When you think about learning a language, we bet we can predict what comes to mind:
Is it old, out of date textbooks?
Monotonous, crackly listening tapes with robotic voices?
School language lessons that made you feel bored, uncomfortable and plain inadequate if you made a mistake?
We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to learn like you did at school.
In other words, F*** tradition. No one needs useless, random phrases that make you ask “when will I even need to use this anyway?”
Here’s some science behind why learning needs to be fun. When things are fun, it helps you learn better and retain more information and your brain gets a hit of dopamine. This sends a trigger to your brain’s pleasure system, making said activity seem rewarding. It’s why you can scroll through tons of funny Instagram reels without getting bored, even though you’re not really doing anything particularly beneficial for your brain.
So, now that’s out the way, we’re telling you to throw away that textbook and actually have fun!
Here are three ways that you’ll learn faster when you do it with Memrise:
Learn words that real people actually use
Feeling connected to the language you’re learning is super important, especially early on in your journey. We’d HATE it if you keeled over and collapsed with boredom (or because of a pushy owl…) which is why we teach you useful (and sometimes cheeky) phrases that are fun to say. If you want to vent your frustrations like a Parisian (putain!) or learn how to gush over K-Pop idols like a Korean, we’ve got an app for that 😉
If you’re looking for something a little more immersive, our ‘Learn with Locals’ videos are handy for learning words that real people actually use. Now, we’re not all lucky enough to be jetting off abroad like Instagram influencers, so these videos are crafted to recreate the experience you get when you’re living abroad. Learn with Locals is made up of over 30,000 bite-sized (and COVID-safe) clips of people using real language in context.
And who doesn’t want to feel more connected to people in this day and age? Watching these clips, even virtually, fills you with motivation and the drive to get more meaningful and memorable connections, so you learn faster and with less effort. Compare this with the mind-achingly boring types of learning that we mentioned earlier and you can immediately see the difference: zero personality, zero connection and a whole load of robotics (and not the cool kind either).
Fake it ‘til you make it
Ah, that old chestnut. As they say, confidence is the elixir of life (they don’t say that, we just made it up) but it’s hard to know how to start gaining that confidence. Take a look at old inflatable guy up there. He’s just waving around, doing his thing. Not a care in the world. Cool, right? But in order to BeMoreInflatable™ i.e. in our case, be able to say things out loud in a new language, you need to build confidence. To build confidence, you need to practice saying things out loud. What a conundrum 🤔 Enter Pronunciation Mode.
It’s great when you can follow someone who knows exactly what they’re doing, isn’t it? It’s a great way to build confidence and (quite literally) find your voice when it comes to speaking. Sure, in an ideal world you’d have a mini native speaker tucked away in your pocket that you could bring out when needed (or as a party trick). While we can’t offer that, we encourage you to start speaking right from the off.
Pronunciation mode gives you the chance to mimic a native speaker after hearing how they say it, measure up and make adjustments until you get it right. Don’t worry, we get that it might feel a bit weird to just say random words out loud, but, in the spirit of the inflatable guy, shake it off! Jump in, loosen up and have fun with it. Get those jitters out of the way.
Plus, we’ve got your back when it comes to mistakes. If you make a mistake when you’re learning new words, it’ll be marked as “Difficult Words”, and it'll be tested again with extra emphasis. This’ll form the beginnings of a home for the information to store itself in your brain.
Think fast (and remember faster)
Now that you’ve got the words, the tone and the confidence, all that’s left to do is remember all the right words and when to use it. Easy, right? Sure, until you panic under pressure and forget everything you’ve learned. ARGH!
The more motivated you are, the easier it will be for you to remember things, and motivation can come in many forms (like that motivation to eat the last chocolate biscuit - can’t have any waste now, can we?) or the ‘Speed Review’ feature in our app! It puts your brain through the training it needs in a game that will help you handle the pressure. If you’re a fan of a classic video game, you’re onto a winner. You’ll need to complete a level in a certain time without losing your three lives. It’ll make the real world feel like a breeze!
That on-the-spot feeling trains your brain to perform under pressure. By the time you need the phrases in real life, it’ll be like second nature.
Right, that’s enough for today. Now get back to class and start playing.