Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.
Tuesday, May 17th
Is Memrise actually different? Yes, it is! And these differences are not only attractive, motivating, and fun, but they are designed to help you actually retain the material included in your Spanish lessons.
Clear audio for each word and phrase
When you see a vocabulary word or phrase, you can click on their standard male voice or female voice. This is great for consistency, as you hear the same person's voice and can learn clear pronunciation throughout all your lessons.
Real people, authentic settings
The fabulous part is that there's also a quick video of a native speaker in their country saying that word or phrase. There may be a bit of background noise or the person may be at a comfortable distance, which is the way you would hear the person in any conversational setting. This may sound confusing at first, but it's ideal for travel and natural conversations. In real life, you may talk to more than one person. You'll be in different settings with various noises around you. Because you're "conversing" with people while they're in their own country, it's almost like you are there, and it makes you want to learn more so that you can communicate with that person. The video of an actual person feels much more intimate and motivating than a drawing or still image.
You'll also see the person with the natural gesture they would use for this phrase. For example, if you're out to coffee with someone and you ask how they are doing, maybe they're not feeling well or had a bad day. They may grimace or shake their head while saying "No muy bien." Gestures can vary slightly from country to country, so these quick videos subtly teach you cultural nuances as they teach you the phrases.
Are your skills growing?
When you are in the beginning of a lesson, you have the icon of a seed. When you water the seed with your lessons and exercises, the seed grows and turns into a healthy plant. Your learning plant grows, and it requires consistent study to have the plant grow. That's how Memrise helps you visualize your progress: gentle, yet motivating.
What if I already know some Spanish?
Perfect! You can advance to upper levels of Spanish. If you know a good amount of Spanish, the upper levels may have content you know, as well as idiomatic phrases you either didn't know or may have forgotten. These phrases also include some of the more advanced grammar skill sets. If you want to have fun while working with your current skills and improving some, you'll probably still find activities in Memrise to improve or fortify your Spanish. However, if you're looking to be super advanced in Spanish, you'll want to find a different source of Spanish lessons or just practice conversation with native speakers.
Need a reminder?
We all get busy. Remembering a new task on your to-do list, such as taking your Spanish lesson, might be easy to forget at first. You can go to your Memrise settings and set reminders. How often do you want to be reminded to take your lesson: once a day, specific days of the week, a certain time of day?
How challenged do you want to be?
Are you busy, so you just want Memrise to go easier on you? Are you intent on learning a lot of Spanish in a shorter period of time, or somewhere in between? Set your pace and intensity accordingly.
Which plan is best for you?
Memrise only offers two plans: Free and Pro. What can you expect with each one?
30-day money-back guarantee
Memrise certainly has plenty of material available in their free program. If you choose to have access to more of their learning features without the hassle of advertising, you'll want to check out their subscription program. Use it all you want, but decide within 30 days if you want your money back with the annual or lifetime plans. There is no refund for the monthly plans.
Additional Memrise Pro learning features
Although the free version has plenty of lessons and can be sufficient for language learning, Memrise Pro has added features that really help solidify the learning process. Pro has a ton of content: much was created by Memrise people, plus they have added material from Memrise users! Memrise Pro, unlike the free version, uses the videos of people in actual settings. Memrise Pro also allows you to see the statistics on how you're learning. It may be helpful for you to visualize how they analyze your progress.
Memrise Pro has speech-recognition technology, which isn't available with all online Spanish lessons. Here you can talk and record, and the speech-recognition technology tells you how well you might be understood by others. A unique feature to Memrise Pro is what they call "mems." Mems are mnemonic devices, or a way to help you remember certain words you just can't seem to get right. These mems are designed to help you commit those tough words to long-term memory.
We love it!
Memrise, especially Memrise Pro, is super addicting. The videos of people talking in their own locale are phenomenal for learning conversational Spanish and motivating to want to talk with people in real life. Its content is vast, so you don't run out of activities. Memrise is one of our favorite resources for learning languages, and we highly recommend their Spanish lessons.
Have you always wanted to learn Spanish? Or have you learned some, but really want to improve your skills in order to be able to read Spanish newspapers or talk with native speakers? Do you have business associates or neighbors who speak Spanish, or have you wanted to talk in Spanish with the locals on your next trip? There are 460,000 people who are native Spanish speakers right here in the US, and 20 countries that have Spanish as their official language. No matter why you want to learn it, the question is which Spanish lessons are right for you.
With so much of our life going digital, from many of us doing our job remotely, to video chatting with our family or internet shopping, it's natural to want to explore online options for learning Spanish. There are many programs available online and through apps, and we can help you sift through them.
The first thing to consider is how much Spanish you already know. If you're just getting started, there are many programs whose focus is on the beginner, with lessons chock full of grammar, vocabulary, and practice. At the same time, the concentration is so heavy on brand-new students that many programs offer little to nothing for the intermediate or advanced learner.
Another important factor is your learning style and preference. Some learners like to go in the order that the experts have the lessons set up so that they can meet their language acquisition goals. Other students know that they want to pick and choose their lesson order based on their needs. For example, if the learner is going to travel in the near future, they want their first lessons focused on related vocabulary, like asking for directions and checking in at a hotel. Others are in the medical or business field, so they want to follow the language learning path best suited to their careers.
A major consideration is if repetition is okay with you, or if you will lose focus if the lessons aren't entertaining. Some learners are motivated to continue the day's lesson or look forward to the next lesson because of the fun and exciting apps that include gaming-like activities, points, badges, competitive leaderboards, and animation. Let's face it, if you're not motivated to learn, will you really stick with the program? Other students want to push forward with the traditional, square-shooting approach that feels comfortable as tried and true. Start with vocabulary and practice, add on grammar, preferably with detailed explanations in English, more practice, along with repetition and recycling of older material to solidify the knowledge base.
Once you know what level of Spanish learner you are, from beginner to advanced, your purpose of learning it, from travel to profession or just because, and if you like to be entertained or want "just the facts, Ma'am" , there are a few more aspects of Spanish lessons you may want to consider:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated, rated, and ranked the best choices for online Spanish lessons. We're sure that with this information, you'll have what you need to make the right choice for your goals in learning, acquiring, and becoming fluent in Spanish. ¡Ya vamos!
Select any 2 Spanish Lessons to compare them head to head