The Memrise Learning Philosophy: Easy Language Immersion


More than “teaching” you a language, with Memrise you’ll easily go from learning to using a language in real life.

Many people think using a language is something you’ll do after you’ve “learned” it. As if you’ll be able to call on a huge bank of knowledge and think up something amazing on the spot in conversation. But this is impossible.

Using a language is how you learn language. It's how you learn to understand and speak another language in real life – with real people – in real situations. This is called language acquisition. So how does this happen?


Learning must be super fun to be effective


Memrise was founded by Ed Cooke & Ben Whately. They wanted to transform people’s general perceptions that:

  • Learning is boring, dry and painful; and not at all fun
  • Learning a language is hard because you’re “bad” at it


So they created Memrise. And since then, everything they do is making it as easy as possible for people to go from learning, to actually using the language of their choice, in real-life situations. This approach is developed with the proven knowledge that:

  • You remember what you enjoy and find interesting/funny/imaginative, shocking and outrageous.
  • Human beings are naturally good at learning languages.


You first acquired a language as a child. Remember that? And you can do it again. We’re born with an innate ability to learn a language that stays with us for life.

But why do so many people struggle to learn another language, particularly adults? It's because...


Language acquisition happens through language immersion

They realised that studying language from textbooks and inside classrooms wasn’t helping people use a language in real life. After all: that’s why you learn a language, right?

It hit them that language immersion is how you acquire a language. Why? Because immersion means getting to know the language of native speakers, plus idioms, natural rhythms, emotional tone, body language, and cultural habits that come with it. 

But life is busy and it’s hard for people to find immersive language situations. For many of us, simply moving to a country that speaks that language you want to learn isn’t realistic. So Ed and Ben figured out the next best thing...

Let's make real-life language immersion available on people's screens.

Today, closer to 60 million learners immerse themselves in languages through the Memrise App (iPhone and Android), and website.



How the app works: Language Immersion


Language immersion means living and breathing language, instead of envisaging it in real life from a textbook. This involves getting up close with authentic language – the language that’s used by native speakers. As this is the closest thing to living in your target language country.

So how does the app do it, and consequently deliver fast language acquisition?


Why is Memrise the ultimate immersive language learning app?

Over 50,000 ‘Learn with Locals’ videos


Our videos of native speakers ooze real-life language and make you feel like you’re in a café in Paris, an izakaya in Tokyo, or a beach party in Barcelona.

When in reality... You’re lying on your sofa, on the train to work, or perhaps waiting for your mates at a bar.


"Native speaker immersion. It's magic!" 

 Ben Whately (Memrise Co-founder)


Open our app and immediately learn from real locals. It makes second language acquisition all too easy. And did we mention fun?

Read about how we travelled around Europe on our Membus Tour and collected over 50,000 videos of native speakers to put onto your screen and change the way people learn languages.


Learn what native speakers say in real life situations

It’s amazing how many people learn lists of vocabulary just for the sake of it. Memrise takes your time seriously by giving you the language locals commonly use. Forget memorising numbers, colours, and animals for no purpose.

We base our learning system on different scenarios in which you’ll find yourself in, and the language that you’ll need. This way you’ll acquire real-world language skills. Fast.


Learn what you’re interested in

We’re more likely to remember the things that attract our attention. In other words: what we’re interested in. That’s why our app presents a range of different scenarios to spike your interest.



This means you can learn the language you need and also find interesting and therefore: Memorable. That way, even the hardest languages to learn become easy.

Our language courses give you words and phrases to use in countless situations, whatever the weather.

Love a party? This one might come in handy.

HubSpot Video

Organizziamo una festa! = Let’s organise a party!


Challenge yourself... It's how you learn!

Trying to understand a language that is just above your current level is the only way to understand a new language when it is spoken.

It is genuinely impossible to learn to understand spoken language without listening to language that you have to strain your brain to make sense of.

Ben Whately: Memrise Co-Founder

This is because thinking hard to work out the meaning of language helps you understand how the language actually works.

This is why children have a head-start... because they hear adults talk to them for hours and have to adjust themselves to language which is just above their current level of understanding. Children are in an ideal immersive environment, whereas adults rarely are... until they find our app.


Learn to communicate with confidence:

You need to speak at least a little bit of the language to share conversations with people, discover cultures, and enjoy new experiences.

That feels obvious. But a lot of learners don’t practice speaking enough.

So as soon as you can understand the words you’ve learned, you need to practice speaking them yourself.


Speak aloud without the language anxiety


Speaking another language is scary, especially when we’re starting out. The thought of searching for the right words and going red-faced in front of strangers… No thanks! We get it, don’t worry.

That’s why our language courses give you a safe space to practice your speaking. From expert speech recognition chats to dubbing native speaker videos, speak the language out loud without the fear of failure. The most important thing is to just go for it.

The more you practice in these different (virtual) real-life situations, the better you’ll get and the more confident you’ll feel when you enter a situation for real.

And the same message applies with speaking: the only way to learn to speak a language well is to practice saying things that are a touch beyond your current level. This is how your brain learns to do it.


What happens when you learn a language?

Memrise is grounded in the knowledge that acquiring another language fundamentally changes:

  • Your perception of other countries, cultures, and people.
  • How you interact and connect with others.
  • The experiences you can have, as well as your emotional connection to them.
  • Your potential and your life: both personally and professionally.

What are you waiting for?


Get started with Memrise:


Pick a course today