beating their nemesis for that day or week.

Full of "aha!" moments

We absolutely love how Memrise shows you so much about each thing you learn: how it sounds in real life, the Pinyin for pronunciation help, the characters in Chinese, and both literal and figurative translations. (For example, most people learn early on that "nǐ hǎo" means "hello" , but Memrise is the only program we found that took the time to explain that the literal meaning is "you good" .) Plus, with the video clips, you get the opportunity to see how native speakers look when they're speaking: what gestures they use, the expressions on their faces, and so on. Big points to Memrise for teaching that from the start!

Lots to learn for beginners and advanced students alike

It's almost impossible to "finish" the Chinese lessons on Memrise. There are three main courses, Chinese 1-3, with 22 levels in the first two and a whopping 89 in the third! And, if for some reason that's not enough, Memrise also allows users to submit their own courses for others to enjoy. Interested in Useful Cantonese for Hong Kong? Chinese Emperors? Dim Sum? How to read a Chinese menu? These are just a few of the user-created courses offered through Memrise's Chinese lessons.

Best Chinese Lessons

Free to sign up, pay to get all features

You can do a LOT with Memrise's free account, but if you want everything it has to offer it will require a subscription. A paid account lets you have much more control over how you practice what you've learned, like speed reviews or working on your listening skills alone. Each set of words and phrases finishes with review options, but most of them will be locked until you subscribe to Memrise.


  • Free for basic account
  • $8.99/month
  • $90/year
  • $139.99/lifetime membership

Won't cost an arm and a leg

If you choose to subscribe to Memrise Pro, you'll usually pay $8.99/month, $90/year, or $139.99 for a lifetime membership. But, there's almost always a promotion on offer if you're patient. You might get a discount in your email once you've used the free platform for a while. We've also seen annual plans at a 50% discount as we've returned to the Memrise site over time. Best of all, some students have scored a half-off discount on lifetime access through a special holiday promotion. Any paid plans on Memrise are backed by a 30-day refund policy, in the event that you change your mind.

First-place winner for Chinese lessons

Memrise is the best all-around option for studying Chinese. Learn with authentic videos? Absolutely. Get content that grows with you as you advance in fluency? That too. Easy and fun to use? For sure. Add "affordable" , "popular" , and "satisfaction guaranteed" to the list and you'll see why Memrise is the obvious choice among Chinese lessons in our review. This program earns our highest recommendation.

Where Can You Find the Best Chinese Lessons?

If you're interested in the language, you're in good company: according to recent statistics, there are more than 25 million people worldwide learning Chinese as a second language, with over 200 million people outside of mainland China who speak it! A few decades ago, eager students had to find a college offering Chinese lessons in order to learn, but today Chinese can frequently be found in high schools, enrichment programs, and even dual language or immersion programs for elementary school children.

Not one of the lucky ones to have classes nearby? Don't worry! There are many different options for taking Chinese online now too. Whether you want traditional-style lessons with detailed grammar explanations, multiple choice quizzes, and lots of repetition with flash cards, or you prefer a more modern, game-like approach, you'll have no trouble finding something that fits your learning style and your available study time.

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

Chinese Lesson FAQ

With China being the most populated country in the world, it will come as no surprise that an estimated 1.31 billion people speak Chinese - approximately 16% of everyone on the planet! And, that only includes those whose first or native language is Chinese, not those who are learning it as a second (or third!) language.
There are seven primary dialect groups in Chinese: Mandarin, Yue (or Cantonese), Min, Kejia, Gan, Xiang and Wu. Mandarin is the most widely used and is the dialect you'll most likely use if you travel to Taiwan, Singapore, or China, particularly in the northern regions. Most Chinese lessons are based on Mandarin.
Chinese is one of four languages ranked as a Category IV by the State Department's Foreign Service Institute: a designation that means that, for native English speakers, Chinese is "exceptionally difficult" (along with Arabic, Japanese, and Korean). However, if you're patient and hard-working, you can learn to speak and write in Chinese!
Many experts recommend focusing first on learning how to speak Chinese. The written language is extremely complex, because it's based on pictographs and not a phonetic alphabet, and most learners have a bigger need to communicate orally than in writing. Chinese is a tonal language, where shifting the "shape" of one's voice can change a syllable into a different word. (In Mandarin, for example, the syllable "ma" can mean everything from "mother" to "horse" and even "to scold" depending on the tone!) That can be very tricky for non-Asian learners to master, making it a great place to start.
There's no way to study Chinese that's more convenient than online lessons. You don't have to worry about making it to class on time, being able to register for a course, or turning in homework! Studying Chinese online is also much more affordable, and it lets you take things at your own pace.
Depending on whether you're using a Mac or PC (or an iPhone or Android), there are different steps you can take to enable a Chinese keyboard. Your best bet is to do a search based on the operating system you've got and follow the steps to turn on the Chinese language functionality.
No! You can choose classes with one-time fees for a complete course or a monthly subscription for continuous access, but both types of Chinese lessons are very affordable. For example, one popular program has a 12-month membership for just $16.66 per month, and another offers two levels of Chinese lessons for $249.90. You'll have a hard time finding an in-person class for less than that!
Sometimes. If you've subscribed to a monthly plan, you'll probably be able to cancel future recurring payments. If you've paid for a package of Chinese lessons, some platforms will allow you to request a refund within the first 30-60 days of use. However, your best option is to use any free lessons or resources that the language program offers prior to purchase: many sites have partial or full lessons you can try before you buy, or a 7-day trial you can use before your payments kick in. That's a great way to find out if the Chinese lessons you're considering are a good match for how you learn and what you want to get out of your studies.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Of course, Chinese probably isn't going to come to you as easily as a Romance language like Spanish or French. Not only do you have a completely new writing system to comprehend - one that uses characters instead of letters, too - but the tonal aspect of Chinese is notoriously difficult for English-speakers to master. (For example, a single change in tone can make the difference between saying "to buy" or "to sell" , "flower" or "painting" , or "panda" and "chest hair" !) You'll want to choose Chinese lessons that help you learn what you need most - like travel phrases or everyday conversation - while teaching you the well-rounded basics too.

How can you tell which Chinese lessons are right for you? Here are several things to look for as you consider different programs:

  • Pricing Structure. Will you be locked into a monthly membership fee, or is it a one-time cost? A recurring subscription might keep you motivated to learn, or it might go to waste if you're not diligent in your studies.
  • Approach to Teaching. Some lessons are very traditional, while others immerse you directly into Chinese with no grammar lessons at all. There is Chinese instruction that focuses mostly on conversation through memorizing important words and phrases, as well as programs that teach you how to read, write, understand and speak the language.
  • Difficulty Level. Almost all Chinese lessons are suitable for beginners. What if you've already studied the language for a while? Be sure any program you're considering has enough material for you to make progress, and take advantage of the sample lessons or free trial that may be offered so you can see for yourself.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. Once you've paid for your Chinese lessons, can you get your money back for any reason? Not every provider offers a refund policy, making it even more important to see if there's a way to try it out before you commit.

To help you get the most out of your language studies, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best Chinese lessons available online today. We're confident that this information will help you pick a program that fits your unique learning style and fluency goals.

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