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Memrise Review

Thursday, May 30th

2024 Japanese Lesson Reviews

Memrise Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating
  • Priced $27.99 per month, $89.99 per year, or as low as $124.99 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

Established by three individuals who met during their studies in neuroscience and psychology at Oxford, Memrise was conceived from their joint interest in human learning and a shared goal for more efficient language acquisition. Ed specialized in memory techniques, eventually achieving the title of Grandmaster of Memory. Greg pursued a PhD in neuroscience at Princeton, while Ben tested his language acquisition theories in Qiqihar, a city situated on the Sino-Siberian border. Memrise uses expertise from all three fields to promote a deep understanding of second language acquisition.

Can't try it out until you sign up

To begin learning Japanese with Memrise, simply click on the "Start Learning" button, which directs you to a page where you can choose your native language and the language you wish to learn (in this case, Japanese) from a list of options. Following this, you'll be prompted to create an account using your email or social media credentials. While you won't be able to preview complete lessons on the Memrise website until you've registered and created an account, you can view visuals from the lessons beforehand. For instance, you can preview static images of audio-visual multiple-choice questions throughout the site. On the Japanese page, you can view a quick preview video that tells you the basics of using Memrise, promising you a language "journey" through their platform. But, this preview isn't specifically linked to the Japanese lessons.

Jumps around writing systems

We did a little digging for you to find more details about what the lessons actually include. Outside of Memrise, we were able to find the details for you. Regarding the Japanese course, in Level 0, learners encounter a confusing blend of formal and informal speech combined with hiragana, lacking contextual explanations for what they're studying. Progressing to Level 1, learners are immediately introduced to kanji and it seems to be missing context and guidance through these different alphabet systems. Memrise's courses seem geared towards teaching travelers how to communicate using memorized phrases, which becomes more challenging with the addition of kanji. However, solely memorizing phrases doesn't suffice for achieving fluency, especially for Japanese.

Best Japanese Lessons

From free to $249.99 to learn

Memrise offers a free learning model as well as a premium membership. The premium membership promises faster improvement as it grants you access to extra vocabulary lessons, videos by native speakers, and opportunities for conversation practice. The no-cost version gives you most lessons for free, but you will experience frequent ads during your learning. Pricing options for premium include $27.99 per month, $89.99 per year, or a $124.99 lifetime membership, depending on the promotions available at the time. For example, the lifetime membership can cost as much as $249.99 if you don't catch a promotion.

Too focused on vocab

To help you progress, Memrise uses the Spaced Repetition System, or SRS. This is a tool that functions by tracking your memory of specific words and phrases. Based on this tracking, it arranges review sessions to prioritize the items you struggle with, so you get more frequent practice in those areas. This approach optimizes your study time by concentrating on the words and phrases that require more attention. Memrise Japanese employs this system effectively, but it still doesn't solve one of the main problems with gaining fluency in this system: a vocab-heavy approach. While vocab is important, Japanese speakers and experts note that Memrise's heavy focus on memorizing keywords and phrases isn't enough to get you to true fluency in the language.

Promise of 30-day refunds, but no guarantee

To be eligible for a refund, you need to contact Memrise within 30 days of starting your subscription. While Memrise doesn't explicitly guarantee a refund, they assure you that they will discuss the possibility if you reach out within this timeframe. However, once the initial 30 days have passed, the service is prepaid and non-refundable, regardless of circumstances.

Best Japanese Lessons

Mixed reviews unless you pay for premium

Feedback about Memrise varies. Trustpilot reviews give it a disappointing 2.2-star average rating, with some students expressing dissatisfaction with recent changes, particularly regarding ads on the free version and the removal of user-created lessons. However, on mobile app platforms like the Apple Store and Google Play Store, Memrise garners higher ratings, averaging 4.8 and 4.5 stars, respectively. Positive reviews often highlight the quality of language videos and immersive learning experiences. It seems that the higher-rated reviews may pertain more to the Premium version rather than the free one, based on the features mentioned in those reviews.

Has some room to improve

Despite offering a lifetime access option, Memrise's mixed reviews raise concerns. While it appears popular on mobile app stores, third-party sites give it much lower ratings. Compared to platforms with more robust learning systems that go beyond vocab, Memrise falls short. As a result, Memrise receives a mid-tier rating. However, for those seeking a permanent license for a learning program rather than a monthly or annual payment plan, exploring Memrise's lifetime membership for Japanese lessons is still worth considering.

Where Can You Find the Best Japanese Lessons?

Learning a new language opens up a world of opportunities, and Japanese is one of the most intriguing languages you can choose. Suppose you're fascinated by Japanese culture, anime, manga, or traditional arts like tea ceremonies and calligraphy. In that case, delving into the Japanese language can provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of what you love.

Fortunately, with the increasing popularity of online learning, you can easily find Japanese lessons on the internet. Whether you're a complete beginner or seeking to refine your conversational skills, online Japanese courses offer a variety of teaching styles. From immersive audio lessons and interactive quizzes to multimedia resources and virtual language exchanges, online platforms offer an engaging learning environment.

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

Japanese Lesson FAQ

Japanese is in the top 10 most widely spoken languages in the world, with over 130 million people who use it. 99% of those speakers live in Japan, but there are over a million people in the US, Brazil and Guam who also speak fluent Japanese.
Yes, but you probably won't encounter anything beyond Standard Japanese unless you travel throughout Japan itself. The Japanese you learn will be understood throughout the country, and differences are mostly related to accents and some vocabulary. It's not unlike what you find between speakers from different regions of the US, or between people from England and Australia.
If we're being completely honest, we'd say that Japanese is one of the hardest languages you could attempt to master: even the US State Department ranks it with Arabic, Korean and Chinese as one of the four most difficult! Part of that stems from the fact that Japanese has three separate writing systems (Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji). However, if you've got the grit to work hard and be patient with your studies, Japanese shouldn't be out of reach for you to learn.
You're going to need to wrap your head around the three Japanese alphabets: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. You'll find all of them as you learn the language! As you learn the alphabets, start memorizing basic vocabulary for how you intend to use Japanese, whether that's for business use or just to understand your favorite anime! Speaking of TV, it's a great way to pick up the accent and pronunciation naturally, especially if you don't have the chance to talk with native speakers on a regular basis.
There's no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for a one-semester Japanese class at a university when you can get on-demand instruction for much less. You may not even be able to find in-person classes near you, but there are always options online that let you learn Japanese as quickly (or as slowly!) as you desire.
You need to take a few extra steps to enable the Japanese language on your computer. The steps differ if you're using a Mac or Windows-based PC, and you'll have to search for the instructions based on your operating system. There are also online Japanese keyboards that let you click on characters without modifying your settings.
They're very affordable. You can get month-to-month subscription plans for less than $25/month, or make a one-time purchase of a Japanese lessons package for under $500. Either way, you'll get much more for your money than if you were paying for a semester or two of college courses.
You'll want to read the terms and conditions of any language platform you're considering. The subscription plans typically allow customers to cancel at any time but don't offer a refund of previous payments. The Japanese lesson packages that are one-off purchases may have a 30- or 60-day money-back guarantee. We suggest that you use all of the free resources that the language program has to offer - such as a sample lesson, or a trial period - so that you will already know how it approaches instruction and if it's a good fit for your preferences.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Whether you dream of exploring the bustling streets of Tokyo, immersing yourself in the serene landscapes of Kyoto, or simply connecting with Japanese speakers, learning the language can be a rewarding experience.

Japan has a rich cultural heritage, steeped in centuries-old traditions and modern innovations. From the graceful movements of traditional dance forms like Noh and Kabuki to the intricate artistry of sushi-making and bonsai cultivation, Japanese culture offers art, history, and innovation. By learning Japanese, you gain access to a vibrant cultural world that spans ancient history and contemporary pop culture phenomena like J-pop music. From the elegance of Japanese architecture to the dynamic energy of modern city life, learning Japanese allows you to delve deeper into the heart and soul of Japan.

In today's interconnected world, proficiency in Japanese can open doors to many personal and professional opportunities. Japan is a global economic powerhouse, home to leading technology companies, automotive giants, and influential cultural exports. Whether you aspire to work for a Japanese corporation, pursue academic research in collaboration with Japanese institutions, or engage in cross-cultural exchange programs, fluency in Japanese can significantly broaden your horizons.

As you embark on your journey to learn Japanese, it can be hard to narrow down the options. Here are some key factors to consider to help you find the best resource for your Japanese lessons:

  • Teaching methodology. Identify your preferred learning style - whether auditory, visual, or kinesthetic - and select a Japanese course that works best with how you learn. Whether you thrive on interactive exercises, audiovisual content, or structured grammar discussions, make sure you prioritize platforms that offer methods that support how you learn best.
  • Free trial option. Look for Japanese language platforms that offer free trials or sample lessons. This allows you to check out the program before committing to a subscription. Some platforms offer course previews or multi-day trials. These will give you the best chance at trying a language program before you have to pay.
  • Cost. Evaluate the cost of Japanese language courses with respect to the value they offer in terms of educational content and language proficiency outcomes. Many Japanese language lessons are free, but you may not get full proficiency from those sources. On the other hand, some programs are very expensive, but you still might miss some key features. Balance the cost and value of the language instruction to find your best fit.
  • Reputation. Research the reputation and credibility of Japanese language platforms through customer reviews, ratings, and testimonials. Explore third-party review sites, language learning forums, and social media channels to see if your favorite Japanese lesson provider offers the results you want. Look for platforms with positive feedback regarding instructional effectiveness, customer support, and learning outcomes for a rewarding and fulfilling learning experience.

To help you get the most out of your language studies, Top Consumer Reviews has tested, evaluated and ranked the best options for online Japanese lessons today. We know this information will give you all the info you need to choose the best program for your learning style and schedule.

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