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Memrise Review

Friday, May 20th

2022 Japanese Lesson Reviews

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


5 Star Rating
  • No cost for a basic Memrise account
  • Wider range of features available with paid Memrise Pro subscription
  • Uses video snippets of native Japanese speakers in authentic environments
  • Plenty of user-created content as well as Memrise lessons
  • Multiple fluency levels available
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

With over 60 million users spanning the globe, Memrise has been teaching people to speak new languages for over a decade. Their Japanese lessons strike the perfect balance between the repetition you need to commit words and phrases to memory and the entertaining features that will keep you interested and studying regularly.

Excellent native speaker video clips in real-life settings

Memrise is a regular first-place winner when it comes to language lessons, due in large part to the way they teach using authentic video content. Even when you start at the very beginning with Memrise's Japanese 0 - The Basics, you'll learn how to write in Japanese by seeing real people paint, draw, and write out the symbols of the language. We can't say enough about how effective this is for learning by seeing and hearing at the same time, in a context that lets you hear how many different people sound in Japanese. It also lets you start picking up on subtle gestures and mannerisms they use while they speak; we all know how touchy it can be when English-speakers do something with their body or hands that's totally normal at home but shockingly offensive when used in another culture. Why not acquire that body language while you learn the words too?

Grow your learning

While you use Memrise, it tracks your progress using the symbol of a growing plant. As you practice, each word grows from a seed, to a plant, to a full flower as it gets "fully rooted" in your memory. It's a nice visual to see how much you've learned. There are also leaderboards that track your points and rank you against other Japanese students, but you can ignore that aspect if competition doesn't motivate you.

So much to learn

Even if you're an intermediate or advanced student, Memrise has Japanese content to challenge you. There are eight levels of lessons to choose from, going from the basics at Level 0 all the way to Level 7's vocabulary for technology and phrases to make people laugh. But, that's not all. This platform allows users to generate and upload their own content, giving you even more opportunities to custom-design your learning. Holiday survival kit? "Very casual and slangy" Japanese? Pokemon Let's Go Japanese Helper? Those are just a few of the user-created lesson plans we found that caught our attention.

Best Japanese Lessons


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

Get more with a membership

Memrise lets you use their platform as long as you like, totally free. A bargain! However, if you want to use all of the features they offer, especially their tools for reviewing what you learn, you'll need one of their paid plans. Even those are a deal: regular pricing is $8.99/month, $90/year, or $139.99 for a lifetime membership. Here's a pro tip: look for discounts before you buy your Memrise subscription. Over the last few months, we've seen annual plan discounts of as much as 50%, both featured on the Memrise website and sent to our inboxes, and around the holidays you could score a lot of savings on their lifetime membership too.

30 day satisfaction guarantee

The paid plan is the best way to get the most out of your Japanese lessons here, largely because it gives you a ton of control over your review: practice listening skills, focus on "learning with locals" videos, or queue up just the words that have been difficult for you, for example. You're protected by Memrise's 30-day satisfaction guarantee with any plan you purchase.

Best option available for Japanese lessons

It's no secret that we love Memrise, and we think you will too. The videos here are the opposite of "stuffy" and "traditional" , but the platform still manages to teach in a way that helps the language stick. These Japanese lessons are budget-friendly, though you could use them for a long time and never pay a dollar (or yen). And, because there's always new content to enjoy, your Memrise account grows with you as you advance in fluency. For all of these reasons, this is our favorite choice for Japanese lessons for every ability level.

Where Can You Find the Best Japanese Lessons Online?

Lots of people ask that question because Japanese is the fifth-most studied language in the United States! What's driving its popularity? It'll come as no surprise that many learners develop an interest in Japanese because of manga, anime, and video games. Others realize that speaking Japanese can offer significant advantages in the worlds of technology and business. And, of course, many travelers like to learn at least the basics before spending time in Japan - to better appreciate the culture and to communicate more effectively in-country.

No matter what your reasons are, studying Japanese can be challenging. Because it uses a writing system that's completely different from what you already know from English, learning it can take much longer than mastering languages that use the Roman alphabet (like Spanish or German). You might even need to figure out how to use your keyboard differently!

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...

Also, it used to be tricky just to find Japanese lessons. If you didn't live near a university or in an area with a significant Japanese-speaking population, your chances of finding classes were pretty slim.

Not anymore! Today there are many ways to take Japanese classes online, from traditional grammar lessons and flashcards for memorization, to live video sessions with a personal tutor who can help you master a flawless accent. Whether you need an app you can use on-the-go to sneak in study sessions or you have plenty of time to sit at a computer and practice, you'll have no problem finding Japanese lessons that match your availability and your budget.

As you start to explore the possibilities for taking Japanese lessons, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. How can you determine which program is right for you? You may find it helpful to keep the following criteria in mind as you consider your options:

  • Teaching Style. Japanese lessons can be delivered in a variety of ways, such as game-like apps, one-on-one sessions over video, and exercises that help you speak, read, write and understand the language. Pick a platform that feels like a natural fit for the way you learn best.
  • Free Trial. It's hard to know if a language program is a good match without giving it a try! Take full advantage of any sample lessons, limited-time access to the student dashboard, or any other opportunity to use the Japanese lessons before you purchase a package or subscription.
  • Levels of Difficulty. Most Japanese lessons are suitable for beginners, but what about as you advance? Choosing a platform with plenty of content across fluency levels - beginner, intermediate, and advanced - means that you won't have to start the search over again as you become more proficient in Japanese.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. Once you've paid for a membership or bought a lesson package, can you get a refund if you change your mind? Read the terms carefully, especially if you're using Japanese lessons that are subscription-based.

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.

See the Best Japanese Lesson
The Best Reviews of Japanese Lessons