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Memrise Review

Sunday, December 5th

2021 Russian Lesson Reviews

Memrise Review 4 Star Rating


4 Star Rating
  • Video clips of native speakers in authentic environments
  • Very large selection of Russian lessons
  • User-created content as well as Memrise materials
  • 30-day money back guarantee

Created in 2010, Memrise has grown to be one of the most popular language-learning apps on the market with over 60 million users in nearly 200 countries. Many people turn to Memrise after using other free language apps because they want the native speaker video clips featured here. It's a great way to work on having an accent that sounds more like how Russian is actually spoken!

Low-stress approach to learning Russian

Let's say you're brand-new to learning Russian. How will Memrise start you off? Letter by letter! When you create your free account, the first lesson will be Deciphering the Alphabet: an important place to begin if you don't already know Cyrillic! You'll see a video of someone holding up the letter and saying it, plus any corresponding letter in English. By the end of that lesson, you should feel comfortable identifying a few letters and basic words and phrases. The way it's structured feels comfortable, natural, and even fun: no need to panic!

User-created content expands your options

Compared with other Russian lessons, Memrise has a unique structure. Not only will you get access to what they have to offer, but you can also choose to learn from user-created content! For example, Memrise's Russian program includes Levels 1 through 7, with anywhere from 2-11 hours of content in each one. The topics covered range from basics like introductions and the alphabet to phrases you need to report a problem or have an argument (!). Jump over to the user content, though, and you've got so much more to learn: how about a 15-minute lesson on jewelry-related vocab? A 34-minute session covering vocabulary for plumbing and waste disposal? 9 hours covering 500 Russian verbs? You've got all that and then some on the Memrise platform.

Best Russian Lessons

Consider the paid plan for more features

Is it worth it to pay for a subscription? Maybe. Memrise doesn't make it clear which pay-to-use features are available specifically for their Russian lessons. Generally speaking, Memrise Pro includes a personalized learning experience that adapts as you learn, features video clips from native speakers in their own environments to give you authentic conversational speech and accents, plus other "entertaining and scientific memory techniques" . Those features are typically included only with their own content, and not with user-created lessons. Fortunately, between the free basic account and the 30-day money-back guarantee, Memrise makes it relatively risk-free to try out their Russian programs and see if you like them.


  • Free for basic account
  • $8.99/month for monthly plan
  • $90/year for annual plan
  • $139.99 for a lifetime membership

Discounts frequently available

How much does Memrise Pro cost? The everyday pricing is $8.99/month, $90/year, or $139.99 for a lifetime membership. But, we got regular offers for that annual plan at a 50% discount, both on the site as a limited-time offer promotion and via email after we signed up for a free Memrise account. We've also heard of customers getting a Memrise lifetime membership at a 50% discount, especially around the winter holidays when people are looking for novel gift-giving ideas. You should definitely be able to get some kind of discount if you decide to subscribe; you might just need to wait for that promotion to start or for the offer to come to your inbox first.

No games, but still fun to use

Memrise isn't game-y, so don't go into it expecting to have features like leaderboards and streaks. On the other hand, if you're a very visual learner we think you'll appreciate the video clips from the very start that help you picture how Russian looks, feels, and sounds. There's definitely enough to try for free before deciding if you'd like to pay for one of their affordable membership plans. Memrise is, overall, a solid place to start learning Russian.

What’s the Best Way to Learn Russian?

If you're interested in learning the language, you likely already realize that it's going to be more challenging than some. First off, Russian uses a completely different alphabet, Cyrillic, from what you're using right now to read in English. Training your mind to recognize the new symbols and the sounds they make (or to make different sounds using letters that look similar between Cyrillc and the Roman alphabet) can take some time.

You'll also have to master a grammatical system that's quite different from English. Do you know the difference between the nominative case and the dative case? It's okay if you don't - because of the six cases used in Russian, we only use three in modern English.

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

Russian Lesson FAQ

A lot! Estimates range from 150-250 million people around the globe who speak Russian as their first language. It's one of the six official languages designated by the UN (along with Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, English, French and Spanish), the most spoken native language in Europe, and the most geographically widespread language in all of Eurasia. Russian is the official language of Russia (of course), Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and widely used in most of the former USSR nations.
Yes, but with few exceptions, Russian speakers all understand each other. People often refer to the "literary language" of Russian, used in all major cities throughout Russia. Beyond that, you'll find regional accents and vocabulary - but the type of Russian you'll learn in any class will be the commonly-accepted one.
We'll be honest: it's challenging! From the Cyrillic alphabet to grammatical differences, Russian is quite different from English, and we don't really borrow enough vocabulary from Russian for it to be familiar as we learn it. It's not quite as hard as Arabic, Japanese or Chinese (according to the US State Department, anyway!), and if you work diligently and consistently, you should be able to learn as much Russian as you like.
You have to start by learning the Cyrillic alphabet. It's got 33 letters, some of which are familiar from our Latin alphabet, and some that will be completely new - and most of which won't be pronounced the same as what you use in English! From there, basic vocabulary will help you with day-to-day needs like asking for directions or buying things in the market, but shape your learning according to how you plan to use Russian (on vacation, in business, and so on).
Unless you live in a college town, it might be your only option! Russian lessons aren't easy to come by in person, so going with an online platform ensures that you can learn when and where you like, for as long as you wish. They're also much more affordable than college tuition!
If you're studying Russian online, you will need to enable the language on your computer. Search for the steps you'll have to take on your operating system (PC or Mac). Otherwise, there are online Russian keyboard sites where you can copy-paste characters one by one (but that will get a little tedious).
They're quite affordable. You can choose between two options: monthly subscriptions or one-time purchase. Most month-to-month plans are less than $25/month, while one-off Russian lesson packages are anywhere from $50 to $700. All of the Russian lesson programs we found were much cheaper than paying for a semester of college tuition!
That varies. For monthly subscriptions, you may be able to cancel your recurring payments without a refund of what you paid previously. If you buy a package of Russian lessons (online, CDs), you may be protected by a 30- or 60-day satisfaction guarantee. Be sure to understand the terms of any Russian language platform you're considering before you make your purchase, and take advantage of any free lesson samples or trial periods the service offers.
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Continued from above...

Feeling discouraged? Don't be! Russian is ranked as a Level III language by the US State Department, marking it merely as a "hard" language and not as difficult as Level IV languages like Arabic or Chinese. Whew! And with the right type of Russian lessons, you could find yourself reading, writing, understanding and speaking the language more fluently than you imagined.

So, what makes a Russian language program the "right type" ? Some of that depends on you. Do you learn best by reading detailed explanations of grammar or by learning useful words and phrases in context? Do you like your learning to feel like playing games or do you prefer a more straightforward, traditional approach? If you're not sure about the answers to any of those questions, that's fine: most Russian lessons have a free lesson or give you limited access to the platform so you can try it for yourself. Put a few providers to the test and see which ones keep coming to mind - or which approach helps what you've learned to "stick" the best!

Generally speaking, there are a few factors that can make a particular system for learning Russian better than another. Those include:

  • Ease of Use. How intuitive is it to move through each lesson, and from one topic to another? Is it clear what you're supposed to learn next? The more comfortable you are with the app, materials, or however the Russian lessons are delivered, the more likely you are to stick with it and keep making progress.
  • Value. Some Russian lessons involve a monthly or yearly subscription, while others have a one-time cost. How much will you get for what you pay? Will you have enough content to keep you busy for as long as you intend to study the language? Does your paid membership or one-off fee add a significant number of features or materials beyond what the service may offer for free?
  • Refund Policy. If you purchase a long-term subscription or pay for an entire program upfront, can you get your money back if it doesn't live up to your expectations?
  • Reputation. Have other people been successful using the service to learn Russian?

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's top resources for learning Russian online. We're confident that this information will help you choose the Russian lessons that will boost your fluency in no time!

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