User Guide - Version 1.0

A User Guide to Memrise

How to use and navigate Memrise for beginner web surfers. I become less detailed with instructions on how to get places as the guide goes on and one familiarizes themselves with how Memrise looks and navigates.

Index: Part 1: Gettting Started Part 2: How Memrise works Part 3: Moderators and Curators Part 4: How to create a new course Part 5: Ignoring, editing, and adding to words Part 6: Mnemonics Part 7: Community

Part 1: Getting Started

If you already have an account created and are reading this guide to learn more about Memrise. Skip to Part 2.

Create an account by clicking Log In in the top right corner. Then click "Don't have an account?" below the login area. Create an account or Login via Facebook.

Now that you are signed in, where do we begin? Let's take a look at your profile first. Click on your username to be brought to your user page.

You won't see much now - but as you continue to use Memrise it will begin to grow! For now you may want to fill in some information about yourself and add an avatar to start! Click the "edit profile" button to be brought to your account settings.

You can make all wanted changes from here - and even change what emails you receive by clicking on the "Mail and notifications" tab. If at some point you wish to no longer be a member of Memrise, you may click "Deactivate your account" and confirm your account deletion.

Now let's go over starting your first Memrise course. We're going to take the longer route so you can get used to Memrise! So click "Topics" on the top right corner. You will be taken to the Languages page where you can pick a language and course to learn. It will look like this:

As you can see in the red box there are other topics to learn from under the "Other Topics" and "Guardian Wallcharts" areas. In "Other Topics" you can learn Math, History, Biology, Physics, World Geography, Musical Notation, The Flags of the World, The Major System, and much much more!

For now let's look for a Spanish course! Click "Spanish" from the list of language flags to be taken to the Spanish topic. Now that you are on the Spanish Page - let me break it down for you. Use this image as reference:

In the selected Pink area are several tabs. The Community tab takes you to the Community Page seen. This page will show you recent mems added, the list of curators, the most recent words and courses added, and usually contains a demo course or two.

The Courses tab is the tab you're on right now! So take a look around for what it contains.

By clicking on "Forums" you will be brought to the topics' forums where you can discuss with the curators and other learners of the topic and get to know your community!

The Patrol tab is for Curators and Moderators to allow us to go through the community suggestions to make edits to improve Memrise for everyone. I will go more in depth about this later on in this guide.

The Dictionary tab is exactly as it sounds! It will take you to a dictionary where you can search either in the native language or in the learning language, which in most cases is English.

The FAQ tab is where you will go to find your topic conventions and frequently asked questions. Conventions are important to follow to allow Memrise to be the best it can be for the entire community. I will go over what the conventions are and why it is important to follow them when I explain how to create a new Memrise course in part 3 of this guide.

In the selected red area are the featured courses. These are courses that are chosen for being most completed and often times good for beginners. These courses will usually contain full audio, many mems, and moderated information.

In the selected purple area - you can click "Create a course" to well... create a course! I will be going over this in just a moment so hang in there!

The selected blue area is self-explanatory. I accidentally highlighted it but felt I should mention that just in case anyone asks why it's highlighted blue!

Select a course and "start learning" to begin your first steps into speaking a new language! Or maybe just passing your physics test...

That is all you need to know to get started on learning with Memrise, so go plant a few seeds now!

Done that? Ok! Now that you've got used to the basics, you might want to know more, like how to create your own courses, become a curator, use the forums, and other more advanced features. Read on!

Part 2 - How Memrise works

However, before we go into features like creating our own courses, itís important to have a basic understanding of how Memrise works - and why things are done a certain way.

Memrise is built as a wiki, which means that each word has its own page. That page consists of useful information like spelling, pronunciation, mems, parts of speech and so on. All this information can be edited by Memrise users (see Part 5 for details of how to edit). What's more, a word may feature in many different courses within a topic: for example, the word 'gracias' might feature in both Spanish for Beginners and Spanish for Business. That doesn't mean that there are two separate entries for 'gracias' in the Memrise wiki; instead, both of these courses refer to the same word, and the same wiki page. Therefore, if someone makes an edit to a word - like correcting its pronunciation, or adding a mem - those changes will also take effect in every other course featuring that word.

This means that Memrise is continually being improved by its users. In order to make sure that edits really do improve things, however, changes to a word donít take effect immediately. They are first checked by curators and moderators, who make sure everything is accurate and aprpoves changes before they take place.

Part 3 - Moderators and Curators

The tools for curating the wikis are being re-developed, and I will post a full description once the new system is up and fully working. In the meantime though, this is a very brief summary:

Curators and Moderators are the people who oversee changes to the words and definitions in the wiki, and can make edits that are directly applied. Anyone can become a curator, the only requirement is a willingness to contribute what you can. You don't need to be fluent in the language that you are curating; as long as you only make changes that your language level allows you to be sure of, you can always ask other, more fluent to help out when you aren't sure.

The main difference between a moderator and a curator is that a moderator can merge duplicate items in the wiki. It is important that we have as few duplicates as possible, so that everyone is adding their sample sentences, audio recordings and mnemonics to the same items in the database, so that everyone can benefit from the material that everyone else adds.

If you would like to get involved as a curator, please get in touch with ben@memrise.com and he will set you up.

Merging items is a sensitive business though, so it does generally require a fairly high level of confidence in the language, and an understanding of potential difficulties. That said, there are some merges that are very straightforward, and all help is hugely appreciated, so if you would be interested in getting involved, please get in touch!

Part 4 - How to create a new course

Now let's go over how to create a course. First, it's important to know the conventions for your topic. Conventions are guidelines for what information to include, how to present it, and so on - let's head over there now. Click on "FAQ" and find "For the conventions for the Spanish wiki, please go here" and click on "here". This will bring you to the Spanish conventions. Make sure to read and understand the conventions, as following them helps keep Memrise consistent and easy to use for everyone. If your course does not follow conventions, curators and moderators may edit your course to ensure that it does. Of course, if you have suggestions for new conventions or improvements to existing ones, be sure to post them in the forums!

Now that you are familiar with the conventions, go back to the Spanish topic and click "Create a course". It will bring you to a page where you can name your course and define it. You can also pick a relevant picture to accompany it and make it easier to identify.

If you wish the course to remain unlisted as a "private course" - append an underscore to the beginning of the course. Such as "_Problem Words" without the quotations. This will make the course unlisted in the course listings - but please note that this does not make the course 100% private! It is merely unlisted and people may still find it from your User Profile.

After naming the course it will bring you to the next page. On this page you can add words either one-by-one, as a list, or as an .xls spreadsheet. You may also notice that you can "View conventions" from here - but now you know how to find them via the FAQ in case you need to view them when you aren't creating a course!

Adding words one-by-one allows you to search for either the native or learning language for the existing word in the Memrise wikipedia. It will then find the word and add it.

To add as a list, create a list of words that follow the conventions and have one word per line in the text entry field. Make sure to choose which language you are adding as a list so that Memrise will search the correct database. Memrise will then automatically find matching words or definitions. It will also ask you to provide a word or translation for any of the list that did not have a matching counterpart. You can also remove it if you wish. If multiple words for one definition are found - you will be asked to select the ones you wish to add. Here is an example with a test course where it found 1 word without a match and 1 word with multiple matches:

Adding as an .xls spreadsheet is now available only to topic curators. A spreadsheet creates entirely new entries into the Memrise wiki and thus creates more work on the moderators who then have to merge the new duplicate entries - this should only be done when adding new items to the wiki, hence it is only for wiki curators (if you would like to be a curator, please get in touch with ben@memrise.com, your help would be hugely appreciated!).

Adding words as a list is almost always the best option to fill your list with words. If you have a spreadsheet of words that you would like to learn, you can just copy the column from your spreadsheet with the words in the target language, and paste them into the "add words as a list" tool.

You can add images to mnemonics or courses the same way you would on the forums. By using img: imglink (to do so easily - use the forums to upload the image by starting a new discussion, and copy+pasting the text given.)

Video works the same way by using embed: videolink

When you are finished and happy with your course, click "Done Editing". This will bring you to your freshly made course page where you can view the words in the course, view your flowers, discuss the course, edit the course, or choose more learning options.

Discussions are used to discuss errors in the course or changes in the course. Curators and moderators use this to allow the public to know what has been changed and allows the public to notify curators and moderators of changes that need to be made.

Editing the course allows the course creator or topic curators/moderators to change, add, or delete from the course - similar to when you made the course.

Clicking on "More learning options" will bring up a list of different learning methods. You can focus on old or new words, mix them both, be shown only the words, and select what type of test you would like to take. For now I'll just leave it on the default, "Mix old and new words".

Click on "Learn" or "Plant Seeds" to begin your new course!

Part 5 - Ignoring, Editing, and Adding to words

When you are studying you have many options that appear. When you are first introduced to a word it should look something like this:

The red selected area allows you to edit, ignore, and discuss an item by mousing-over the left-hand side.

Editing the item allows you to forward suggestions to the topic curators and moderators which will then be reviewed, and if deemed fit, changed.

Ignoring the word will cause you to no longer be tested on the word - great for words you already know by heart! However if you ignore a word by accident, you can reverse the change by going to the course page by clicking on the title of the course from your garden. Go to the "Seeds" tab and click on "Show Ignored Words".

Adding a discussion is generally used to discuss why something was changed and is a good way to provide feedback to curators and moderators.

On the right-hand side you can mute the audio, pause the study session, or stop it early if you need to take a break.

In the orange selected area you can show more information on the word such as alternative translations, the part of speech, the parent, dependants, etc.

Now for the funnest part of all! Mems! These are a great tool to help yourself and others learn a word by really bringing it to life or creating a little story to help you remember it better. If there are no mems "Mempty!" will show up. You can always go to "edit item" and create a mem from there or search a word in the dictionary and add it directly from it's page. You can also add a sample translation which can be used for testing in context through sentences.

User Guide Notice: The "No new mems" has changed in apperance to "Mempty!" but functions much the same. Image needs to be updated.

Part 6: Mnemonics

Mnemonics are a very important part of words, testing, and memory. They're so large and expansive they need their own chapter just to share a small amount of the information!

Remember that testing you were doing and the word was "Mempty!"? Let's click on the green "+" sign to see exactly what we can do! You should now have a box that looks something like

Let's click on "mnemonic" to see all of our options! I'll cover what each one is "supposed" to be.

Mnemonic - A general mnemonic with no specific intention other than remembering the word. Sample - An example sentence using the word. Etymology - The history and evolution of the word. Good for Latin suffixes and prefixes for example. Pronunciation mem - A mnemonic meant to help remember pronunciation. Usually used for phonetic languages such as Mandarin or Japanese. How to write - Mostly used for non-Latin scripts, explanation is in the name. Extra Info - Any info on use of the word that may need to be known. Such as how to properly use it or if it might be slang for something else. Confusable Mnemonic - A mnemonic to help remember a word over it's easily confused counterparts. Help tell two words apart using this category of mnemonics! Same pronunciation - Tell your homophones apart or simply be made aware of them through this mnemonic.

Next up is an image uploader that allows you to upload an image. This image will be displayed behind your mnemonic. If you have a picture relevant or helpful for the mnemonic or would like to create one to use - this is where you go to use it!

Next up is the text area. Go ahead and type something in now - don't worry if it's not a helpful mnemonic as you don't have to save the mnemonic. We're just testing!

To produce bold text surround your text with braces {. If you would like italics surround it with square brackets [. You can use the plus and minus signs to increase or decrease text size. You can use the arrows to position the text to some degree as well.

If you think your mnemonic is useful, go ahead and "Add mem" now - or just click the X in the top right hand corner of the mnemonic box area.

Part 7: Community

Memrise's community is a great place to be but sometimes can be a little confusing. To help guide you through the community aspects - let's first take a tour of the forums.

You may remember each topic having it's own forum from Part 1: Getting Started. Well... Memrise has an even more broad forum that is shared for every topic learner! Click on the "Community" tab on the top right and you'll be brought to the global community page. This page shows the mems of the moment from all topics - new learners, and even a small leaderboards. It has it's own tabs as well!

The Mem Stream are all the mems being made for every topic go to be shown.

The Leaderboard is exactly that! A place to compete to see who has studied the most amongst your fellow Memrisers. You can choose from only showing you people who joined at approximately the same date as you, your mempals, or even the entire community!

The Forums are a place to hold discussions about learning, Memrise, and to just idle chit chat. On the forums there are several different discussion boards. There is a board for questions, suggestions, mobile use, bug reports, general memrise talk, wanted Memrise content, Development chat, and even just idle banter for joyful chatter! Click "View All ### Threads" or click the Discussion Board title to be brought to the board. From here you can view threads by clicking the title - which allows you to read and reply to them. You can also start your own by typing a title in the "start a new discussion" box. If you wish to link to a specific thread - click the time stamp by the user creator to be brought to the exact thread. This allows you to share threads with other users.

The Profiles tab will allow you to search for friends currently. It still needs some work and improvement however it is one of the easiest ways to find your friends! Just search their username or perhaps just a bit about them and they'll show up for you.

Posted by Tchael 7/9/12, last update 11/22/12 (1 year ago)
  • Additional Information/Things left out because they were forgotten or I did not have the knowledge of them:

    You can add images to mnemonics or courses the same way you would on the forums. By using (to do so easily - use the forums to upload the image by starting a new discussion, and copy+pasting the text given.)

    Video works the same way by using videolink

    To add a straight line in mnemonics use five asterisks *

    "To produce bold text surround your text with ** braces. If you would like italics surround it with brackets." Braces** Brackets - For some reason it seems to have filtered to four asterisks.

    Posted by Tchael 7/10/12 (2 years ago)
  • Pictures look great! Good job.

    Last paragraph in Part 3: "Merging items is a sensitiv business though" missed an 'e' on that word. That's all I saw on a quick read.

    Posted by EtyMed 7/10/12 (2 years ago)
  • There are a few things that need to be polished that cropped up somehow. But we're aware of them and Ben will be fixing them as he finds the time to do so.

    (Eg; Theyíre, ëSpanish, etc)

    Posted by Tchael 7/10/12 (2 years ago)
  • Thanks for those edits - Tchael can you check that I have added in the info on the embedding images and videos to the courses in the right place.

    I also updated the bit on spreadsheet uploading to reflect the fact that now the spreadsheet uploader is only available to topic curators; it should only every be used by them anyway, so it made sense to actually make that part of the program rather than to just keep pleading with people to use it like that.

    Best wishes and thanks again for your work!

    Ben

    Posted by BenWhately Staff   7/10/12 (2 years ago)
  • Smart change regarding the spreadsheets. One that I hope will see far fewer duplicates being added.

    The images are all in the proper place. I now realize I probably should have named the places rather than leaving you to make sense of it - but you did a great job with it regardless. Sorry for putting a bit of unnecessary work on you for it though.

    One edit is on the img: imagelink and embed: videolink - they will need spaces or some other similar "halt" function otherwise they actually format as they are supposed to.

    Posted by Tchael 7/10/12 (2 years ago)
  • No problem, thank you very much for all the work that you put into this - it is really brilliant!

    Good spot with the links - now fixed.

    Best wishes

    Ben

    Posted by BenWhately Staff   7/10/12 (2 years ago)
  • "don't worry if it's not a helpful mnemonic as you don't have to safe the mnemonic."

    Should be "save the mnemonic".

    "Whatís" should probably be "What's"?

    Posted by Tchael 7/10/12 (2 years ago)
  • done, thanks!

    Posted by BenWhately Staff   7/10/12 (2 years ago)
  • Is it possible to skip words? Sometimes quite specific words come up which I don't really feel I need to learn. Doing so takes time I'd rather spend on another word - So can I skip over adding it to my garden somehow? Thanks!

    Posted by lukeystan 7/10/12 (2 years ago)
  • You can select indivdual plants/words to seed into your garden, and also have the option to "ignore" words which will leave them out entirely.

    If you feel the need to include them back into your garden, you need to go back and 're-seed' them by clicking the "Show ignored words" and 'un-ignore' them.

    Posted by Forxnat 7/10/12 (2 years ago)
  • Could you clarify how to add the English alternatives when you want the main definition, but then want to add "hidden" alternatives. The convention says, "Add the Source Language form without the 'to' in the English alternatives, prepended with and underscore _. " I am working in the Japanese-Kanji Readings course and it has Kanji and Hiragana alternatives, but no English Alternative. Or do you put it in the English like this:

    e.g. 行く to go _to proceed _to take place

    Posted by Kentd2099 7/11/12 (2 years ago)
  • That's more or less something for curators and isn't quite the scope of this guide.

    You use underscores for alternative answers that aren't going to be displayed. For example "to go" and "_go". They are essentially the same answer so there is no need to display both.

    Another example of that is "colour" and "_color".

    to proceed and _to take place aren't the same as "to go" and so shouldn't be hidden using the "" preface.

    Posted by Tchael 7/11/12 (2 years ago)
  • Ben just made me curator of the Bambara language and i wan't to give in the flag on the main topic page, but i don't see how i can do it.

    Posted by GB0602 7/12/12 (2 years ago)
  • @GB0602 - could you email it to me? Thanks!

    Ben

    Posted by BenWhately Staff   7/12/12 (2 years ago)
  • I would like you to tell what exactly are parents and dependants? Do you refer to the words from which a word stems and to its derivatives?

    Posted by griegozurita 7/14/12 (2 years ago)
  • By the way, I created a little guide for Spanish speakers in LINGUA LATINA's(http://www.memrise.com/home/gardens/#lingua-latina) forum, just in case it can be useful for others.

    Posted by griegozurita 7/14/12 (2 years ago)
  • in your picture it says your rank and your session stats. how come I'm unable to see those while being tested?

    Posted by TL-Parnass 7/16/12 (2 years ago)
  • Is there a way to water all the wilting plants at the same time across different courses?

    Since I have several different courses I've done, it seems like I spend a good deal of time everyday just clicking back and forth so I can water the various wilted plants in different courses.

    Would save lots of time if Memrise could just test me all at once perhaps in the order of wilting.

    Posted by mfgillia 7/16/12 (2 years ago)
  • Could you offer this userguide simply as a PDF for download? You'll sure also find an Adobe InDesign layouter who'll help you to beautify your userguide, if you really want to!

    Posted by pvwg 7/22/12 (2 years ago)
  • Could you offer this userguide simply as a PDF for download? You'll sure also find an Adobe InDesign layouter who'll help you to beautify your userguide, if you really want to!

    Posted by pvwg 7/22/12 (2 years ago)
  • @TL-Parnass A change in layout design.

    @Mfgillia There is a Chrome Extension that can be found in the Dev. Center that does just that.

    @pvwg Perhaps but it won't be for a while. My life plans for the next 2-3 weeks are hectic and unknown to me for now.

    Posted by Tchael2 7/23/12 (2 years ago)
  • Life plans? Aha! I thought this is an official thing from the memrise team...I wonder what they do all day, with their venture capital money...there's still no Android app to my knowledge...

    Posted by pvwg 7/25/12 (2 years ago)
  • Nope. This is a user contributed guide in an attempt to cut back on the repetitions of certain questions that always pop up. Seeing as I'm usually on the forums all day helping Ben answer questions - I figured having a guide to explain things would be nice.

    I'm currently visiting my father with very limited internet (or computer) access. So life and Memrise are both a bit hectic right now.

    Posted by Tchael2 7/26/12 (2 years ago)
  • I was aware of this already. :) Still that's why I hope the memrise team (or maybe later I) will put that in a PDF...

    This also means, Tchael2, that of course I don't have any expectation to you :) but only to the memrise team!

    Posted by pvwg 7/29/12 (2 years ago)
  • Well I'm back home after practically running away from my father's so I could resume my studies. I hopped on a bus and took a train back home while he was at work.

    I'll see what I can do about making a .PDF over the next few days.

    ps: Tchael/Tchael2 are both me. No need to add the 2 when referring to me.

    Posted by Tchael 7/30/12 (2 years ago)
  • http://www.mediafire.com/?6q96gysiue6g28s

    Not the best quality .PDF around... but it was better than my first attempt which was a mess.

    Posted by Tchael2 8/2/12 (2 years ago)
  • Could you repost the keyboard shortcuts in this thread or even better, in a separate user guide thread?

    A couple of weeks ago, there was a thread about the implemented access keys. I can't find it anymore, searched all forums, keys are still working, though.

    Posted by azrael42 8/3/12 (2 years ago)
  • http://www.memrise.com/thread/888174/ With a little bit of magic - there you go.

    Posted by Tchael 8/3/12 (2 years ago)
  • Thanks, tchael, the what's new forum is well hidden.

    Another addition to the User Guide would be that the memrise engine ignores most punctuation and accents which you usually discover accidentally and 'peu a peu'.

    As of now and to my best knowledge, you can leave out all punctuation except hyphens (unless there are empty spaces around the hyphen) and accents can always be ignored (as well as capitalization, of course).

    Posted by azrael42 8/4/12 (2 years ago)
  • hellooo anyone.

    Posted by BIGOL 8/8/12 (2 years ago)
  • Are only curators/ moderators able to add audio?

    Posted by mrscott 8/8/12 (2 years ago)
  • can i make a suggestion here as i dont know where else.. it would be useful if we had a notice for new garden wall message when we log in or on the garden wall (1) <-- it would be a sign, something like that.

    Posted by mara1974 8/21/12 (2 years ago)
  • @Mara1974 it would be useful if we had a notice for new garden wall message'

    I get an email if there is a message. It depends on your settings

    Posted by tonyyyy 8/21/12 (2 years ago)
  • Wonderful site. BUT, in the welsh lists I am studying there are often alternative plurals. That's OK, that's Welsh. However I feel a bit miffed if, on writing the plurals in Welsh I put them in the wrong order I get penalised. Why does it matter which order? And can the problem be resolved?

    Posted by margaretchrys 8/27/12 (2 years ago)
  • Great site. However what does it mean "time left to harvest"?

    Posted by phlogbottom 9/10/12 (2 years ago)
  • I guess you missed the official http://www.memrise.com/faq/ that is assumed as known by the user guide(s).

    Posted by azrael42 9/10/12 (2 years ago)
  • Can you please add information to the markup code in the "add mem" page? This would benefit all the users that don't have the patience to look it up here

    Posted by adnim 9/15/12 (2 years ago)
  • Any way to turn off the clock? Im the worst typist and even though I know the words Im being tested on I cant type my Korean fast enough especially since I am trying to learn where the letters are on the english keyboard!!! Its very stressful as Im trying to be efficient and alot of time is wasted when the clock times out and then it goes back to the mem page for me to retype! please advise.

    Posted by madisch 10/16/12 (1 year ago)
  • Excellent work, congratulations. I'm trying to build up new courses to get a better feel for the new site but looks and works great so far.

    One bug I have noticed is in the Guardian wallcharts. When being tested it will the question is Goldfish, and you're somehow suppsoed to but the iamge of the goldfish as the answer. Obviosuly it should be the other way around. See http://www.memrise.com/v1/learn/296/guardian-wallcharts/5/garden/go/ for example

    Posted by trontsephore 10/18/12 (1 year ago)
  • Thank you for this. My question is - how do I delete a course that I made?

    Posted by colin.browne 11/2/12 (1 year ago)
  • They are first checked by curators and moderators, who make sure everything is accurate and aprpoves changes before they take place.

    aprpoves/s/approve subject-verb-agreement + spelling :: curators --> approve | curator --> approves.

    Posted by areckx 11/8/12 (1 year ago)
  • How do you delete a mem that you have created yourself?

    Posted by Rachelmort 11/10/12 (1 year ago)
  • Create a new course does not seem to work: that is if I click on this button, nothing happens. Also, I have accidentally put some courses into other which should be in Latin: how do I move them?

    Posted by jemgeach 11/22/12 (1 year ago)