Memrise vs Duolingo 2020: Which is Right for You

Memrise and Duolingo are two of the best resources to learn a language. If you want to start learning a language but aren’t sure which one to go with, I’ll help you figure that out here.

Actually, comparing Memrise to Duolingo is just like comparing Apples to oranges. It’s not actually an either/or decision. They are both great, but they teach languages in completely different ways and focus on different areas. You can check the details of Memrise and Duolingo to see which one is right for you.

Memrise vs Duolingo

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Part 1: Memrise vs Duolingo: Memrise Reviews

Memrise is basically a platform that teaches languages through flashcards. It sounds quite boring, but Memrise does a good job of making it more fun. They have game-like elements, nice graphics, points, stats, timers to make you answer quickly, and other things to help keep you going.

What makes Memrise different is its spaced repetition system (SRS). The simplest way to describe this is that when you answer a question correctly, you’ll see that card come up less often. In the contrary, the cards you struggle with will show up more often.

There are currently official Memrise courses for 21 languages which include Spanish, French, Chinese, German, Italian, Arabic, Korean, Japanese and Turkish.

The quality of courses created by Memrise users varies dramatically. This is because the vast majority of courses are added by users. So, the quality and content change from course to course. This can sometimes be frustrating as some courses aren’t so great, but it’s made up for by the fact that you can find really unique topics.

Memrise

MEMRISE PROS AND CONS

Pros:

  • An impressive list of supported languages.
  • Mnemonics is highly efficient in vocabulary learning.
  • Game elements make it more fun than traditional flashcards.
  • Possibility to create your own courses.

Cons:

  • Quality of courses can vary.
  • Not great for learning sentence structures or grammar.
  • Not suitable for high-level students because of the restricted number of mnemonics.

Part 2: Memrise vs Duolingo: Duolingo Reviews

Duolingo is one of the most popular well-known tools for language learning. The site claims that “you can learn a language in five minutes a day.” It’s available for desktop as well as mobile and offers over 20 different languages — there are currently 35 languages with English instruction. 

Duolingo teaches languages through the gamification of translating phrases and words. This game-like system has created an addictive learning environment that can keep you motivated on a daily basis. It was originally created to bring free education to millions, and it is still true to its word.

One of the great things about Duolingo is its lesson format. They are small bite-sized lessons that you can easily fit into your day. Duolingo refers to each language as a “Tree”. You have the option to work on as many different Trees as you want and all at the same time. The languages/trees are divided into “checkpoints”, and each checkpoint has 5-20 modules. 

Motivation is at the core of Duolingo. If you don’t return day after day, you cannot progress. Luckily, Duolingo is a master of motivation and introduces many ways to keep you coming back. It really is addictive. The reward system is the ultimate in keeping you motivated to reach your goals. You can earn virtual coins as you unlock new levels, and at the same time, it will show your fluency level rise as you progress.

Duolingo App

DUOLINGO PROS AND CONS

Pros:

  • Bite-sized lesson format
  • Clear course structure
  • Gamification style keeps you motivated
  • Rather than rote memorization, Duolingo teaches by context
  • Providing a forum for other questions you may have regarding the language

Cons:

  • Very few speaking exercises.
  • Limited conversational engagement.
  • Keeping up with constantly decaying skills can feel discouraging.

Part 3: Memrise vs Duolingo: Should You Upgrade to Duolingo Or Memrise’s Premium Plans?

Most of apps offer very limited free versions and then to get much use out of them, you’d need to upgrade to a paid plan. Both Duolingo and Memrise have free and premium plan. So, should you upgrade to Duolingo or Memrise’s premium plans?

Memrise’s Price breakdown:

  • Month-to-month: $9/mo
  • 3 Months: $6.33/mo
  • Annual: $4.92/mo
  • Lifetime: $129

Memrise Pro members can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Grammarbot
  • Chatbot
  • Immersive videos with native speakers
  • In-depth analytics
  • Offline learning

Memrise Pro certainly makes for a more features-rich experience. At only $5/mo., it’s a worthy investment for those who want to take their language learning to another level by homing in on troublesome vocabulary and grammar, utilizing AI, and having lessons on-the-go, regardless of Wi-Fi connection.

Memrise Pro

Duolingo’s Price breakdown:

  • 1 month: $9.99/mo.
  • 6 months: $7.99/mo. (its most popular plan)
  • 12 months: $6.99/mo.

With Duolingo Plus, you can:

  • Remove ads
  • Download lessons on mobile
  • Get a free streak repair each month

Perhaps the best reason to subscribe to Duolingo Plus is you want to remove ads and learn languages offline. Otherwise, it’s not a necessity.

Part 4: Memrise vs Duolingo: Which is Better

 Memrise Duolingo 
Pricing options Free, with plans from $9/mo. to $129 for lifetime access Free, with monthly plans from $9.99/mo. 
Number of Languages Offered 27, with over 200 courses available 35, with four currently in beta 
Number of Users Over 35 million Over 200 million 
Key Features 1. Game-based platform that relies on mnemonics  
2. Ability to add vocabulary lists that focus on specific needs 
3. Courses in non-language disciplines available, too 
1. Game-based platform that focuses on vocabulary and sentence structure 
2. Ability to test out of basic programs or advance to higher levels sooner  
3. Clear path of progression defined for every language offered 
Offline Access Yes, all lessons via Memrise Pro subscription Yes, all lessons via Duolingo Plus; current lesson only via freemium version 
Cute Mascots Ziggy, who evolves with every level you unlock Duo, who can change outfits via in-game currency 
Conclusion Ideal for vocabulary and a more fluid experience Best for a more well-rounded, organized experience 

So, who wins?!

Clearly there is only one winner… and that is you, the language learner! If you want to boost your vocabulary quickly, Memrise can be a good choice. However, if you want to get more, I must say that the overall quality of Duolingo’s content is much higher and more cohesive.

Have you used Memrise and Duolingo? Which one do you prefer and why?

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  • I'm Lois, the creator of Appreview360.com. I hope this app review website can help people easily discover cool and useful apps. If you are an app developer or own an app and want to get it in front of the right audience, you can contact us. If you want to introduce some cool apps to more people, you can write for us.

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