Learn English: The World’s Most Influential Language

Learn English with Memrise


Did you know more people learn English than any other foreign language?

English is everywhere! It’s spoken on every continent. Which means if you learn English, you can communicate with more people than you can ever imagine...


Hi in German

Hi in Spanish

 Hi in French

Welcome in German

Welcome in Spanish

Welcome in French


How many people speak English in the world?

Approximately 1.34 billion people speak English in total.

  • 380 million as a first language. 
  • 960 million as a second language (this will be you soon!) 😉

The numbers are staggering! And makes English the most spoken second language in the world. But why the popularity? Not only does it give you incredible new opportunities in life... It's super fun to learn! 

You’re about to find out... 


Which countries speak English?

Because of how many English speakers in the world there are… wherever you are... you can find someone who speaks English!


54 countries list English as their official language. And many more consider English as ‘de facto’ official language – meaning it’s spoken by the majority of people in that country. For example, the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Canada. Plus Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, Malta and Ireland.


Why learn English?

Ah… the biggest question. Fun Fact: English is called the ‘lingua franca’ of the world. Meaning it’s the common universal language spoken by groups that don’t speak the same language. 

This makes learning English incredibly important.


The importance of learning English:


English is the primary language in all these areas of life:

  • Tourism
  • The Internet (approximately 55% of the world’s webpages are written in English) 
  • Technology
  • Business and economics
  • Education
  • The United Nations
  • The European Union
  • Aviation: air traffic control and plane flying
  • Global Trade
  • Diplomacy
  • Publishing & Scientific research
  • Entertainment: film, music, television

Yep. English is a BIG deal. It’s important to learn English because being able to understand and speak English will give you loads of new opportunities and experiences in life – and help you achieve your goals. It’s impossible to count the advantages of learning English on one hand. How exciting is that?


Start learning English now 


Benefits of learning English

Learning English changes your life. Fact.


Here are some more reasons to learn English:

  • Geographical benefits: live in another country

Thinking of living abroad? Learning English gives you so many options.

  • Professional benefits: boost your career

Employers LOVE people who can speak another language. Learning English can help you supercharge your career and gain yourself new jobs and promotions.

Top tip: take a moment to think of your own individual reasons for learning English. This will get you pumped up and motivated.

Feeling inspired? Start learning English here.

  • Social benefits: make friends anywhere in the world

Share great conversations with people you would’ve never met if it wasn’t for English and make friends for life.

  • Cultural benefits: immerse yourself in different cultures

Language sits in the heart of any culture. So when you can understand and speak English in an English speaking country – you become a part of that culture too! Cool, right? This also improves your cultural awareness.

  • Personal benefits: be whoever you want to be

Learning English can help you find and explore new interests. Mould your personality and become whoever you want to be. Singer? Author? Salesperson? F.R.I.E.N.D.S binge-watcher? The world is your oyster.

  •  Romantic benefits: fall in love 💞

Bit of a romantic? You’d be amazed how people meet someone special through another language – especially one like English.


Why English is easier to learn than you think...


Learning English with Memrise

Since {category} and English both originated from the same broad Indo-European language family, they share some similar vocabulary which makes learning English easier than you might think.

(European) Portuguese also first originated from this broad Indo-European language group, and since Brazilian Portuguese is a dialect of European Portuguese - this also contains similarities to the English language.

This means English is a very friendly language to learn for speakers of different languages. So if you want to learn English – the chances are you already have a head-start!


For example:

  • German 🇩🇪

See these German and English words that share the same roots: 

Mann – man

Hand – hand

Fisch – fish

Schuh – shoe

  • French 🇫🇷

Did you know approximately 30% English words come from French origin? Spot the similarities between these French and English words: 

Agressive – aggressive, 

Mariage – marriage, 

Connexion – connection, 

Identité –  identity  


Final example:

Déjà vu  – literally meaning ‘already seen’ 

English speakers use ‘Déjà vu’ to describe something that they’ve already seen before and has just repeated!

  • Spanish 🇪🇸

It’s estimated that 1,000 English words come from Spanish origin. Here are some of our favourites:

Patio   patio (an outdoor area or courtyard)

Cafetería  cafeteria (cafe or canteen)

Tornada   tornado

Macho   macho (meaning: aggressively masculine) 

Aficionado  –  meaning fan or enthusiast 

The word aficionado is used in English to describe someone who is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about something. For example: ‘she is a massive art aficionado.’

Sign on to a Memrise English course to find out how many English words you’ll recognise.


  • Polish 🇵🇱


  • Portuguese 🇵🇹


British or American English: what’s the difference?

English is a global language, and as a result people speak it in different accents and within different cultures. That’s what makes it so interesting. So before you stress over whether you want to learn British English or American English… Remember that they are the same language!

That’s right. Learn English and you will be able to understand people in the UK, the US, Australia and elsewhere… Excited? You should be.

But since you asked, here are some interesting differences in vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation to bear in mind.


Vocabulary: UK vs US



In the ‘present simple’ tense (speaking of a possessive), British speakers often prefer to use ‘have got’, whereas American speakers like to use the verb ‘have’ on its own:

I’ve got a huge family (UK) vs I have a huge family! (US)



In American English, if there are two vowels either side of of ‘t’ or ‘tt’ in a word, it often becomes a ‘d’ sound)

For example: ‘Water’ (US)


Compare this with UK English: ‘Water’ (emphasis on the ‘t’ sound)



Spot the difference? The same difference is noticeable with the word ‘better’ too.


Why did English become the world language?

From reading this so far, you’ve probably guessed that English is the world’s most influential language. But why did it become so powerful?

Global colonialism between the 16th and 18th centuries by sailors, soldiers, missionaries, and tradespeople spread the English language abroad. On top of this: the strength of the US economy after World War 2, globalisation and the rise of the internet’s power turned English into a global language.


Why do we learn English in school?

English is called ‘the language of opportunity’. With English, you can live, study and work in another country. Travel to different parts of the globe. Achieve things you could never dream of. This is why we learned it at school.


How do I learn business English or learn technical English?

Business English is useful for your career: interviews, meetings, presentations, and interacting with clients. Some of English common business terms include ‘touch base with’ (meaning: to get in contact with), ‘keep me in the loop’ (meaning: keep me updated with progress) and ‘action points’ (meaning: things that need to be done.) 

Technical English is for engineering, IT, software and tech professionals. This describes written instructions and complex documentation.


Tips to learn English communication?

Having the confidence to speak English is more important than having perfect pronunciation. Your spoken English doesn’t have to be immaculate to be understood. Our goal is to help you create awesome conversations and experiences (with real people) using your English. Not pass a speaking test. So don’t hold back.

Our video and audio clips of native speakers talking to you in English – and our app’s speech recognition exercises – let you speak English without fear. And make friends in no time.


How to learn English

There are many different ways to learn English. So here’s a secret on how to learn English easily.

You need a way of learning that fits into your life easily, letting you learn at your own pace and on your own time, while keeping you motivated.

Happy with that?


What’s the best method to learn English?

Learning English by Immersion 

Language immersion is the best way to learn a language because it allows you to experience language in the most natural way possible. By experiencing native speakers’ pronunciation, tones, facial expressions and body language in different contexts – you experience and understand how the language works in real life. This is how you learn to pronounce English effectively.

Good news. Our English courses are built on language immersion.


Pick a language course today to experience the closest thing to living the country of the language you want to learn.


How to speak English like a real pro 

The more you immerse yourself in English – the more you internalise the language structure. Adding more words, phrases, grammar and general understanding every day. Immersing yourself and practising speaking in an English speaking country is how to learn to speak English fluently, if that’s your goal. But it’s not possible to simply move to another country at the click of a button. So our language courses are designed to let you immerse yourself in English – virtually.


Learn Basic English 

Let’s get something clear. You don’t need to be fluent to interact with people and share great conversations. Just learning basic English words and phrases to use in different situations is the best place to start.

Here’s some simple phrases to get you started. Yay.


How are you?


what’s your name?


my name is



Learn English Grammar

Grammar helps you understand how and why sentences are formed. There are a few rules to keep in mind.


How to learn irregular verbs in English

These are verbs which don’t have the ‘-ed’ ending in the past tense form. For example:

‘I watched television all night’ = regular verb (simple past)

‘I spoke to my friend yesterday’ = irregular verb (simple past)

See more examples of irregular verbs in our app. Why not create flashcards and stick them around your home?


Learn English Vocabulary

To make learning English count – you need to learn English words and phrases to speak in different situations. Equip yourself with the essential vocabulary to survive in an English speaking country. And more than that: have great interactions with people you meet in different scenarios. Heads up: our app’s English courses are very good at preparing you for this.


How to learn English on your own

Self-learning a language is a different challenge to learning with a teacher in a classroom. You’re your own boss. Which means you should make learning English as fun and interesting as possible, right?

Life is super busy. We know that. There is so much to do. So you need a way of learning that fits easily into your lifestyle, instead of feeling like a chore that you have to find extra time to do! Wouldn’t you rather be able to learn English during your journey to work rather than begrudgingly drag yourself to an English class after a long day’s work?

Nailing a short and sharp learning session – even just 10 minutes – is a great way to learn English fast. Learn while your dinner cooks, on your walk to the shops, and even in the shower.

Wondering how to keep yourself energised? Don’t worry. The Memrise app learning reminders give you that extra boost you need when you’re feeling tired.


How to learn English at home: online.

Relax. Put your feet up. And get comfortable. You’ve got some learning to do. Conquer the fear of speaking English for the first time by practicing your pronunciation at home… where nobody’s watching. A safe learning space – ideal for learning English for beginners. Watch and listen to native  speakers (virtually) while eating a packet of crisps, if you want.

We have a website for those who want to learn at home on laptop plus a phone app for iPhone and android… so you have no excuses. 😉


Learning English (for Kids and Teenagers) vs Learning English (for Adults)

Children and teenagers are able to pick up languages quickly because their developing brains are designed to absorb information. By exposing themselves to language above their level of understanding, their brains fight to work out the meaning and that’s how they internalise the language structure. Interesting, right?

The good news is… no matter your age… you’re able to do the same thing! You can learn English at the age of 60,  70, 80, even older. The perception that adults can’t learn a language effectively is WRONG.

Our lives are much busier as adults, sure. That’s why learning English MUST NOT feel boring or draining. It has to be fun, simple and easy. And the benefits are endless. Embrace them. 

Get started today.


How to learn professional English?

English language competency is a crucial skill that can boost your professional career hugely. Allowing you to work in different jobs across the globe and interact with countless people.

Want to make a good impression in your new job? Learning some business English helps you speak professionally in business contexts.

Professional vs casual business sayings:

  • ‘I received your email vs ‘I got your email’
  • ‘Could you explain that further’ vs ‘What does that mean’

The best way to equip yourself with some business English is to watch and read business news like The New York Times or The Week. Or listen to real English speakers talking in business situations via our app. And then practice them yourself. You’ve got this!


Techniques to learn English

There are many ways to learn English. See these cool options:

  • Learning English by listening

Translation: what do you want to do today?


It is literally impossible to understand spoken language without practicing listening to language that you have to think really hard to make sense of. That’s why listening to English helps you learn English. Simple.

We recommend listening to podcasts, radio and your favourite English speaking shows. Plus clips of our native English speakers.


  • Learning English by reading

Reading helps build your understanding of vocabulary and grammar by seeing it in sentences. We recommend starting with children’s books first and progressing up from there.

We’re only just getting started… keep reading. 👀


Ways to learn English by yourself

There are many ways to learn English. So it’s important to find what works for you as an individual. Because everybody is different. For example:

  • You may learn best in a class, or by reading a book, or by using an app (*our app is pretty good) 😉
  • Listening to native speakers in a podcast may suit you more than reading a magazine.
  • Watching a show on Netflix might keep you more engaged than a quick YouTube video.

Let’s make one thing clear… you don’t need to go to school to learn English, or sign up to loads of classes to learn English. In language classes, the material you learn is already decided for you and may not help you achieve your goals for learning a language.

For example, if you want to know how to order food and drink and ask questions to staff in a restaurant – it would be a waste of time learning about the weather. Make sense? Oh, and by the way:

we would like something to eat please


Learn English Online

The rise of the internet means you can find many websites to learn English containing online English courses. Plus quizzes, podcasts, and language learning apps that enable people to learn a language from the comfort of their sofa.


What’s the best software to learn English?

We believe we’ve created the best software to learn English. Why? Our app encourages you to immerse yourself in English language, learn on-the-go, and practice on your own terms. Easy.

You might think: ‘Isn’t an app just a textbook on my phone?’, and you’re right. A lot of apps are digitalised versions of large textbooks which recite words & phrases in a robotic and bored tone of voice. But NOT US. Our app hits you with native speakers talking REAL language in different contexts…  how they would in real life. This is language in its most natural and authentic form.

Our language experts have worked long and hard to create the best way to learn English. And with over 50 million users… a few other people like to learn a language with us too. 😊


Within our English courses, you can choose which language you would like to learn to equip yourself with phrases for different situations. That’s why you can use our app to learn beginner’s or advanced English  – whatever you want.


  • Podcasts to learn English

A podcast is a fun and effective tool to help you learn English. Download some on your phone and tune in when you have a spare moment. Top Tip: with the words you recognise, try to piece together the meaning of sentences by focusing on the parts you don’t understand.

Browse the internet. Listen to podcasts with different speaking speeds and find the best podcasts to learn English for you.


  • Videos to learn English

Watching favourite videos (sport, music, cooking tutorials, whatever) in English can help you learn the language by immersion.


Tell me how to learn English fast.

We know what you’re thinking… Life is short. Your time is limited. And you want to learn English fast and easily. Right?

Stop right there. Because googling ‘how long to learn English?’ won’t achieve anything. Remember that your learning journey is unique.

But if you sign up to an Memrise English course – you can learn English quickly at home. And it’ll make you feel like this:What is the fastest way to learn English?



What is the fastest way to learn English?

Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Short learning sessions – done often – build your understanding of language. Start small – why not learn an English word a day?


Here are some more tips:

  • Dedicate some time and motivation to fast-forward your learning.

Do you plan to learn English in 6 months? Learn English in 3 months? Or even learn English in 7 days? Work hard and anything is possible!


  • Use a language learning program that fits nicely into your life

Travelling to an English class that might not be useful is a huge waste of your time and energy. Instead, download a language app – and learn any time. From any place.


  • Listen and speak aloud to learn English pronunciation

Being able to interact with people is why we learn language. Remember that. Try speaking English whenever you can to build confidence and check on your progress. And don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Listen to a range of different language content to mix up your learning and you’ll be a pro in no time.

Take these tips and you can learn English in just 15 minutes a day. All you have to do? Sign up to a Memrise English course to learn English fast (and for free) – online.


Tips for learning English

Absorbing English through different types of input is a fun way to improve your understanding of how the English language works.


Ways to mix up your learning:

  • Movies to learn English

You can learn English by watching TV and films.Listening to native speakers through cartoons, films and TV series is a super fun one to mix up your learning. Check out: Toy Story, Harry Potter, Love Actually, Forest Gump. Or find an interesting Netflix series to learn English from.


  • Games to learn English

Use board games to learn English vocabulary, verbs and grammar. Try classics like Scrabble or Hangman. You can also learn English while playing video games – especially those with dialogue. These improve your listening and reading. Check out Professor Garfield: Reading Ring, 21 days, and Life is Strange.


  • Music to learn English

English native speakers first learn the English alphabet by singing it. The same works for listening and singing English songs. You can learn English with pop music and with subtitled songs.

Songs to learn English: Listen to ‘Love yourself’ by Justin Bieber, ‘Hello’ by Adele, and ‘Just The Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars to get started.


  • Radio channels to learn English

Voa.News.com = American radio to learn English

BBC.co.uk = English radio to learn English


  • Best books to learn English

Learn English by reading books, listening to audiobooks and learn English in pictures. Start small – try the Oxford Picture Dictionary. Read Road Dahl novels like Matilda and The Harry Potter Series.

Top Tip: read a book you already know from reading in your native language. This way, you already know what's going on and can pick up words and phrases you don’t recognise from your existing understanding of the book. Plus you don't need to understand everything in order to follow the narrative.


  • Activities to learn English

Yes… you can learn English while having fun. In fact: it’s the best way to learn. Take a fun quiz to learn English, or find great recipes, switch on YouTube cooking tutorials and learn English while cooking.

Being able to speak different words and phrases in real-life situations (and be understood while saying them) is the heart of learning a language.

Our app is designed to help you do this… more on this in a sec.


Learning English with Memrise 

Memrise is great for:

  • Learning on the go... from anywhere in the world.
  • Acquiring a language through immersion
  • Learning English quickly at home from the comfort of your sofa.
  • Learning English through listening: with hours of videos and audio of real people teaching you (no robot voices here)
  • Learning English by immersion.
  • Learning self-taught English without anxiety and stress.
  • People who want to learn useful words & phrases to use in real life.
  • Having fun and staying motivated. Reach into your pocket and learn whenever you have a good moment.


Memrise is less great for:

  • People who only want a certificate to prove they’ve learned something.


You probably think we’re biased. But listen up. We created our language learning app to cover the things we see missing in other apps, videos and books.

Memrise encourages you to keep motivated through having fun, and surround yourself with native English speakers. This all gives you the confidence to learn English pronunciation and speak confidently.

We give you videos of locals speaking in their natural accents, pacing, and body language – giving you a natural and immersive language learning experience. Real Language – to interact with real people – in real life.


Best app to learn English

We have a mobile application to learn English (on iPhone and Android) so you can learn on the go. Plus a website version if you prefer to learn at home on a computer


Other reasons Memrise is the best English learning app

  • You can learn at anytime. From anyplace.
  • Memrise only teaches you useful phrases that will equip you well in real life.
  • You can learn English (UK) and English (US) and hear people speaking in different accents.
  • Our fun videos of native speakers talking to you (and testing your pronunciation) make you feel like you’re in a country where the language is spoken.
  • Our app automatically saves your progress so you won’t lose anything if you have to stop learning suddenly.
  • Your daily learning streak reminders give you an extra boost of motivation to keep learning.
  • Out of mobile data or signal? Our offline mode lets you download all the content on your phone so you can learn a language on the move without WIFI or mobile data.

Sign up to our app to learn English FOR FREE… right now. You know what to do…


Start learning English today